An Anarchist’s Fourth of July

July 4th, 2013   Submitted by Alex R. Knight III

ThuroughOn 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.

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20 Responses to “An Anarchist’s Fourth of July”

  1. Note: The Thoreau essay linked to should’ve, of course, been properly titled “Resistance to Civil Government.” The title “Civil Disobedience” was anonymously tacked to Thoreau’s essay long after his death (1862) in 1890. Let this not be the coinage of a second false title, based on my erroneous mistake. 🙂

  2. DocRokRxNo Gravatar says:

    when I clicked to the article through the Daily Ancap link it took me to a 404 page 🙂

  3. PaulNo Gravatar says:

    Well said.

  4. DrMandibleNo Gravatar says:

    Great article but allow me one constructive critcism.

    “It was 1845, and the chains were still relatively light.”

    This is very male and white-centric. This community often laments that it is populated primarily by white men and I submit that it is, at least in part, due to this phenomenon. The chains were certainly not light for Native Americans, black people, or any women. Members of that audience will rightfully balk if they read otherwise.

    • PaulNo Gravatar says:

      Good point although I’m not sure what phenomenon you’re referring to. Far be it from me to criticize a white male for having the perspective of, well, a white male. If only others of all shades would add their perspective, we might gain more momentum for true human freedom. Paradoxically, the mental chains of statism through public education debt, welfare and blind patriotism, regardless of race or gender, are tighter than ever despite so-called social reforms.

      • DrMandibleNo Gravatar says:

        But it’s not a mere matter of perspective. The 1800’s were extremely barbaric when it came to a majority of the population. White men were the privileged class. When the author refers to a brutal and oppressive regime as “light chains”, the descendants of the victims of that brutal and oppressive regime are right to question the author’s understanding of history.

        • LogicalFallacyNo Gravatar says:

          You seem to have forgotten indentured servants, the Irish immigrants, the Chinese immigrants, etc… who were all treated poorly by some elite. To suggest that white men have not suffered and have always been the ruling class, you forget your history. The entire purpose of the beginning of this nation was white men bound by white men. The black men that arrived in the US after,were black men bound by black men.

          This is the nature of man. Not white men. It has existed long before Africans were brought to North America. Racial/ethnic discrimination still exists and is not limited to peoples on this continent in the last 300 years.

          Quite frankly, I am sick of hearing about it. I am a white man and am tired of being typecast into this white man stereotype. My family came to this country after the abolition of slavery, after the annihilation of Native Americans, after women were already established as second class, from a place where our ethnicity was enslaved. For a lot longer than blacks, indians, and women have suffered in North America.

          Stop feeling sorry for yourself or others. This is natural. It has always happened, and will continue to happen.

          • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

            Historically slavery has not been based on race per se. During the Roman empire there were people of different races who were regarded as slaves.

    • LogicalFallacyNo Gravatar says:

      DrMandible suggests a social inequity, the possession of peoples by peoples. The author suggests the possession of all people, by the state.

      Now we ask… are any of these people living without “chains?”

      Black people, natives, women…. and even now, white men, live under the control and regulation of another elite.

      While you are occupied with chastising what once was, you may overlook what is. And what is, is that there are a peoples (mostly white men) who aim to liberate all people.

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        That is a good point. We are all in the same boat. Lincoln was not an emancipator but rather sought to enslave people to a government they did not want to support. Lincoln wanted to enslave men. He was the great enslaver.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      By Native Americans I assume you mean American Indians. The correct use of that term like others has been redefined. A native American is one regardless of race who is native to America. i.e. Anyone who was born in America. Are you aware that Thoreau took an interest in American Indians? Thoreau learned about Indian cultures. Btw, many Indians prefer the term American Indian but that doesn’t seem to matter to the PC Gang.

  5. To be honest, Dr. Mandible, I had not stopped to consider the case you make, and while it is a valid one, Paul’s reply is essentially mine, as well.

  6. Sima QianNo Gravatar says:

    /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.

    What? Don’t be angry and sad. Celebrate! It could be worse, the Nazis could have won. Happy Fourth of July!

    (To all: please don’t comment on this comment w/o understanding the link.)

  7. Faith in humanity = lostNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t worry by the time they are done well be just as bad, probably worse, because they aren’t going to stop with one group they want us all to follow blindly if not they will take everything they can from you and don’t fool yourselves the only way you are allowed to remain free even now is if you comply with every arbitrary law they decide to pass.

    Dissent is terrorism and terrorist don’t have rights
    Dissenters have no rights.

    I bet the politions were laughing their asses off this fourth

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Your “asses off” comment reminds me of something a politician said. Dan Rostenkowski who was a congressman from the Chicago area for years and years and who spent time in prison for corruption, during an interview recalled something that Walter Mondale said to him. He said that in 1984 when Mondale was giving his acceptance speech for his party’s nomination he was standing near Mondale. He said that right after Mondale admitted that he would raise taxes by saying that Reagan will but won’t say that he will, but he (Mondale) will and say that he will. The delegates applauded and during the applause Rostenkowski said that Mondale leaned over to him and said, ” look at them, were going to tax their asses off.”

  8. Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

    “These are times that try men’s souls.” But, they are interesting. I would rather be “stressed” than bored to death. From the stress of slavery comes reflection. If we lived in a “garden of Eden”, would we create great philosophy or art? It would be much more rare.

    Adam & Eve did not begin to live as human until the eviction.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Wow you prefer slavery to boredom? Adam and Eve? Seriously? It seems to me that those who were not slaves are the ones who had time for reflection. Men who had leisure because they enslaved others to do the work that sustained them had time for reflection. It was men like Jefferson who had the time to think and educate himself. Jefferson could reflect on how to improve men’s lives because he had the time to so.

  9. GordonNo Gravatar says:

    This is the first time I’ve visited this blog, and this is the first post I’ve read. I’m impressed, and will continue to visit.

    Dare I say, if the Founders had greater foresight they would have called the 4th “Liberty Day” or “Freedom Day”.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Greetings. Perhaps if they had foresight most of them would not have supported or signed the constitution or even drafted it. If they had foresight they would have known that the constitution would be ignored and the federal government would become as large and intrusive as it is today. Perhaps Patrick Henry and George Mason had foresight.