“Black Friday” is not as old a tradition as Thanksgiving but it has certain features that make it superior:
- Black Friday is not based on some far-flung allegory generated to bolster support for the civic religion. It is wholly to the organic social order, arising out of the actions of people over time and planned in its present whole by no one in particular.
- Black Friday therefore required no presidential proclamation to come into existence. It arose spontaneously the way traditions should, starting small and spreading because of its successes, which have been emulated in the course of ever larger waves of social experimentation and learning.
- People don’t celebrate it through laziness, gluttony, and familial angst but through enterprise, remunerative toil, energetic hunting, and cooperative trading.
- Black Friday is truly diverse and embracing of all peoples, religions, and regions; no one needs to be offended or coerced to go along.
- Its iconography is not rooted in and bound by one regional experience (New England pilgrims with buckles on their shoes, e.g.) but rather its symbols and meaning evolves and changes as people’s tastes and desires change.
- Unlike most holidays, where people get gifts they don’t want or eat food they later regret, Black Friday is a day in which we see on display a beautiful meeting of minds through individual volition. We trade what we own for what others own and do so to everyone’s mutual betterment. It is a day when everyone wins.
- If it celebrates any big idea at all, it is the hope for business success in the coming year. That is a worthy goal that sustains and uplifts civilization itself.
(Special thank you to the questioner in yesterday’s LF WhiskeyBar who prompted these thoughts)