Patricia Suzanne | The Pilgrims Tried Socialism; It Failed Then, Will Fail Now

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

We’re on the eve of one of our country’s most cherished holidays, an American tradition that harkens back to the Pilgrim days of the 1620s. This has been a rough year, and many families are looking forward to the warmth and pleasure of a Thanksgiving celebration. 

Sorry, not this year. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s draconian shotgun is aimed squarely at your joy. If you missed the memo, here are the governor’s Thanksgiving “rules” for 2020: 

1) Your gathering must be OUTSIDE. Pray for warm weather and no rain. Oh wait, don’t we NEED rain? (And, too bad if you live in Mammoth Lakes or Arrowhead.)

2) No more than three households may assemble, including your own. Well, it’s better than New York – they’re being told not to leave the state!

3) Keep it short — no longer than two hours. What happens after two hours? Does the virus gain strength?

4) Attendees must stay 6 feet apart at all times. Are we having fun yet?

5) All food and drink must be in single-serve disposable containers. No communal dishes or other shared items. Stock up on plastic boxes, cutlery and straws, but don’t tell Greta Thunberg or AOC.

6) People may remove their face coverings briefly to eat or drink. Otherwise, keep them ON! (In fairness, there are exceptions for “urgent medical needs” such as using an asthma inhaler or shortness of breath. How thoughtful.) 

7) Using an indoor bathroom is permitted, if it is frequently sanitized. Who gets THIS duty during the soiree? 

There’s more, and you can read it all at But rest assured, there will be no touching or hugging!

We all have varying opinions about the actual danger of COVID-19, but how do you feel about personal responsibility? About government tyranny? 

Is personal freedom important to you, the ability to make decisions for yourself? Serious question! Or do you actually prefer sacrificing large swaths of your independence on the altar of collectivism? Do you want to kneel to the state or stand for the flag? 

Did any of your friends vote for “Democratic” socialism? In a mere 20 years, Venezuela, once the largest economy in South America, fell from a promised socialist utopia into a communist hellhole. 

And don’t kid yourself that it can’t happen here. In was tried even before we became a country, and it failed miserably. 

The origins of our American Thanksgiving provide an important lesson on the dismal failure of socialism. It nearly killed the Pilgrims. 

The settlers of the Plymouth Colony arrived in the New World with a plan for collective property ownership, which was a fashionable idea among elites at the time. The Pilgrims imagined they would labor together and share everything. A lovely dream, but human nature turned it into a nightmare.

The diary of the colony’s first governor, William Bradford, reveals the settlers’ initial arrangement: Land was held in common. 

Crops were brought to a common storehouse and distributed equally. Every person was expected to work for the community instead of for themselves or their individual families. 

Of course, all were happy to claim an equal share of production, but production itself kept shrinking. Why? Because not everyone was industrious!

Slackers showed up late for work in the fields (if at all), women grew weary of cooking and preserving for other families. 

Fields soon lay untilled and unplanted, resulting in massive food shortages. Famine came next, followed by plague, and half the colonists died.

And so, Bradford altered the system. He divided common property into private plots. Owners began to produce what they wanted and then kept their goods or traded them freely. The simple change to private ownership, wrote Bradford, “made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” 

The success of private property, the profit motive and capitalism led to prosperity and abundance for the Pilgrims. And these principles are worth cherishing now, 400 years later.

Despite cheerful and compelling rhetoric that bubbles forth from smooth-talking Democrat politicians, socialism always fails, whether 400 years ago in Plymouth when it led to starvation, misery and death, or today in Venezuela where it is also generating starvation, misery and death. 

The main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: Capitalism works.

We must continue our fight for independence – the freedom of every American to work hard, innovate and trade freely with others. We must push back against the ever-burgeoning mandates from government tyrants that take from us our liberty and our money to feed their own power by choosing favorites and reallocating resources at their whim.

After reading Gov. Newsom’s Thanksgiving edicts, one clever woman posted the following on Facebook (I’m paraphrasing) – “Since there is no state restriction on attendees at funerals, I’m going to declare my Thanksgiving a funeral for my pet turkey.”

That, my friends, is the American spirit!

Patricia Suzanne is a professional writer, retired small business owner, and conservative Republican activist. She was born and raised in the once Golden State of California, now a land of despair and disrepair for all but elite leftist Democrats and their cronies. 

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