Freedom-loving Americans are a mixed bag when it comes to celebrating Independence Day. Redstripe Republicans relish the opportunity to celebrate all things 'Murica, while libertarians range from enjoying the day for what it is to being completely nauseated with what they consider to be nothing less than State worship. A brief reflection upon what this day represents might be helpful to refocus our thinking into something productive for the liberty movement.
I get it. There is massive cognitive dissonance with celebrating “independence” while embracing and cheering on the multitude of independence-crushing ideas and practices. Protracted wars; threats of more American wars of aggression; an oppressive tax system to fuel social and military welfare; a cancerous government metastasizing every day with increasing unjust laws, regulation, and control; a faux free market economy that isn’t free at all. To boot, we live in a democracy (indeed it is¹) that allows for actual socialists to rule, including ones who want to throw you into a cage for hurting their feelings. Lysander Spooner was right - the US Constitution either enables the tyranny we have or is powerless to prevent it. These things are nothing to celebrate.
Yet, when we cut through all the pomp and circumstance observed today or even in hijacked worship in churches last Sunday, there is real reason to either celebrate or aspire to an ideal. To reflect upon what was and what ought to be.
Do yourself a favor and revisit America’s most important document. It’s obviously not the US Constitution; it’s the Declaration of Independence. And as you read it, consider that we have far more reason today to “alter and abolish” the present oligarchy than our American forefathers had in putting off the tyranny of the English Crown.
Ironically, ask the average American what they think of secession, and they’ll quickly respond with, “tHat WaS tRiEd OnCe!!!” It’s the height of ignorance and/or hypocrisy. Hundreds of thousands will gather today at the foot of a memorialized tyrant while many give lip service to “independence” and celebrate their “freedom” with MAGA fireworks. I’ll be enjoying the show in DC myself this evening, but will remember that secession is the greatest expression of liberty that we have.
We have a natural right to secede all the way down to the individual level. You have the natural right to associate and dissociate, without any form of coercion forcing you into or excluding you from any relationship, and without coercion in the use of your wealth (insert obligatory #taxationistheft). Secession is the most American thing one can do if one so chooses. It is the heart of the American soul. It's patriotism 101.
Libertarians do themselves a great disservice when they resort to obnoxious memes characterizing their hatred of “the 4th of July” and nothing else. We more than anyone else should take advantage of this day. It is not Memorial Day nor Veterans Day, which have become holy days of the State to perpetuate the military power of standing armies stretched around the globe. Today is a day to challenge friends and family with the principles of liberty, and give authentic reason to reflect upon what ought to be. We ought to savor the spirit of liberty as manifested in secession. America wouldn’t even be here if not for secession, and liberty and independence will not be here in the future if we do not recapture the lofty idea of peaceful secession.
Our battle is against Left statism and Right statism alike. Today is just a single day, but it is a day where Americans are most attuned to the thought of liberty, even if they are inconsistent or want to use their liberty to oppress others. Let’s not fail to remind them, to teach them, to warn them - that liberty dies when the freedom to secede dies.
Enjoy the conversation. Enjoy friends and family. Enjoy the hot dogs. Enjoy the fireworks. Enjoy what was and what ought to be. I know I will.
Happy Secession Day.
¹"All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one...As little will it avail us that they are chosen by ourselves. An elective despotism was not the government we fought for..." - Thomas Jefferson, 1785