Visit ArabTopics.com

REFLECTIONS ON THE ORIGINS AND MEANING OF AMERICA’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

 America’s Independence Day: The Founding Fathers saw popular voting as endangering property ownership. Democracy was viewed by most the same way Washington viewed the “scum” who started the Revolution around Boston. It took about two hundred years of gradual changes for America to become anything that seriously could be called democratic. Even now, what sensible person would call it anything but a rough work still in progress.

 

Why no on should be surprised when America behaves as an international bully

 

John Chuckman

 

If you relish myths and enjoy superstition, then the flatulent speeches of America’s Independence Day, July 4, were just the thing for you. No religion on earth has more to offer along these lines than America celebrating itself.

 Some, believing the speeches but curious, ask how did a nation founded on supposedly the highest principles by high-minded men manage to become an ugly imperial power pushing aside international law and the interests of others? The answer is simple: the principles and high-mindedness are the same stuff as the loaves and the fishes.

 The incomparable Doctor Johnson had it right when he called patriotism the last refuge of scoundrels and scoffed at what he called the “drivers of negroes” yelping about liberty.

 Few Americans even understand that Johnson’s first reference was to their sacred Founding Fathers (aka Patriots). I have seen a well known American columnist who attributed the pronouncement to Ben Franklin, a man who was otherwise admirable but nevertheless dabbled a few times in slave trading himself.

 Johnson especially had in mind history’s supreme hypocrite, Jefferson, with his second reference. Again, few Americans know that Jefferson kept his better than two hundred slaves to his dying day. I know a well educated American who sincerely believed Jefferson had freed his slaves. Such is the power of the myths of the American Civic Religion.

 Jefferson was incapable of supporting himself, living the life of a prince and being a ridiculous spendthrift who died bankrupt and still owing money to others, the man of honor being a trifle less than honorable in paying back the money he often borrowed. When a new silk frock or set of shoes with silver buckles was to be had, Jefferson never hesitated to buy them rather than pay his debts.

 The date we now celebrate, July 4, is based on the Continental Congress’s approval of the Declaration of Independence, but in fact the date is incorrect, the document was approved on July 2.

 Jefferson wrote the first draft of the declaration, but it was edited by the redoubtable Benjamin Franklin, and later was heavily amended by the Continental Congress. Jefferson suffered great humiliation of his pride and anger at the editing and changes.

 Despite the document’s stirring opening words, if you actually read the whole thing, you will be highly disappointed.

 The bulk of it has a whining tone in piling on complaint after complaint against the Crown. Some would say the whining set a standard for the next quarter millennium of American society.

 In Jefferson’s draft it went on and on about Britain’s slave trade. The ‘slave trade’ business was particularly hypocritical, trying to sound elevated while in fact reflecting something else altogether. At the time there was a surplus of human flesh in Virginia, and prices were soft.

 The cause of the Revolution is also interesting and never emphasized in American texts. Britain’s imposition of the Quebec Act created a firestorm of anti-Catholicism in the colonies. They were afraid of being ruled from a Catholic colony.

 The speech and writing of American colonists of the time was filled with exactly the kind of ugly language one associates with extremist Ulstermen in recent years.

 This combined with the sense of safety engendered from Britain’s victory in the French and Indian War (the Seven Years War)and the unwillingness to pay taxes to help pay for that victory caused the colonial revolt.

burning of popes efigy

Due to popular anti-Catholic sentiment, in the American colonies November 5 became known as “Pope Day,” and was celebrated by burning an effigy of the Pope.

 Few Americans know it, but it was the practice for many, many decades to burn the Pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Day along the Eastern Seaboard. Anti-Catholicism was quite virulent for a very long time.

 The first phase of the revolt in and around Boston was actually something of a popular revolution, responding to Britain’s blockading the harbor and quartering troops in Boston.

 The colonial aristocrats were having none of that, and they appointed Washington commander over the heads of the Boston Militias who volunteered and actually elected their officers.

 Washington, who had always wanted to be a British regular commander but never received the commission, imposed his will ferociously. He started flogging and hanging.

In his letters home, the men who actually started the revolution are described as filth and scum. He was a very arrogant aristocrat.

 The American Revolution has been described by a European as home-grown aristocrats replacing foreign-born ones. It is an apt description.

 Washington, Hamilton, Adams, and many other of the Fathers had no faith in democracy. About one percent of early Virginia could vote. The president was not elected by people but by elites in the Electoral College. The Senate, which even today is the power in the legislature, was appointed well into the 20th century.

 The Supreme Court originally never dared interpret the Bill of Rights as determining what states should do. It sat on paper like an advertising brochure with no force. At one time, Jefferson seriously raised the specter of secession, half a century before the Civil War, over even the possibility of the Bill of Rights being interpreted by a national court and enforced.

 The Founding Fathers saw popular voting as endangering property ownership. Democracy was viewed by most the same way Washington viewed the “scum” who started the Revolution around Boston. It took about two hundred years of gradual changes for America to become anything that seriously could be called democratic. Even now, what sensible person would call it anything but a rough work still in progress.

