SOVEREIGN COMMENTARY

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A thoughtful compilation and analysis of some important, but underreported and under-researched news stories, with particular focus on keeping the People informed about all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.

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BY ALFRED WEST

(AKA THE SOVEREIGN EDITOR).
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    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    Happy Thanksgiving

    Shhhh.... don't tell the Democrats that Thanksgiving has a Christian religious component, or they'll try to take this holiday away from us as well.

    Americans, on this day, traditionally gather and give thanks for the plenty that we have. Most know only the bounty of this land, and are blissfully unaware of the pernicious hand of government that tries to keep it from the People. I like to take this day to reflect on how special what we have here is; and how easily we could lose it through voting away our rights to decide how to dispose of our own property and labor.

    Those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving knew all too well the value of liberty and private property and what could occur if those were denied.

    The first English colonists tried a communistic system that, due to the small size of the community on which it acted, caused the economy to completely implode in a very short amount of time. Unable to hide from the truth of their chosen economic system, they were forced to abandon it as an act of self-preservation.

    It is a little known fact that under the original charter of the Plymouth colony, all of the land, the buildings, and any end product of labor were communally owned. In other words, the Pilgrims began here in America as a communistic settlement.

    At first glance, thinking statically, this might seem like a good system. In any society, some people have more due to greater ability or motivation, and some have less due to lesser ability or motivation (this is, of course, ignoring artificial societal constructs such as 'privilege'). The greatest societal good, therefore, (still thinking statically) would come from giving all members an equal share in what society produces. Real life, however, is not static -- rather it is dynamic.

    The danger of thinking statically in regard to political and economic structures is that such thinking doesn't take changing human behavior into account -- human behavior is effectively treated as an unchanging constant. But people who make arguments using such a premise are either ignorant of the nature of human behavior, or worse, are intellectually dishonest. Human behavior is not static -- rather it is dynamic, changing in response to different stimuli. For example, if you plant a food crop each year and harvest it without incident, you are likely to continue in that behavior. If, however, each year, just before you harvest your crop, someone steals most of it, and you can't stop them, you might start planting less, or stop planting altogether, since there is no benefit to your action.

    In the case of the Plymouth colony, William Bradford and the Pilgrims noticed that their communal-ownership (communist) system gave no incentive for those most industrious to produce any more than those least industrious. These people knew that they could not benefit from their extra effort any more than the others in the community who worked less -- so they did what any rational self-interested person would do under the circumstances: they didn't work any harder than the least productive among them. Collectivism effectively killed any personal motivation the people might have had to work.

    In his journal, William Bradford wrote:

    "[B]y taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth... this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for others men's wives and children without recompense ... that was thought injustice."

    Indeed, to require that someone give up their labor for the benefit of others without compensation of equal or greater value is nothing more than robbery. People respond to the potential of robbery or theft by taking steps to prevent it. If they are unable to prevent it through defensive means, they will likely prevent it by not producing anything -- after all, if they have nothing, there is nothing to steal. Unfortunately for the community as a whole, since individuals had little incentive to produce, the communal production yields were low.

    After several years of tiny crops, Bradford was forced to conclude that communism was not a viable socio-economic system. When applied in the real world where human behavior is a factor, communism utterly failed -- it had produced nothing but barely subsistence-level harvests and had encouraged nothing but a rational avoidance of extraneous labor. The colonists were distraught over the idea of facing another year of barely subsistence-level harvests and held a meeting to discuss possible solutions to the problem. Bradford states that "[a]t last after much debate of things, the governor gave way that they should set corn everyman for his own particular... That had very good success for it made all hands very industrious, so much [more] corn was planted than otherwise would have been."

    So the solution to their woes was to replace their communist system with a free enterprise (or capitalist) system in which each family had a recognized property interest in the land that they worked and were actually allowed to own the product of their labor and thus dispose of it as they see fit. The result of the switch was a plentiful harvest in the fall of 1623. The lazier people still didn't produce as much, but those more inclined to industry produced a great surplus. In celebration of their newfound plenty, the Pilgrims held a great feast of Thanksgiving to God for guiding them to this economic system that had produced so much. If you examine the official documents of the time, you will find that the first Thanksgiving Day proclamation was issued in November of 1623.

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    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Election 2006

    What am I supposed to say? Vote Republican because they're not quite as interested as the Democrats in stealing from you? I am so disgusted in my ballot choices, that I almost left it blank. No candidates stand for true freedom. Both parties seek to increase the police powers of the state -- democrats don't think of what they do as increasing the police power, and I think that's what makes them slightly more dangerous. Democratic voters do not think that it is stealing when they take money from me at gun point to fund the National Endowment of the Arts. I'd like to know what they would call it. They don't like Republicans because they want to lock people up for doing certain things. I don't like Democrats because they think people should be locked up for thinking certain things (leftists think that denying global warming should be like a war crime). I don't think I should have to fund the National Endowment for the Arts. I buy art that I like, and I don't like most of the crap that the NEA funds with my money, that I do not have a choice in giving them. To be fair, it is Republicans who have had to approve of this theft since 1994, but at least they oppose it in rhetoric (which makes them hypocrites).

    The only guiding principal I have is the FairTax. I vote for those who support it. The only way we can begin to reign the government in is if we take away its power to buy votes by stealing from the harder workers to pay for benefits for the lazier among us (excuse me for calling a spade a spade).

    And that's all I have to say. I need to get back to work now.

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    * * *

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    --Samuel Adams
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