Happy Independence Day, Y’all!

Happy4th

It's that time of the year again: the time when we sit back, reflect on our scrappy little nation's seemingly quixotic war for independence from an omnipresent empire and exclaim, "Hot damn, we did it!" 

It feels good to be free, huh? Free from tyranny, free from the closet, free from whatever. But let's not forget that the American Revolution wasn't simply about the States, of which there were far fewer. It was a fight for freedom everywhere, one that inspired similar battles still raging today. Hot damn, we did it, but there's still more work to be done, including here at home…

But let us also not get too deep right now. Let's keep this light: have fun today, play outside and enjoy your independence responsibly. I'll see you back here tomorrow, when the work week again absorbs us into its oppressive schedules and routines.

Freedom, it can be so fleeting.

Comments

  1. The News-Breaker says

    Indeed. An independence that meant freedom for all men, at the exclusion of women and slaves; and the replacement of an omnipresent empire with one that was meant to be equally as omnipresent throughout the Americas (see: Manifest Destiny). That is, an independence / colonization project that led to the annexation of Cuba, of Puerto Rico, and of lands that once belonged to Mexico.

    So yes — hurray.

    And p.s.: the Russian and French revolutions were farvmore influential than our American one. In fact, I don’t think the American revolution has inspired any other; but it is a well known fact that the French Reolution inspired the American one! (see: The Statue of Liberty). Please, let’s keep our blinding centrism in check.

  2. Armando says

    The French Revolution came after.

    The Declaration of Independence is a great document. The best thing we can say about it is that we are not there yet and that as Americans we all have a responsibility to keep working towards these ideals.

  3. DLRnATL says

    News-Breaker: I would not quarrel with you over the Manifest Destiny or the apparent hypocrisy of the revolution. But the French Revolution begins after the American. Also, the Declaration of Independence has been in fact inspired several countries over the years.

  4. UFFDA says

    The NEWS BREAKER is broken. It is incredibly ignorant not to know that the American Revolution far predates the French Revolution which it directy inspired and of course the Russian one as well. It has inspired and continues to inspire many nations and peoples who seek freedom. This is common knowledge and should be even to the uncommonly uninformed.

    The Fourth of July is a fit holiday for all freedom finding and seeking people.

  5. RLavigueur says

    You Americans have a lot to be proud of, but lines like, “It was a fight for freedom everywhere, one that inspired similar battles still raging today,” go a long way toward explaining why so many non-Americans can’t stand America.

    The American revolution wasn’t a victory for the freedom of American women, or American slaves, or the native Americans whom the USA would spend the next hundred years trying to annihilate and assimilate.

    Nor was it the spirit of freedom that inspired America to annex parts of the Caribbean and Mexico and invade Canada in 1812. The various military dictators installed in Latin America weren’t exactly a net gain for liberty either.

    As a global superpower, your country has the potential to do a lot of good in the world. Celebrate the ideals that could make it so, and work toward that future, but don’t be surprised that your neighbours to the North and South think that your history has a hard time reflecting the patriotic theme you apply to it.

  6. Alex Solzhenitsyn says

    Uh … The Russian Revolution was not so great but greatly bloody! And the persecutions bloody murders by the Bolsheviks continued, culminating in the murder of millions! Not such a great revolution

  7. Randal Oulton says

    >> It was a fight for freedom everywhere, one that inspired similar battles ….

    Damn tootin’. Right from the start had Canada fighting for its life to remain free of the States :}

  8. says

    To all USA posters on this site;

    Have a great day, have a great party. You can all be so rightly proud of what your country has achieved since 1776.
    And your country has won the admiration of most of the world for its proud bearing, and its defence of Liberty and Fundamental Rights.
    That is no mean achievement.

  9. Mike says

    We are not free to get married or get and keep good jobs in America, why should we celebrate freedom when it is a lie that we LGBT people have our equal, civil rights and freedoms in America? We are the slaves of a system of oppression by the anti-gay Right Wing Christians in government and religion. We need to break the chains of oppression of LGBT people in America before we can truly say we are also free Americans. Remember it was LGBT service men and women who fought for our freedoms then and now and they still are not free to be equal American citizens. We need to change that now.

