As we celebrate this independence day with fireworks and barbeques and parties, just remember what we’re celebrating. The independence that many fought and died for starting 235 years ago. I want to take you away, right now, from the recession, the wars, the natural disasters ravaging out country and go back to the time of the American Revolution.
Do you realize what was accomplished at that time? A group of colonist started a revolt against their own government. Can people conceive of doing that now? Britain was the most powerful country in the world. The British Empire, at its height, controlled roughly 29 percent of the land mass of the planet, and about as much of the population.
Who would think of going up against such a power, and especially being your own government. So, what was special about the colonists that would cause them to rise up in arms againt the “mother country?” Was it the corruption of the British Empire? King George III? Too many taxes? Enforced backwardness of the colonies? Perhaps all of them.
A very important factor though, is that they were highly educated, especially in the classics. The colonial farmer was sometimes termed the “Latin Farmer,” because many were educated in the classics. They knew the ideas of the Greeks: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, among many others.
I believe it was their foundational belief in the past, in history, in the profound ideas of the classical philosophers that gave them the inner conviction that what they were doing was right. And, they did it not only for themselves, but “for posterity.”
Here is a quote from George Washington:
“The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism…. It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.”
Unfortunately, the ideas of the classical philosophers, Greek or otherwise, are not mainstream anymore. I see many ideas these days are simply popular culture with no roots or history. My fear, and word of caution, is that a population that lacks the education of a American Revolution citizen is a population that can be made colonists again, perhaps not outright, but economically so.
You see, the same British Empire we fought over 200 years ago is still en empire today, only more in the form of a financial empire. And part of that empire is Wall Street, the same Wall Street that is destroying our economy, taking down our industrial base, sending jobs overseas, letting our infrastructure decay and making us economic slaves. That’s how they are taking away our independence.
When the forefathers won the revolution and broke political ties with England, they knew that they had to also break economic ties with them to be truly independent as a nation. Hence the program by Alexander Hamilton and others to rapidly industrialize the nation and to use the credit of the Federal government to do it. These policies became known as the American System to distinguish it from the British monetary system. Had they continued to use the monetarist policies of the British Empire, America would never have been truly independent.
That’s how America became a powerful nation politically and economically. It’s no wonder that Hamilton was killed by an agent of the financiers, Aaron Burr. It is those American System policies we must return to in order to rebuild our nation, not only for the current generation but for generations to come.
So, Happy Independence Day! Educate yourself, learn the classics that our forefathers learned, learn history and how the American System is the system of true independence.