A Chinese Thanksgiving: The Story of Xiaogang

Plymouth and Jamestown have much in common with the village of Xiaogang.
A Chinese Thanksgiving: The Story of Xiaogang
By: George Noga – November 24, 2019

          This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China; it was celebrated with great pomp throughout China. Something far more transcendent and ineffable took place on November 24, 1978 – exactly 41 years ago today – in the tiny Chinese village of Xiaogang; that story is suppressed even today by the Chicoms. Following is the amazing true story of the quiet revolution that saved China.

         After taking power in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (Chicoms) abolished private land ownership and forced peasants into communes. The result was predictable; by 1978, 40 million had starved to death with survivors near death. In the village of Xiaogang there was no food. Farmers dug up roots, boiled leaves with salt and ground roasted tree bark into flour. Then something truly remarkable happened.

           On November 24, 1978 a farmer, Yan Hongchang, invited heads of Xiaogang’s families to attend a clandestine meeting. The farmers signed a 79-word pledge to divide the commune’s land into individual family plots; each agreed to submit his share of the decreed quota to the state but got to keep the rest for his family. What happened next was predictable – and also inspirational. The farmers produced a grain harvest of 100 metric tons – equal to 20 years of quotas. There is no official record of the village having a thanksgiving celebration following the harvest, but I’ll bet it had one.

        The Chicoms tried to suppress news of the Xiaogang miracle, but word quickly spread throughout China. Within just two years, Deng Xiaoping decided to abandon collective farming. He allowed peasants to farm their own plot of land and to sell most of the harvest in unregulated markets. The rest is history. A tiny group of farmers, who understood human nature, stood up to the immense power of the state. Today there is a small museum in Xiaogang commemorating the farmers with a copy of their pledge. There also is a banner proclaiming: “The origin of our nation’s economic rise“.

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        Events in both Jamestown and Plymouth parallel what transpired in Xiaogang. The earliest Americans starved to death en mass under socialism but prospered when given property rights. Socialism was such an affront to their humanity that they died rather than pervert their human nature. If they would have worked as hard under socialism as they later did under capitalism, they would have prospered. Yet, they chose death over socialism. Whether it is in Xiaogang, Plymouth, Jamestown, Caracas or Pyongyang socialism always ends the same way, i.e. starvation amidst plenty.

         This Thanksgiving share with your children and grandchildren the authentic story of Thanksgiving in Jamestown, Plymouth – and Xiaogang. Without private property rights there is no abundance and there is no Thanksgiving – ever. When we sever the link between work and benefit, the inevitable result is privation and misery. If you want a veritable cornucopia to share with others, only capitalism can produce it.

        Pilgrims celebrating their harvest with Native Americans is a warm, fuzzy, feel-good, multi-cultural, politically correct myth that ignores authentic, enduring lessons, i.e. socialism fails and capitalism succeeds. Americans 400 years ago understood these lessons better than progressive politicians today who advocate a return to the principles that created mass starvation in Jamestown, Plymouth and Xiaogang.

Next on December 1st – the oxymoron of government accountability.
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