Viva La Revolucion!

    Here is my belated post/reading list for the 4th of July…

  • The Declaration of Independence
      . . . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . .
  • Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau – 1849 (I took a copy of this along on my vacation and read it on the 4th. I don’t think there could have been a better thing to read on the anniversary of the American revolution against tyranny, as a reminder that revolution isn’t only something that happened in the past, but rather something that should happen any time a government becomes destructive and oppressive to its people.)
      . . . All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution of ’75.(8) If one were to tell me that this was a bad government because it taxed certain foreign commodities brought to its ports, it is most probable that I should not make an ado about it, for I can do without them. All machines have their friction; and possibly this does enough good to counterbalance the evil. At any rate, it is a great evil to make a stir about it. But when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, when a sixth of the population of a nation which has undertaken to be the refuge of liberty are slaves, and a whole country is unjustly overrun and conquered by a foreign army, and subjected to military law, I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize. What makes this duty the more urgent is the fact that the country so overrun is not our own, but ours is the invading army. . .

    Despite my critical attitude towards the current regime that runs this country, the 4th of July reminds me that no government has power of me unless I let it. Our founding fathers taught us that it is right and good to question and even work against oppression that is committed by those who claim to rule over us. While I differ with their use of violence (I’m a pacifist.), I laud their courage. I hope and pray that all who celebrated the 4th of July would remember that this holiday celebrates Revolution and Questioning, not mindless conformity and obedience.