25 November 2005

Thanksgiving Day and Buy Nothing Day

Oh dear, the Greens have gotten far too overexcited about this – using their electricity and no doubt fossil fuels getting to work, or to surf the internet.

For people in dozens of countries it is always buy nothing day - because there is nothing to buy! But in one country it is a far more important day – Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time for Americans to celebrate what they are grateful for – their country. I am grateful for it too.
Today I salute the United States – the world is full of those who hate it, but use the devices, techniques, science, entertainment made by its citizens. I salute the United States because it is the birth of an idea – implemented by the Declaration of Independence – that government does not exist for its own purpose, but as a servant of citizens. That government exists to protect fundamental rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – not to take away those rights for some other purpose. It separated church from state, and so was a fundamental break away from the European monarchy, church based governments of the time. Despite the best efforts of some on the religious right, that separation is entrenched.

Since then, of course, there have been amendments, some good, some bad. The USA has slipped closer towards statism over the last century, with property rights and personal rights increasingly being limited – but with that constitution still protecting some rather remarkable freedoms – such as speech. For some steps forward (recognising that all adults, men and women of all races have the same legal status), there have been steps backward (income tax, eminent domain) – and the US is now more bureaucratic, taxed and regulated than it has ever been.

Nevertheless, it is still a country of dreams – where, by and large, you are free to set up business, to be yourself, to own property and pursue your happiness. Contrast that to its most formidable opponents – the USSR, an evil empire of soulless, lifeless destruction, bulldozing its ideology of sacrifice over the minds, hearts and limbs of all under it, - Nazi Germany/Japan, violence worshipping sacrificers of life and destroyers of beauty, - Islamic fundamentalism, a cave-dwelling slave owning (called wives) mongerers of anti-life. In none of those countries could you say you owned your life -the state or a mullah did for you, these were countries of abject slavery - and the Islamic fundamentalists would make the world this way if they are not eliminated.

The United States, with allies saved most of the world from the tyranny of Japanese militarism, Nazism and Marxism-Leninism from the 1930s to the 1990s – for that I am eternally grateful and consider Thanksgiving a day when I am myself thankful for the USA.

As the US is now waging war against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism – for that, most of the world hates it, to those who hate it, may you all go live in a country that espouses the anti-Americanism you espouse. Reject the goods produced in the USA, the inventions made in the USA and the ideas – treat the world as if the USA does not exist – there are countries that do that, and they don’t let their people leave freely. The terrorism propagated by the haters of America is not to be negotiated with - there are not reasons for attacking innocent civilians time and time again - unless you too hate life. Nobody tries to excuse or understand a rapist, so why try to understand a terrorist?

That is why today – on Thanksgiving Day – I am going to shop, and buy something I want – and have a drink tonight to the USA, and to capitalism. The USA was the birth of an ideal and a project for government to exist only to protect freedom.
P.S. Those who bought nothing can feel some sense of accomplishment in having saved money, but little else. If you want to help the poor, then buy something from them that you want – give to a charity that genuinely helps them help themselves.

1 comment:

Little Girl in a Black Apron said...

kia kaha kia mana i love america and their pumpkin pie!