  10. ratbastard says

    @The News Breaker,

    America has evolved nicely. Most ‘oppressed’ people in the world would give their right leg to become American, that right there says it all. Unfortunately, many other societies and cultures have been far slower in evolving.

    As for the French and Russian Revolution being far more important, that’s nonsense. The American Revolution created the United States of America which today is the most influential and powerful nation state since the Roman Empire. No, that’s not an exaggeration.

    As for gays and civil rights, the modern gay civil rights movement [really the only one that really matters, everything before was at best tiny baby steps] came out of America, not Europe, certainly not Russia. The rest of the world followed what was happening in America.

    Happy Independence Day Americans!

  11. says

    On Independence Day we should celebrate our Constitutional Rights and Freedoms which so many men and women have fought for- including Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly and Press. The art of film has been one of the most powerful vessels for conveying the importance of these rights. Check out the Top 10 Movies of All Time about FREEDOM on a special 4th of July post today at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/07/top-10-movies-of-all-time-about-freedom.html to see some impassioned portrayals of our basic rights.

  12. BCDan says

    Well, I don’t think the modern civil rights movement came out of the USA, to be honest.

    Unless we’re going to pretend the Underground Railroad didn’t exist and slaves weren’t escaping into Canada. Is that what we’re doing?

    It seems to me America has slowly been following Canada’s lead for over 100 years. And not acknowledging it.

  13. UFFDA says

    No one is talking about perfectiom, but for a dream and a thought which in large measure Has been achieved for many hundreds of millions over more than 200 years. The founding fathers were acutely aware that both native Americans and “the slaves” were a horrible blot on American efforts to embody freedom for all. But since there was no turning back an improving tomorrow was all one could hope and work for.

    For what it’s worth it should be recognized that all societies originate as tribal societies and only prevail over the protests and lives of weaker societies that precede them. No group is innocent of this social-biological imperative, it is the story of nationhood, even existence, everywhere, as wholly true of native American societies as of the small dukedoms of Europe before their largely 19th century – and hard fought – unions into nations as we now know them. It’s a very messy story everywhere as we evolve into the larger sense of one humanity equal under just laws. We are all IN the process and America has done a better job than most, Canada too, as well as all of Western Europe. Don’t like it? Get an education, then see if you want to live elsewhere.

  14. ratbastard says

    @bcdan,

    The Canada of it’s day also surreptitiously supported the south during the civil war. I should say the British used their North American colony, Canada, to undermine The Union. They did not want the U.S. to succeed as a single, unified, and powerful nation. In fact, much of Lincoln’s assassination was planned in Montreal.

    Honestly, the British were interested in their Canadian colonies only because of the vast natural resources they could cultivate. They probably kept the size of their Canadian colonies at a bare minimum for that reason. They didn’t want the Canadian Colonies getting too big for their britches like the American. Canada didn’t really become anything resembling a real independent nation state until confederation in 1867, and even then it was still a British Dominion [i.e. colony]. Canada didn’t become fully independent until the early 1930s, and still has the Queen as head of state.

    And Massachusetts as a Crown Colony banned slavery before the Canadian colonies/provinces.

  15. Randy says

    Happy 4th, USA!

    Hopefully one day Canada will follow your lead and gain independence from the UK. It’s so embarrassing to have a foreign head of state, who is a monarch, and the head of a church, and represents several other countries.

  16. JohnAGJ says

    Randy: QEII is officially Supreme Governor of the Church of England – not in Canada, which has no established church. I’m all for diestablishment myself in the UK, as much a foreigner can be or even pays much attention to that peculiar leftover from the Tudor Era, but heck that’s for the Brits to take care of and the CoE is a mere shadow of its former self. Mostly it’s around for pomp and ceremony for the Crown it seems to me. The monarchy in Canada is officially distinct from that in the UK, which is why Liza is Queen of Canada there. Monarchy is charming in the movies and is great for tourism I suppose yet as an American not something I prefer. Beware though of following our lead too closely lest Canada replace the monarchy with celebrities or political dynasties for the masses to fawn over like we do.

