FirstThanksgiving.jpg
America’s first experiment with communism. The first Thanksgiving is usually dated to 1621 when the settlement celebrated its first harvest, but the first official Thanksgiving was planned by Governor Bradford in 1623, after the colony began its long, painful divorce from communism and started flourishing as a community of free individuals.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Big Al November 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

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This was before they perfected it. Lol.

DefHarryMelon November 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

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Nice work, J.P. Of course, we expect nothing less.

PsychoDad November 22, 2012 at 9:19 am

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One comment over there, and it’s from a leftard and it’s an accusation of racism. Of course. I zinged him back, hard.

But yeah, this is a part of the Pilgrim story that has always been little-told. I think at one point because we were a little embarrassed by our flirtation with proto-communism, then more recently of course, because the leftards in academia are embarrassed by the first-hand testimony that it just doesn’t work.

My only other critique of the piece — I would be interested in seeing evidence — is his assertion that this experiment was a relic of the colony’s financial backers. To my knowledge, this was written into the Mayflower Compact precisely because they had landed outside of British jurisdiction and were free to pursue their own style of self-government.

JPTravis November 22, 2012 at 9:34 am

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I’m going to post comments from here to the column itself, so you’ll be there twice, but although this isn’t where I got the information about the financial backers, a quick Google search brought me here: http://www.flynnfiles.com/archives/culture2005/pilgrim_communists_american_capitalists.html

“One malady of man’s making–communism–made the first years of Plymouth Plantation particularly rough. The endeavor’s financial backers foolishly insisted on what was labelled a “Common Course and Condition” to prevent the settlers, beyond their reach across the ocean, from siphoning profits. The Puritans derived their necessities from a common stock and worked common land. This had the effect of fostering laziness, eliminating profits, and helping to create near-starvation conditions.”

PsychoDad November 22, 2012 at 10:12 am

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Oh, THAT J.P. Travis! Nice site, took me a while to make the connection. OK so Flynn isn’t citing any original sources either. I do withdraw what I suggest above; I had thought the phrase I recall “holding all goods in common” was in the Mayflower Compact itself, it is not, I assume I’m remembering it from Bradford’s “Of Plimoth Plantation.” As I say, even up here in spittin’ distance of Plymouth Rock itself, this has always been an awkward topic, but the little I heard always suggested that this had been their own idea, modeling themselves on the early apostolic community — that is, it was an expression of their faith and not a contractual obligation. I’ll have to go back through “Of Plimoth Plantation” and see if he mentions specifically why they did that.

ooddballz November 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

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Yeah, I read that PD. A that one is a real student of (revisionist) history.

Funny thing is, I was talking with a guy in my Deutsch learnin course today, and he told me he experienced more racism from OTHER blacks than from whites.
His skin is TOO LIGHT.
I know, old story, and we all know it. He also admits it is the black community holding themselves back, while blaming “whitey” of course.
Other than the fact he supports Obumma, he seems to be a reasonably intelligent person.

6 November 2012 November 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm

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“But yeah, this is a part of the Pilgrim story that has always been little-told.”

I would taken a certain assumption if it had been littel-told since the 1960s but always little-told, nearly 390 years later, would makes me suspect it is because this is a part that have only recently been told or at least, told through a modern viewpoint.

Would it not have been noticed in the 1950s, when anti-communist feelings where stronger, interest in history was stronger and a certain academic agenda had none of the influence it does today?

PsychoDad November 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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I’m not certain,but as I note above, I think then it would have been glossed over out of embarrassment that it was done at all.

6 November 2012 November 23, 2012 at 6:39 am

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Why would that embarraseement be gone?

Also, there was no one to monitor their activities and enforce the orders of lenders on the other side of the Atlantic, a long way back then.

I can take a guess as to why they would band together, hovewer.

In the 19th century, when all those immigrants came to New York, they could get jobs for a living, make profit quickly. Not so with the natives societies, not even much in the way of advices, due to the language barrier.

No machines, everything had to be done by hand and some cattle.
Their most thorough preparations was getting there in the first place, most 1620s europeans wheren´t that well-off to start with, especially if they happened to be a religious minority.
The little ice age was not over yet, wilderness, unknow land, not much back-up against the potentially hostile natives.
They simply wheren´t that well prepared to the situation at hand, not having even done anything like that before, they couldn´t land in the place, set up houses and fields, then thrive and prosper by the time winter came.
Rather, hunger in the beginning of their settlement was pretty much a given, they knew they would surely perish without a massive effort.
Thus, it may not be surprising if they believed that working together was their best chance of survival, until they had gained the experience, confidence and skills to survive on their own.

Trickle-center economics too, you have supplies meant for 5, work for 4, benefices for 3.

My lesson on this would be how ****ing retarded the typical victimhood argument given by leftards is.
Victime group X sucks because 3-5 generations previously, they where oppressed? Hahahahaha!
People have rarley an idea how good they have it, even in third-world countries like Mexico or Chicago, and they don´t quiet realize how fragile, recent and unusual that prosperity is.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

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People working together, helping each other, making it through rough times, is an excellent idea. Making it law is a bad idea.

ooddballz November 22, 2012 at 9:32 am

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And yet a great many morons want to head down this road again.

Jim Stewart November 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

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enough of them to get Obama re-elected

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

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Well, almost enough. The rest was fraud, of course.

Then there are the people that still don’t believe that Obama is like that.

sa_rose November 25, 2012 at 12:08 pm

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THe morons!

