These days Americans, at least those connected with the USA, are called upon to celebrate their independence as a free state and as a sovereign people. This is a proper thing indeed because freedom and sovereignty are very precious things to any nation. But why is there a reluctance in the case of the USA? Why do so many people raise an eyebrow, and some even scoff in derision, at the mention of the USA?
US independence was announced in their historic ‘Declaration of Independence‘ of 4th July 1776, in the midst of the war against their colonial masters.
Most US citizens are rightly conscious that it was worth fighting for their freedom, it was essential to the political, social and economic wellbeing of the people in what were former colonies of England.
Further, England had closed the path to peaceful change, not engaging with the people and all the time maintaining a huge army in occupation. The people were forced to take up arms in defence of their rights and liberty and finally to establish their independence, it being essential in order to exercise their sovereignty.
Establishing the Rights and Sovereignty of Nations
In this same historic period emerging nations all over Europe were struggling to throw off the shackles of oligarchy, monarchy, feudalism and also religious oppression and economic enslavement.
Thomas Paine’s ‘The Rights of Man’ outlined the principles upon which the state itself exists and the rights of the citizens within that to exercise popular sovereignty – as against the right of an oligarchy or royalty to hold sovereignty. The US Declaration included the enlightened statement 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”
In other words, sovereignty and authority of government derives from, and is subject to the will and interests of the people. No man-made law or treaty can change this right of sovereignty, nor divine nor royal proclamation, nor can anyone or any clique or group or political party usurp these sovereign right to their own interests.
The Evolution of the History
What happened in the USA was not a unique development in the world, the same process was happening in Europe and here in Ireland too. It was necessary in order to further the life of the emerging nations, economically, politically and culturally. The form of society and government, under oligarchy with its feudal hangovers, had become a factor holding back progress – it was in contradiction with the interests of the people, with modern science, with production, with commerce and freedom of conscience at that time.
What has changed in the USA?
So, in view of this enlightened beginning, why the reluctance of so many worldwide to celebrate Independence Day for the USA?
Well, maybe it is to do with what the US state has done with this ‘freedom’? We understand that the sovereignty of a people extends over everything within the nation, land, resources, commerce etc., and to external relations too – but only in so far as it recognises the equal sovereign rights of other peoples – this has been a major failing in the USA.
The United Nations Organisation was established on the principle of recognising the rights of nations to self-determination. The big powers had engulfed the world in major wars on two occasions in the previous 30 years – exerting their coercion on others, and taking upon themselves the ‘right’ of dictating to other peoples what social system or morality they should live by.
The UN Charter was drafted in the final days of the second world war, based on the principle:
“To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”
This was to be the basis of peaceful relations between the nations of the earth, such principles are good and should have been adhered to.
The UN wanted to:
“save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”
But there has been continuous wars of aggression since the UN Charter was signed, one or other superpower being instigators, establishing their ‘spheres of influence’, i.e. walking all over the rights of other peoples.
When we consider US Independence Day these things come to mind, the US has not respected the independence she declared on 4th July 1776. The USA has itself become the master of colonies and the oppressor of peoples. The US has become the manipulator of media and knowledge, of science, of industry, of commerce, of trade – they have become the biggest tyrant amongst a world of tyrants!
So, yes, US independence was a good and progressive thing, but …
Today and for many decades, the US has become a force for evil and is working against the interests of people worldwide. We are sure that the people of the USA, who are still spirited in the desire for freedom, will soon see the falsehood they have been sold by their new ‘reforming’ leaders – this time in the guise of the Obama administration.
Why are US taxpayers paying for armies deployed in foreign countries, where they are generally hated? Why are US citizens paying for all the expensive war technology being sent overseas? What cost the ordnance (bombs!) being dropped on Libya? Why the killing and maiming of people who have never threatened the USA! What violation of sovereignty!
BUT, the pundits gloss over it all … there is a ‘war on terror’, there is ‘freedom’ to defend, there is ‘communism’ to fight, there is the ‘Christian way of life’ to further! Where are the Rights of Man?
Today the rulers in the USA, and their fellow-travellers worldwide, have no solutions to the crisis that faces humanity, history has passed them by! The issue of sovereignty raised in the US Declaration of Independence, raised by the French Revolution and by our own Risings of 1798 through to 1916 and since, remains unresolved.
The most important question today is how can we, the people, exercise our sovereignty in practice …