Pursuit of Truthiness

my gut tells me I know economics

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

with 2 comments

How the pilgrims stopped being communists and embraced the power of private property and markets.

I’ve heard this story before, in Rush Limbaugh’s book. It makes for a great tale, especially since in some ways we look to the pilgrims as models for how our nation should behave. But as I have never heard the story told except by people with an ideological point to prove, I’m curious as to how well it really squares with the available historical evidence.

Update: I decided to actually to the research and pretty quickly found a link to Governor William Bradford’s Diary on the website of a respected university.  If anything, Bradford’s condemnation of collectivism is even stronger than Limbaugh and Stossel describe it as.  But this does not mean it is resoundingly capitalist; because the end result was that the land was divided up evenly to families based on their size.  Today we would call this land redistribution; during the Cold War I believe we treated the advocates of land redistribution in, say, Latin America as proto-communists to which strongman dictators were preferred.  The Puritans, it appears, proved the follies of communist-style collectivism; but they remained radical egalitarians, and in fact demonstrated a real example of an oft-discussed “third way”.


Written by James Bailey

November 22, 2007 at 9:09 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hey so, remind me that if I ever found a guerilla group, to incorporate “Radical Egalitarians” in the name.

    what about this:




    November 25, 2007 at 8:53 am

  2. Where do I sign up?
    …to be an FBI informant?


    November 26, 2007 at 3:37 pm

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