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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 31, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta December 31, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 KEN HURLBURT The New years celebration By Ernest Mardon, University of Lethbridge professor The festival in observance of New Years appears to be the oldest and most universally held celebration, going back to pre-historic times. Before people had invented the calen- dar they depended upon certain signs with which they marked the passing of time, such as the changing of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, the flight of birds or whatever seemed to recur regularly in a natural cycle they knew. The ancient Egyptians associated the beginning of the new year with the annual flooding of the Nile, which usually occurred in mid June. This event was welcomed with rites and ceremonies that expressed jubila- tion over the renewal of growth brought about by the muddy waters. For the Phoenicians and Persians the year began with the autum- nal equinox the Jews' New Year com- mences at this time of the year with "Rosh the first day of the month of Tishri. In ancient Britain when Druidism flourished, the new year was celebrated in the spring, at which time the priest cut branches of mistletoe from their sacred oaks and gave them to the people as good luck charms. The custom of kissing under the mis- tletoe dates back to these times. During the period of the early Roman Republic, the year began on March first. Thus our names for the last four months make sense: September, October, November and December are derived from the Latin words for seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth, months of the year understood. For thousands of years, on the other hand, the Chinese have reckoned their New Year according to the lunar calendar. The exact date varies slightly from year to year, com- ing after the winter solstice, usually in February. The great Roman general, Julius Caesar, devised the Julian Calendar, which was nam- ed in his honor in 43 B.C., shortly before his assassination. It made January 1 the official date for the commencement of the year. It was associated with ceremonies that express- ed mortification, purgation, invigoration and jubilation over-life's renewal. In early medieval times most of Christian Europe regarded March 25, Lady Day, as the beginning of the year. This is, of course, just after the spring equinox. However, in Anglo Saxon England December 25, Christmas, was held to be New Year's Day. The legend says that December 24 was held to be Adam and Eve's birthday. The custom was to have a plain evergreen tree set up in the house with one red apple in memory of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. After the children were sent to bed, the tree was dress- ed and became the glorious tree of paradise. In 1066 William the Conqueror decreed that the year start on January 1, but after his death England began its year with the rest of Christendom on March 25. In the 16th Century Pope Gregory XIII cor- rected certain miscalculations in the reckon- ing of time that had crept into the Julian Calendar. He also restored January 1 as New Year's Day. The Gregorian Calendar, which we use today, was immediately adopted by Roman Catholic countries. Other European countries followed suit: Scotland in 1660 and England only in 1752. In the latter country there were riots with the crowds demanding their lost days. (Ukrainian Canadians still celebrate the New Year according to the Julian Calendar, which is some 12 days later than the date of other Canadians' New Year's Day.) For more than a thousand years, Christians spent New Year's Day in prayer, fasting and meditation. They believed the New Year should be a time when believers repented of any wrongdoing of the past year, and made resolutions to turn over a new leaf and lead better lives in the coming year. It is only in comparatively recent times that people began to change the manner of observing New Years from the fast back to the feast that characterized it in Roman times. In doing so, many beliefs, customs, and superstitions that had their beginning in pagan times were revived, and are now associated with the New Year. Hurlburt borrows large part of House of Commons speech On October 16, 1974 Lethbridge MP Ken E. Hurlburt delivered a speech in the House of Com- mons which he subsequently had printed and mailed to his constituents. A professor at the University of Lethbridge discovered that Mr. Hurlburt had drawn heavily on an address delivered in Lethbridge on May by Ezra Taft Benson, member of the Council of Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and former U.S. secretary of agriculture in the Eisenhower administration. In parallel columns below are printed the original version by Mr. Benson and Mr. Hurlburt's use of it. The black face type calls attention to the differences. By Ken E. Hurlburt Students of history know that no government in the history of mankind has ever created any wealth. It is the people who work who create wealth. According to the Marxist doctrine, a human be- ing is primarily an economic creature. In other words, his material well-being is all- important and his privacy and his freedom are strictly secondary. The Soviet con- stitution reflects this philosophy in its emphasis on security, food, clothing, housing, medical