At this point, I think everyone knows the true story of the first Thanksgiving. Yes, the official line we learned in school was utter nonsense and watered down to Hell and back, but with the internet anyone can find the truth in just a couple of clicks.
If you are still unaware, here’s video on the topic by historian Michael Medved:
Here’s a much more general one from Ben Shapiro
Lastly, here’s a much more in depth video by Anarchist Capitalist commentator Shane Killian:
Of course, we can learn many lessons from history (because history is awesome) however, I figured I should simply give the two best lessons we can learn from this event specifically.
1: Socialism Doesn’t Work
This is the obvious one, the puritan colonies had tried setting up a system where property was shared and everything was communal. “Communal,” was even the base word Karl Marx used when he came up with the word “Communism.”
The phrase “The Tragedy of the Commons,” — which more or less means if no one has to pay for something no one will — even comes from this time. The commons were land that no one owned and that everyone could use to farm, but no one used. Any crops grown could be taken by whoever wanted them not however grown them, meaning there was no reason for anyone to grow anything.
Mass starvation was the end result of all of these attempts. By the end, the pilgrims were so desperate they were digging up corn planted by Native Americans years earlier and eating shoelaces. Depending on your source, between 1/2 and 7/8’s of the population died during this time.
This was changed when the system was turned from one of communal good to one of property rights by Governor William Bradford. Similar to what John Smith did in another puritan colony just a normal of miles away around a decade earlier.
2: Religion Does Not Make People Good
Recently, the pretend libertarian group Liberty Hangout started talking about how libertarians need to be religious because otherwise all morals are subjective or something. Of course, libertarians have created objective morals a number of times (look up deontological ethics or even argumentation ethics), but you know.
Commandment #8 clearly states “Thou Shall Not Steal.” However, the Christian pilgrims engaged in theft constantly whenever they could get away with it.
Commandment #9 says “Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor.” Yet, every first hand account of the people under the communal system calls them highly dishonest.
You could even argue these people broke Commandment #6 “Thou Shall Not Kill.” If the system they create kills the majority of the population, how is that not the same as manslaughter?
This is why I find it odd people like Ben Shapiro say Socialism violates the Ten Commandments, some of the most Christian nations in the world have low amounts of economic freedom.
Uganda is a Christian theocracy, and it ranks #95 a score of 59.7 on the Index of Economic Freedom. Poland is a majority Catholic country currently loved by right-wing populists, and it #46 with a score of 67.8. It seems more like wherever religious theocrats go, lack of freedom is what follows, not morality and liberty.
Meanwhile, as the United States becomes more and more non-religious, murder and other violent crimes have been going down over the past quarter century. Easily the most authoritarian Presidents in United States history were John Adams, who made it illegal to disagree with the federal government, and George W. Bush, who broke our civil liberties in to many ways to count. Both of them were very dedicated members of the Christian faith.
Don’t forget that the biggest school massacre in American History was done by a Catholic. In 1928, Andrew Kehoe committed the Bath School Massacre which killed over forty people and injured almost sixty others.
And on the end of socialists, some of the biggest major socialists of the 20th century like Woodrow Wilson and Huey Long were also very dedicated Christians.
3: Human Nature Does Not Exist
This is going to be my most controversial conclusion, however it is one that is also unavoidable.
For centuries, the idea humans left to themselves will produce nothing but evil has been a common one — hence why we need to give some people more power than others. Of course, I find this nonsense but the idea that people are evil does seem to be a compelling one at first.
However, the pilgrims have proven this to not be the case. In fact, if human nature is a thing it seems to be oddly flexible. Hence why the pilgrims went from dishonest, lazy, and filled with misery to honest, hard working, and even happy under a system of property rights.
I think this shows just how much of a fiction human nature is alone. After all, if human nature is real than it should have been impossible for this group to change in such a short period of time, yet, that’s the exact opposite of the case according to history.