Letter to the editor: Progressives could learn from the pilgrims

By BOB JANOVICK | Sparta

We have just witnessed an election wherein the progressives have pushed toward their goal of socialism. This calls for a review of the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620. Much of what we “know” has been revisionist history.

While it is true that an Indian showed them how to use dried fish/fish parts as fertilizer, the harvest was not abundant in 1621 or 1622. Over half of the colonists died due to starvation and its attendant illnesses; the winter of 1620–21 claimed the majority. The governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry because they refused to work in the fields. This was the result of reasonable human reaction to a requirement in the Mayflower Compact; “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means” was to be put into the common stock of the colony. Withdrawal was “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” You are familiar with “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”? Or maybe you are too young to recall the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), lasting only from December 1922 until December 1991 — a mere 69 years.

This is important in economic foundation. You have plenty of time to Google Gov. Bradford’s journal to research what policies he adopted in the spring of 1623 — in order to turn a failing settlement into one of prosperity. He wrote, “For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.” Bradford took the first steps toward establishing capitalism and the free market as this nation’s economic foundation; he gave the colonists land. (Providence?) And, he allowed them to keep the fruits of their labors! Allowed them to trade as they saw fit. Imagine — people working in their own best interests. The colony flourished. It flourished so well that not only did the colony have plenty, but also they paid off their loan early. Starvation to abundance!

Celebrate Thanksgiving.

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