The Declaration of Independence basically amounted to a bunch of guys telling their king, "You're not the boss of us anymore." The Declaration was an act of treason, written by a bunch of tax cheats and lawbreakers. It wasn't merely some people whining or petitioning the government to do something different. In fact, the Declaration describes how they had already tried that, and it hadn't worked. So they resorted to open disobedience. And it wasn't just one protest or demonstration, to make a point or try to convince their masters to change; it was a declaration that they were completely and permanently denying the right of the standing regime to rule them at all, ever again. And that's a pretty darn radical thing to do.
For all the parades, fireworks, picnics, and other events which will happen on July 4th to celebrate "Independence Day," how many Americans today do you think are capable of even contemplating the possibility of engaging in "illegal" resistance against "authority"? Not many.
What would the equivalent of the Declaration of Independence look like today? Well, we would have a lot more to complain about than the colonists did, with far higher taxes, far more intrusive regulation, and a much higher level of oppression all around. But what would the conclusion be? It wouldn't be, "So you better change those laws!" It would be more like this:
"Dear Federal Government, you're fired! We're not paying your taxes anymore, not obeying your laws ever again, and from now on we will resist your thugs when you try to enforce your will on us."
How many Americans would dare to even think such a thing, much less say it out loud, or write it down and send it to the feds? Very few, indeed. The truth is, the spirit of resistance is all but dead in this country. Even among those in the pro-freedom movement, the vast majority of efforts revolve around begging the masters to be nice, petitioning for or against this or that legislation, arguing over which politician should run our lives and take our money.
"Write your congressman and tell him to oppose ... "
"Promise to vote against any candidate who doesn't support ... "
"Sign this petition, to push legislation which will ... "
I have a better idea. How about if a few million of us send one message--and only one message--to those pretending to be our "representatives," those who claim to have the right to rule us. That message should be this: "Legislate whatever you want; I will not obey. And when you send your thugs to punish me, I will resist." That is the message of the Declaration of Independence. But on this July 4th, how many Americans do you think would even dare to think such a thing--even quietly and to themselves?
What this country needs is not a change in legislation, or a change of parties or candidates. It doesn't need another election, or another protest or demonstration, or another group lobbying the government for this or that. What it needs is a people with a fundamentally different mindset. What it needs is a population capable of saying, "You're not the boss of us!" But nothing the people ever hear from the mainstream media, or from those in government, or from the talking heads and political pundits, will ever endorse such an attitude. On the contrary, the only message you'll ever hear in the papers, on the radio or on the TV, from academia or from the government, will boil down to this: "You can whine and complain about what the government is doing to you, and you can beg your masters to change, but you must never disobey!"
As long as obedience to authority is taught as the highest principle--and it absolutely is almost everywhere in the country--this will be a nation of pathetic slaves perpetually yet fruitlessly whining at their sadistic, power-happy masters. Maybe this country should be something better than that.
If you're one of the few who would like to hear a drastically different message--one that is not premised on the assumption that we all have an obligation to bow to those who claim to be our masters--then be at Fifth and Market in downtown Philadelphia on the afternoon of July 4th. (The talks start at 3:00, and my rant might be first, so make sure you're there before that.) And while you're at it, bring along some obedient, unthinking flag-wavers, to see if they can handle some real advocacy of freedom. Let's see how they respond when their indoctrination as obedient subjects collides with the concept of true liberty.
Or, if you can't make it to Philly on the Fourth (or even if you can), order a few copies of "The Iron Web," and start "corrupting" the people you know by exposing them to the radical idea that they own themselves, and that they don't need the permission of tyrants in order to be free. Yes, understanding freedom requires a dramatic shift in mindset from the statist conformism that now plagues this country. On the other hand, it's getting downright embarrassing watching all the robbed, regulated and restricted American slaves wildly cheering about how free they are.
(P.S. The event in Philly will be videotaped, and I'm sure it will be posted online fairly quickly. I'll at least be posting my rant on my YouTube channel very soon after.)