Reason TV Replay: The Pilgrims and Property Rights

How our ancestors got fat & happy


A classic Thanksgiving leftover from Reason TV.

Here is the original text from the Nov. 23, 2010 video:

The Pilgrims founded their colony at Plymouth Plantation in December 1620 and promptly started dying off in droves.

As the colony's early governor, William Bradford, wrote in "Of Plymouth Plantation":

"That which was most sadd & lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time halfe of their company dyed."

When the settlers finally stopped croaking, they set about creating a heaven on earth, a society without private property, where all worked for the common good. Everything was shared. Especially bitching and moaning about working for the common good. Bradford again:

"Yong-men that were most able and fitte for labour and service did repine that they should spend their time and streingth to worke for other mens wives and children, with out any recompense….And for men's wives to be commanded to doe service for other men, as dresing their meate, washing their cloaths, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brooke it."

With nobody working, everybody was suffering. And in case you think nobody was working simply because they couldn't understand a damn thing Bradford was saying, chew on this: In 1623, Bradford and the other leaders

"Assigned to every family a parceel of land…this had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more torne was planted then other waise would have bene by any means the Govr or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente."

 In no time at all "any generall wante of famine hath not been amongest them since to this day."

America would never go hungry again. So this week, before you drift into your annual tryptophan-induced coma, don't forget to give thanks to the true patron of this holiday feast: property rights.

Approximately 2.30 minutes.

Produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie. Voices by Meredith Bragg and Austin Bragg.

NEXT: European Union Leaders Battle Over Budget

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  1. Hey, where all the white wome....er, Morning Links?

  2. The first lesson learnt in America was that Communism sucks dick. And we keep relearning it.

    1. Well of course it's not going to work if your Top.Men. are all right wing christian white guys.

    2. Why do you have to drag T o n y into this?

    3. I think from now on, anyone I meet who says their political affiliation is Communist I will just call evil to their face. None of this, "But in true Communism..." bullshit.

      1. Exactly. I went through the last 4 fours (High School) hearing that bullshit, thanks to dumbass teachers and sheeple students. Whenever they went down that "we havent had a TRUE communist society yet" I called BULLSHIT to their face.

        Every communist wet dream requires force, because eventually the populace wises up.

        1. Communism must be the most difficult system imaginable to implement, given how many have tried and, apparently, failed. Didn't seem to stop all manner of useful idiots and fellow travelers in the West from supporting it in any way they could, did it?

          Maybe it's just not a workable system.

    4. Learning implies some sort of permanence. I'd say we keep experiencing it.

    5. I don't understand why saying that something sucks dick is nearly always used derisively. Is not a proclivity for such activity generally viewed by men as a positive attribute in their sexual partners?

      1. Mensa man use big words haha.

  3. The Puritans were idiots? Who knew?

  4. "That which was most sadd & lamentable was, that in 2. or 3. moneths time halfe of their company dyed."

    So John's a puritan? Who knew?

    1. +1 spellchecker

    2. +eleventy spellcheckers

  5. Three cheers for property rights!

    Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

    1. Yay!
      /little paper Pilgrim bobbing

      1. Is this a reference to the "sucks dick" comment?

  6. Yet folks who should know better think the "Mayflower Compact" is one of the essential founding documents of American liberty.

  7. Slightly OT: Listening to Vince Guaraldi and smoking th turkey ala Max Max Rosen:


  8. Twinkie bakers thankful for no jobs?


    1. You know, they coulda been happy without putting the other 12,000 Hostess employees, no, just by quitting.

      1. Yeah this asshat:

        I really can't afford to not be working, but this is not worth it. I'd rather go work somewhere else or draw unemployment

        really pisses me off.

        1. People who are willingly unemployed shouldn't be allowed to collect unemployment.

          Unemployment is for people who lost their jobs unwillingly.

          1. But the former are so much more grateful and compliant come election day, Ken.

          2. I'm not sure they are allowed to collect it.

  9. for men's wives to be commanded to doe service for other men, as dresing their meate

    That what they called back then?

    I can see why the husbands were a little peeved.

    But what the hell, from each according to her ability to each according to his needs, right? It worked for Che, as I recall.

    1. It's an injustice and outrage that 50% of the population controls 100% of the nookie.

      1. It's a plot of the matriarchy!

  10. Liberal wit. Try not to injure yourself laughing.

    Hostess is an homage to an America where "white bread" was something more than an epithet used by liberal elites against people who still subscribe to Time magazine.

    Put another way, Hostess is the Republican Party.

    Not the entire Republican Party, mind you ? not the Marco Rubios, Bobby Jindals and Chris Christies, who stand a chance of moving the GOP into the 21st century ? but the old guard that never got the memo about how younger Americans see marriage equality as a generally positive thing right alongside affordable healthcare and crunchy kale snacks from Whole Foods.

    Sometimes the resemblance is downright physical. Spongy and plastic-wrapped, feeding off calories of what, despite all that chocolate, is the fundamental whiteness born of all that flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt, a few of these codgers look enough like Hostess snacks that they could take up residence in a vending machine without attracting much notice.

