Saturday, July 4, 2009
July 4th In Bizarro World
July 4th In Bizarro World by Manuel Lora From colorful hot dog stands and front-porch grilling to car dealerships and fireworks – once again the people celebrate July 4th. The media will join the festivities and will air documentaries about the founding of the country, its struggles during the revolutionary war, the adoption of the Constitution and the various leaders that inspired a country to fight for its freedom. Journalists and pundits shall hold hands and sing their praises to the gods state. The mainstream, hailing from its intellectually void ivory tower will no doubt offer hosannas to our overlords. In the meantime, the message of freedom is nowhere to be seen. Indeed, quite the opposite tends to happen. What follows are just a few of the July 4th lies and errors that we are supposed to blindly accept: The military is glorious, its heroes heroic, and our support is patriotic Freedom is about authority The police keep us safe and have a duty to protect us We are better off now than when the war on drugs started decades ago Continually increasing prices is a product of the market and thus the central bank must control credit and the money supply With proper reform, government can become efficient, especially if we elect the right leaders The Constitution gives people rights The government has been formed by the consent of the governed Without the state regulating/subsidizing/taxing/prohibiting activity or industry X, said industry or activity would be produced in quantities and/or qualities that are too high or too low; or would run rampant, cartelize and monopolize the market; or would not survive in a predatory competitive environment The more politically democratic things are, the better for everyone No matter what the cost to the public, protecting the children/our veterans/our senior citizens/our teachers is always the number one priority The free movement of goods and people destroys jobs and threatens our standard of living Businesses have no incentives to keep their customers safe; licenses ensure fair practices The law may occasionally be wrong, but it should nonetheless be followed always We must forever give up essential liberties to guarantee safety: it’s for your own good The list can go on forever but you get the clue. What’s really telling about the so-called Independence Day is that most the reminders about July 4th are related to the state! You will see, almost without fail, photos of past tyrants, video of the various monuments magnanimously erected in their memory, and audio of their speeches. News segments and even commercials that use the Fourth of July as a theme will invariable feature the military, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Washington monument or a close-up of the Constitution – usually the part that says "We the People." If July 4th is really about freedom, why is the District of Criminals the center of attention? You see, we live in a bizarro world where might makes right and government aggression is the apotheosis of liberty. Our rights are relative and whatever freedoms we have left are a vote and a signature away from being eradicated. I ask: What rights? What freedoms? Today we celebrate nothing. Get over your patriotism-inspired nationalistic jingoism already. Instead, celebrate the market, not the politicians and their bureaucratic-regulatory army of destruction. July 4, 2008 Manuel Lora [send him mail] works at Cornell University as a TV and multimedia producer.