Not so silent November 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

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Communism didn’t work them, doesn’t work now, but there is never a lack of the stupid trying to reinvent the square wheel and saying this time it will work. The basis of our system comes directly from events like this, the same events that today’s enlightened liberals like to forget. Like the guy who blogged in and had almost every aspect of this wrong, today’s liberals are like 7-UP when it comes to understanding life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, never had it, never will.

Happy thanksgiving to all at ITHM!

perlcat November 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

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Excellent article, JP!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

PsychoDad November 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

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Oh, and if I might engage in a small bit of seasonal and thread appropriate self-promotion: I mentioned this only once before on this forum, but if any of you enjoy classical-style science fiction with a subtle conservative undertone, please visit my own site, the Penny Robinson Fan Club, where you can download and/or read online a novel-length trilogy, Endless Skies, based on the old series Lost In Space. The premise is that the Robinson party has been crashed – quite literally- by a dashing young space pilot who kicks them in their butts and encourages them to get out of that dang ship and start actually colonizing the world they’re stranded on. The new name for their new colony? New Plymouth! I make specific comparison to them and the Pilgrims early on, which actually does mesh well with the original premise of the series. I don’t know if it is coincidence or not, but one of the Pilgrims’ spiritual leaders in England, who did not come to Plymouth with them, was named — John Robinson!

Anyway, I’ve had some nice comments in the past on this, and as I say it has a definite, but subtle, conservative viewpoint underpinning romance, adventure, action, and even some slightly naughty bits. Right here: http://pennyrobinsonfanclub.net/the-written-word/through-endless-skies/ you can download and read some “peeks inside.” Thank you, and enjoy responsibly.

RobertW November 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

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bkmkd & savered. will savor the flavor at a more opportune time. :)

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:15 am

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PDF downloaded, placed upon my desktop.

RobertW November 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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a solemn day of humiliation, to seek ye Lord by humble & fervent prayer, in this great distress. And He was pleased to give them a gracious & speedy answer, both to their own & the Indians admiration, that lived amongst them. For all ye morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather & very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing & blessing God.

I observed/witness/testify to this today, this day. God be praised through Jesus the Son, His love endures forever.

now for those who’re called by His name: We know what we must needs do so God will heal our land. Maybe we the sheep of His fold, well I know I do, and I’ll leave it at that. the reader will understand. :D

perlcat November 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

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I had a solemn day of humiliation. Happened a coupla weeks ago.

JPTravis November 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

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Happens to me periodically, too.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:13 am

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I’ve gotten used to it.

RobertW November 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

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speaking of little known facts.
Though the source is not to hand (I believe it is “Our Godly Heritage”), Pocahontas was known to be promiscuous, in common terminology one could say she was a slut, and so, with this in mind, as well as an understanding of primitive culture even in the 21st century, it is extremely unlikely that Pocahontas was raped by any of the Europeans.

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

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Wait. According to many very conservative people I’ve heard speak, only “sluts” get raped. Now I’m confused.

RobertW November 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

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oops, after some in-depth research, I’ve found the reference to which i’d formerly alluded.

William Stachey (SP?) wrote of her translating her name “little wanton.”

one may see where I confused promiscuous and slut with little wanton. and the revisionist historians.

anyway, one can’t rape the willing.

sa_rose November 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

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Raped is for their virginal daughters who had sex before marriage and got caught; she was raped, it wasn’t her fault. Sluts give it away so THEY can’t be raped. Eve3n when they are and get beat up in the bargain

sa_rose November 23, 2012 at 6:16 am

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I read something a couple of days ago that original “thanksgiving” was supposed to be a memmorial for all the lives lost that first year. They somebody stood up and said, No, let’s make it a day of thanksgiving, that we have survived, that our crops were good and we have plently for the winter.

Progressive Hemrrhoid November 23, 2012 at 6:49 am

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And because they abandoned the communistic practices is precisely why the Pilgrims survived and flourished. If any of today’s modern Progressives attempted to run a colony, it would end up being a Roanoke.

RobertW November 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

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I’ll bet you’re proud of yourself, probably like the cock of the walk, able to crow a ton on a dare.

sa_rose November 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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What does that even mean? What are you {smoking, drinking, inhaling whatever}?

JPTravis November 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm

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Misplaced non sequitur random pun explosion?

RobertW November 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm

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well it’ difficult to work Virginia Dare, and Croaton into most comments. I freely admit to a certain amount of contrivance, but it still makes more sense than what some others on this board post.

:)

Navyvet2 November 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

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Communism was tried again on a fairly wide scale in the sixties. Lots of the druggie loons decided that they would form “communes” with bunches of them living together sharing all and singing Kumbaya and doing LSD. Utter failure. Much to their surprise, many figured out that working and bringing money and food to the commune was better left to others while they could just sit on their ass, do drugs, screw, and generally fuck off. Well, you know the rest of the story. 100% failure.

DefHarryMelon November 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

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The problem that hit the communes of the 60s and 70s is they didn’t do the communism correctly, that is to say, by force. Communism can only succeed by forcing people who are incapable of resisting said force, to conduct the labors required to sustain the communists. If the communists fail to oppress sufficient numbers of laborers then communism will fail. Everybody wants to be a communist oppressing those of lesser value and intelligence, don’t they?

flashingscotsman November 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

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Then the people in charge, the ones DOING the forcing, (government), can kick back, do drugs, screw, and generally fuck off. With LARGE sums of money and power at their beck and call, they could, for example, play hundreds of rounds of golf while throwing extravagant parties at their government-supplied dwelling.