    1. I always chuckle to myself when I see leftist gloating over the destruction of the men who built their country.

      1. Unfortunatly liberals aren't the only ones who gloat over this. Reasonites also are happy about the end of "old white men" through immigration and cultural liberalism. The difference though, is that they are a party of old white men. It is white, Christian, heterosexual people who support libertarian ideas. Hispanic, muslim homosexuals couldn't care less about it.

        1. Really you have to be a bigot to derive any pleasure from seeing 1 group end so others can take over.

          it shouldnt matter the group. finding pleasure there is the proof of (lack of) character.

    2. Wednesday, just two weeks after the election all but declared an end to white male dominance...

      That's good to hear.

      So we can get rid of affirmative action any day now?

    3. I failed at not injuring myself laughing.

      1. Boy, it sure is great that 18,000 people lost their job so bleeding heart liberals could compare Republicans to snack food.

        It's nice to know the progs care so much about the plight of the poor.

  11. "Assigned to every family a parceel of land...this had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious[...]"

    The Tonys of the world will misconstrue this passage to mean that it is government that grants and protects property rights, without taking into account this:

    "Yong-men that were most able [...] did repine that they should spend their time and streingth to worke for other mens wives and children, with out any recompense... And for men's wives to be commanded to doe service for other men,[...] they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brooke it."

    Property may have been allocated by Bradford in his attempt to salvage the situation, but there's a difference between parceling out land and the ingrained drive in all of us to improve our lot. Without property rights, this drive cannot be fulfilled, people will feel despondent.

    A person like Tony would suggest from here that, if it weren't for Bradford's insight (that is, without the wisdom of government) there would be no property rights. He would be wrong, because the fact is that it was the government (embodied in Bradford) that interfered with the pilgrims' property rights in the first place, for religious reasons, or out of fairness or other reasons, and it wasn't until Bradford succumbed to reality that the pilgrims could finally enjoy the fruits of their labor. Property rights exist before government, not because of it.

  12. Property may have been allocated by Bradford in his attempt to salvage the situation, but there's a difference between parceling out land and the ingrained drive in all of us to improve our lot. Without property rights, this drive cannot be fulfilled, people will feel despondent.

    "Improve their lot"? Don't be ridiculous. Everybody knows the Pilgrims just came to America to collect welfare benefits.

  13. Mickey Kaus smacks down Krugman's Twinkie manifesto:


  14. WHY is Ernie Kovacs in the picture? Was he a Red?

  15. Jingoist holiday of them all. Thank God for it! Gobble gobble.

  16. If pigs had wings, they'd be eagles.

    There is a huge amount of innovative thrust building, bottom-up, in the U.S. economy today. If Washington could just get the macro picture right, you could see a real growth surge in America. We're just a couple of grand bargains away from something big.


    It is vital that he not frame this as a discussion of just new taxes and spending cuts. His guiding principle should be "growth." Right now, the whole budget discussion reeks too much of castor oil ? and which side will have to swallow the biggest spoonful.

    I get why the president needs to stress that the wealthy will have to pay higher taxes before he can go to his base for spending cuts to restore long-term fiscal balance. But here's what I hope we'll see more from the president: a sense of excitement, a sense that if we can just get this grand bargain done, we can really unlock growth again, we can really, as Mohamed El-Erian, the C.E.O. of the bond giant Pimco, puts it, "restore economic dynamism, ensure financial soundness, and overcome political dysfunction," which collectively would have a huge stimulative effect.

    Of course, for this to have any chance whatever to happen, we would need a president who actually understands what wealth creation is, and how it comes about.

    1. Obama thinks he understands wealth creation, a comprehension based on the ideas of his life mentors: A marxie mommy and absent daddy, Frank Marshall Davis, Jeremiah Wright, Derek Bell, Bill Ayers. That's the problem.

      1. I never understood why people assigned Marxism to Obama when Chicago style cronyism fits so much better. Occam's Razor y'all.

        1. It's wingnut myth. All liberals are communists even if they are the best capitalists.

          Fox News sunk into the pit when they called Warren Buffett a commie.

          1. There are 500 million reasons sitting in Tim Geithner's desk drawer.

          2. Don't associate a huckster crony like Warren Buffet with the best capitalists...

    2. innovative thrust building, bottom-up

      Well, that about does it.

  17. And remember, boys and girls, all it takes to magically create entrepreneurship is fiber optic internet from your friendly neighborhood Central Planning Committee.

  18. PA College Slashes Instructors' Hours to Avoid Obamacare:


    Thoughts, Tulpa?

    1. The solution, says United Steelworkers representative Jeff Cech, is that adjunct professors should unionize in an attempt to thwart schools seeking similar cost-savings efforts from avoiding Obamacare

      Ironic that the huge increase in adjuncts stems from the AAUP's usurious demands of ever-increasing benefits and less teaching hours.

