My dog is in the closet, shivering with fear. The fireworks have already started.
Later today, countless millions of people will pretend to celebrate independence, and to underscore the ridiculousness of it, they will toss about a series of meaningless platitudes. They will be driven to tears by thoughts of thanksgiving, recalling their good fortune to exist in a land of liberty. They will remember the lessons of history, wherein a people insisted on freedom, rejecting forever the yoke of oppression, the chains of autocracy, and the demands of a power-mad government that would dare lay taxes on a handful of goods and activities.
The revelers will dress in the colors of their flag, the easier to deceive themselves and those around them, imagining that their masters are kinder than was King George; that the monarch their forefathers fought a bloody revolution to be shed of was guilty of easily more sinister crimes, and clearly more despotic acts, than the rulers they, themselves have elected. This is, of course, a lesson in absolute absurdity.
The British Crown, for all the colonist’s legitimate complaints, was an angelic force for good, a protector of liberties of every stripe, when contrasted with the behemoth, tax-gobbling monstrosity that now lays claim to their income, that of their businesses, their fuel, their pets, their alcohol, their tobacco, the property they think they own, their communications, their transportation, and their imports, to name but a few. Beyond the specter of taxation is outright control. The British crown did not possess the ill, the vitriol, the sheer magnitude of evil necessary to force the colonists to beg the state for permission to add a window to a structure, get married, practice a trade, own a dog, hunt, fish, travel about, sell food, purchase a firearm, and countless other common acts the restriction of which would have embarrassed even the Mad King.
Surely, no thinking person can believe for an instant that they enjoy more freedom today than did the colonists before the Revolution. Imagine giving Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, or Tom Paine an update on the state of the nation they left us. How could they react upon learning that government controls nearly every aspect of American life, that scores of thousands of new laws go into effect every year, that FedGov takes a huge cut of personal and corporate income, that the US has the highest prison population on the planet, and that a great many the state has put in its cages never harmed anyone? They would simply not believe it. And nothing would stay their credulity.
What would an old pot farmer like George Washington think about the Drug War?
Celebrating “Independence Day” is, in effect, underscoring the colonists’ complaints about their treatment by the British Crown. It is recalling and celebrating the decision to divorce one’s self from a government that had gone far too far, even while realizing that the actions of eighteenth century England were so tame, so minuscule by comparison to those of the modern American state that those truly desirous of more freedom and less taxation would reject the latter and embrace the former in an instant. So what does the day really mean? Independence from what? Certainly not tyranny! Obviously not government excess! None with thoughts based in reality can think themselves taxed less, either in amount or frequency than those whose defiance they revere.
What, then do these flag-draped revelers think themselves independent from? It is not a matter of ignorance. A lack of knowledge could be forgiven, and easily educated away. But this is not the problem—a child of six could do the math. It’s something far more sinister. “We the people” are suffering from a mass psychological condition. A pandemic of selective zombification. An unspoken cognitive dissonance. How else can we explain the disparity, the disunion of concept among those who loathe the government, but embrace its armed enforcers?
The soldier who kills for empire returns to the homeland to deafening applause, endlessly thanked for his “service,” and for “fighting for our freedom.” The cop on patrol enforcing an endless stream of immoral edicts has his sins excused away. “He’s only doing his job,” comes the familia refrain. We hate the law, but love the one who sees it is done. We loathe the orders, but give fetishesque respect to those who blindly follow them. It is a sickness. Those elected to rule over us are referred to as “leaders,” those who ensure compliance with their mandates are “peace officers,” It is as though a psychological pandemic of Stockholm Syndrome has infected the masses. And it smells like hotdogs and gunpowder.
Maybe there is some subliminal message woven into the melody of Lee Greenwood songs. Perhaps they put something in the fireworks. Maybe the pattern of beautiful colors falling to the earth hypnotizes the viewers—a visual booster shot of compliance good for another year of acceptance and obedience. There is no independence in modern American life—a sad reality in which the state controls, and licenses, and dictates every facet of human existence from the cradle to the grave, and even beyond.
Independence Day … it is a hollow name for a pointless holiday. If all we had to suffer under were the complaints levied against the “tyrant” King George III, we would be the freest people on earth. Today would be more aptly called Illusion Day: the day on which reverence for freedom that does not exist is made by willing thought-slaves so blinded by programmed falsities that they can’t wait to raise a glass to boundless taxation and regulation; where people ask peace officers dressed like commandos where they are allowed to pay to park for the privilege of sitting on government-seized property and cheering the fabulous “free” fireworks display their rulers put on.
The only thing we are independent from is reality.