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05 July 2005

Belated but still beloved

Independence, n. Freedom from control or influence of another or others.

Surrounded as we are by the now-constant exploitation of certain images, not to mention words, like "patriot," and "freedom," on (or just after) this day of legitimate flag-waving, it's good to remember what we're really celebrating, and how simple an idea it is.

To be sure, taking "independence" to an extreme would mean total lawlessness, something which, I have no doubts, many conservative ideologues believe to be their opponents' goal and driving force. So let's preclude any accusations of advocating anarchy with just one more word: "undue."

Freedom from undue control or influence of another or others.

Now what is or isn't "due," is, undoubtedly, a source for more debate, but it's a step in the right direction, and at the very least, something to think about when the public discourse turns to rights, freedoms, and what constitutes American/Unamerican.

When labels like that are being thrown about, from one end of the political spectrum to the other, ask yourself this: who is working to guarantee what people can do and who is working to dictate what people can't?

With their bodies.

With their loved ones.

With their ideas.

Who among us is standing up for real independence?

2 comments:

Jess said...

*sigh*
The unAmerican label bugs me, because I don't understand why anyone cares. Being American has to do with what dirt your mother's arse was on when she squeezed you out.

That's all. it's nothing you have control over. It has no bearing on the content of your character, and even less on your worth as an individual, your ability to contribute to society. Yeah, yeah, culture helps dictate values and behavior, blah, blah, blah, but still...most other cultures don't create folks that are all that bad. Just folks.

Patriotism boggles my mind. It's not about which dirt someone lives on. It's about that someone.

I am, apparently, highly unconventional though.

Verchiel said...

"American" carries with it baggage no nationality (or dirt under a mother's ass) has ever had to bear.

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