Tuesday :: Apr 19, 2005

Today Should Be A Holiday!

by pessimist

Today is the anniversary of one of the most important events in world history, and I'll bet 90% of the people of America can't tell you what happened today - or why.

It was a day fraught with implications of tremendous importance, and inspired many to emulate the action taken this day.

It was a time of great unrest, as powerful men who lived thousands of miles away from the scene of this action sought to impose, through the use of military force, an economic system designed to generate great riches for themselves, and to provide the means by which to expand this sphere of influence.

It was a time of great yearning, as those upon whom this foreign economic system was to be imposed chose not to accept the plans of these powerful men, seeking instead to claim for themselves the rights of free men, able to choose for themselves the courses of actions they would take, and stood by themselves - muskets in hand - and accepted the challenge issued to them by what was arguably the greatest army in the world of their time.

"Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."

"Lay down your arms, you damned rebels, or you are all dead men."

And then someone fired The Shot Heard 'Round The World.

The echoes from this shot reverberate to this day, as the people of the world seek to achieve the same freedom that the bravery and sacrifice of these few men standing up against great odds from a disadvantageous position.

The historical numbers of these men vary, but that isn't especially important. What is important is that these few men took action in spite of the disadvantages they faced. They had had enough. They were mad as hell and they weren't going to take it anymore.

They were few who faced many more. They were untrained as a unit, standing against a drilled and disciplined professional army. What few arms they had couldn't match those of their opponents. They had no great military power standing behind them with support and supplies. They were no match for these professionals, and should not have offered much of a challenge.

Steel Is No Match For An Ideal

But they had an ideal, and they chose to stand for that ideal. They began what became a war of attrition, fighting for time and hoping that those who started this war would feel some of the the pain they caloously inflicted upon those who declared 'No more!", and thus grow tired of the cost - the losses in lives and treasure they sustained for such a small gain.

In the end, with the support of a nation rival to the oppressor, this goal was achieved, and a new nation begun.

This lesson has been learned - and applied - by many others since that moment of April 19, 1775. Sadly, we ourselves have forgotten the lesson that we taught to the rest of the world. Sometimes, these others have tried to teach us our own lesson because we have forgotten.

We forgot that lesson in the Philippines in the early part of the twentieth century, as our history doesn't remember (as the Japanese still do not) nor acknowledge responsibility for vile actions taken in that region (and for the same reasons as the Japanese) - imperialism.

We imposed our own economic system upon a people who chose to refuse it, opting instead to stand against the Crown of Capitalism just as our own ancestors had once stood against the Crown of England. We claimed we were winning when it was clear we were not, and in the end, lost that which we sought, in part through the actions of a rival power, and in part because we had recently sustained enough losses from other causes to accept any more.

We forgot that lesson in Iran, when we chose to impose a government friendly to our economic system and declared ourselves to be the enemies of those people - an action for which we still do not recognize our responsibility for the response it geneated.

We forgot this lesson in Vietnam, where at the cost of 3 million lives, the Vietnamese people inflicted 59,000 deaths upon Americans and got us out of their land - because it became too expensive for us to continue that fight.

We have forgotten this lesson in many places, but in only one such place can we relearn this lesson before the costs grow more excessive - Iraq.

Our nation has lost its credibility as the champion of freedom and liberty in the eyes of the world precisely because we are imperialist. We seek to crush those who oppose us - often failing - while we aspire to create an economic system designed to bestow beneficent favors upon our favored few.

We act like the very kingdom which once oppressed us - and we are blind to this fact.

Could we look them in the eye, those who stood against the might of King George III of England at Lexington Green, and who traded their lives for the ideal that we claim to live under? Could we stand proudly and display how we applied the freedoms they won at the cost of their lives? Would they be as proud as today's Red Staters are of the Modern King George of America?

Would they not wonder if they paid too much?

pessimist :: 12:46 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!