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Thanksgiving, Socialism and…Survivor?

Written on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by

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Today I read an article about our first Thanksgiving, and how our early colony days were basically socialistic societies. In Plymouth and Jamestown, they originally tried to pool all their resources and share everything for the “common good”.

That plan went south almost immediately. People started stealing; the lazy took advantage of the hard working. The first American parasites were born. Thankfully, they developed a free market society and that’s probably the reason America is the exceptional country she is today.

As I read the article and learned about these early Thanksgiving trials and tribulations, it made me think of one thing: CBS’s Survivor.

I’ve been a big fan of Survivor since day one. I was cheering on grumpy old Rudy, booing evil naked gay guy Richard and couldn’t wait until Thursdays at 8 p.m. each week.

The basic premise of Survivor is that a group of complete strangers are placed on a remote location with the most basic necessities. They have to learn to make fire, build shelters and provide for their tribe—until the final phases, when all the niceties are thrown out the window and they literally do whatever it takes to be the last man (or woman) standing.

I can imagine the early stages of Plymouth and Jamestown being much like the beginning episodes of Survivor. At first, everyone is happy and trusting. People volley to be leaders and three distinct personalities emerge almost immediately: the strongest, the weakest, and the coattail riders.

Cliques and alliances form, usually the young vs. old (or the strong vs. the weak).

In our early colony days, long before our current form of government was established, I’m sure socialism seemed the natural thing to do. You’ve got a group of strangers, plenty of food, why not try to share everything?

And that’s exactly what happens in Survivor, too; they start out pooling their resources, sharing everything and everyone is happy and trusting.

But soon, the challenges get tougher. People get hungrier and food becomes scarce. The weaker and older ones don’t pull their weight and the younger, hard-working ones become resentful.

And that, my friends, is when the HUMAN aspect of socialism spoils everything.

In the end, no matter how chummy everyone is in the beginning it all comes down to basic survival. When push comes to shove, people are going to do whatever they can do to become the last man (or woman) standing. In Survivor, it usually comes down to compromising their principles; lying; cheating; stealing—whatever means necessary to win $1 million.

Yes, Survivor is just a game. The ends are justified because they say it’s “not real”. But for all those liberal progressives out there who believe socialism is the direction America needs to go, they need to watch just one season of Survivor to see what always happens. Every season, no matter how “perfect” the contestants seem to be, they manage to make at least a half dozen or so people really angry. They only get voted “Sole Survivor” in a begrudging, bitter kind of way. No one has ever won the game of Survivor with a lot of “happy votes”—it’s usually simply a choice between the better of two evils. Survivor proves that even in make-believe scenarios, the concept of socialism never works.

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