Independence Day Roundup

Below are some quotes, links, and videos related to Independence Day, which we can continue to celebrate through the weekend and every day.

In words that resonate today, General George Washington‘s wrote on 7/2/1776, excerpted from general orders (HT: The Claremont Institute):

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them…Our own Country’s Honor all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world…The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world, that a free man contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

Psychologist Michael J. Hurd wrote “Liberty, reason and individualism are always there for the taking. They always were. All you have to do is embrace them.”

Activist Ari Armstrong wrote that the Declaration of Independence “…was the beginning of the first moral country on earth—a country in which individual rights were to be explicitly recognized and protected.”

In stark contrast to the pragmatic politicians of today, Ron Pisaturo observed that “Our Founders stood on principle, the principle of individual rights, and that is why the United States of America became the most moral and prosperous nation in history.” This reminds me of philosopher Leonard Peikoff‘s guidance on the essential role that principles play in morality by linking the choice of current action to the foreseeable consequences of causation, which politicians today evade as if upon principle.

In Capitalism Magazine, Michael Berliner expounded upon a theme that is very much at the core of Selfish Citizenship [HT: Gus Van Horn]:

To the Founding Fathers, there was no authority higher than the individual mind, not King George, not God, not society. Reason, wrote Ethan Allen, is ‘the only oracle of man,’ and Thomas Jefferson advised us to ‘fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God.’ That is the meaning of independence: trust in your own judgment, in reason; do not sacrifice your mind to the state, the church, the race, the nation, or your neighbors.

Check out this excerpted vid of Andrew Lewis (VanDamme Academy) delivering Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.

 

I recommend Soomo Publishing’s adaptation of “Apologize” by One Republic to dramatize issues from our Revolution.

 

For historical fiction dramatizing the ideas that led to the American Revolution, I recommend novelist Edward Cline’s Sparrowhawk series, which begin with the Jack Frake volume, in which an English boy turned smuggler becomes an immigrant to America.

 

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