Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 4th of July

     Today we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. Why did we want independence? One popular cry was "no taxation without representation". Over two hundred years later, how are we doing in this category? We do have formal representation at least. But do our politicians actually represent us? Or do they simply represent a small sector of society and then lie to, ignore, or simply distract the others with "threats" to our freedom coming from indians, blacks, japanese-americans, communists, terrorists, gays, liberals, secularists, and mexicans?

    Another reason for wanting independence was so that we wouldn't simply be a exploited source of resources and so that we could have our own autonomous political system. Economic and political independence was our goal. But if you look at the situation today our government vigorously opposes economic and political independence for other countries, and has done very well in succeeding in these aims in the past, even if that involves putting in power brutal dictators that massacre their own people.

    Point being, I just don't see much reason to celebrate the 4th of July (other than those incredibly entertaining Snake fireworks). It would be like celebrating the unchaining of a dangerous animal into a crowded room. I believe it's very important for us to finally make real progress on the above two issues of economic and political freedom, both domestic and foreign. We don't have to demand freedom for ourselves, but we have a moral obligation to control our political situation to the extent that it doesn't interfere with the freedom of others.

    Have a good 4th everyone.

In addition, here is a short 4th of July article by Howard Zinn.


vjack said...

Good post, and the article by Zinn was great. It seems clear that America has grown into something which bears little resemblence to the coutry envisioned by our founding fathers (and mothers). I'm not ready to give up just yet, but it is difficult to know where to start.

SH said...

When I think about independence I also think about interconnectedness of the world and how we can only hope to "better" this world if we work together. Independence and unity, are these contradictory goals?

Thank you for the link to the interesting article by Zinn. Patriotism... seems like a very misguided sentiment:

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
-- George Bernard Shaw