It’s Thanksgiving in America.
But before you can get to the festivities below, I wanted to make you aware of a shocking prediction.
What if the market melts up before it melts down? What if stocks go for one last run?
A run that’s spectacular enough do deliver decent gains if you’re in the market. And long enough to trick you back into the market if you’re not already.
My friend Eoin Treacy is expecting just that. And his reasoning is simple. It happens almost every time. Before crashes, there are melt ups. And we’re about to have one.
You need to identify this rally for what it is. To profit from it. And to avoid the crash that follows.
See if he can convince you here.
Back to Thanksgiving.
This time last year, your editor was making his way across the Nullarbor Desert in Australia. In a roundabout effort to get to the UK.
We ran out of cash that day. Because we didn’t have much to begin with.
The problem being that the electronic payment facilities at the petrol station weren’t working. The same for petrol stations eight hours drive in either direction. Beyond that, we weren’t sure.
Whichever direction we chose to go, we’d run out of fuel there, unable to buy more. If we even made it to the next petrol station.
“The last time this happened, it lasted ten days”, the attendant told us.
“At least you didn’t hit a kangaroo and blown up your engine like the French girls outside”. They already had plenty of truckers trying to help them. But it wasn’t getting through that they would have to pay for any repairs in cash.
Now that I’m safely in the UK, I’d like to reprint what I wrote on Thanksgiving in 2017.
Because what you’ll read and hear about the original Thanksgiving couldn’t be more wrong. And I find it infuriating.
So let’s dig into some history.
Why Thanksgiving happened in the first place
In the early 1600s, the English King James the First implemented a religious crackdown in England and persecuted anyone who didn’t recognise the Anglican Church.
Forty Puritans who had escaped the persecution of the Anglican Church and left for continental Europe decided to make for the New World instead. They didn’t want their children to become too Dutch. If only they knew what Americans are like now…
On August 1, 1620 they joined 62 others and hopped on a ship called the Mayflower seeking to establish a religious colony based on the Biblical references to the Israelites. They landed on the famous Plymouth Rock (near Boston) and went about establishing a foothold in their new land.
Things didn’t go according to plan.
Half the pilgrims died of starvation in the first winter. Evidence from an archaeological dig indicates the highly religious community even resorted to cannibalism. They may have eaten a 14 year old girl.
Come springtime, those who pulled through only survived thanks to the kindness of Native Americans. The story of that kindness, expressed as a meal of thanks giving shared between strangers, is the source of Thanksgiving today.
But those who celebrate Thanksgiving overlook a far more important part of what happened to the community.
One of the features of the new colony, which its merchant financiers back in Europe insisted on, was that everything should be shared. The ‘common store’ and ‘common share’ requirement meant that everything from food, homes and land had to be doled out equally.
William Bradford, the leader of the group, soon figured out what was going wrong with the efforts of the community to grow enough food to survive. Here’s an excerpt from his journal:
‘For 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 other men’s wives and children without any recompense…that was thought injustice.’
In other words, people were lazy because they didn’t receive the fruits of their labour. Somebody else did. And when you’re starving, that’s not a great incentive to work hard.
As soon as Bradford breached the agreement with the merchant financiers and assigned land to individuals, giving them the right to keep their own property, ‘it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’ There were pregnant women in the fields alongside tiny children, reaping and sewing.
The pilgrims were quickly growing so much food they could trade with the Native Americans instead of begging. They even managed to repay their debts to the merchants who financed them.
Ever since, the same experiment with collectivism has failed time and time again. And because food is the most important of goods, agriculture is always the first place collectivism breaks down.
The rulers that be are eventually forced to give up collectivised farming in order to have enough food at all. The moment they privatise farming is what I call the Mayflower Signal, named after the Puritan’s ship.
The Mayflower Signal also went off in cold war Communist Russia in much the same way as Puritan Plymouth Rock. Communist officials couldn’t work out why their collectivised farms were failing. Mass starvation ensued. (Even when it wasn’t official Stalinist policy.) Eventually, agriculture was gradually privatised.
Chairman Mao’s China experienced the very same signal too. In fact, every government which uses collectivised farming eventually has to change its mind.
These days, there seem to be very few places left with collectivised agriculture. But there are some.
The inevitable failure of collectivism
If you apply the lessons of what really happened at the first Thanksgiving to today, you can see how the world is set to change.
You might’ve foreseen the mess in Venezuela, where the government began to heavily mess with agriculture in 1999. And now shelves are empty.
Europe’s agricultural sector is the core of the European Union’s budget and policy power. Almost 40% of the EU budget goes to agricultural spending. It’s intranational welfare that destroys incentives. That in turn destroys productivity and hollows out the industry.
Well, with Britain set to leave, Europe faces tough budget decisions. Will it continue to zombify the continent’s agricultural sector? Or will this be a turning point for Europe – a Mayflower Signal?
North Korea is perhaps the only country left to use true collectivised farming on a grand scale. And the same mass starvation plagues the country as in the Soviet Union, Communist China and the Puritan colony.
But North Korean sources have confirmed this may be coming to an end. Another Mayflower signal went off there a few years ago.
According to the website Daily NK, some farmers are now allowed to rent land from the collectivised farms they work on and then keep 30% of their output for themselves.
The new agriculture policy measures are designed to reduce the same starvation that plagued the American Pilgrims, the Russian communists and everyone else who’s had a go at communism. The new opportunity is reportedly taking off in much of the country, with individuals renting as much land as they think they can cultivate. Kim Jong Un has singled out agriculture as one of the first areas to privatise more.
This incredibly important change didn’t get much of a mention in the Western media. It doesn’t seem important. Unless you’re aware of the history of the Thanksgiving. And if you are, you know what’s coming next. The collapse of another communist system.
Unless the Americans bomb them first.
Until next time,
Capital & Conflict
Category: The End of Europe