VDH: An Exceptional Fourth of July:
... there has never been any nation even remotely similar to America. Here's why. Most revolutions seek to destroy the existing class order and use all-powerful government to mandate an equality of result rather than of opportunity -- in the manner of the French Revolution's slogan of "liberty, equality and fraternity" or the Russian Revolution's "peace, land and bread."
In contrast, our revolutionaries shouted "Don't tread on me!" and "Give me liberty or give me death!" The Founders were convinced that constitutionally protected freedom would allow the individual to create wealth apart from government. Such enlightened self-interest would then enrich society at large far more effectively that could an all-powerful state.
Such constitutionally protected private property, free enterprise and market capitalism explain why the United States -- with only about 4.5 percent of the world's population -- even today, in an intensely competitive global economy, still produces a quarter of the world's goods and services.
All true, but I resist the notion that wealth and productivity are the goals of freedom. I believe that they just happen to be a side effect of what happens when people are (relatively) free from the control and the infantilization of the state, and are free or forced by reality to pursue whatever the heck in this brief life they decide to pursue, whatever is important to them.
That is our American "special sauce." Long may it live.