I’m not generally a patriotic person. I think that nationalism at-all-costs is a dangerous way to think, but then, anything at-all-costs usually is. But Independence Day always gets to me, because of what the *idea* of the American Revolution was supposed to represent, and the entire schools of thought that had led up to it and since.
That is the idea that we, as human beings, are better at shaping our own destinies than kings, presidents, or bureaucrats. It is the idea that goodness, neighborliness, and COMMUNITY arises from the bottom up, not the top down. It is the idea that what it *means* to be human is stomped in the face when we don’t recognize these things.
These aren’t merely moral truths. They are facts of mathematics and systems science. We like to ignore them because answers derived through these truths are complicated and don’t immediately satisfy our need for catharsis, in-group thinking, and virtue signalling. We like to ignore them because it means we can’t pretend to be better than others – to say “no, my way is how all people must act”. It’s a very attractive sentiment.
When I was overseas last week, I got into a discussion with some Europeans. One of them said, “Americans don’t like to share the wealth,” and that made me sad. It’s begging the question – it assumes that the only way to “share the wealth” is by having a group of men with guns take it by force and then PRESUME to give it to another group. It ignores the consistently proven fact that when free agents are allowed to flourish, they will, and that human beings DO care about each other and will reflect it in their actions.
Most importantly, it presumes that such a system will not, invariably and inevitably, end up crushing the human spirit under the boot of evil men.
These false notions are exactly what Independence Day rejected. It is why we must be in constant vigilance against such ideas, lest they destroy us. Very few wars since then have been just, but human beings HAVE died to protect these ideals.
I don’t think that Gary Johnson is the be all end all; not by a long shot. At the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that “political solution” is an oxymoron. But I think that having the first 3rd party in 160 years make such a showing to break up the Red and Blue divisiveness that convinces us that freedom is dangerous, and that if we don’t constantly steal from our neighbors or bomb people we’ve never met, they’ll “win” and we’ll “lose”. There’s a another choice, and maybe it will start more people on the path toward a philosophy of real peace and prosperity.
I believe that freedom raises all spirits. I know that freedom raises all tides and is the only way to create wealth. I want that freedom for everyone, not just me and mine.
The freedom to LIVE, the freedom to LOVE, and the freedom to DREAM.