Monday, December 2, 2013
We Are Gathered Here Today
Before we dig into the grub, however, I'd like to say a few words to Squanto and our other guests of the Patuxet tribe who are here with us today. You have given us food and provisions without which we surely would not have survived a difficult year. In return, we have brought alcohol, venereal disease, and a voracious appetite for personal property. You're welcome.
Some people look at us and see only our differences. You are red, we are white. We speak English, you speak gibberish. We are bound for heaven, you will endure the torments of Hell. I, however, see our similarities. When it comes right down to it, we both want the same thing in life. Your property.
Among the Patuxets, each of you does whatever work he is capable of, and whatever you have is shared among you, each person being given as much as he or she needs, down to the smallest and most helpless. I do not blame you for this, for this exactly what we might have expected of a people without civilization.
In the time remaining before the judgment of Almighty God sweeps you from the face of the earth, I hope you will study our culture and benefit from us. We work on a simple system of exchange whereby a man may, by his own effort and God's help, acquire as much land, food, cloth, and gold as he is able. By this means, we encourage maximum productivity because each man works as hard as he is able to get a larger share of these things than his neighbor, and is busily contriving new enticements to get his neighbor to give up some of his own land, food, cloth, and gold. For us, gold, which is worthless among you except as an ornament, is the most valuable thing of all, because it is the medium of exchange for getting each of those other things, and moreover, the means by which we can compel the envy and servitude of our fellow man, which is the greatest of all God's blessings. When a Patuxet, eats his fill of venison or whatever, he's rendered useless for anything but sitting around digestion, but with gold, the more you have, the greater your appetite for it.
This is God's way, and for this reason we are destined for dominion over the continent.
But enough of this jawing, let's eat some of these delicious lobsters and blueberries we have spread on the table before us. And before I forget, we have a little parting gift for you, too. Some of our number recently succumbed to smallpox, and we've left some of their old blankets and garments in a convenient pile at the edge of the settlement. Please feel free to take these back to your tribe and share them with your people.
Now let's dig in.