A New Declaration of Independence

The more we uncover and discover about our history, the more it looks like we fought the British Army to free the Oligarchy from the British Monarchy and theocratic rule under the influence of the Church of England. From this perspective, our ancestors swapped rule from monarchy to rule by an oligarchy. Instead of suffering under British rule and paying taxes to England, we paid taxes to the American Oligarchy and have been ruled by them since the very beginning, even before we became the United States of America.

Due to Independence Day this past weekend, there have been many articles chiming in our current state of affairs as we celebrate our 245 birthday. Have we ever achieved independence, or was that just an idea we are working toward as a society? With public health at the center of debates, and the need to up our vaccine program accompanied by the meltdown of “patriots” across the land, it’s still a highly debated topic.

Old Declaration of Independence

In 1787, 11 years after the Declaration of Independence proclaimed that “all men are created equal,” the US Constitution was adopted. It begins with this preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Who is “we the people?”

I’ve tossed this out for discussion locally, and few people respond to this because they assume it’s rather obvious–all of us are created equal. Sadly, that’s the white male version of equality. But, if the past 50 years have taught us anything, nothing is as obvious as it seems, and we all know what happens when we make assumptions.

Democracy as a Process

The first black federal judge, William H. Hastie, in 1937 said, “Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming rather than being. It can be easily lost but is never finally won.” Much of the United States history reflects this ongoing process, as individuals and groups have attempted to make the country better reflect the democratic ideals expressed in its founding documents.

It’s 2021. Do you think we’ve won independence to become a democracy from our rulers/oppressors?

Women’s suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony was one individual who challenged the country to expand its definition of who belongs. Unfortunately, in November 1872, she was arrested for voting in a federal election before women had gained the right to do so. Before her trial, she gave a speech titled “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?” In that speech, she quoted the preamble to the Constitution and then stated:

It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet, we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people—women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government—the ballot.

White male landowning or taxpayer was the only citizen allowed to vote. What about one of the primary authors of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson:

Then there is the clause about slavery in Jefferson’s original rough draft of the declaration. King George, said Jefferson, had “waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation hither.” This seems like conclusive evidence that white Americans were capable at the time of grasping the concept that slavery was evil. Thus judging those who engaged in it is not “presentism,” in which we impose today’s moral standards on the past.

The USA is an Oligarchy

As I’ve written about numerous times, the US is an oligarchy. It has always been an oligarchy, and we’ve been seeking independence ever since we broke from the British colonies. Many people have pointed this out over the years. In 1909, Emma Goldman broke us down pretty well:

The history of the American kings of capital and authority is the history of repeated crimes, injustice, oppression, outrage, and abuse, all aiming at the suppression of individual liberties and the exploitation of the people. A vast country, rich enough to supply all her children with all possible comforts, and ensure well-being to all, is in the hands of a few, while the nameless millions are at the mercy of ruthless wealth gatherers, unscrupulous lawmakers, and corrupt politicians. Sturdy sons of America are forced to tramp the country in a fruitless search for bread, and many of her daughters are driven into the street, while thousands of tender children are daily sacrificed on the altar of Mammon. The reign of these kings is holding mankind in slavery, perpetuating poverty and disease, maintaining crime and corruption; it is fettering the spirit of liberty, throttling the voice of justice, and degrading and oppressing humanity. It is engaged in continual war and slaughter, devastating the country and destroying the best and finest qualities of man; it nurtures superstition and ignorance, sows prejudice and strife, and turns the human family into a camp of Ishmaelites.

A New Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson already wrote the first declaration of independence, so I’m giving Emma Goldman her due 133 years later when she writes:

We, therefore, the liberty-loving men and women, realizing the great injustice and brutality of this state of affairs, earnestly and boldly do hereby declare, That each and every individual is and ought to be free to own himself and to enjoy the full fruit of his labor; that man is absolved from all allegiance to the kings of authority and capital; that he has, by the very fact of his being, free access to the land and all means of production, and entire liberty of disposing of the fruits of his efforts; that each and every individual has the unquestionable and unabridgeable right of free and voluntary association with other equally sovereign individuals for economic, political, social, and all other purposes, and that to achieve this end man must emancipate himself from the sacredness of property, the respect for man-made law, the fear of the Church, the cowardice of public opinion, the stupid arrogance of national, racial, religious, and sex superiority, and from the narrow puritanical conception of human life. And for the support of this Declaration, and with a firm reliance on the harmonious blending of man’s social and individual tendencies, the lovers of liberty joyfully consecrate their uncompromising devotion, their energy and intelligence, their solidarity and their lives.

Emma, the so-called radical was gifted way before her time.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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