The Days of Self-Reliance

Bill Neinast

A century makes a difference.  So let’s go back one century.

It is February, 1921.  The world is still  recovering from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.  675,000 Americans lost their lives during the pandemic.  The population of the country in 1918 was 103,200,000, or one third of today’s count.

Assume that around February of that year some Texans noticed that it seemed to be getting a bit colder.  The men and boys put on an extra coat and went out to bring in an extra armload or two of fire wood for their stoves and fireplaces.  In the cities with large buildings, the maintenance personnel may have checked their wood or coal supplies for the boilers that kept steam circulating through the radiators in the apartments and offices.

There were no radios or TVs with weather forecasters continuously warning of a pending disaster.  Adults just had to rely on their instincts and folklore methods of predicting weather like which way the cows were lying down.  These indicators may have prompted women to fill their lamps with kerosene, trim the wicks, and polish the shades one more time.

As the winds began to howl, the family would settle down for dinner cooked on the wood burning stove and, in small cities and rural areas, enjoy some of the vegetables from the summer garden that Mom had canned.

The chamber pots or slop jars would be pulled out for daytime use as well as for night and Dad would just have to bundle up several times a day to empty the potties.

At bed time, goose down comforters would be pulled out of closets to provide a good night of cozy sleeping.

There were very few  automobiles at the time, so those living  in areas or apartments where it was not possible to have well stocked pantries or cellars would simply walk to their nearby store for necessities.  As there were no vehicles for hoarders to haul away half of the store at a time, the walking homeowner would find shelves stocked and he or she could walk back home with the usual small arm full of food.

This is what I would have witnessed  if the worst blizzard in recorded history had occurred during my childhood in the 1920s and 30s.  There would have been no anger, armchair quarterbacking, and looking for someone to blame.  The only one blamed would have been God, as in “It’s God will.”

Those were the days of self reliance when every adult was expected to be responsible for the care of himself, herself, and the family. 

Compare that now with today, a few weeks after the worst Texas blizzard in history has moved on out east and back north.  The knashing of teeth and armchair quarterbacking about various government agencies being responsible for so much “misery” is ridiculous.

The most ludicrous of them all are the rants about the generating plants not being required to winterize.  

How can this be?  Those complaining the loudest are the same ones who have been preaching for years that we are going to burn up  in a few years because of the global warming caused by human carelessness.  

If the electricity generating companies were being told to increase production because there will be increasing demands for air conditioning, how could they reasonably be expected to think, “Well we better winterize also.”

So here’s the perspective.

Texas is having a lesson on socialism.  

Under socialism/communism, the government owns and operates everything.  There is no need for self preservation, because the government will provide everything.

So what happens when the government does not provide a need?  

You just witnessed that during the week of February 14, 2021.

Texas was not and is not responsible for providing its citizens with electricity and water.  Those necessities are currently provided by private corporations or municipalities, but there are state agencies with regulatory powers over those businesses.  

The investigations and complaints are about those state agencies—the government—not doing its job.

Do we want more government control?



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