...Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives." That's not what it was. "Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share." It was a commune. It was socialism. "All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well," not to the individuals who built them.
"Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage." They could do with it whatever they wanted. He essentially turned loose the free market on 'em. "Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism." And they found that it didn't work.
...So what did they try next? Free enterprise. "Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.'" They had miraculous results. In no time they found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts. They exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off the people that sponsored their trip in London. The success and the prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans, began what became known as the great Puritan migration.
And they shared their bounty with the Indians. Actually, they sold some of it to 'em. The true story of Thanksgiving is how socialism failed.
Read all of Rush's monologue here. And Happy Thanksgiving! Here's hoping we can restore it to being a celebration, rather a memorial, to free market capitalism.