If you know history, you know that when the Pilgrims first came to the new world, they tried their hands at communal farming, in other words, socialism.

Things didn’t work out as planned. Lots of people didn’t want to work but still expected an equal share of food and they all almost starved to death as a result.

It wasn’t until William Bradford divided the land and gave individual parcels to various families that people got to work and produced enough food to live.

John Stossel wrote about this at Reason:

The Pilgrims Dreamed of Socialism. Then Socialism Almost Killed Them.

Thursday, if you eat a nice meal, thank the Pilgrims. They made Thanksgiving possible.

They left the Old World to escape religious persecution. They imagined a new society where everyone worked together and shared everything.

In other words, they dreamed of socialism. Socialism then almost killed them.

As I explain in my weekly video, the Pilgrims attempted collective farming. The whole community decided when and how much to plant, when to harvest, and who would do the work.

Gov. William Bradford wrote in his diary that he thought that taking away property and bringing it into a commonwealth would make the Pilgrims “happy and flourishing.”

It didn’t. Soon, there wasn’t enough food. “No supply was heard of,” wrote Bradford, “neither knew they when they might expect any.”

The problem, Bradford realized, was that no one wanted to work. Everyone relied on others to do the work. Some people pretended to be injured. Others stole food.

Something about this story seems awfully familiar. [COUGH!] Democrats [COUGH!]

Watch the video that Stossel created to go with his column:

This is a reminder that quite a few Americans could use right now.


Editor’s Note:

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