The Tea Party Meaning of Thanksgiving: Socialism Doesn’t Work

The Tea Party sees Thanksgiving as a morality tale about finding salvation in Capitalism. The Pilgrims were failed Socialists who turned to Capitalism for survival. Only after foregoing communal ownership of property and allowing private ownership did the colony prosper. (Communism could also have been used, but socialism is the bogey meme du jour.)

The actual historical details are much more interesting than the Tea Party myth.

The Pilgrims formed a start-up and the Merchants and Adventurers of London were their venture capitalists. The Merchants would put up the cash for the supplies and the trip to the New World and the colonists would put up the labor. They signed a seven-year contract in which all land, livestock, lumber, furs, and other trade goods were held in partnership. At the end of the seven year period, the company was to be dissolved and the assets distributed. The Pilgrims were more like shareholders in a corporation than socialists.

Interestingly, only one Pilgrim died on the 66-day voyage. This is attributed to the fact that the Mayflower had never carried passengers, she was a “sweet ship.” Seepage from previous wine cargos had impregnated the ship’s timbers and acted like a disinfectant.

The Mayflower landed in November of 1620 and the first Thanksgiving was held in 1621. The colony’s governor, William Bradford, abolished the communal land arrangement and gave each household a parcel of land, in 1623. It seems unlikely that a colony in the grips of a famine, caused by evils of communal property ownership, would host a three-day feast. The prospects of a famine would come the following year with a devastating summer drought and the seasonal migration of fish and fowl.

Agriculture did become more profitable in following years, in part due to improved cultivation techniques of corn, a crop for which the colonists had no experience, and in part due to the increase in each individual’s exertion on their privately held land.

Two attempts to make payments to the investors were met with pirates, who captured the ships bringing back furs and timber. The investors, fearing a total loss of their investment, settled with the Pilgrims for £1800 after an investment of nearly £7000.

H/T: NY Times, New American, Dictionary of American History.

-David Drumm (Nal)

226 thoughts on “The Tea Party Meaning of Thanksgiving: Socialism Doesn’t Work

  1. I’m new here but I’ve tried to become more acquainted by reading several articles and the resulting comments.

    without taking sides (after all, I have no horse in this race as I know no one) I have yet to see anyone best The laughing Buddha on information and presentation of ideas.

    Really not sure why people get so nutty about these things, but it sure makes for entertaining reading.

  2. Buddha is Laughing:

    I am sorry you feel that way. It could have been very good content with both sides of an issue given equal time.

    Your audience at Moveon would consist of people who already agree with you. Your aggressive style would go to waste on people with whom you agree. And there would be no chance of converting people to your beliefs.

    Granted you will get some hate mail, but you seem to tolerate it pretty well.

    I wish you would reconsider. Is there anything I can do that would make you reconsider? Short of shooting myself.

    I am really excited about the possibilities with you in our stable of writers, the sky is the limit.

    Think of all the good you could do with the money you will make, do it for the children.

    Regards,

    A.

  3. Andy,

    I’ve seen both your version of “equal time” and the quality of work your stable produces. Your claims to be nonpartisan are laughable. By the way, how’s that Sherrod lawsuit for defamation and libel working out for you? Been “uninvited” to any media functions lately? Finding your sandbagging tactics are harder to deploy now?

    As to audience and disagreement? I get plenty of disagreement right here. You and your goons didn’t have a hard time finding me . . . just a hard impossible time defeating me.

    As to my aggressive style? It is but one of many styles. Different tools for different jobs. The stone cannot hope to battle water.

    As to conversion? That would assume my motive is conversion. Your assumptions – almost always bad – would be your undoing. Maybe my motivation is far more damaging to your agenda than simple conversion.

    Maybe I simply love being a shit disturber and causing trouble for bad people?

    Maybe my goals include seeing you and your organization completely discredited?

    Maybe my motivation is leading by example – giving people examples of the tools of critical thought and language skills required to recognize the true enemies of their liberty, Constitutional rights and human rights and thus engendering in them the ability detect and destroy malicious propaganda for themselves?

