Politically Incorrect Thanksgiving
Deliberately or ignorantly, the approved textbooks for the youth paint a falsly joyful version of Thanksgiving. The truth? Famine, death, thievery, and corruption. When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, over half died the first winter (1621). The economic structure of Plymouth was collectivized; it was communism. For example, private property was outlawed and the food supply was collectivized (publicly owned). This sharing of the food supply de-incentivize the most abled body, “Why should I work the hardest and be unfairly compensated.” Most Pilgrims relied on theft from others to survive, food shortages plagued Plymouth.
The merit of how well-fed the Pilgrims were on the day of “Harvest Feast” (Thanksgiving) is irrelevant to the fact the other 364 days they were malnourished. The years of 1621-1622 were hellish. It wasn’t until 1623 did Governor William Bradley abolish socialism. Each family was allowed to own a parcel of land and grow whatever they wanted, keep their products, and trade freely. The following harvests were so abundant the Pilgrims started exporting in 1624. The spontaneous arrangement of economic organization (anarchy) made life prevail over starvation and death (central planning).
If economic policies are incompatible with a simple economy such as the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and other colonies, then they are also incompatible in a more complex economy. The constancy of fundamental principles, laws (physics, thermodynamics, etc. ) would not change arbitraily. There would have to be overwhelming evidence, and if there were sound proof then it would be an entirely new “law.” However, changing phraseology or terms would still not disprove a said “law.” Pythagorean’s Theorem would not change if spoken in a different language, or if certain words meant something else. Gravity or Pythagorean’s Theorem is just an observation of the natural world. The mechanisms (friction, resistance, right angles) of the observation is an apriori of the natural world. Hence, economic law emerges. Socialism cannot “work” on a small or large scale, ever.
This is relevant to economic order and the story of Thanksgiving. If socialism (central planning) is not sustainable in simple economies, it cannot be sustainable in large economies. In other words, on the Micro and Macroeconomic levels, what is true on an individual scale must be true on a broader scope. Socialism (central planning) urusps the rights of individuals to use their own preferences and judgments.
Furthermore, this monopolization of economic order does not consider or incorporate the diversity of individuals and their characteristics. Bureacrats are making decisions based solely on politcis, unlike individuals using their own rationality to make decisions. Individuals trading amongst another establishes the price system. The best of all systems to determine the appropriate means of resource allocation. On the otherhand, in socialism, prices through exchange cannot occur, resources are misallocated and malinvested. Socialism’s (government) fatal flaw is it cannot possibly calculate prices. Socialism is a death sentence; Communism is a swift execution.
Free Market Thanksgiving
So let’s give thanksgiving to the spontaneous order of economic arrangement, or what of it we still have. By allowing the free enterprise and exchange of goods/services, individuals can raise their living standards and accumulate wealth. This accumulation of wealth is what makes charity possible. Having the opportunity to make your life better but also to have enough wealth to give to the less fortunate. The difference between the feast of Capitalists and Communists is this: The Capitalist’s great feast is a feast for many more feasts, but the Communists feast is his last supper.