July 4th has been for me – ever since I began living in America – a profound weekend to stop and ponder history and how America has changed it so dramatically and in so many ways, so well.
Whilst Americans incorrectly believe that they invented and created Democracy – Greece beat them to that by a couple thousand years – The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and other legal instuments truly changed the world and led the way for many other countries to follow suit.
How sad then to compare those high and honorable visions with today’s reality. Yet again the Dream becomes the Nightmare. Yet again the same mistakes are made. Yet again the wheel turns to teach a new generation some very old lessons that should have been learned 30 years ago (one Saturn cycle) in and from Vietnam.
Since then America has pretty much been sold to the highest bidders, the corporations. That is the real news item that is not being told nearly enough, when at all – of course, because the corporations own most of the media!
Capitalism is actually winning at the price of democracy. Sovereign nations now have little power to determine their own course, except maybe militarily. If you doubt this, read “The Sink” by Jeffrey Robinson, one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It will tell you how and where things really are in the world and how they got here, and you will – as I have been – shocked by much of it.
Meanwhile we have, as usual, choices to make and it seems to me that there are two key ones to ponder on this Day Of Independence. First, do you just give up under the weight of lies, deceptions and power manipulations of a very sick and unbalanced system of politics, money, media and government or do we take up the challenge to hold onto the real vision and purpose and meaning of Freedom and of Independence.
Second do you choose to feel powerless and thus invite some level of despair or do you seek action that will make a difference and there are many. Michael Moore makes a movie, because he can. Others run voter registration drives, because they can. You….?
See… democracy, freedom and independence have to be earned, kept and maintained like a garden. We have the tools but if you want good fruit and vegetables then you have to do some sweat work and some sweet work to get them. THEN you really appreicate what you have.
The other way to learn to appreciate what you have is to lose it, or nearly lose it, and it seems to me that is where we are right now. The great irony is that in “giving” Iraq its “freedom” we are at real risk of losing ours.
Do not give up. We all need you.
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