The American Holiday
As I relax, letting my Thanksgiving dinner settle in, and feel the drowsiness brought on by my tryptophan fix, I find myself contemplating the meaning of the day. I'm old enough to remember having been taught that Thanksgiving was a celebration of the success of the Plymouth Colony, having a bountiful harvest after giving up communal farming in favor of private farms. The guards at the government's children's prisons don't teach that anymore. They'd have us all drown in a sea of altruism.
I've just finished reading two excellent columns about the day, as published on the Atlasphere website. The first is by John Stossel, the well-known co-anchor of the ABC newsmagazine, "20/20." It briefly outlines the beginnings of the holiday and points out the problem solved by the Pilgrims by having privatized their farming efforts.
The second column is by Debi Ghate, of the Ayn Rand Institute. In it, she describes the rational pride we all ought to feel in our work, as productive individuals. She points out that Ayn Rand referred to Thanksgiving as "a producer's holiday."
Both columns are well worth a read.