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Reflections On The 4th Of July

Brandon Smith

Blessing You get what you pay for. Or, more precisely, you get what you work for. Over 230 years ago, a group of colonists on the edge of the new world realized that the freedom they traveled halfway across the planet searching for would never be, unless, that is, they finally confronted the iron-fisted enemy they once ran from.  
Their Declaration of Independence was a struggle in itself. Most Americans at that time were not resolved to support revolution. Many were undecided even after the war was won. Ultimately, the most powerful and pervasive empire on earth at that time, the British Empire, was defeated by a mere portion of the American population; farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen, frontiersmen, who had fought with such force of will, with such passion, that they were able to convince other nations (like France) that such a thing could even be achieved. In that moment, they transformed the shape of the Earth forever. The impossible was now, indeed, possible. The great shadow of elitism and autocracy was not only vulnerable; it could be crushed by the likes of so called “peasants”. The common man could determine his own destiny, and shape his own government. No matter what had happened before, or what has happened since, no one, and nothing, could erase that moment from time, when the leviathan was cast down, and men tasted true freedom.
You get what you work for.

I and many others of my generation have in the past felt lost, as if we were born in the wrong time and faced with a society and a nation so warped and backwards we might never be able to assimilate. At first, you suspect that something must be wrong with you, but later, you begin to realize that you are simply honest, and that something instead is dearly wrong with the world. The question then is whether or not you risk yourself and your sanity by conforming, or risk even greater stakes, and attempt to right the wrongs that came before. Wrongs you were born into. Do you have the guts to clean up the mistakes of generations past and set things right, or do you leave these overwhelming problems for your children? On July 4th, 1776, a courageous organization of men and women offered themselves as a shield to those who would come after. They dared to say “no more”. And, on this day, in this age of renewed tyranny, we must consider if it is not our time to step forward and become the wall that holds fast against the storm.
Independence Day is not about blind nationalism, it is not about statism, it is not about collectivist subservience to a pervasive bureaucracy; it is about the rebirth of the individual in the face of overwhelming despotism, and the creation of a country whose fundamental focus was the nurturance of such individualism above the desires of government. Beyond the often irrational fears of the “majority”. A philosophy of decentralization that was meant to supersede elitist addictions to power and dominance. The 4th of July is a marker, an oasis in the annals of history, when the true potential of humanity could be glimpsed, even if only for a moment.
Ever since, men have longed for another opening in the veil. We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated, conned, conditioned, and enslaved. We have abandoned our self sufficiency, and become utterly dependent upon political and economic systems we no longer have any real influence over. America has lost itself, and the darkness grows ever more heavy. For those who have awakened to this reality, I can say only this; you are not the first. Others have come before you. Others have fought back. Others have been victorious. You have been given the most evocative foundation on which to stand; you have been given heritage. You know now what can be accomplished, if only we have the determination to move ahead. You also know what is required for success. You know what has been sacrificed in the past, and what must be sacrificed again. For every 4th of July for the past two centuries, we are reminded what it takes to be free.

It is important to celebrate the accomplishments of the past, and to learn from the struggles of our ancestry. It is enriching to our character to focus at least one day on that which is best in our natures, to embody and make tangible our principles. It is honorable to give thanks to those who gave so much, if only to prove what can be done. But this is not the end of our responsibilities. We are also tasked with ensuring the legacy carries on. Our very conscience demands that we not only maintain the structures of liberty, but that we build even further. We have much to do, and little time to do it.

You get what you work for. It is time to go to work…

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