On July 4, 1845 – a full 69 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia – Henry David Thoreau moved to Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, where he would ultimately pen what, along with “Resistance to Civil Government,” would prove to be his literary coup de grace.
In this alone, Thoreau’s actions on that day probably did more for the cause of liberty than anything which took place in that Pennsylvania meeting hall almost seven decades earlier. Thoreau didn’t stick around to collectively glorify an event which he likely recognized – unlike most other Americans – as having had very limited significance in the scheme of things. Thoreau knew that every government is little more than a con-game full of con-men, and that true independence is impossible when one must co-exist with a State. Hence, he went his own way to do his own thing. Thoreau never voted, never paid taxes, never lived according to anything other than his own inner rhythm. And in so doing, inadvertently set an example for others interested in freedom.
Today, the same hollow clap-trap Thoreau had no patience with carries on. July 4, 2013 will be comprised of barbecues, drunkenness, family gatherings, and fireworks displays that are both government-regulated and most likely manufactured in China. And all of this against the backdrop of a society parasitically dominated by a State that demands an average of over 40% in taxes from the population – even from those who choose to live outside the arbitrary boundaries of the legal fiction known as the “United States of America.” Where a record number of people are collecting food stamps, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or some other form of welfare. Where more people are incarcerated in jails and prisons than in any other place on earth. Where the military currently wages war against people in 74 other tax-farms worldwide that they will even admit to, and where the police wage war against We the People in the form of drug interdiction, physical brutality, and enforcement of thousands of codes, regulations, and ordinances. Where the NSA spies on all of our communications. Where the politicians are determined to deprive us of gun rights. And on. And on. And on. And still more. Always more.
I doubt it requires a MENSA member or philosophical genius to ascertain that there is – again, aside from the fact that what was accomplished on July 4, 1776 was a unique event with narrow objectives – precious little to celebrate. In fact, only the blind, or utter fools, or the sacrosanctly evil, could in any way be celebratory about the current state of affairs within and without America in any capacity whatsoever. I’m not writing this, after all, to soothe anyone’s conscience. Quite the opposite. I’m here to tell it like it is without a single drop of varnish.
I don’t know what I’m going to do this July 4th, other than try my best, like Thoreau, to ignore it. Or maybe write another piece like this for publication in the hopes that it might open some eyes and change some minds. Or maybe, just try to enjoy another day of being alive and productive like any other day, insofar as such remains possible under the ever-expanding cancer known as political governance.
I have already long since declared my own mental and psychological independence from the cult of Statism. It’s only the threat of physical violence that government employees hold over my head every day that remains at issue. And until they stop doing their jobs, there will never be freedom.
You won’t read that in the Declaration of Independence. You won’t hear it from any grandstanding politician-parasite. You probably shouldn’t expect to, either.
But you also won’t hear it from the vast majority of burger-eating, beer-swilling, flag-waving fireworks watchers this year.
Thoreau probably would’ve only shrugged his shoulders, and disregarded that fact. And why not? It was 1845, and the chains were still relatively light.
In 2013, we are on the brink of losing everything. All of it. And I am very angry, yes, furious, in fact.
But also, perhaps unlike Thoreau, I can’t help but to feel immeasurably sad.