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Capitalism and Christmas

Here’s a nice article from Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute in a head-to-head on the meaning of Christmas. Though Miss Rand herself was not known to be particularly warm, perhaps this shows how the Christmas spirit brings out the best in all of us.

This focus on earthly joy is the actual source of the emotion most commonly identified with Christmas: goodwill. When you genuinely feel good about your own life and when you’re allowed to acknowledge and celebrate that joy, you come to wish the same happiness for others. It is those who despise their own lives who lash out at and make life miserable for the rest of us. …

Christmas as we know it, with its twinkling lights, flying reindeer, and dancing snowmen, is largely a creation of 19th-century America. One of the most un-Christian periods in Western history, it was a time of worldly invention, industrialization, and profit. Only such an era would think of a holiday dominated by commercialism and joy and sense the connection between the two.

Though I think anyone writing on this side of the Atlantic would have to give due credit to Charles Dickens, who so popularized the merriment of the season.

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