We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Doing some reading, and musing, on this 245th year of the greatness which is our fine nation. Right now, we live in a world where we're supposed to be humble, and there are factions which would prefer to not tout American Greatness. Still others believe our best years are behind us. My view is some of our best years are behind us, but our very best is still ahead, as long as we understand where we've come from, and the principles for which we stand.
I don't believe in being humble about our national identity. No other nation has done many of the things our nation has. Our Constitution was one of the very first, and certainly the first that enshrined individual rights as primary over the predations of a government. Our Constitution started a period of constitutional revolution which spread around most of the world at that time. And while our nations' flaws are evident, we are among the few nations which air our dirty laundry, not proudly, but to learn and improve. Other nations can point to civil or human rights failings we have now, or have had in the past, but none of them have a track record better than ours improving these rights.
Which brings me to my thoughts on what kind of nation we are, and what we need to pay attention to. We are not a nation founded on equality. At least not a concept of total and complete equality. Just equality under the law, and striving to provide equality of opportunity. As Hayek once said, "There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal." Which is why I compare the undercurrents of society which led to riots over the last year, and much of the social and political rhetoric and demands, to the French Revolution (and by default, the Bolshevik Revolution, which did style itself on the French Revolution). After all, if I made this statement: "The most fundamental political ideals of these people were social equality, economic equality, and popular democracy. They supported the abolition of all the authority and privileges of those who held class or power they opposed, the establishment of fixed wages, the implementation of price controls to ensure affordable food and other essentials, and vigilance against counter-revolutionaries" I have no doubt you'd think Progressive Liberals, Antifa, or BLM were the groups being described. And you'd be correct.
If I went further, and described how they enforced their views - with petitions and enacting legislation to push their views, as well as by publicly denouncing their opponents and accusing them of 'crimes' of offense against their sensibilities, you'd absolutely believe this was a description of modern American revolutionaries.
In fact, this is a description of the sans-culottes of the French Revolution. The group which helped drive the Jacobins to power, which supported the Reign of Terror, and which represented all the worst aspects of that era. Over the next 80 years, the sans-culottes (or their equivalent) would rise and fall to varying degrees with regard to the impact they had, but never again reaching the degree of power they held from 1791-1794.
In the years since, Marxist historians have tried to distance the sans-culottes from the Jacobins, pointing out that the Jacobins were just cynically bourgeois, and it was the ideals of the sans-culottes which were important, while the Jacobins used them to gain power. However you choose to understand or believe this, I happen to think it's the Marxists who are rationalizing and cynical. They ignore the damage which was done by the sans-culottes themselves. Not unlike ignoring burning down buildings, destroying businesses and homes, and calling protests 'mostly peaceful'.
So I do believe, if we keep these things in mind, our days can be much better, and our best is yet to come. But it requires vigilance, information, and understanding history. We're a nation that's easy to tear down, but incredibly difficult to create. More to the point, as I always remind my boys, "It's easy to criticize, it's easy to destroy. It takes thought, time and energy to build something." We're a nation that's constantly building and improving. The best things we've built haven't been on the back of tearing things down just to tear them down. It's been the Schumpeterian process of creative destruction - building things which eventually replace other things that are outdated. I can think of no examples of highly critical and destructive mindsets being successful in the long run in the United States (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - I hadly think of Bernie Sanders as "successful", and while I do consider Wilson to have been destructive, like many other Progressives he couched his views with rhetoric of building something new, and that's what appeals to people).
July 4th, or July 2nd if you're of a mindset that the vote was more important, and Independence Day represent so much more than just a holiday. As I said to my stepmother, "Yeah, it's about grilling and drinking ale, too."
It's also about thinking about the future, and paying attention to the cycles of history so we can refocus on the important parts of what our nation was founded on, and for. It was founded for individuals, for choice, and for freedom of expression and association. Recognizing these values, and promoting them, will always keep us ahead of others.
Enjoy your burgers, dogs and beer. Or whatever it is you want to enjoy today. Hopefully it's sunny and warm and you're with family and friends.
We do not have our freedoms because we are the most powerful and richest country on Earth; we are the most powerful and richest country on Earth due to our freedoms. This fact is missed in various discussions on freedom versus safety and financial security.
The Declaration gives a long list of abuses and usurpations of power by the King, and that puts a final bit into place that describes the society that is forming the Declaration. These had been going on for years, indeed well over a decade in building up to a breaking point. It is not a society that takes umbrage quickly nor is it one that seeks to upset the applecart at the slightest excuse, but one that bides its time to judge its government and seek ways to bring it into line with society.
Notice that those preaching hate to crowds, preaching divisiveness and utilizing government to try and stir hatred amongst the citizenry are the ones who become the target of the ire of society. It does take a long series of abuses and usurpations leading towards despotism to cause such a culture as this to begin to hate... its government.
And no amount of lies by the government or its media sycophants can forestall society when it finally does shift to secure its future once more.