Celebrate Freedom On July 4th

There are many radical libertarians (and I use that term as a compliment) who do not favor celebrating the 4th of July.  Since America is no longer a free country, they see no point in celebrating Independence Day.  They see it as phony.

I agree with the sentiment that America is not a free country.  It is not a land of liberty.  The government, at all levels, takes about half of our money.  Virtually every aspect of our lives is regulated.  And the American empire is all over the world, imposing its will all over the globe.  So America is not the land of the free.  Compared to North Korea, we are free.  But there is not a lot of freedom in the world today.

I don't think it is a good strategy to act like Scrooge on the 4th of July.  It will probably just turn people off of your message, who want to enjoy some time off work with their friends and family.

Instead, I see it as an opportunity to educate those with an open mind.  You can gently remind people that Independence Day is really Secession Day.  The colonists seceded (declared independence) from Great Britain.  What Edward Snowden has done today is nothing compared to what the colonists did back in the 1770's.  Snowden is not trying to overthrow the government or even lead a secession movement that I know of.  He is simply trying to point out criminal activity and wrongdoing inside the government.

The 4th of July is also a good time to point out that the taxes that the colonists did not like were a fraction of what we pay today.  Aside from slavery, the colonists, under the king, were a free people compared to what we are today.  The colonists rebelled for far less tyranny than what we suffer from today.

For radical libertarians, the 4th of July also offers an opportunity to speak about the Constitution.  Americans would be far better off if the federal government followed the Constitution under its original intent.  The size and scope of government would be a fraction of the size.  We would be far freer.  But with that said, the Constitution itself centralized power.  It replaced the Articles of Confederation, which left the national government with very little in the way of power.  So from that aspect, the Constitution took away our liberty.

I think it is also important to remember that America has never truly been free.  Every time in history has had some kind of violation of individual rights.  There was obviously the issue of slavery until the 1860's, and there were still racial issues for far longer, imposed mainly by southern state governments.  And while there was certainly more economic freedom in the past, it has never been perfect.  There were high protective tariffs in the 1800's.  There were regulations to favor those with government connections.  There has always been corruption.  But, we do have to admit that the welfare state and the American empire are far bigger today than at almost any other time in American history.

I hope you enjoy your July 4th, even with the realization that you don't live in a free country.  But you still have the freedom to speak in most cases, so you should use that to speak to others with an open mind.  For the others, just let them be.