Happy American Independence Day!

by Jason Stotts

Declaration_of_Independence_(USA)

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays because it has a very important meaning to it: the value of freedom and its necessity for a good life.  On the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, we are asked to remember the great struggle it took to win our freedom and how we should keep it.  Our Founding Fathers knew that throughout history governments had been the worst bane to their people and so they set up a system of government that provided only to protect the rights of the citizens, those explicitly enumerated in the Bill of Rights and all those not enumerated, and to constrain the government so that it could not grow to become the violator of our rights.  Our Founding Fathers set up a system to protect us from oppression and secure our freedom, from both foreign and domestic enemies.

Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals—that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government—that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens’ protection against the government.

Ayn Rand, “The Nature of Government

When we celebrate today, we should be glad of our freedom and resolve ourselves to stand up against the constant erosion of them by our government.  We are a free people and we must be constantly vigilant to remain as such.  Tyranny never arrives all at once, it comes in fits and starts and when it finally has arrived, everyone is surprised by it.  But, if we think in principles and act in a principled way, we can resist the rise of tyranny and act to restore our freedoms.  Consider that the man who works nearly half his life to pay for others is not truly free.  No one has a moral right to the products of another man’s labor and no one should be forced to sacrifice their lives and interests for others.  This is not to say one might not want to freely help others through benevolence, but benevolence is destroyed by entitlement and by having one’s money forcibly taken away.

And there’s the crux of the issue: America can only stand on an egoistic eudaimonist framework, but it is christianity that people try to insist is its proper moral basis.  But how can a free country be created on the moral basis of sacrifice?  It can’t.  America will continue to suffer and ultimately erode unless we can change the moral framework of the country and the zeitgeist.  Fortunately, I think this is already happening.  People are beginning to question why they must work five months out of the year for others while their own family suffers.  People are starting to rise up against the tyrannical programs that track and record all of our movements and history, when we are innocent and have committed no crimes.  People are starting to wonder why its acceptable to burden their children with lifetimes of debt to pay for generations they will barely know.  The worse the world gets, the clearer our case becomes and we must use these dark days to our advantage to show the consequences of failing in our struggle for freedom.

So today, honor our history, the Founding Fathers, and the greatest country ever conceived by man and resolve yourself to be a true American and take a principled stand for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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