...as in the imperative (i.e. you, youth, progress). This blog is updated by politically active young people. Issues that will be discussed are those which concern young voters and are of concern to young voters.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Independence Day

Too often the celebration of July 4th invokes the military victory of the Revolutionary War, but the Celebration of July 4th is a celebration of moral ingenuity, in a revolution of ideals that was so eloquently proclaimed in Declaration of Independence. While it was a bold move militarily to declare independence before the war, it was the right thing to do ideologically, because colonial rule, wherever it is, relies on military might and suppression and is inherently unjustifiable. The Declaration of Independence was a bold slap in the face of the assumed prerogatives of imperialism and a bold step forward for the ideology for egalitarianism. This victory occurred without firing a single shot and that is what we all celebrate on July 4th.

Because July 4th was an ideological victory, the subsequent Confederacy that followed did not fully manifest the deepest aspirations of the Declaration of Independence. More precisely the white-male economic elite were the only section of society given a voice. To them, slaves, women and the poor members of society were not entitled to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But over the centuries we overcame these injustices and we rose to a more perfect union. However in this century we have taken a step backwards to a less perfect union. It is important to note that perfection is impossible, and we should not judge our society based on a preconceived notion of static existence because life in constant flux; rather society should be judged on the direction in which it is moving -- because the nature of our present actions creates the future. The bottom line is we are moving on a sad path, both politically and culturally.

Culturally we live in a world endowed with rampant materialism, where it is considered the norm to put ourselves above everyone else. This extreme individualism translates into large political apathy and cut only by the politics of fear. This political climate is beautifully, but mournfully, portrayed by Michael Lerner’s The Left Hand of God. This situation is also everything July 4th stands against. The Founding Fathers threw fear to the wind and made a moral stand, even though they faced great odds against the British. They were able to do this because they were in touch with the left hand of god: hope. They had hope for a better world where people had a voice in government. It is time we as a nation reject selfish individualism and the politics of fear and truly unite our states for the common good. Next post I will discuss the three great issues we must address: the war in Iraq, growing income inequality, and the environment.

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