Thanksgiving: The Birth of Capitalism in America

by Mark A. Laughlin

Copyright © 1998 by Mark A. Laughlin

Thanksgiving should be the most cherished of our national holidays because it celebrates the discovery, on this continent, of a particular moral principle.

In contrast to the modern neo-racist, multiculturalist revision of the holiday as a celebration of diversity, or the mystic fantasies of divine blessings, or the envirotalk about man "belonging to mother earth," I admire Thanksgiving because it is a celebration of abundance and prosperity.

The pilgrims, under the leadership of Col. William Bradford, instituted the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" by collecting all harvests into a "common store". From this common store, they divided up the goods amongst themselves. They stuck by their principles for two years...and for two years they starved with more than half of their number dying.

In desperation Col. Bradford abandoned the collectivist principle and assigned each family a parcel of land. Each family was to work their own land and keep the fruits of their own efforts. For the first time since their arrival, the colony prospered. Not because of some nonjudgmental acceptance of the indigenous culture, not because of divine intervention, and not because they threw themselves at the mercy of mother earth; but by discovering a superior social system that recognizes that each man belongs to himself and is not to be sacrificed for the sake of others, by not faking reality, and by owning and remaking a piece of this earth.

Sadly this important transformation is totally ignored in our state-run schools. Such capitalistic and selfish ideas do not coincide with the educrat's "politically correct" agenda. Thereby we are blindly repeating Col. Bradford's mistake and suffering the same scarcities in medicine, education and other government dominated ventures.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of the birth of private property and therefore the birth of capitalism. It is a celebration of the prosperity that is possible to man when he doesn't view his neighbor with envy, but with the respect of voluntary trade and rational discourse.

The rational man should offer thanks this holiday to our value producers for the blessings they have bestowed upon us.