  17. JohnAGJ says

    My, my, News-Breaker, what a charming litany you lay out for us. Ok, by your logic then the French Revolution, after thousands lost their heads in bloody purges, gave us Napoleon who proceeded to plunge Europe into a terrible series of wars in a bid for continental domination, followed by colonialism in Africa and Asia that the Bourbons could only dream of and makes American dickering overseas look amateurish in comparison. Then there’s the Bolshevik Revolution which not only cost millions of Russians and others their lives, thanks to bloodthirsty tyrants like Lenin and Stalin who were far worse than Napoleon and in some ways even Hitler. Their bid for domination and conquest was more ambitious than Napoleon’s encompassing not just Europe, but the entire globe. Whatever the mistakes are one wishes to point to in American history, and there are many I certainly can name, our Revolution at least inspired a progression towards freedom not only in this country over the years but also in many others. Fortunately France can also say that their past mistakes are being put behind them, but can Russia? To a degree but it looks like Putin has dreams of Empire in one form or another so the jury’s still out on that one.

  18. UFFDA says

    Great posts from the guys who are informed – I’m learning too. Loved yours RATBSTD.

    And NEWS BREAKER should never be allowed to leave his room for dummies.

  19. Ted says

    Wonderful Canada. That is part and parcel of UK. That rounded up all of the French acadians and forced them into exile in the swamps of Louisiana to presumably die.

    Well they did not die, and they found a home in America, and life, and freedom, even though ten thousand of fifteen died on the ships.

    The north was anti slavery. Slaves had to go to Canada to prevent being returned to the south. But there were plenty if free blacks in both north and south, and they were even in politics and had great wealth.

    You morons have been fed a bunch of lies about the US. And you got suckered big time. Hahahaha

  20. rick scatorum says

    If the us had lost the revolutionary war, all Americans would have civil union rights now. And Britain’s conservative pm is calling for marriage equality.

    The Revolutionary war was fought for the rights of wealthy white men.

    And pretty much ever since, wars have been about greed and capitalism.

  21. rick scatorum says

    If the us had lost the revolutionary war, all Americans would have civil union rights now. And Britain’s conservative pm is calling for marriage equality.

    The Revolutionary war was fought for the rights of wealthy white men.

    And pretty much ever since, wars have been about greed and capitalism.

  22. UFFDA says

    “If us had lost…” what? Proper grammer for sure. Good god man get a brain for the language you’re trying to use.

    And TED, where o where did he get his exclusive information that has so thoroughly left everyone else out. Who’s been suckered?

  23. JohnAGJ says

    IBAN4YESU: Not exactly. Minh declared a communist-led “republic” for Vietnam in 1945. Given the rise of the Cold War in the aftermath of WWII, there wasn’t a chance we’d recognize a communist government in Vietnam especially in opposition to our ally France. It was French colonialism, soundly defeated by the Viet Minh, and with the benefit of hindsight our foolish notion of the “domino theory”, that led to the Vietnam War. France wanted to retain its colony, we just wanted to stop the spread of communism. In many ways it’s a shame that South Vietnam fell, for the people of that region at least. Just compare South Korea to North Korea. Similar situation but at least the South Koreans have developed something far greater than their Northern brethren instead of being abandoned to their fate as in South Vietnam. Still, Vietnam as a whole now seems to be improving and I hope the people there continue to move forward to greater freedom.

  24. JohnAGJ says

    Rick: How do you figure? There is nothing to indicate that a UK which retained British America would have become more progressive, but instead if you look at its period of Empire was very much the opposite. Most former British colonies obtained their laws against homosexuality from the UK during their own colonial period, including the former American colonies. Look up the Victorian Era for starters. It was the loss of Empire and the example of the United States that moved the UK towards a more progressive era. The UK has now moved ahead of the USA in terms of LGBT rights, that much is certain, but hopefully that won’t last much longer. The changes I’ve seen over my lifetime here in the States, as slow as they may seem at times, have been extraordinary. There is much more to do obviously. Oh and as for the Revolution, your comment could not be more naive. It was fought for the retention of what Americans saw as their inherent rights as Englishmen, which guess what? If you dismiss it as being for nothing more than “rights of wealthy white men” that describes exactly how British society was in the 18th century. What, you expected modern notions of democracy and republicanism in that period? Please. Read a good history book. What the Founders did was indeed revolutionary and expanded freedom to more classes than the wealthy, as well as sowed the seeds for further progress in this country.

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