July 4th: What Does Independence Day Mean?
On July 4th 1776 the Continental Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s final draft of The Declaration of Independence. The war for American independence was already under way. The “Shot Heard Round The World” had been fired at Lexington on April 18 1775. In May of 1775 the Continental Congress appointed George Washington commander and chief of the continental army. We know the result of the American Revolution. Does the Declaration of Independence have any relevance to todays world.
The Declaration of Independence is as important today as it was when it was written. The first sentence reminds me of what is going on in today’s world.
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
The British exiting the EU and States taking our Federal Government to court for usurpations of power are examples of political bands being dissolved. We are seeing centralized governments extending their boundaries of power farther than they should. We know this because individuals everywhere are pushing back against these expansions. The British have been warning the EU for years about its expansion of power. Finally the British voted to “dissolve the political bands which connected them with another” without having to fire a shot. But this political shot was heard round the world.
We individuals and States have the same problems with our Federal Government. It has flooded the banks of its power and the cascading water of regulations is destroying individual liberty. The Constitution doesn’t seem to be a threat to the politicians and bureaucrats who sit in the seats of power, while the Supreme Court goes along with almost every expansion of Federal power.
Let’s look at the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and see if it is talking about our problems with out Federal Government?
“WE hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness”
Government is established to secure individual rights. Our constitution protects our individual rights against the power of individuals in Government. Our constitution was supposed to limit Governmental power so it wouldn’t harm the life, liberty and property of individuals. The Government is subordinate to the individual. Whenever Governments are destroying individual rights it is “the right of the people to alter or abolish it“. That’s very clear language, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s continue with the second paragraph.
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to fight themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states.”
People will put up with a lot before they will take action against usurpations by individual politicians and bureaucrats in Government. People always weigh the costs of taking action against costs of not taking action. We are reaching the point in America where more and more individuals are deciding the cost of pushing back against Governmental power is less than the cost of continuing down the big government road.
The Declaration says “Governments…..derive their power from the consent of the governed”. Our first choice is to fight in the political arena. This is what Great Britain did vs. the EU. The cost of a political fight is low compared to the cost of having to physically fight for freedom. The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes , and our sacred honor.”
When these men signed the Declaration of Independence they became traitors to the crown and were subject to execution. By the wars end almost all of these men had lost their property, several had died penniless, many lost their families. That’s a high cost to pay for freedom.
These men set the foundation so we have the ability to reestablish individual freedom without having to pay the kind of price they paid. We have to first relearn our founding principles and than claim them. Remember our Government “derives its power from the consent of the governed“. Our job is to teach the people why individual liberty is better than Government central planning. Until enough people understand this concept we won’t be able to exercise our “right, our duty to throw off despotic government“.
Related Article – July 4th: Declaring Independence From Tyranny, at austrianaddict.com.
Related Article – Let’s Celebrate Independence Day With Some Songs And Cartoons, at austrianaddict.com.