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Wave It, or Burn It?

(originally launched into cyberspace on 07/05/2007)

Dear Subscriber,

I decided to delay this message until today, for reasons which will
become apparent. Many of you won't like the message, but it must be
said. If you don't like hearing that your "free" country is dead,
you're free to unsubscribe and go back to a world in denial.

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Today is Independence Day. Today Americans across the country will
show great reverence for an empty symbol, while showing disdain for
a worthwhile principle. We celebrate with great fervor the signing
of the Declaration of Independence, while showing absolute contempt
for the ideas expressed therein.

What is it we are celebrating? Independence? Independence from
what? We rejoice at having thrown off a tyrant who taxed us at an
average of two to three percent, in order to establish new tyrants
who tax us at over fifty percent. Having been thoroughly
indoctrinated into the insane notion that "our" government supports
liberty and justice for all, we schizophrenically condemn the
actions of King George III, while remaining silent about the far
more intrusive, oppressive, unjust actions of the current tyrants
we mislabel as "representatives."

Let us set aside our picnics and parades for a moment, and think
back to this nation's birth, and see what it is we should be
celebrating. In his famous "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death"
speech, Patrick Henry stated that "it is natural to man to indulge
in the illusions of hope," and that "We are apt to shut our eyes
against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till
she transforms us into beasts." How many eyes are shut in this
country today? How many Americans today "having eyes, see not, and,
having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their
temporal salvation?" On the other hand, how many Americans have
this attitude?: "For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may
cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and
to provide for it."

Few. Very few. And who could say the following today, and not be
condemned by the masses as an extremist lunatic?: "Is life so dear,
or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and
slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may
take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

And what of the Declaration itself? How many Americans who pledge
allegiance to a flag today can even remotely relate to the message
of that document? The Declaration has become a revered relic, whose
words have lost all meaning to most of those who worship it. We
repeat the words, but the spirit of the message is long since dead.
Let us revive it, put it into the modern vernacular, and assess
just what the modern American response to the sentiments expressed
therein might be: When a government infringes upon the rights of
the individual, instead of protecting those rights, the people have
the right and duty to throw off that government, violently and
illegally if necessary. How many flag-wavers believe that? One
percent? Probably less.

History shows that people will tolerate injustice they are
accustomed to, rather than doing what it takes to get rid of a
familiar system which oppresses them. Amen. And so it is with the
dim, fading shadow of this formerly great nation. As long as we
have our couches and our TVs, we will do nothing about tyranny in
this land. So long as we are enslaved in comfort, we do not resist.

Much of the Declaration is a list of oppressions and injustices,
"injuries and usurpations," committed by King George III. The
Declaration proclaimed such wrong-doing to a "candid world," to
justify their illegal, treasonous (and righteous) rejection of the
government they were under. In short, the complaints of the
Founders against King George III pale in comparison to the
complaints modern Americans should have against the far more
oppressive regime they now call "their" government. As one example,
the Founders complained that the British Crown had "erected a
multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to
harass our people and eat out their substance." In contrast to
modern America, that complaint seems laughable. Today almost three
millions people are employed by the federal government alone: a
full one percent of the population. State and local governments
employ even more. The level of micromanaging and regulation is far
beyond what King George ever would have dreamed of. One look at the
Code of Federal Regulations, which takes up an entire book shelf,
will tell you that.

Desperate to hallucinate something superior about this country,
people now resort to saying that, though we're not actually free,
we're more free than other countries. In reality, however, the U.S.
does not have the most freedom, either economically or socially,
anymore. In fact, the U.S. has the highest per capita incarceration
rate in the world.

So what is it we should celebrate about this country, and its
independence? There is no substantive reason to celebrate. All that
is left is unthinking pack mentality: we "love" it simply because
we're here, the same way the people in every other country "love"
what they are familiar with--the same empty herd mentality which
enables tyrants to perpetually play the game of war.

How many this "Independence Day" will say the following words?: "I
pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and
to the republic for which it stands." Only the familiarity of those
words, and our unthinking repeating of them, hide from us the evil
insanity underlying such so-called "patriotism." Blind allegiance
to a flag and a government is nothing to be proud of. (The
reference at the end to "liberty and justice for all" is now
nothing but a sad Orwellian lie.)

The ideals which drove the American Revolution are stone dead in
the hearts and minds of the American people, who have been trained
to view subservience and obedience as virtues. The following are
the words of a current leading contender for the Presidency:
"Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to
cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you
do" (Rudy Giuliani). And millions would vote for him.

To wave the American flag in public, to carry it in parades, either
demonstrates profound psychological denial, or profound historical
and philosophical ignorance. If the flag represents what this
country and its government has become, it deserves to be burned in
contempt and disgust. If it represents the ideals from which this
country was born, it deserves to be burned out of respect and
sorrow, rather than desecrated by flying it atop the giant shrines
of tyranny in a land where freedom has died.


Larken Rose