Liberal "Sizists" Block Opening of Lane Bryant Shop | Main | American Superman
July 04, 2006

Stuff Jefferson Said, 230 Years Ago

The Washington Times reprints the Declaration of Independence.

And, as you eat your roasted corn, celebrate America's ancient appreciation for property ownership and personal profit (or personally bankruptcy) as retold by George Will:

The first important book-length manuscript written in America was "Of Plymouth Plantation," the journal of William Bradford, the colony's governor for nearly 36 years. Not published in full until 1856, it was then avidly read by a nation bent on westward expansion and fearing civil war.

In a section on private versus communal farming, Bradford wrote that in 1623, because of a corn shortage, the colonists "began to think how they might raise" more. After much debate, they abandoned their doctrine, which they brought with them on the Mayflower, that all agriculture should be a collective, community undertaking. It was decided, Bradford wrote, that "they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves." That is, they "assigned to every family a parcel of land," ending communal cultivation of that crop.

"This," Bradford reported, "had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means." Indeed, "the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression." So began the American recoil from collectivism. Just three years after the settlers came ashore (not at Plymouth Rock, and far from their intended destination, the mouth of the Hudson), they began their ascent to individualism.

So began the harnessing, for the general good, of the fact that human beings are moved, usually and powerfully, by self-interest. So began the unleashing of American energies through freedom -- voluntarism rather than coercion. So began America.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:11 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
votermom pimping great books!: "Our doggeh has not let Girl Franpsycho out of his ..."

Gordon: "Pat, Fear not. They will find it, and tell thei ..."

Anonymous-9: "Thanks to all the commenters who let the family kn ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "The Austin 2nd set smoked ..."

fly gal: "The pet thread is such a great, cathartic avenue a ..."

colfax mingo: "Nice pet tales and pics. RIP. Vegan is just ..."

stace : "That "smart dog" link is funneh! ..."

Deplorable Lady with a Deplorable Basket of Deplorable Cats: "Grammie: Such a beautiful picture of Annie posed a ..."

Pat*: "Once again, little going on in Idaho's Treasure Va ..."

BJ54: "PURE what? (I leave the answer to your imagination ..."

wth: "I'm never in here on Saturday. Pet thread is cool! ..."

JackStraw: ">>JS, check out the Row jimmy from philly fall sho ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64