I love this story told by Rush Limbaugh on what is the real meaning and lessons of the first Thanksgiving. Every year I print it out and put it in my pocket. I wait until our Thanksgiving dinner, and when grace has been said and when a break comes in the feeding-frenzy I mean feasting, I share with everybody the wisdom below.
. . . by Rush Limbaugh
As told in his book 'See I Told You So' Chapter Six: "Dead White Guys or What Your History Books Never Told You," on page 70 Rush explains that the REAL story of the First Thanksgiving is the lesson of the abject failure of Collectivism or Socialism and the triumph of Free Market Capitalism.
The original contract the Pilgrims entered into with merchant-sponsors in London called for everything produced to go into a common store and for every member of the community to be entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well. This is the essence of Socialism. What happened with this early experiment? Their leader William Bradford writes:
"For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could man husbands brook it."
Bradford goes on:
"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years… that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God," Bradford wrote. "For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense… that was thought injustice."
So what did Bradford’s community try next? They harnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?
"This had very good success," wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been . . ."
In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the "Great Puritan Migration."
Now, other than on this program every year, have you heard this story before? Is this lesson being taught to your kids today -- and if it isn't, why not? Can you think of a more important lesson one could derive from the pilgrim experience?
So in essence there was, thanks to the Indians, because they taught us how to skin beavers and how to plant corn when we arrived, but the real Thanksgiving was thanking the Lord for guidance and plenty -- and once they reformed their system and got rid of the communal bottle and started what was essentially free market capitalism, they produced more than they could possibly consume, and they invited the Indians to dinner, and voila, we got Thanksgiving, and that's what it was: inviting the Indians to dinner and giving thanks for all the plenty is the true story of Thanksgiving.
The last two-thirds of this story simply are not told.
Now, I was just talking about the plenty of this country and how I'm awed by it. You can go to places where there are famines, and we usually get the story, "Well, look it, there are deserts, well, look it, Africa, I mean there's no water and nothing but sand and so forth."
It's not the answer, folks. Those people don't have a prayer because they have no incentive. They live under tyrannical dictatorships and governments.
The problem with the world is not too few resources. The problem with the world is an insufficient distribution of capitalism.
"May God bless our families health, table and stores with venison and good spirits!"
- Deacon of Doom, Thanksgiving 2009
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. God bless,
- Sean Linnane