Everyone loves freedom. Fireworks and all. At Independence Day.
But Independence is a fragile good. Once obtained, many Peoples realize that Independence turns out different from what they asked for. Strongmen leaders grow into tyrants and apply harsh suppression. The national economy is mismanaged and drained into poverty because of greed, corruption and tribalism. Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité evolves into socialist Dépendence.
The American Independence succeeded well and grew into an exceptional configuration of fifty states and the strongest world economy. In his “Democracy in America” (issued from 1835 to 1840 in two volumes), Alexis de Tocqueville marvels about the American Democracy sprouted from the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and an example for the French Revolution (1789).
But he also says that if its Congress discovers how to bribe the populace with public money, the American Republic will cease to exist. That danger is more than obvious today with “Obamacare” and other state-enforced laws that received only partisan approval.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Liberty from Independence is replaced by the tyranny of the majority, elected by an uninformed gullible electorate. Look at today’s American and European scenes: freedom has transmogrified into socialist servitude: dependence, not Independence. Or is replaced by the tyranny of the local bully (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Mobutu, Idi Amin, Allende, Castro, Chavez, Sadam, Assad, just to name a few). The French Revolution turned into another tyranny by Napoleon. Remember the “guillotine”.
The Arab Spring of Hope got squashed by religious and secular tyrants (not that much different from what happened after the French Revolution.)
Still, thousands from other countries that once jumped in the streets celebrating their Independence from colonial powers risk their lives and indebt themselves to flee to Europe and the great USA. It is still better there than in their own “independent” crime-ridden, tortured and economically ruined homesteads.
Because freedom is a precious good, Peoples who lack it try to steal it. Or destroy it. Not only outside forces attack a free society, inside forces do so, too: liberal/socialist forces vie for more “government”, to impose their will and regulate freedom to smithereens, as is happening in the USA. Freedom-people seem unaware or complacent that they have a precious good, except at moments when they sing The Star-Spangled Banner, America The Beautiful, la Marseillaise, God Save The Queen, or other national anthems. At the Olympics or the World Cup Soccer, fans stand and shout it out. But the day after the fireworks fade, they return to their usual infighting, busy destroying their hard-won unity, or fall back into complacency, watching sports on TV.
What is left of the Arab Spring? The Independence hopes of the young people, seeing a possibility for democratic rule, a blossoming economy and full employment, living in a world deprived of arbitrary law, torture and daily fear?
Do we in the “West” have any responsibility to defend our liberty and to help others who are suppressed to gain or regain their freedom? I believe we do, and if we don’t, it will be at our own peril.
Can we help in the Middle East that has struggled for centuries to form political unity but never succeeded? Surely our “colonial”forefathers who drew arbitrary boundaries, overstepping tribal and religious realities, bear much responsibility for today’s political mess. As a result, many out there want to steal our liberty and to replace it with their own interpretation of how we should live, just as a matter of revenge.
We in the West should remain willing to offer a helping hand to liberty loving Peoples, but at the same time stand very strong to defend our own and make it known we will hit back very hard if they try to take it away from us. At present, the wishy-washy attitude from some Western countries invites attack. A weak posture, even the perception of one, can lead to very quick disaster (9/11 and subsequent events, both in Europe and in the USA, are obvious and dangerous examples).
A politician recently said that being strong does not mean having to go to war. Perhaps. But displaying a wimpy attitude and falling overboard in political correctness only invites a murderous mind to blow us up. You don’t believe that? Remember how World War II started with weak Neville Chamberlain, the amazing lack of intelligence of 9/11 due to political correctness, etc.. Nobody believed these events would be possible. But they happened, and will happen again if we do not show our teeth and preparedness to hit back. Tiny Israel does, and they are feared. Not so anymore with Obama’s BIG USA. Don’t misjudge or undervalue your Independence. Defend it. It can be lost before you know it.
It’s unfortunate but that’s how our world is made up. People enjoying freedom don’t like to be nasty to others. They become complacent, lazy, too comfortable in their own skin. But others who don’t enjoy it are willing to be nasty with you. That’s the human world we share. Nature has the same contrasts: a beautiful day or scenery gets destroyed by a hurricane, a tsunami, or a deadly flood. We cannot change it but we can protect ourselves.
Guard your Independence beyond the fireworks.