 It is interesting to reflect on the fact that early America was ruled by a portion of the population no larger than what is represented today by the Chinese Communist Party as a portion of that country’s population.

 Yet today we see little sign of patience or understanding in American arrogance about how quickly other states should become democratic. And we see in Abu Ghraib, in Guantanamo, and in the CIA’s International Torture Gulag that the principles and attitudes of the Bill of Rights still haven’t completely been embraced by America.

 Contrary to all the posturing amongst the Patriots – who few were a minority at the time – about tyranny, the historical facts indicate that Britain on the whole actually had offered good government to its North American Colonies.

 Everyone who visited the Colonies from Europe noted the exceptional health of residents.

 They also noticed what seemed an extraordinary degree of freedom enjoyed by colonists. It was said to be amongst the freest place in the known world, likely owing in good part to its distance from the Mother Country. A favorite way to wealth was smuggling, especially with the Caribbean. John Hancock made his fortune that way.

 Ben Franklin once wrote a little memo, having noted the health of Americans and their birth rates, predicting the future overtaking of Britain by America, an idea not at all common at the time.

 Indeed, it was only the relative health and freedom which made the idea of separation at all realistic. Britain was, of course, at the time viewed much the way, with the same awe of power, people view America today. These well-known facts of essentially good government in the Colonies made the Declaration of Independence list of grievances sound exaggerated and melodramatic to outsiders even at the time.

 The combination of the Quebec Act, anti-Catholicism, dislike of taxes, plus the desire to move West and plunder more Indian lands were the absolute causes of the Revolution.

 Britain tried to recognize the rights of the aboriginals and had forbidden any movement west by the Colonies.

 But people in the colonies were land-mad, all hoping to make a fortune staking out claims they would sell to later settlers. The map of Massachusetts, for example, showed the colony stretching like a band across the continent to the Pacific. Britain did not agree.

 George Washington made a lot of money doing this very thing, more than any other enterprise of his except for marrying Martha Custis, the richest widow in the colonies.

 The tax issue is interesting.

 The French and Indian War (the Seven Years War) heavily benefited the Colonists by removing the threat of France in the West. Once the war was over, many colonists took the attitude that Britain could not take the benefits back, and they refused to pay the taxes largely imposed to pay the war’s considerable cost.

 And Americans have hated taxes since.

 By the way, in the end, without the huge assistance of France, the Colonies would not have won the war. France played an important role in the two decisive victories, Saratoga and Yorktown. At Saratoga they had smuggled in the weapons the Americans used. At Yorktown, the final battle, the French were completely responsible for the victory and for even committing to the battle. Washington had wanted instead to attack New York – which would have been a disaster – but the French generals then assisting recognized a unique opportunity at Yorktown.

 After the war, the United States never paid the huge French loans back. Some gratitude. Also the United States renounced the legitimate debts many citizens owed to British factors (merchant/shippers) for no good reason at all except not wanting to pay.

 It was all a much less glorious beginning than you would ever know from the drum-beating, baton-twirling, sequined costumes, and noise today. And if you really want to understand why America has become the very thing it claimed it was fighting in 1776, then you only need a little solid history. 

Source: 
Intifada (Voice of Palestine)

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 50
Grayzone Project 78
Pass Blue 148
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 416
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 2224
FEE 4136
Marine Le Pen 288
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 772
Mohamed Omar 318
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 18
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 94
Vetenskapsradion Historia 143
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 203
Les Crises 2452
Richard Falk 147
Ian Sinclair 95
SpinWatch 57
Counter Currents 8108
Kafila 410
Gail Malone 34
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 94
The Duran 9133
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5413
Paul Craig Roberts 1525
News Junkie Post 58
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 4380
Sir Ken Robinson 20
Stephan Kinsella 84
Liberty Blitzkrieg 836
Sami Bedouin 62
Consortium News 2420
21 Century Wire 3330
Burning Blogger 322
Stephen Gowans 80
David D. Friedman 149
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1500
Tom Dispatch 477
Levant Report 18
The Saker 3969
The Barnes Review 507
John Friend 420
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3623
School Sucks Project 1760
Giza Death Star 1771
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 593
GMWatch 2104
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 882
Le 4ème singe 89
Jacob Cohen 206
Agora Vox 13880
Cercle Des Volontaires 429
Panamza 1974
Fairewinds 111
Project Censored 907
Spy Culture 463
Conspiracy Archive 75
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 536
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 741
Independent Science News 71
The Anti Media 6287
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 279
The Mind renewed 438
Natural Society 2573
Yanis Varoufakis 918
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 100
Web of Debt 138
Porkins Policy Review 393
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 583
Libyan War Truth 310
DeadLine Live 1909
Kevin Ryan 62
BSNEWS 2031
Aaron Franz 214
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 138
Peter B Collins 1482
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 10206
Climate Audit 222
Donna Laframboise 405
Judith Curry 1105
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2217
Syria Report 78
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 11158
Laura Wells Solutions 41
Video Rebel's Blog 421
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 19360
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2874
Northerntruthseeker 2255
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4694
AntiWar.com Blog 2904
AntiWar.com Original Content 6604
Corbett Report 2242
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1154
Webster Tarpley Website 1051

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public