Day 185 – “Independence” Day

July 4, 2009

There was once a dream that was America. And friends, this is not it. This is not it.” –Robert Hawes

As I noted earlier this week, today is Secession Day instead of Independence Day over at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom. The term “secession” takes into account the intense struggle that takes place when a group breaks away from another and no longer recognizes that other group’s authority over the land mass. In a broad sense, yes, America gained independence. In a stricter sense, however, America seceded.

This secession is a noble thing–one worthy of being celebrated across the country 233 years later. There is one problem: it appears to me that this is not what most people are celebrating today. So-called “Independence Day” parades look more like jingoism marches than celebrations of liberty. Instead of celebrating secession from England, religious and political autonomy, and freedom, I find a lot of flag wavers substituting government worship for actual patriotism. “And what,” you ask, “do you think actual patriotism is?” Standing up for what is right; standing up for freedom in the face of its aggressors.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot about America. I love its beautiful countrysides, booming cities, awesome mountains, vast plains, countless lakes and coastlines, and diverse cultures. I love its countless citizens who had the courage to stand against tyrannies of all forms. There are many more things I love about America, but the United States government is not one of them. Supporting the U.S. government is not being patriotic, and it is especially not following in the tradition of our founding fathers. The U.S. government is a terrible aggressor against freedom today and has been for quite some time. America is far from when we seceded from Great Britain. In fact, I think the founding fathers would think it is time for another revolution if they saw what was going on in the U.S. government today. We have ever-increasing taxes, unprecedented spending, interventions, takeovers in multiple industries, the world’s largest prison population (mostly for non-violent crimes), military presence in 63 countries, tariffs, trade restrictions, and fiat currency. The list goes on and on. The founding fathers risked their lives to fight against monarchical tyranny that did not make such grave offenses against freedom as I listed above. It is such a shame that the majority of us have “resign[ed] ourselves to the status quo of terrestrial democracy” and continue to let it and its governments aggress against freedom and human rights.

That is why I say flag-waving government worship is not patriotism. The offenses I listed above are wrong, and I will not support any government that commits them. Today, I am not waving any symbols of the U.S. government, or any coercive state for that matter. I am wearing a seasteading shirt to show my support for voluntary government.

By the way, it is not government itself I stand opposed to; it is the use of coercive force. Government, in the strict sense, will always exist, especially on the individual level. I cannot and will not stand against that. Since it is the use of coercive force I am against, the only kind of government I support is voluntary government. For a good primer to voluntary government, check out this post from Let A Thousand Nations Bloom.

The U.S. government, and other governments around the world based on the use of force, have a chokehold on most of the people on this earth. Starting today, I challenge you to join other lovers of freedom in fighting to loosen that chokehold. Make this day more than a day of government-praising parades and barbecues. Happy Independence Secession Day.