|Posted by Ratman on July 5, 2013 at 2:15 AM|
Independence Day. The Day we declared ourselves free of the tyranny of England. Many of us realize that tyrants don’t always wear a crown. We are libertarian because we see how controlling someone’s life is as tyrannical as anything the king of England or Parliament did to the colonists. Many of us become very cynical towards the nationalism and party behavior that surrounds the 4th of July now. This may not be the best attitude to take towards this day.
I even started the day with cynical and snarky remarks about how few people pay attention to the true meaning of Independence Day. I went so far as to call it Secession Day (yes, I said this before Julie said it but since she isn’t my friend I don’t know where she got it. xD) and calling folks simply celebrating a day loyalists. Here is where the real problem: I used an ad hominem. Breaking a major rule of argumentation/debate, I just made myself look bad. You should not spend your time attacking people. I can cite another example that libertarians are quite prone to using: statist. This is a major problem. If you know anyone using terms like this, please tell them to stop. It is disrespectful and no matter how true, does not win us any battles. Secession Day may capture one point that is very critical to get across to people; it is probably not going to raise awareness today. People are not going to be receptive of something, if you are trying to change the name to suit your perspective. This may be a great point but I doubt you will be very effective with this tactic.
Now for the major issue, we reject nationalism and the watering down of this important day in our history but do we miss the point ourselves? Be careful not to be too cynical and ignore the very thing that you are trying to point out. For me, it took staring at a fireworks show doing some soul searching before I realized that I had done exactly what I was preaching against: I forgot to truly celebrate the day for what it is. Remember that, even though you may disagree with the nationalist spirit and the party atmosphere that has nothing to do with Independence Day, you should be sharing that spirit. You should be sharing why the day is important to you. There is educational value in everything except cynicism and sulking. I did this and missed some great opportunities to remind people:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Celebrate Classical Liberalism on Independence Day.