    I can educate and/or rabble-rouse at MoveOn or in another capacity for Mr. Soros – a man with whom I at least share common ideals if not always total agreement. What’s even better, I could do so without having to get into bed on a business level with people I consider enemies of the Constitution and of We the People’s best interests in retaining/restoring their rights and restoring the rule of law. Give a man a fish and he lives for a day, teach a man to fish and he lives forever. Being able to recognize truth through the haze of obfuscation and disarm the lies of your enemies is a pretty sweet fish.

    Your job offer makes as much sense as hiring the fox to work the hen house. Unless, of course, one recognizes the reality that one often fears what one cannot control and offering me employ is simply a way for you to attempt to exert control. If you can’t break them, buy them. Speaking of foxes, did Rupert teach you that trick? That sly old baby-eating dingo! By working for you, I could only benefit you by creating the illusion you’re nonpartisan. An illusion you dearly need right now considering how you and your organization have been outted in the media as far right wing distortionists and propagandists. You need me a lot more than I need you. Unequal bargaining power sucks when you’re on the stinky side of the stick, doesn’t it?

    Unless you can come up with baseball money – a seven plus figure guaranteed four year salary with an eight plus figure buy out – you don’t stand a chance of using money as a lure. And even then it would only be a lure because my needs and wants are simple and few. I’d plow almost every penny of that money back into undermining you and your corporatist bosses.

    Mr. Soros, who could hire me for a lot less, would be getting a far better deal for his dollar and not have to worry that I was going to burn down the farm house, the hen house, eat all the chickens and possibly the farmer.

    You can only guess at my motives, but I’ll tell you this for free: Anything to your or your masters benefit is antithetical to my motives.

    Unless you can talk Rupert or whoever into making me the Derek Jeter of anti-propagandists (including provisions that no one exerts any kind of editorial control), we don’t have anything further to discuss. Even then, all you’d likely reap is discussion. I’m temptation resistant.

    Mr. Soros, on the other hand, would find me infinitely more flexible in my bargaining. His people should contact my people. We could certainly work out a mutually beneficial arrangement. I’d love nothing better than to be set up as a counter-intel shop to your operations. It would be a job with a high degree of intangible satisfaction. I even have a couple of people in mind Mr. Soros and I might be able to get to come on board for that kind of project. Good people with demonstrable skills, respect for the rule of law, the rights of others, the values of the Declaration and undistorted framework the Constitution provides for a government by the people and for the people (as opposed to We the Corporate). Some are the very same people who have aided in frustrating your efforts here.

    Please note that my conditions fall short of asking you to shoot yourself.

    One lives to be of service,

    BIL

  4. BIL:

    Thank you for your candor and insights. I will speak to George next time I see him and put in a good word for you.

    We usually get together 3-4 times per times per year and discuss issues. He is really a great guy, the right is far too hard on him.

    Regards,

    A.

    Ps thanks for not asking me to shoot myself.

  5. Andy,

    Candor is something I value. No sense wasting anybody’s time. Especially since I really don’t have a price when it comes to the Declaration and the Constitution. Or when it comes to most things for that matter.

    As to a good word with Mr. Soros? Thanks. That ought to be an interesting conversation.

    As to not asking you to shoot yourself? It’s the least I could do (really), but since you decided to step out from behind the curtain for a bit and exposed yourself in a forum in which you surely must know you are generally loathed, it seemed only sporting. That took far more bravery than any of the criminals in Congress (or formerly/presently in the White House) have shown and many of them I’ve been just as hard on or worse. Quite frankly, I’m impressed that you had it in you.

    That in no way, however, should be interpreted to me being willing to cut your minions any future slack. If they troll here, they will still get the pointy parts of the bear. I take defense of the downtrodden, the Declaration and the Constitution quite seriously. Much more so than the majority of American politicians from either graft-lame party. It’s the duty I owe my family as several have suffered (and in two cases died) defending the ideals Jefferson left for posterity in our founding documents. As ever, one lives to be of service.

    Adieu,

    BIL

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