Thursday, November 26, 2020

Give Thanks for Private Property

Power Line has published a rumination on Thanksgiving and the lessons of the Plymouth Colony by historian Paul A. Rahe every year since 2009. It turns out the colony began in a socialist/collectivist format and gave it up when it didn’t keep them adequately fed. Rahe writes, quoting the words of the colony’s leader:

William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony, reports that, at that time, he and his advisers considered “how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.” And “after much debate of things,” he then adds, they chose to abandon communal property, deciding that “they should set corn every man for his own particular” and assign “to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number, for that end.”

The results, he tells us, were gratifying in the extreme, “for it made all hands very industrious” and “much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” Even “the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

When “the squad” and old crazy Bernie urge socialism, remember it has failed to produce abundance everywhere it has been tried, even a bunch of religious zealots couldn’t make it work. As we have written repeatedly, socialism is not - as claimed - a way to share wealth, in practice it is a way to share poverty.