NORAD was criticized last year for its annual Santa-tracking public outreach.
One might think such a concern expressed would be about military resources diverted to what essentially amounts to frivolous entertainment or the result of upon additional reflection realizing that, if the military industrial complex is willing to go along with such a low-grade deception, what other things might the American people be being told less than the truth about.
However, a leftwing front group known as the Campaign For A Commercial Free Childhood denounced the violence and militarism promoted on a NORAD Santa-themed website depicting Old St. Nick's sleigh piloted by eight tiny reindeer being escorted by two fighter jets.
This response is wrong on a number of levels.
First is the name of the racket raising the ruckus.
Why should a Commercial Free Childhood be construed as a positive thing?
In many respects, commercialism and commercializing has been beneficial for all parties involved . Such transactions should not be looked at as necessarily bad.
Through commercialism, the manufacturer is able to produce a product that is needed or (in the case of most Christmas presents) desired in exchange for profit. Parents, in turn, are able to bring a degree of happiness and joy into the lives of their children on Christmas morning.
Granted, there are times that commercial transactions can get out of hand and begin to encroach upon or crowd out other considerations. But does that mean we abolish the free market or capitalist system as a result?
Such a question must be raised especially in light of the alternatives. It is interesting how radical activists aren't quite as eager to denounce the shortcomings of economic systems other than unbridled commerce.
Does an outfit like the Campaign For A Commercial Free Childhood honestly think it could exist in a milieu other than the technologically advanced West?
If the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood prefers a statist command economy where resource allocation is not made by an incomprehensible number of uncoerced choices but rather by a panel of credentialed experts thinking that they know more about the wants and needs of the individuals that make up the masses that such technocrats claim to be acting on behalf of, they need to realize that troublemakers such as themselves questioning the underlying assumptions of the regime in such an outright manner are either not allocated their ration for failing to comply with the objectives of the COMMUNITY or outright eliminated for undermining the authority of the hegemon.
The other alternative to both the advanced commercialist or command economy models would be one based more on simple barter or self sufficiency. To those that have never been forced to live in such a world, that particular way of life might seem idealized or even romantic.
However, such an existence is hardly the picture postcard it is easy to construe it to be from a distance. In such a setting, many of the luxuries and even many of the now easily-obtainable necessities that we enjoy would not be available or so scarce that access to them would be restricted to all but those with a level of wealth and power far beyond that of the ordinary.
Often, the sensitive can be troubled by the emphasis upon the material or physical that seems to characterize societies and civilizations that have advanced to at least an industrial level. It is only within a context where the basic biological needs of a high percentage of the population are met in an expedient or efficient manner that a sufficient number are allowed the luxury to reflect upon whether or not childhood (a period of life which itself wasn't given much consideration before the expansion of the mass society activists in these kinds of groups have made it their mission to denigrate and undermine) has become overly commercialized.
In a simple barter or self-sufficiency economy, the crank employed by the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, in the best circumstances, wouldn't have the time necessary to contemplate abstractions such as militarism. Nearly all of one's attention and working hours would be devoted to cultivating and crafting on one's own the bare necessities of life if these are even available.
More than likely, those drawn to these kinds of non-profit associations that don't really do anything useful (or little of anything beyond pining for a world that would result in widespread destitution and ruination if it existed anywhere other than in the imaginations of the deluded) wouldn't survive for very long.
If the beatniks at the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood are clueless regarding the operation of a viable economy, they are downright dangerous when it comes to defense policy.
The specific complaint of the organization was that the animated sequence of Santa escorted by fighter jets promotes violence and militarism. Mind you, it wasn't like Santa was blown to smithereens for violating North American airspace.
Even more disturbing and unsettling was the extent to which the military went to placate the peaceniks in regards to this outreach effort.
The NORAD spokesman answering the press inquiry went out of his way to point out that the jet fighters depicted in the video weren't only unarmed but that they were Canadian rather than American. Nothing shouts surrender monkey this side of France louder than an unarmed Canadian.
A nation's future is determined in part by the values it instills in its youth regarding certain essential social institutions such as family, work, and the military. In terrorist nations of the Middle East, a Mickey Mouse knock-off indoctrinates toddlers regarding the need to exterminate Jews and Christians while extolling the glories of dieing a mangled death on behalf of the tribal deity. We, on the other hand, become unhinged now should a child merely see the image of an armed airplane.
By Frederick Meekins