Piss off the Terrorists and their Allies: Privatize the World Trade Center

by | Dec 24, 2002 | POLITICS

Jack Smith of Monticello, Minnesota, wrote in the following to a Wall Street Journal columnist regarding the site of the World Trade Center, expressing his disagreement with the idea of rebuilding it: This is Gettysburg, the Alamo, the Arizona Memorial. Sorry, Manhattan, but Ground Zero doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to all of […]

Jack Smith of Monticello, Minnesota, wrote in the following to a Wall Street Journal columnist regarding the site of the World Trade Center, expressing his disagreement with the idea of rebuilding it:

This is Gettysburg, the Alamo, the Arizona Memorial. Sorry, Manhattan, but Ground Zero doesn’t belong to you anymore. It belongs to all of us.

Wrong. The best monument to the victims would be to make the next World Trade Center — if there is one — a totally privately owned property.

In short: leave it to the private sector to rebuild, and keep the government (and advocates of public ownership, like Mr. Smith) out of it. The people who died in the Towers were engaged in productive work — not for any particular cause other than the advancement of their own lives. Whatever their ideological views might have been, they were capitalists in practice.

While many will be afraid to agree with me outright, it remains true that productive effort, personal fulfillment and personal responsibility — practiced in the United States by millions every day — represents the soul and engine of what makes this country so great. America isn’t the strongest, the most powerful and the happiest because people give up themselves to some mystical higher good; it’s the strongest because most pursue the advancement and improvement of their own personal lives. Witness the results, as compared with places like Iran, North Korea and Iraq where personal advancement is spurned, outlawed — or both.

Remember that the terrorists did not choose the twin towers as a target merely because they were tall and famous. They chose them as a target because they represented, particularly well, the values of human achievement on earth. Human achievement on earth is accomplished not through socialism, Communism, or religious totalitarianism; it’s accomplished through capitalism.

To religious fundamentalists, life on earth isn’t supposed to be happy, productive or successful; this is an insult, they feel, to God. Yet these values of productive life on earth are precisely what the World Trade Center represented and consequently why (in their eyes) had to be destroyed. They would take out entire cities if they could; and rest assured, they’re working on it.

Mr. Smith of Minnesota, like probably many Americans, fails to grasp what the World Trade Center truly meant — both in reality and to the terrorists. It’s sadly ironic that the terrorists do understand the issues at stake — happiness on earth versus slavish devotion to religion; individual rights versus slavish devotion to a fascist or religious dictator — while so many Americans can’t or won’t. This is because so many people from the Arab part of the world are taught to think in black-and-white, right and wrong; the only problem is that they feel they’re right while in reality they’re wrong. Those live and experience the results of freedom, individual rights, capitalism and happiness for man on earth are actually practicing in the right … only most of them don’t yet know it.

When and if they ever do, the World Trade Center — privately owned, unapologetically capitalist — will stand prouder and taller than ever.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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