What If We Could No Longer Celebrate Freedom on the 4th of July?

(ANTIMEDIA Op-Ed) United States — What if people, sickened by tyrannical control, threw off the shackles of bloated governance in favor of leading themselves? What if the erosion of fundamental freedoms — guaranteed not by a document, but by being human — were actually intolerable as so much grumbling intimated? What if government intrusion into people’s bedrooms, communications, sovereign corporeal decisions — of vice, health, and more — means of subsistence, financial choices, business, education, and innumerable other aspects, were utterly unacceptable?

What if even the revolutionary roots, the foundation, of the nation were soaked in the blood of countless individuals and peoples — a likely sign no tangible freedom would last beyond lip service?

What if “freedom” were little more than a propagandic bait-and-switch to distract from the systematic dwindling of essential human rights — both domestically and around the planet? What if those human rights encompassed living freely — as well as the right to live?

What if the slogan “freedom isn’t free” meant nothing?

What if a military occupation crept into effect and its brutes robbed a startling number of innocent people of life with near perfect impunity — and sizable segments of the population justified this as part of the job description? What if the leader of this not-at-all-free State declared that weapons of war have no place on the streets, but facilitated that madness, anyway?

What if peacefully protesting grievances — a bevy of which to choose from — stealthily became in the eyes of the law an act akin to terrorism? What if protest against the pillaging of planetary resources and polluting of the fresh water all life relies on earned a spot at the top of the paranoid corporatist government’s blacklists? What if calling for drastic overhauls of systemic bigotry and oppression were made to sound divisive and ridiculed instead of praised?

What if remotely-controlled and highly inaccurate drones bombed non-combatants and their families with abandon, but the empire deemed the deaths justifiable — and then severely undercut estimates of how many people have perished this way?

What if you were a citizen of this government — living inside or outside its borders — and your criticism of these abhorrent wrongs made you a victim of one of those bombs?

What if a government constructed protections of due process and judicial equality detained you indefinitely — without counsel or explanation or the ability to contact your loved ones — at a black site unknown to maps? What if a particularly vociferous post to social media — even in a private, confidential message — landed you there? What if a friend’s or associate’s post landed you in this governmental black hole?

What if the government acted only on behalf of corporations and banks — and amassed a military through cunning recruiting tactics to lay waste to anyone opposing that action? What if those institutions owned and operated nearly all media to disguise such pro-military propaganda as protecting already non-existent freedom? What if that manipulation were so successful it divided the population against one another to distract from the actual motives — and ridiculed those who didn’t buy the farce?

What if people were so desensitized to violence and spilled blood that acting as mercenaries for the State appeared honorable?

What if politics — on top of all this — were the bread and circuses of modern times? What if government limited political choice to two corrupt parties, allowed an unlimited influx of corporate money to influence the outcome of already  unrepresentative elections? What if the people — accepting of violence — became aggressive with each other in fights over which despotic ruler would next reign?

What if hegemonic imperialism’s last gasps rippled around the globe, causing a waterfall of governments to clamp down — and fascism’s rise were largely ignored?

What if the entire system — elections, protections, legislation, adjudication, militarization, all of it — were rigged beyond the people’s ability to reform it?

Would that be sufficient justification for celebrating a day named for the ghost of independence?

Or would that be nonpareil, indisputable just cause for outright revolt?


This article (What If We Could No Longer Celebrate Freedom on the 4th of July?) is an opinion editorial (OP-ED). The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of Anti-Media. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Matthew Straubmuller. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

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