Reclaiming the Independent American Spirit

independenceday

Here is a July 4th sentiment I can get behind. Note: it isn’t the cold, dead, bloated, debt-ridden corpse of the American Empire that we currently live in.

The story of the founders is the story of a people who refused to let an unchecked central government perpetrate a “long Train of Abuses and Usurpations” against them. The end result being the “Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

Those words, which Thomas Jefferson wrote 241 years ago, still ring true today.  The federal government has become every bit as tyrannical toward the states and the people as King George III was in colonial times. The ideas of self-determination and self-rule that formed this country have been obliterated over the years, devolving from strong independent states and a small central government to a strong central government and weak, dependent states. The result has been rampant inflation, endless war, crippling debt, the death of federalism, and the almost total loss of individual freedom.

That doesn’t mean that the states are perfect. Far from it. Tyranny can just as easily come from a local or state government as it does from a federal one. As a libertarian anarchist, I advocate for total abolition of the State, instead favoring voluntary interactions through the free market. But there can be no question that the closer the government is to the people, the easier it is to change. In Arizona, where I reside, there are 61 state representatives. That’s one for every 110,000 Arizonans. There are only 9 U.S. Representatives, though. That’s one for every 750,000 Arizonans. If you want to have the greatest impact on your community, do what historian Brion McClanahan says, “think locally, act locally.”

This year, let’s remember what it is Americans really celebrate on July 4th: that men, endowed with natural rights (life, liberty, and the freedom to pursue happiness), have the duty to alter, abolish, and “throw off” a government that begins to destroy those rights and create “new Guards for their future security.”  Americans have always celebrated secession, independence, and self-determination. It’s time we started acting like it.

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