care the same things that might be considered in jail. The basic concept is that the govern- ment has full responsibility for the welfare of the people and in order to discharge that responsibility must assume control of all their activities. It is significant that in reali- ty the Russian people have few of the rights guaranteed to them in their constitution, while the Canadian people have them in abundance, even though they are not guaranteed. The reason, of course, is that material gain and economic security simply cannot be guaranteed by any government. They are the result and reward of hard work and industrious production. Unless the people bake one loaf of bread for every citizen, the government cannot guarantee that each will have one loaf to eat. Legislation can be written, laws can be passed, but unless the bread is produced it can never be dis- tributed. Why, then, do Canadians bake more bread, manufac- ture more shoes and assemble more television sets per capita than Russians? They do so precisely because our government does not guarantee these things. If it did, there would be so many accompanying taxes, controls, regulations and political manipulations that the productive genius that is America's would soon be reduced to the floundering level of waste and inefficiency now found behind the Iron Curtain. I should like to quote Thomas Jefferson who, in his first inaugural address in 1801, said: By Ezra Taft Benson According to Marxist doctrine, a human being is primarily an economic creature. In other words, his material well being is all im- portant; his privacy and his freedom are strictly secon- dary. The Soviet constitution reflects this philosophy in its emphasis on security: food, clothing, housing, medical care the same things that might be considered in a jail. The basic concept is that the government has full respon- sibility for the welfare of the people and, in order to dis- charge that responsibility, must assume control of all their activities. It is signifi- cant that in actuality the Rus- sian people have a few of the rights supposedly "guaranteed" to them in their constitution, while the American people have them in abundance even though they are not guaranteed. The reason, of course, is that material gain and economic security simply cannot be guaranteed by any government. They are the result and reward of hard work and industrious produc- tion. Unless the people bake one loaf of bread for each citizen, the government cau- not guarantee that each will have one loaf to eat. Con- stitutions can be written, laws can be passed and imperial decrees can be issued, but un- less the bread is produced, it can never be distributed. Why, then, do Americans bake more bread, manufac- ture more shoes and assemble more TV sets than Russians do? They do so precisely because our government does not guarantee these things. If it did, there would be so many accompanying taxes, controls, regulations and political manipulations that the productive genius that is America's would soon be reduced to the floundering level of waste and inefficiency now found behind the Iron Curtain. As Henry D. Thoreau explained: In 1801 Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address, By Ken E. Hurlburt "With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens a wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pur- suits of industry and im- provement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." The principle behind this philosophy of labor can be reduced to a rather simple formula. First, economic security for all is impossible without widespread abun- dance. abundance is impossible without in- dustrious and efficient production. Third, such production is impossible without energetic, willing, eager labor. Fourth, this is not possible without incentive. Fifth, of all forms of incen- tive, the freedom to attain reward for one's labors is the most sustaining for most people. Sometimes called the profit motive, it is simply the right to plan and to earn and to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sixth, this profit motive diminishes as government controls, regulations and tax- es increase to deny the fruits of success to those who produce. Seventh, therefore any attempt through governmental intervention to redistribute the material rewards of labor can result only in the eventual destruc- tion of the productive base of society for more than the rul- ing elite, and that is quite im- possible. The following is a report as recorded in the Corvdon. In- diana Republican in 1966 on Socialism in Saskatchewan. It reads in part: "For a period of 20 years, from 1944 to 1964 Saskatchewan, Canada, across the border from Mon- tana, had a socialist government, about the only one in North America, except Castro's. Here is an account of that stewardship in the words of the present premier of Saskatchewan, the Honorable W. Ross Thatcher. "In 1944, the socialists said they would solve the un- employment problems by building government fac- tories. They promised to use the profits to build highways, schools, hospitals and to finance better social welfare measures generally. Over the years they set up 22 so-called Crown corporations... By the time we had taken over the government, 24 months ago, 12 of the Crown corporations had gone bankrupt or been dis- posed of. Others were kept operating by repeated and substantial government grants. By Ezra Taft Benson said: "With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it had earned." (Works The principle behind this American philosophy can be reduced to a rather simple formula: 1. Economic security for all is impossible without widespread abundance. 