Every American knows we will be celebrating the 4th of July on Wednesday; not enough of us remember why.
Few of us truly grasp the profound significance of the separation between the American people and our government. We are a nation of self-sovereign individuals, and as the term implies, our government has no authority over our private affairs and no claim over our property. That’s what makes this country unique…or did.
Our elected officials all talk about “the American people” like we were undifferentiated; they would have us believe what is good for us is just one thing and they happen to know exactly what it is. They no longer make their laws conform to our liberty; they make our liberty conform to their laws.
This is exactly wrong; us having to conform to their laws is the same unbearable circumstance that led us to revolt in 1776, only now our tax burden is even higher.
It is easy to become confused and think that we and the government are inseparable. Our government has enacted public housing, public education, public health care, public libraries, public transportation, public debt; and we have been told all of those are “ours”.
We hear about the public good, the public interest, and the public trust so often we start to hallucinate and see the mirage ourselves; we begin to think there might actually be such things. We have been taught that we are dependent on government for our security and prosperity; many have come to believe that we cannot possibly exist independent from it.
With each generation we drift farther and farther away from the nation’s first principle – liberty. We have lost sight of what it means to be free and we have forgotten what it is that we are to be liberated from – namely, government.
Today the notion that each of us is self-sovereign and that our laws are subordinated to the God-given rights we inherit at birth seems archaic and radical. The idea that the people limit the government has been stood on its head; it now limits us.
We have foolishly accepted the idea that government is our master and we must obey its commands. We view with suspicion those who demand that our Constitution be respected and that our individual liberties be restored; we fear the truly independent among us; we envy those who succeed on their own.
So let’s have some truth in advertising and celebrate Dependence Day this 4th of July. Let us marinate in our dull conformity and revel in our meek compliance.
Let’s all drive exactly the posted limit, don’t put any grams of CO2 in the air firing up those backyard grills, make sure the kids check with Bloomberg about how much pop they can have, and let’s allow MADD to ration the beer. No boats, jet skis, or water-skiing on Dependence Day either – you need a truck to pull that kind of gear and we are supposed to be Volt-dolts now, haven’t you heard?
Since we are all one great collective, we’ll need to vote on what kind of music comes out of our boom-boxes at the park; some nice majority-rules, non-offending Barry Manilow perhaps, or maybe some Bee Gees. That’s what democracy sounds like; at volumes below the noise ordinances, thank you very much for your cooperation.
Some kids don’t have dads willing to drive down to Kentucky to get mortars and other contraband fireworks, so it’s going to be those lame sparklers for everybody this Dependence Day – no child left behind to have fun. And put away all that red, white, and blue, because someone somewhere somehow will find a way to get themselves offended at the flags, and we can’t have that.
Speaking of offended, vegans don’t like you eating brats, either, so it’s going to be a broccoli day; and without our pets in public – PETA types don’t like pets or pet owners. Parades? I don’t think so. Somebody might sue us because they had to wait to cross their favorite street. Worse yet, they might need health care somewhere over there on the other side of the marching bands and horse clubs and politicians working the crowds.
So have a ball, all you dependents and collectivists who think the key to your happiness is compliance. Yes, have yourselves a fabulous Dependence Day, with your safe little sparklers and uncooked broccoli, and “Mandy” purring out at volume two in your Volts as you sip your O’Douls and 8 ounces of Coke and wait for your government to light off its fireworks (waivers, naturally) so you can thank your lucky stars we have statists who care about us enough to entertain us once a year.
Or here is a better idea: throw off your dependence and come and join us in the liberty movement. Take back your independence and live as a self-sovereign in a nation where government is limited and liberty is not. Play Manilow because you want to, not because you have to; wave your sparklers because it pleases you, not because it pleases some bureaucrat in a city far away. Liberty is the absence of government in choice; it is independence from government.
Live free or die the long and withering death of dependence. We were not put on this earth to pull another man’s plow; each of us is a unique and valuable human being whose self-sovereignty was endowed to us at birth by our Creator.
Do not dishonor His gift – be independent and be happy. Happy Independence Day.
“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website http://www.timnerenz.com/ to find your moment.