Commercialism Only Adds to Joy of Holidays

WASHINGTON–Another Christmas is upon us, and with it come the inevitable calls to make the holiday less commercial.
“Christmas is a spiritual holi­day whose leitmotif is personal, selfish plea­sure and joy,” writes Dr. Onkar Ghate, senior fellow with the Ayn Rand Center, in a new op-ed solicited by U.S. News and World Report. “The season’s commercialism, far from detracting from this celebration, as we’re often told, is integral to it.
“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.
“The commercialism of Christmas reinforces our goodwill. When you scour the malls in search of the perfect gift for a loved one and witness the cornucopia of goods and lights and decorations, you can’t help but feel that your fellow human beings are not enemies to be feared or fools to be avoided but fellow travelers and potential allies in the quest for joy. It’s no accident that America, the world’s most productive country, is also its most benevolent.”
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Dr. Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Center. He teaches at the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center, speaks on philosophy and Objectivism across North America, and publishes scholarly articles on Ayn Rand’s fiction and philosophy. His op-eds have appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Providence Journal, San Diego Business Journal, Orange County Register, and BusinessWeek.com. He has given numerous radio interviews, including BBC Radio, and has appeared as a television guest on CNBC, KCET, Fox News Channel and the CBS Evening News. Dr. Ghate received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Calgary.
To interview Dr. Onkar Ghate or book him for your show, please contact [email protected] or call 202-609-7470.
For more information on Objectivism’s unique point of view, go to ARC’s Web site. The Ayn Rand Center is a division of the Ayn Rand Institute and promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”