Today is the big national holiday in which we traditionally celebrate independence. But independence from what? From the U.K.? The U.K. nowadays has full health coverage and a democracy (of a “constitutional monarchy” type). If we were still part of the U.K., tens of thousands of Americans wouldn’t needlessly be dying each year from lack of healthcare.
Geography matters little. What we meant by independence from the British crown was an independence from aristocracy, the British aristocracy back then, its kings, dukes and so forth. In other words, our founders had had enough of being ruled by a handful of oligarchs and replaced their rule with a republic-style democracy. (a republic is a representational democracy by definition, not an alternative to a democracy as some head spinners sometimes claim) Democracies have their flaws, but putting the steering wheel in the hands of the people who are affected by government policies is the best guarantee for responsible policies, a point which Thomas Jefferson tirelessly kept driving home. (see quotes at the bottom)
But we don’t have that anymore. How can we celebrate our liberation from a feudal aristocracy when we are now oppressed by a money aristocracy? How can we celebrate having a democracy when rich people and their corporate tools fund lobbyists and politicians’ campaigns, making sure that THEIR (not OUR) representatives get on the ballots to be rubber-stamped by us on election days and THEIR representatives then rubber-stamp the laws THEIR lawyers wrote to screw us over big time?
OK, then... we also tend to refer to the principle of “taxation without representation”, but since we cannot afford lobbyists, and Washington – plus all the state houses and most lower places, too – are all controlled by Big Money, we have no representation — even though we pay more taxes than ever before. (tax cuts dangled before us like carrots always turn out to be only for the rich; any minimal tax cuts for the non-rich are always undermined and undone beneath the table with cuts to government spending on things we need — that’s why most of us are so much poorer now than a generation or two ago)
What’s then left to celebrate?
How about we celebrate today our American revolutionary spirit, the willingness to put our shoulder to the wheel to change a rigged system into one that works for all of us? Our founders did it before. Can’t we do it again? Let’s dedicate this Independence Day to that commitment.
Lets use opportunities like today – when we aren’t spending all our waking hours slaving for our oligarchs in criminally underpaid jobs and the daily chores we have to do in our “spare” time – to talk things over with our friends and families. (in a nice way!)
- Vision: How would a great future look like?
- What changes would get us there? (example: money out of politics)
- Political inside/outside strategy: pressuring the corrupt parties from both within and without, like a nutcracker. Inside pressure: true people’s champions displacing corporate stooges and members at the base opposing corrupt party bosses. Outside pressure: non-R&D candidates and third parties, maybe even a new People’s Party (fully democratically structured with important decisions made at the bottom, not the top and with top folks easily recallable.)
- A simple rule for any who don’t have time to carefully examine each candidate: Never again vote R or D! Seek or put up true people’s candidates outside those two corrupt political gangs which marginalize, co-opt, or remove well-meaning candidates and office holders within their ranks.
- Moral revival: getting back to basics on what is right and wrong, and hold our candidates and representative to those principles. Work out a People’s Agenda.
- Become part of a People’s Coalition that transcends party lines.
Have these discussions in a friendly way. We all (except for a few sociopaths bent on stealing from and dominating the rest of us) want mostly the same things. Some more complicated issues we may never all agree on (like abortion), but on big issues which bless or curse us from the cradle to the grave we can typically find agreements that make sense to all of us. Issues like almost everything being in the possession of a handful of rich people and them running and ruining our lives from these seats of unelected power, like the need for healthcare which we all share, like an economy in which we can all survive in comfort and dignity in the richest nation in history... We only have to overcome the brainwashing we have been subjected to all our lives by insincere and self-serving politicians and mass media.
This is what outlets like Beanstock’s World are there fore, by the way, and why guys like me take the time to write a piece like this on a day like this.
Former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis wrote a book called “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?” Let us recall our American spirit by which we “the weak” rise up as “the people” and toss the “strong” from their criminal thrones.
Let us be true Americans in the old spirit and revive our American Revolution, bring it to a finish where liberty and justice for all (and let me suggestively add A GOOD LIFE FOR ALL) will finally be realized and in which we will make the government, currently in the hands of the robber billionaires and their millionaire minions, into what our founders intended: a government of, by, and for the people with which we can do good things like toll-free interstate roads, visiting the moon and more, healthcare for all, and so forth instead of it being a tax-financed cash cow and people-suppressing tool for the rich who corrupted it with wealth we should never have allowed them to take from us in the first place.
So, rather than yearning for the founder’s past, let us build a new American future in their spirit. If they could unite to shake off their shackles, so can we.
In solidarity, have a great Fourth of July! :-)
Note**: If you do want to check up your candidates or hold them to a worthwhile platform, this page with its platform construction set followed by a list of informational links may be of help. But, if you lack the time, just follow the simple No-R&D principle. ;-)
I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power. ~ (Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:278)
Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree. ~ (Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1805.)