2. Abundance is impossible without industrious and ef- ficient production. 3. Such production is im- possible without energetic, willing and eager labor. 4. This is not possible without incentive. 5. Of all forms of incentive the freedom to attain a reward for one's labors is the most sustaining for most people. Sometimes called the profit motive, it is simply the right to plan, and to earn and to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 6. This profit motive diminishes as government controls, regulations and tax- es increase to deny the fruits of success to those who produce. 7. Therefore, any attempt through governmental intervention to redistribute the material rewards of labor can only result in the eventual destruction of the productive base of society, without which real abundance and security for more than the ruling elite is quite impossible. You have had a recent ex- perience with soul-destroying socialism in Saskatchewan. Here is the record as reported in the Corydon, Indiana Republican in 1966: "For a period of 20 years from 1944 to 1964 Saskatchewan, Canada, across the border from Montana, had a Socialist government, about the only one in North America, except Castro's. Here is an account of that Stewardship in the words of the present Premier of Saskatchewan, the Hon. W. Ross Thatcher: "In 1944, the Socialists said they would solve the un- employment problems by building government fac- tories. They promised to use the profits to build highways, schools, hospitals and to finance better social welfare measures generally. Over the years they set up 22 so-called crown corporations By the time we had taken over the government, 24 months ago, 12 of the crown corporations had gone bankrupt or been dis- posed of. Others were kept operating by repeated and substantial government grants. By Ken E. Hurlburt "During the whole period the socialists waged war against private business. The making of profits was condemned as an un- forgiveable sin. What was the result? Investors simply turn- ed their backs on the socialists. Dozens of oil com- panies pulled up stakes and moved out. Gas exploration ground to a complete halt. Prospecting in our vast north became almost non existent. "During the period Canada was experiencing the greatest economic boom in her history, Saskatchewan received only a handful of new factories. After 18 years of socialism, there were fewer jobs in manufacturing than existed in 1945 this despite the invest- ment of million in Crown corporations. "During the period more than 600 completely new taxes were introduced, 650 other taxes were increased. Per capita taxes in Saskatchewan were soon substantially out of line with our sister provinces one more reason why in- dustry located elsewhere. "The socialists promised to make Saskatchewan a mecca for the working man. Instead, we saw the greatest mass ex- odus of people out of an area since Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. Since the war, 000 of our citizens left Saskatchewan to find employ- ment elsewhere. "If there are any Americans who think that socialism is the answer, I wish they would come to Saskatchewan and study what has happened to our province. "The Saskatchewan story deserves to become-classic in the annals of political science and a study course in college classrooms throughout the United States." The economic and social cannibalism produced by this Communist-Socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle any society. In Canada we have travelled a long way down the soul- destroying road to social- ism As Henry Grady Weaver wrote in his excellent book The Mainspring of Human Progress: "Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well meaning people who ig- nored the principle of in dividual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind in the mass through some pet formula of their By Ezra Taft Benson "During the whole period the Socialists waged war against private business. The making of profits was condemned as an un- forgiveable sin.' What was the result? Investors simply turn- ed their backs on the socialists. Dozens of oil com- panies pulled up stakes and moved out. Gas exploration ground to a complete halt. Prospecting in our vast north became almost non existent. "During the period Canada was experiencing the greatest economic boom in her history, Saskatchewan received only a handful of new factories. After 18 years of socialism, there, were fewer jobs in manufacturing than existed in 1945 this despite the invest- ment of million in crown corporations "During the period more than 600 completely new taxes were introduced; 650 other taxes were increased. Per capita taxes in Saskatchewan were soon substantially out of line with our sister provinces one more reason why in- dustry located elsewhere. the socialists promised to make Saskatchewan a Mecca for the working man. Instead, we saw the greatest mass exodus of people out of an area since Moses led the Jews out of Egypt. Since the war, of our citizens left Saskatchewan to find employment elsewhere. "If there are any Americans who think that socialism is the answer, I wish they would come" to Saskatchewan and study what has