This Year, Give Thanks for Individual Liberty
Thanksgiving is the best time to exalt the individuality of each unique person. To be just, anyone who strives and honors the right of others to strive and achieve deserves thanks and appreciation, wherever they live in the world.
Thanksgiving, in 2013, is still a unique American tradition. My desire — no, more than a desire, my prediction — is that it soon will become a universal time for feasting, family and friends. How wonderful if all over the world people sat together to marvel and appreciate a bountiful feast acquired through their own industriousness, creativity and wealth creation.
It can happen. We are closer than we have ever been in the known history of this world. The idea is spreading of an ever larger Pumpkin Pie rather than a static pie to be distributed by a small group of supposedly all-knowing administrators. Slowly, ordinary people are absorbing this wondrous idea through actual experience.
This idea is not becoming a possibility because of political “leaders,” military conquest or charity of the usual kind, rather the increased standard of living is slowly rising world-wide because of the now easily observed concept of voluntary exchange, and entrepreneurship.
With greater world-wide communication, people are learning first-hand that trade is superior to force. Their “Leaders” have not yet learned it. They are blinded by hubris. An arrogance only exceeded by their ignorance, as the old saying goes.
That does not exclude at all those in the United States who have attempted now for generations to cover the world with US Military troops and force “peace and democracy” down the throats of the hapless savages who would not cooperate. (How dare they!)
At the idea of on-going, voluntary exchange world-wide with no direction from bureaucrats leaves many political leaders aghast; “Anarchy they sputter. We simply cannot have anarchy.”
Ah, so we need “more intelligent” humans to control every decision we make, guide our every step, monitor our lives and spy, accost, even kill us for the slightest deviation from what you, the all-knowing bureaucrat or law enforcement bully desires. Hummm? Well, maybe not.
I cannot compute and doubt if anyone can regardless of their math ability, the money, lives and ruination of whole civilizations on the arrogant attempt to force ideas upon people. It never works! In fact, the opposite of real progress is the sad result. To think we can teach people to live in harmony and be just with each other, by exhibiting the opposite is folly on steroids.
Rather, the wonders of technology have re-awakened those times in history when trade and voluntary agreements reigned supreme instead of war. There were a few periods of peace in history. An appreciation of the worker, the creator, the entrepreneur, the trader, the necessary middleman will soon re-emerge. The benefits of industry, though vastly changed from earlier times, is already happening. Increasingly, people are being welcomed and admired for their skills and work ethic, certainly not their race or ethnicity as producers cannot be that foolish and must hire the best person.
Self-interest also kicks in with individuals' consumer choices. People may intend to be protectionists, but the bounty of world-wide goods is simply ubiquitous. Fortunately, people forget their foolish misunderstanding of the evils of foreign trade and simply partake of these foreign goods as that is a necessary component of peace, more positive than any drone.
Charity is still available, but it is now a wiser form of charity that is direct to people who feel accountable and not filtered through a dictator (who forgets to pass out the well-intentioned charitable gifts and money and takes it all for himself and his henchmen).
New forms of charity are being explored, just as new uses of the Internet, capital formation, open source rather than copyright, individual initiatives rather than central bureaucracy; innovation and self-preservation are awakening. Though it seems far away to us at times, step back, and see the changing picture. The world is on the cusp of the best of times.
Thanksgiving is not just a religious time, but also a proper time to appreciate the self, yes, the self and its efforts. The first Thanksgiving would not have been as bountiful without Governor Bradford’s decision to end the communal arrangement of the Mayflower Compact. He decreed and wrote in his Diary that the common property and production was ended and that from thence forward it would be every family for themselves with their own property; anarchy was a blessing in that long-ago time.
Self-ownership is the foundation for property ownership. Self–ownership is the catalyst that inspires individuals, whatever their limitations to grasp an idea, create, struggle to develop that idea and succeed. Those who have in the past and those who now do so deserve our thanks.
Historically, then one can say Thanksgiving is the best time to exalt the individuality of each unique person. To be just, anyone who strives and honors the right of others to strive and achieve deserves thanks and appreciation, wherever they live in the world.
Image Credit: CC BY-NC 2.0 (Flickr)/Telstar Logistics