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Friday, July 3, 2015

Using the 4th of July to Advance Libertarian Politics :)

I have always found it hard to be a Libertarian on the 4th of July. For a couple years I celebrated by wearing black and staying home. But that just made the holiday even less fun. Now I think the 4th of July is the perfect day of the year for me to indulge in my control-seeking desires--known in popular culture as the benevolent goal of "changing the world." That's what this post is about, not how to make the 4th less offensive or personally meaningful, but how I envision using this day to advance my political agenda. Fun!

The lesson from history: don't repress current (sinful) holidays, just take them over, making sure your new and improved version of the holiday is even more fun and meaningful than the current one.

At some point in the Little House books, Laura and her family celebrate the 4th of July by gathering in town and, in unison with the other townsfolk, reciting the Declaration of Independence. It was something that all Americans knew in its entirety at the time--memorization being a huge part of education and something people did at home for fun as well; even three-year-olds had things memorized. After the Declaration, the townsfolk recited other important freedom-oriented speeches from history, like the Gettysburg Address, and then men who had fought in various wars told their tales before their town.

Reciting things in unison feels meaningful. DOing feels meaningful. Standing around and watching (a fireworks display, for example) feels less meaningful.

I imagine a group of energetic, fun-loving Libertarians could get together at any 4th of July gathering place and start reciting (in a group) things like the Declaration and the Gettysburg Address. They could get quite a crowd--especially if they were in costume and boisterous. People in the crowd could be handed small copies of the recitations so they could join in as well. I imagine Americans in their party mood would eat it up. Follow that performance with the Bill of Rights and Francisco's "Money is the Root of All Good" and the crowd might not even realize what they are reciting….

Or, another outlet for politically active Libertarians that pertains to this subject: According to Antifragile author Nassim Taleb one of the most freedom-fostering things that happens in Switzerland is that people identify with being from their hometown instead of their country. This helps keep their government small. Their national day is celebrated a little, but nothing compared to the celebrations seen when each town celebrates its special day, usually its founding day. Libertarians can advance their political agenda simply by fostering hometown pride in whatever town they are living. Imagine if Libertarians were in charge of the founding-day celebrations in every town. Because most people will feel more meaning in celebrating the actual town where they live as opposed to their country, these celebrations would most likely get bigger every year.

Or we could go the other way and rant about how offensive the 4th of July is for Native Americans and start a Humanity One People celebration, perhaps on June 21 (the 4th of July celebration being suspiciously similar to old summer solstice celebrations). The socialists in favor of a One World Government would totally get behind that one, and actually if we don't start it soon, they probably will. It's a fantasy to think that if we started that holiday we could control it, but, maybe for decade would could seriously influence it.

That being said, nothing in neuroscience or epistemology has led me to believe it is really possible for humans to be One People. Or rather: It is possible for our brains to rationally accept the Objectivist ideal of judging individuals and to act upon that ideal to the best of our ability. But it is not possible to suppress our subconscious statistician from dividing people into groups. Skin colors and cultures are irrelevant. If those cease to exist--thanks to major One World Fascist market, education, and media control--our subconscious will group by style of dress, career, how people wear their hair, food choices--it doesn't matter. Categorization is simply What Our Brains Do. Better to plan for it than to pretend we can overcome it with enough rationality. And the minute the top-down control ends people will return to major differentiation. (This is part of the newish field of Group Socialization Theory: If the government ceased to exist right now it is highly likely that each town would develop its own identity to such an extent that in 100 years there would be dialects so different from one another they would barely be the same language. Most likely the internet would drive most people to learn English, but human culture plus freedom evolves so fast, it would be hard to predict how different places would become. I used to think that culture was dead, that we killed it, and it is gone forever and all we can do is put on funny costumes from hundreds of years ago and talk about crazy shit people used to believe. But now I think the minute humans take back their freedom, culture will spring up again--special ways of dressing, piercing, tattooing, eating, rearing children, dancing, etc.)

Anyway, I like the idea of Libertarians being involved in celebrating and having parties and fun since the rest of the time we are the angry folk complaining!

Happy Fourth!

1 comment:

  1. OK, well here's a song you could all sing:

    As you will hear is is originally a far left labor song, but I think it could reasonably be applied to all bosses and would-be bosses. Remember the 4th celebrates a revolt against authority!-)