This year, we are facing economic concerns and Thanksgiving may seem a way off. Rather than a typical Thanksgiving message, I would refer you to Barbara Anderson’s well-written piece at Salem News. Editor.
America’s first experiment with socialism was an abject failure that cost the lives of more than half of the foundering settlers by 1627. After living the liberal philosophy for half a decade of want, Gov. Bradford and the other founders of the Plymouth Plantation came to recognize that, despite their struggles, perseverance and faith, something was very wrong; something needed to change if they were to survive.
The concept of communitarianism was quickly rejected in favor of capitalism, and the colony subsequently thrived. Bradford and his council established property rights and free enterprise, self-reliance and self-motivation, truly a new concept in this new frontier. Immediately, the result of private industry was quantifiable:
“This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content,” Bradford wrote.