Posted by: Martin Scherer | 03/07/2011

Happy Independence Day

Americans have some wonderful national holidays. Unlike this-side of-the-pond, where we celebrate Gods, kings and dead Saints, Americans celebrate living values that are the foundations of their success. Independence Day is one.

I searched for an appropriate cartoon but failed, so please envisage the characters

Tea Merchant: “You can’t put tax on tea. They will find something else to drink, like coffee.”

King: I need money to pay for troops to keep the French out of the America colonies or you won’t be selling any tea, they will be drinking French wine.

Diplomat: But if you put taxes up, the colonists will want independence from all taxes.

And so they did. Taking Independence, the American people were free to decide if they were predominantly French, British or German. There is a strong American belief, that had the Founding Fathers voted, then German would be the official language of the independent United States of America.

That would have changed the outcome of the 1st and 2nd world wars. The Beatles would have stayed in Hamburg, singing Der Fuhrer leibt dich in place of All You Need is Love). The internet would be in German. Southern US States today would be struggling to understand Spanman rather than Spanglish. (Spanish-English, Spanish-German.)

As a radical independent, I am an absolute believer in independence. Independence means the freedom to determining one’s own destiny. That also means being free of the burden of others. Just think how prosperous London would be today, if it was a capital state like Singapore or Hong Kong. No taxes to pay for the Irish troubles, subsidise the Welsh or Scottish economies or even the poorer areas of the north and southwest. Thank God southern Ireland got independence, or today the UK would be in even deeper financial hole.

As an Englishman, I raise my glass to independence and look forward to the forthcoming independence of Scotland. Once the Welsh and Scots are independent they will soon change their tune towards English buying holiday homes. They will be inviting us in with our tourist dollars.

How dare I say that? I can hear the moral outrage. Don’t I understand that independence is only for the underdog? No its not. Independence is for all. Rich nations and daddies wishing to be independent of the burdens of family, nation and all those who don’t work hard to be independent. The English are paying to keep Protestants and Catholics from fighting like unruly teenagers. The English are subsiding Welsh Schools and yet all the evidence shows that Welsh schools are failing. The English subsidise Welsh and Scottish Universities, yet they charge English students the full wack. If the Welsh and Scottish think they’ve got it right for their people, fine, go ahead, but don’t ask me to pay for their experiments.

How dare I? I can hear the moral outrage of those who do not value the freedom that comes from independence.

A great many Americans would also protest, ‘You can’t say that!” America had a civil war to stop the Southern States going independent. Just think if the South had won. Slavery and prejudice would have lasted a bit longer, but that would have ended before now. No-one wants to be a pariah state. That’s what ended apartheid. Not a war.

Today the USA would be several different nations. California, the eastern seaboard, Ari-Texas, Southern States, Great Planes and Florida, or something like that, Canada would probably be three different nations, one speaking only French. Alaska would still be part of Russia. The USA would never have had the wealth to fight a war in Vietnam or Iraq. Europe would be German and China dominated by the Japanese. Such are the accidents of history.

Today Americans thank God for their independence from English Kings, yet their President, beats a path to rub shoulders with the current English Monarch. History leads us on strange twists and turns.

The fact is that we are all inter-dependent. However that inter dependence does not mean we should accept being dependent on others. Dependence on others is not a choice. It is the forever anxiety that no-one will put a penny in our cap. Whether we strive to be bankers earning megabucks or build a shack and live in a wood like Thoreau, that is our choice.

With megabucks in my pocket I live forever with the anxiety that someone will want to take it from me. I know which choice I now want to take. Build the shack in the wood.

On this Independence Day, I raise a glass of root beer to the values that make me a contented man.

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Responses

  1. Happy4th to you too! If WordPress had a “Like” button, I’d be clicking it now! Cheers,
    Brenda

  2. Happy 4th of July to you as well, from lovely but cold Buenos Aires…. Where passions both amorous & political run deep! Cheers Martin!!


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