      1. My HS boyfriend's mom was a prof and by the end of our relationship relatively high up in the NY brand of AAUP--high enough that she wasn't actually a professor anymore, which was my first experience with how bizarre and fucked up unions are.

        I spent some time with her colleagues from that period and they were probably the closest thing to creepy evil I have known personally.

        She also had full-blown communist propaganda posters all over their house.

        This (and much of my later interactions with academics; she was the first one I knew) is all why it's hard for me to drum up too much sympathy for the whole adjunct/do we have too many PhDs/etc. plight.

        1. Shriek!! Get over her now and set this woman straight...these were just liberals in a hurry!! PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE CHE! POSTERS!!

  19. It's also JFK Assassination day.
    Where's the post on that? Nothing says freedom like a CIA/Mafia Plot to kill the President.
    I've said too much.

  20. OT: "Macho" Camacho shot in the neck outside a bar in P.R.(cocaine in his car) and now brain dead. I loved that guy; he was a great one (79-6-3). Apparently went total shitbird though after hanging up the gloves. RIP.

    1. I thought at first he was gonna make it, being the tough fighter he was. I really liked him too.

  21. On this day of Turkey eating, let me just say: Fuck you vegetarians, but especially fuck you vegans.

    I also love when vegans have things like "Vegan Cream Cheese". No, its "Cream Cheese Flavored Paste that shows I hate cooking and food"

    1. You mean like this one?

      Should I hate her more for the clear heels or for the fact that she "supports PETA" while apparently not realizing they frown on having pets?

      1. The clear heels are stripper shoes. No reason for hate.

        1. They are stripper shoes that she wears all the time. Everywhere. Like no one ever told her they were stripper shoes. It's pretty weird.

  22. Is there anything tofu can't do?

    1. Taste good.

    2. Yeah, Brooksie, taste good. BLECH!

      1. Refresh PWND.

  23. The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race

    Author's note. The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, raised many questions, not all of which were answered by the Report of the Warren Commission. It is suggested that a less conventional view of the events of that grim day may provide a more satisfactory explanation. Alfred Jarry's "The Crucifixion Considered as an Uphill Bicycle Race" gives us a useful lead.

    Oswald was the starter.

    From his window above the track he opened the race by firing the starting gun. It is believed that the first shot was not properly heard by all the drivers. In the following confusion, Oswald fired the gun two more times, but the race was already underway.

    Kennedy got off to a bad start.

    There was a governor in his car and its speed remained constant at about fifteen miles an hour. However, shortly afterwards, when the governor had been put out of action, the car accelerated rapidly, and continued at high speed along the remainder of the course.

    The visiting teams. As befitting the inauguration of the first production car race through the streets of Dallas, both the President and the Vice-President participated. The Vice-President, Johnson, took up his position behind Kennedy on the starting line. The concealed rivalry between the two men was of keen interest to the crowd. Most of them supported the home driver, Johnson.

    1. The starting point was the Texas Book Depository, where all bets were placed in the Presidential race. Kennedy was an unpopular contestant with the Dallas crowd, many of whom showed outright hostility. The deplorable incident familiar to us all is one example.

      The course ran downhill from the Book Depository, below an overpass, then on to the Parkland Hospital and from there to Love Air Field. It is one of the most hazardous courses in downhill motor racing, second only to the Sarajevo track discontinued in 1914.

      Kennedy went downhill rapidly. After the damage to the governor the car shot forward at high speed. An alarmed track official attempted to mount the car, which continued on its way cornering on two wheels.

      Turns. Kennedy was disqualified at the hospital, after taking a turn for the worse. Johnson now continued the race in the lead, which he maintained to the finish.

      The flag. To satisfy the participation of the President in the race Old Glory was used in place of the usual checkered square. Photographs of Johnson receiving his prize after winning the race reveal that he had decided to make the flag a memento of his victory.

      Previously, Johnson had been forced to take a back seat, as his position on the starting line behind the President indicates. Indeed, his attempts to gain a quick lead on Kennedy during the false start were forestalled by a track steward, who pushed Johnson to the floor of his car.

      1. In view of the confusion at the start of the race, which resulted in Kennedy, clearly expected to be the winner on past form, being forced to drop out at the hospital turn, it has been suggested that the hostile local crowd, eager to see a win by the home driver Johnson, deliberately set out to stop him completing the race. Another theory maintains that the police guarding the track were in collusion with the starter, Oswald. After he finally managed to give the send-off Oswald immediately left the race, and was subsequently apprehended by track officials.

        Johnson had certainly not expected to win the race in this way. There were no pit stops.

        Several puzzling aspects of the race remain. One is the presence of the President's wife in the car, an unusual practice for racing drivers. Kennedy, however, may have maintained that as he was in control of the ship of state he was therefore entitled to captain's privileges.

        The Warren Commission. The rake-off on the book of the race. In their report, prompted by widespread complaints of foul play and other irregularities, the syndicate lay full blame on the starter, Oswald.

        Without doubt, Oswald badly misfired. But one question still remains unanswered: Who loaded the starting gun?

        1. Oh, how cute, he's having a conversation with himself.

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