"Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them -- and then, the opportunity to choose." ~ C. Wright Mills
Things to Do While Boycotting July 4
Exclusive to STR
July 2, 2009
It's been a tradition of mine, lo these past few years, and I certainly feel no shame about it. After all, July 4, 1776 , was a unique and very limited event. A group of 56 men, incensed by the tyranny of King George III in Great Britain , declared the land and inhabitants therein of 13 colonies, free from this regent's control.
There's a bit of trouble with that. It doesn't matter whether you think their action was a good, bad, or indifferent thing ' they had no business doing it for anyone other than themselves. It was entirely outside the realm of legitimacy for them to make such a decision on everyone's behalf. Even a cursory examination of Lysander Spooner's 'No Treason IV: The Constitution of No Authority' will demonstrate that conclusively.
There's more: After fomenting a bloody eight-year violent revolutionary civil war in order to back up and realize that stance (another interesting tract to explore is Charles King Whipple's 'Evils of the Revolutionary War,' written in 1842), this same cadre of self-appointed determiners of American destiny saw nothing wrong with then establishing a government to replace the shackles of the old one which had just been thrown off. This act of arrogant foolhardiness, we now know, was nothing shy of the gravest possible error; a cardinal sin. One look around you says it all.
And today, Americans are still shallow enough to celebrate 'Independence Day.' Having long since seen through this thin veil of deception, I no longer give the 4th any special significance. Here are some suggestions of things to do while boycotting the whole mindless affair:
- ' Try giving the United Nations Charter a read ' or the provisions of the NATO, NAFTA, GATT agreements. Try reading international 'law.' Think about the Federal Reserve and the level of the U.S. government's debt ' most of it held by fascist China . Then see if you think there's any such thing as American independence or sovereignty anymore.
- ' If that doesn't quite burn you out or hopelessly depress you ' or if you're just not feeling that ambitious, give this past Root rant a read.
- ' Listen to 'Rather Die' by Pokerface. The lyrics are a bit statist, but it's still pretty good.
Don't spend much time thinking about government and politics beyond this, though. The object is to ignore the whole thing, and have fun:
- ' Read some poetry ' 'The True Love' by David Whyte.
- ' Weather and environment permitting, take a solitary walk in the woods.
- ' Get a game of frisbee going with some friends.
- ' Consider brewing your own beer.
- ' Make a batch of homemade fried chicken and eat until you're bursting.
- ' Pick up the phone and ring up someone you haven't talked to in a while; a friend, a relative, an old flame. Tell them you still love them. Or, maybe you feel more comfortable with an e-mail....
- ' Turn your favorite Internet channel or radio station up loud and sing along.
- ' Remember it's still okay to celebrate some things. The world would've never got the chance to read Walden if Henry David Thoreau hadn't moved to the pond on July 4, 1845 .