Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, offered holiday good wishes—and took a swipe at collectivism—with a reminder that the first Thanksgiving was only possible because “the pilgrims rejected socialism.”
“Happy Thanksgiving! Take this day to be thankful for friends and family and don’t forget the first Thanksgiving only happened when the pilgrims rejected socialism,” tweeted Mr. Paul.
He linked to an article by Lawrence W. Reed, president emeritus of the free-market Foundation for Economic Education, who wrote that the Pilgrims’ initial “common property” approach was a disaster.
“Did they live happily ever after in this socialist utopia? Hardly,” Mr. Reed wrote. “Hardly. The ‘common property’ approach killed off about half the settlers.”
After two years, colony governor William Bradford divided the commonly held land into private plots, placing the now-landowners in charge of their crops and saving the Pilgrims from “starvation and extinction.”
“Communal socialist failure was transformed into private property/capitalist success, something that’s happened so often historically it’s almost monotonous,” Mr. Reed said. “The ‘people over profits’ mentality produced fewer people until profit—earned as a result of one’s care for his own property and his desire for improvement—saved the people.”
In 1621, the Plymouth Pilgrims held a harvest feast of thanksgiving with the Native Americans who had helped the settlers survive the previous winter by bringing them food.