The Rejection of Communism on Thanksgiving Day
This week, our nation is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving of the Pilgrims, who had arrived a year earlier on November 11, 1620 on the Mayflower with 102 passengers — men, women, and children. They came as families to set up a society of self-government with freedom to practice their own religion without fear of persecution from the English government or its church. This brave community laid the foundations for the United States of America.
Blown off course, the Mayflower arrived in what is now Provincetown Harbor, where 41 men signed the Mayflower Compact, a covenant of self-rule that birthed American liberty. A precursor to the U.S. Constitution, the Compact was essentially the cornerstone of self-government under God which has made America unique among nations.
From there the ship sailed on to modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they founded the Plymouth Colony in the middle of December.
American Indians Taught the Pilgrims Survival Skills
That first winter, the settlers faced incredible suffering, with disease, severe cold, starvation, and desolation. Out of the original 102 passengers, only about 52 survived, including four women and their first elected governor of the colony, John Carver.
In early spring 1621, the Pilgrims entered into a treaty with the Wampanoag Indian tribe's leader, Massasoit. Squanto, a member of the Patuxet band of the Wampanoag tribe, had been captured by earlier settlers but freed by Catholic friars and taken to England, where he learned to speak English. He became an interpreter on an English ship in 1618 and returned to the New World, where he taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops in the hard, rocky New England soil.
Sometime in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, together with Massasoit and 90 members of his tribe, held a three-day harvest festival of thanksgiving, feasting, and entertainment with athletic events of shooting, foot races, wrestling, and bow and arrow. Their Indian friends provided much of the food.
Pilgrims Tried Communism
One of the more familiar stories in American history is the disastrous experiment in a communal social and economic structure in the Plymouth Colony from 1621 to 1623. The communal lifestyle in the colony resembled a socialist society.
The colony's storehouse, houses, gardens, and other improved land were all shared. No one could own private land or work at a private business because of their business deal with their investors. The colonists collectively cleared and worked the land. Many worked hard to provide for their families and lay up stores for the winter while others sloughed off, knowing they would receive equal shares from the single pot regardless of how little they worked.
Anger and resentment grew among those who did the lion's share of the work, so they became less willing to work. As a result, the colony could not produce enough food to feed everyone.
Pilgrims Rejected Communism for Free Enterprise and Private Property
After two years of living under communism, only a few of the original Plymouth colonists were still alive. By 1626, to avoid an extinction of the colony and provide a solution for repayment to their investors, a new system with private property rights and the right to keep one's production — free enterprise — was implemented by Governor William Bradford, one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact and the second elected governor of the colony. Each family was assigned personal plots of farm land according to family size, and the common storehouse was abolished. Immediately, men and women returned to the harvest fields and produced a large harvest.
Land ownership became a priority of the early settlers. For more than 50 years, colonial villages tried to survive under the common ownership system without success. Each village found that private ownership of the means of production was the most economically profitable and the most efficient way to accomplish the Christian goals of social peace. Gradually, the communal system gave way to private property rights.
The concept of the family farm grew out of combining personal responsibility with private property rights. It was the tradition of the independent small farmer that heavily influenced the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson. The superiority of individual responsibility over that of government about the best use of land became a fundamental principle of 18th- and 19th-century American life and the American dream.
400 Years Later, Americans Try Communism Again
It was the fierce spirit of personal responsibility, liberty, and private property rights that laid the foundation for the principles of limited government, personal freedom, and a competitive free marketplace that have brought us great prosperity.
Now America is moving in the opposite direction — back toward a socialist society that our forefathers rejected. We're seeing the misery and problems faced by every society that has tried socialism.
On this Thanksgiving, America is experiencing a supply chain crisis due to the government progressively implementing leftist policies. As a result, we're seeing inflation skyrocket, goods are running out, and what's left is difficult for middle-class families to afford.
Grocery store shelves are bare of many staple products. The Farm Bureau's 36th annual survey shows that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner is up 14%. The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables — the turkey — is up 24% from last year. Thanksgiving 2021 could be the most expensive meal in the history of the holiday.
This is a precursor of what is yet to come if America falls to communism. We can look at Venezuela right here in our own hemisphere to see now this Satanic ideology has brought famine, poverty, and even death to a country that was once the richest nation in South America. Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves but now produces little oil. The unemployment rate is more than 44%, according to Bloomberg. Today, 94.5% of the population lives below the poverty line on $3.20 a day.
Paulo Velasco, author of Venezuela and Chavism in Perspective, notes that the plight of the people is worse than anywhere else on the planet, even more than in African nations. "It's the worst economic and humanitarian crisis ever recorded in Latin America, and there were many,"
This is not the future that Americans want for our nation and our families. Whether or not America survives as a free nation depends upon our willingness to fight — even literally if necessary — the Marxists to stop their takeover of our government and every aspect of American society. As we give thanks to our Creator this Thursday, let us pray for strength and resolve for the war ahead.
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