By Desmond Rutherford | ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA -- What does the 4th July really signify?
The answer depends on who you are, and the time when you live; not so much the place.
With the utmost respect for the current traditions of celebrations by the people of the United States of America, future generations may still regard the 4th of July with a historical perspective. If we could travel a thousand years into the future, we might find that July 4th is still regarded as the American Day of Independence. Justifiably, it can be claimed that this day will become thought of as the one that symbolises Mankind’s advancement from feudal, monarchical forms of government to ones where people began to govern themselves; a day to celebrate the emancipation of the individual from the tyrannies of the monarchies.
In those thousand years the evolution of government, self-government of the people, by the people and for the people, may well have become something far different than originally envisioned in 1776, or in the intervening period up to our time. Whatever transpires in this millennium, July 4th will always remain a day of historical change for the human race that began with a declaration of Independence from tyranny.
Utopia, however, is not just equal freedom for the individual to pursue happiness. Our independence requires more than the opportunity of equality, it demands that no person be enslaved to another.
Slavery has many forms. It can be one person dominating another, a military force conquering a people, and religions tormenting people with fear to ensure they succumb to those beliefs. Perhaps the most common form of slavery in the modern industrial/technological world is the one imposed not just on their workers but also on those individuals who are deprived of the means to work. Poverty is not the result of slavery; it is the condition that makes the poor willing to trade-in their freedom and independence, for basic survival.
A declaration of independence is meaningless to you if your individual freedom has been sacrificed for the gain of others. Grabbing the means to displace human labour with technologically advanced machines, corporate minds have only thought to increase profits, leaving willing workers without an income.
Corruption of our independence happens whenever technology displaces a worker, deprives them of the means to earn income, and dispatches them to poverty camps on the edges of the not-so-civilised world.
If we have any common sense, we would realise that our human priority is to use technology to free us from as much drudgery as possible, so that we can concentrate on our truly human creative pursuits, abilities and education. The profits of corporations are more than enough to contribute toward supporting those workers displaced by technology; at least until they have found other employment.
Nevertheless, the riches from greed and avarice, equal to and often exceeding anything accumulated by those once powerful monarchs, are held in protected ‘trust’ for the shareholders of those corporations. This is done despite the resulting widespread poverty of those who must be wondering when they too will see their names on a declaration of independence that validates their individual freedom.
That our respect, for the government of the people, by the people and for the people, should be so aggressively corrupted by the right wing is hardly surprising, but the ineffectiveness of the leftwing in its ability to be understood is an indication it is losing understanding of its own core humanist spirit and Enlightenment origins.
Sadly, this can be projected into another cheery scenario about the start that Independence Day in America gave the human race. The remnants of our civilisation might well be as depicted in the movie starring Robert Taylor, H.G.Well’s ‘The Time Machine’, when he travels 802,701 years into his future.
The film makers envisioned that, in that far off time, a peaceful people known as the Eloi lived on the surface of our planet. Every so often, an air-raid siren sounds causing the Eloi go into a trance and they walk into an entrance reminiscent of a subway’s, where an underground race of degenerate humans called Morlocks prepare the Eloi to be consumed as their food.
In this scenario, we foretell that the Republican rightwing Morlocks will have finally reached the logical conclusion of their immoral greed, hatred, hypocrisy and contempt for human life, whilst the Democrat leftwing Eloi, will have lost their humanist spirit and submitted themselves to the apathy of an ambitionless existence devoid of their once proud struggle to enrich humanity.
In that far off day, our independence is cannibalised.
It need not happen. It must not happen.