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.