Today we celebrate the 4th of July, aka Independence Day (though no one ever calls it that anymore).
For most of you, that means barbecue, watching war movies which glorify the State, observing State-sanctioned fireworks displays - because heaven forbid that we private citizens should be allowed to pop firecrackers, since us dunces are just going to hurt and maim themselves. It's for our own good, you know!
Government has now co-opted this day so effectively that we have turned Independence Day into a mockery, a day set aside to worship the almightly State. We never reflect on the real reason for the holiday.
On this date two hundred and thirty two years ago, a group of men committed a daring act. They defied the greatest empire of their generation, and the legitimacy of its rule over them, and declared their political secession. And they affixed their signatures to a publicly distributed document which stated plainly that the king had no legitimate right to control their lives, and that men's right were given to them not by the generosity of the monarch, but by nature itself - a theory of rights which was considered madness by virtually all the court intellectuals of the period. They risked capture and certain death for this act of inconceivable bravery.
They chafed under the oppressions of an Empire, and risked everything - life, limb, possessions - to affirm their rights as free men. Some of them paid the ultimate cost.
The import of these actions is not communicated in history books. For what the Founding Fathers had done was a fundamentally anti-statist act - of removing the shackles of empire, to organize a minimalist government which would leave men free to their affairs.
What is hilarious today, is that many of them are glorified as great State leaders and for their battlefield exploits.
The sad fact is that the Founding Fathers even believed that a government was necessary at all. It was still felt by even the most advanced thinkers of the period that men would devolve to primitive savagery in the existence of anarchy. But create a State, and give it power and wealth to feed from, and it will grow beyond the imagination of even its fathers.
Would the population of today be as brave and politically intelligent as the Founders, and observe the oppression of the latter day Empire, and declare a revolution to free themselves from its yoke. But decades of moral decadence, public schooling, and mass media indoctrination have taken their toll. All viable schools of political thought favor statism, planned economies, and the shrinkage of human freedoms. The intelligensia have been co-opted by the State apparatus to do its bidding. The people have wholeheartedly accepted the "need" for total State rule.
When the next Revolutionary war occurs, it will be fought with sticks and stones.