happened to our province. "The Saskatchewan Story deserves to become a classic in the annals of political science and a study course in college classrooms throughout the United States. "The Honorable W. Ross Thatcher would seem to be a prize guest lecturer." We have before us currently another sad example of what happens to a nation which ig- nores basic economic prin- ciples. Former FBI agent, Dan Smoot, succinctly pointed this out: "The economic and social cannibalism produced by this Communist- Socialist idea will destroy any society which adopts it and clings to it as a basic principle any society." In the United States we have travelled a long way down the soul destroying road of socialism. As Henry Grady Weaver wrote, in his excellent book, The Mainspring of Human Progress: "Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well meaning people who ig- nored the principle of in- dividual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind in the mass through some pet formula of their own The harm done By Ken E. Hurlburt The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others, with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means Canada is a wealthy country. Even during the depression, Canadians ate and lived better than most people in other countries do today. In reply to the argument that just a little bit of socialism is good so long as it does not go too far, it is tempting to say thst, in like fashion, just a lit- tle bit of theft or a little bit of cancer is all right, too. History proves that the growth of the welfare state is difficult to check before it comes to its full flower of dic- tatorship. But let us hope that this time around the trend can be reversed. If not, then we will see the inevitability of complete socialism, probably within our lifetime. Threa factors may make a difference. First, there is suf- ficient historical knowledge of I the failures of socialism and of the past mistakes of previous civilizations. Second, there are modern means of rapid communications to transmit these lessons of history to a large, literate population. And thirdly, there is a growing number of dedicated men and women who. at great personal sacrifice, are actively work- ing to promote a wider appreciation of these con- cepts. The timely joining together of these three factors may make it entirely possible for us to reverse the trend. This raises the next question: how is it possible to cut out the various welfare programs promoted by our government, which have already fastened themselves like cancer cells on to the body politic? Is drastic sur- gery already necessary, and can it be performed without endangering the patient? In answer, it is obvious that drastic measures are called for. No halfway or com- promise actions will suffice. Like all surgery, it will not be without discomfort, and perhaps it will even leave some scar tissue for a long time to come. But it must be done if the patient is to be saved, and it can be done without undue risk. By Ezra Taft Benson by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in com- parison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by professional 'do-gooders', who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthless- ly force their views of all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means." (p. 40-1; P.P.N.S., p. 313) By comparison, America traditionally has followed Jefferson's advice of relying on individual action and charity. The result is that the United States has fewer cases of genuine hardship per capita than any other country in the entire world or throughout ail history. Even during the depression of the 1930's Americans ate and lived better than most people in other countries do today. In reply to the argument that just a little bit of socialism is good so long as it doesn't go too far, it is tempting to say that, in like fashion, just a little bit of theft or a little bit of cancer is all right, too! History proves that the growth of the welfare state is difficult to check before it comes to its full flower of dictatorship. But let us hope that this time around, the trend can be reversed. If not, then we will see the inevitability of complete socialism, probably within our lifetime. Three factors may make a difference. First, there is suf- ficient historical knowledge of the failures of socialism, and of the past mistakes of previous civilizations. Secondly, there are modern means of rapid com- munications to transmit these lessons of history to a large literate population. And thirdly, there is a growing number of dedicated men and women who, at great personal sacrifice, are actively work- ing to promote a wider appreciation of these concepts. The timely joining together of these three factors may make it entirely possible for us to reverse the trend. This brings up the next question: How is it possible to cut out the various welfare state features of our govern- ment which have already fastened themselves like cancer cells onto the body politic? Isn't drastic surgery already necessary, and can it be performed without en- dangering the patient? In answer, it is obvious that drastic measures are called for. No halfway or com- promise actions will suffice. Like all surgery, it will not be without discomfort and perhaps even some scar tissue for a long time to come. But it must be done if the patient is to be saved, and it can be done without undue risk. ;