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Reblogged:Happy Thanksgiving!

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This will be my last post for the week as I break for Thanksgiving.


Fellow admirers of Ayn Rand will be familiar with her brief description of Thanksgiving:
Image by Sheri Hooley, via Unsplash, license.
Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. In spite of its religious form (giving thanks to God for a good harvest), its essential, secular meaning is a celebration of successful production. It is a producers' holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production. Abundance is (or was and ought to be) America's pride -- just as it is the pride of American parents that their children need never know starvation. ("Cashing in on Hunger," The Ayn Rand Letter (1974) vol. III, no. 23)
That quote deserves to be published widely, and not just on this holiday.

But so does the essay from which it came, in which Rand analyzes and demolishes a strident column calling for Americans to fast the week before the holiday and sacrificially assume the burden of feeding the world.

The following passage is particularly relevant today, over forty-five years later:
To call American abundance a "grotesque inequality," to brush aside the source and cause of that abundance -- the tremendous effort, the heroic struggle, the unremitting work, the intelligence, the ambition (and the freedom) of millions of men that transformed an empty wilderness into a land of unprecedented abundance -- to ascribe that magnificent achievement to the use of "the world's resources," is to utter a grotesque obscenity. To call it an appeal to justice is the ultimate touch of cynical effrontery. (Ibid.)
In fact, I would recommend anyone with access to the full essay read it soon after the festivities are over: It holds up better than one might expect for an answer to a column written so long ago. That is because Rand focused so well on the essentials -- of what was and remains wrong with the dominant culture, and yet right about America.

Rand's essay is a masterpiece of justice towards the productive, and that is exactly what this happy celebration is all about.

-- CAV

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