Our Duty to Shop

It’s odd that people who are uber-patriotic are also often the same people who are vocal critics of the commercialization/secularization of Christmas. When people say the US is the “greatest country in the world,” surely they are including the economic aspect of that claim along with the ostensible “freedoms” we “enjoy.” The US can’t be a global economic superpower if we don’t shop shop shop; that’s what a capitalist economy is, after all. When President Bush said after September 11th that we should all go shopping, a statement for which he was roundly criticized because to many it seemed crass in the context of other options (such as, let’s all come together and heal in the face of a traumatic event), he was actually being logical within the framework of capitalism. The most patriotic thing one could do in a capitalist State is to start one’s Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving night—or day; why wait?—and to keep maxing out those credit cards all the way up until the Epiphany.

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