The creators of Thanksgiving recognized that they had a lot to be thankful for–and yet they were lucky if 2/3 of their children made it past the age of 15. If they were grateful for the fruits of their way of life, how grateful should we be for ours?
Every year I spend studying industrial civilization, I become more grateful that I live in it, and more aware of how precious and ultimately fragile it is. Life as we know it, life where almost all of us get to live and get a shot at happiness, has existed for about 150 years. That’s it.
In a sense, our way of life is incredibly durable, in that with political freedom and technology we can achieve ever-greater progress and solve more and more of our problems. Hence the fundamental optimism of CIP. But political freedom is itself fragile, and under constant attack. This past month I debated a man who achieves worldwide acclaim by demonizing the energy producers who produce the fuel of modern life. Hence the need for CIP and others to create a culture that is grateful for its greatness, and grateful to the industries and institutions that cause that greatness.
This Thanksgiving, when you are grateful for those you love, I hope you also feel gratitude to the many industrial heroes, past and present, without whom we would not all be here to celebrate. You might enjoy this article I wrote about a friend of mine I am lucky enough to be spending Thanksgiving with.