This article was originally published on July 3rd, 2007 at americanchronicle.com
July 4th is Independence Day. We celebrate every year our independence from an empirical monarchy that refused to supply proper representation for the colonists. A war was fought over taxation without representation and other improprieties taken by a tyrannical government. This war was sold to the common man with promises of freedom and liberty for all. Back in those days, there were probably plenty of hard feelings toward the king and his soldiers to go around, but there were also colonists who supported the king and felt his soldiers protected them from the natives or some other group they feared. Back then no one knew how everything would play out. There were the neigh-sayers and the believers. In the end, the American colonists defeated the forces of the British Empire and formed their own government. They forged a document from their blood and sacrifice and called it the constitution. This document was meant to lay down the law not for the common man, but for those who would govern them. It was basically a set of rules and laws meant to keep in check the power of the elite. It guaranteed that certain god given rights of men would not be infringed upon by those who hold power. It also told the world that the people of the United State of America could rule over themselves, independent of any sovereign. This is why we celebrate Independence Day.
Where do we stand today, two hundred and thirty one years after we first declared our independence from the British Empire? More importantly, how have we maintained our own personal responsibilities to make sure we can stay individually independent? It is well documented that the federal government of this country has passed laws infringing on our unalienable rights contrary to the principles expressed by the founders of this country in the constitution. Despite the illusion of elections carried out every couple of years in this country, as a society we have stepped away from our constitutional republic and become some sort of odd mixture of corporatism, plutocracy, fascism and socialism. Our congressional representatives don’t represent the common man anymore, they represent whoever gives them the most money. Because of this it is more important than ever that each individual become as independent as possible, because there is certainly no one else looking out for his best interest. So how independent are we as individuals?
First of all there’s the obvious. Most of us are dependent upon farmers and a grocery distribution complex to provide us our food. Hardly anyone grows their own vegetable garden or cans their own food anymore, despite the fact that many people have the room to do that. If you do, kudos to you, that’s one step closer to complete independence for you. Most people who have the land choose to grow grass on it, which is completely inedible to humans but if you own a cow it can be helpful. Many people depend upon their municipality to supply them with water. Of course, we can all still buy bottled water for drinking as long as the grocery distribution complex holds up. Some of us have our own water wells, but we depend on electricity to keep the pumps running. Those who have maintained a well with a hand pump, you are also one step closer to total independence. Speaking of electricity, the vast majority of us depend upon the various government assisted monopolies of energy companies to supply us with our power. What would we do without our computers, our TVs, our lights, our air conditioning, and many of the other modern conveniences we have come to depend on. We might find ourselves having to (gasp) talk to each other, or read, or develop a hobby, or somehow interact with one another, or.., well, you get the picture. Many of us depend on the same energy companies for gas or heating oil to heat their homes in the winter. If you have installed solar panels or windmills to supply yourself with electricity, or you have figured out some other way to supply your household with renewable energy and do not need to take electricity from the grid, you have taken a huge step toward achieving total independence and maintaining a modern lifestyle. Almost all of us depend upon the oil companies, who depend upon foreign governments, to supply us gasoline for our cars so that we can get to work and travel freely. This is an important part of our economic health. If gas was to disappear or there was to be a severe shortage, we would quickly find ourselves not only struggling with the problem of filling the tank so we could get where we want to go, but we would find our markets running out of our basic needs. Recent developments such as hybrid cars and ethanol or bio diesel do little to relieve the problem. Hybrid cars still need gasoline to run. Cars that run on bio diesel or ethanol still need some kind of manufactured combustible liquid to run. These alternative fuels also take farmland used to create food and turn it into farmland used to produce energy. These cars may do some good in terms of reducing pollution, but they do little in terms of making the individual independent. If you can get your hands on a purely electric zero emissions car you are well on your way to complete independence, particularly if you have such a car in combination with a home run off of solar, wind, or some other renewable energy.
These are just a few of the things we depend on. I would mention that as a society we now depend on China to manufacture and supply us with most of the “stuff” that we buy and now we are becoming more dependent on India to supply us with services such as help with our computers when the software doesn’t work. Freedom, liberty and independence are not just concepts we need to impose upon our government servants, they are concepts we need to implement into our own lives. These are concepts that are seldom easily realized and often misunderstood. We must continue to be ever vigilante and always demanding in order to maintain our independence. We must refuse to accept that which would make us less independent and strive to develop structures that will help empower the individual. To help achieve this it becomes necessary to decrease the size of government as government’s regulations impair the free market’s ability to develop technologies that will help accomplish this goal. We should allow for competition in all areas so that the individual and the market place can decide what’s best, not the government. Perhaps we’re not as independent as we think we are.
This Independence Day, it behooves us to try to become more individually independent, even if that means something as simple as thinking more independently. Perhaps that will help break our dependence on main stream media news sources to tell us our opinions. We must take small steps before we can take giant strides. From small changes come big ones. Independence doesn't just happen, it takes work. It would be nice to think that two hundred years from now our descendants will be living in a truly independent society.