Declaration of Independence

American flagby Sarah at ProgressiveKid

Two hundred and thirty-two years ago today, our forefathers, supported and counseled by our wise and steadfast foremothers, declared in a moving and revolutionary document their independence from the tyranny of a colonial rule without representation and began the effort to design a radically new type of government founded on the principle that all men, and regretfully only men and not quite all of them, are created equal and that government should be of, by, and for the people. Since that time, our most wise and courageous ancestors, including among numerous others Chief Sealth, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr., César Chavez, and Rachel Carson, have with equal elegance asserted additional essential truths about the value of people of all colors and races and both genders, about our brother and sister animals, and about the forests and mountains and rivers of our nation. But today, we, the descendants of these people of vision and principle, have lost our way and stoop on the edge of moral decay, spiritual ignorance, and self-destruction.

Yoked by the tyranny of a corporate and capitalist rule that cares not for the people it controls and instructs nor for the resources it usurps and wastes, we move without purpose, we act without thought, and we contribute our own lives and energies to supporting the beast that is destroying us. We are taxed in countless and often indirect and unseen ways by these private institutions that do not represent our best interests. We are lulled into docility by the pervasive media voices and images generated and controlled by these tyrants. They urge us into war to give our lives in their defense yet they do nothing to protect us in return. On the birthday of our country we are urged to “celebrate” by consuming, “remember” through forgettable purchases devoid of meaning, and affirm our independence by heeding the voice of the tyrant who oppresses by telling us we are not good enough as we are, that we lack essential qualities, products, or services that would make us whole, and that we will be freed from our sorrows and imperfections by giving ourselves and what we own and create to that very tyrant.

Having come to the precipice of our own demise, we can if we so choose see before us the terrible chasm of the tyrant’s vast and awesome power. This is a call for us to stand together, defiant of our common oppressors. We must unite—strong, righteous, fierce, and focused and once again hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • that all animals, human and otherwise, regardless of how they are created or how they emerge into and through life, are deserving of equal rights;
  • that chief among these are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of a true happiness that comes from self-actualization, freedom of thought and voice, freedom from poverty and violence, communion with friends and family, and peaceful coexistence with one another, a happiness not extracted at the expense of ourselves, our neighbors, or our home;
  • that a democratic government of the people, by the people, and for the people should not and must not be construed and envisioned primarily as a capitalist government and should not and must not be in league with corporate interests, which are not the same as and in fact are in conflict with the interests of the people; and
  • that when an abuse of power that threatens these rights and the ability of all people to claim them is pervasive, long-standing, and institutionalized, the people have the right and the duty to overthrow it.

Our government in league with corporate and therefore private interest, operating in defense of corporate profit, is by logical extension and demonstrated to be through well-documented, long-standing evidence in opposition to the self-evident rights of the people. This is a call, therefore, for the people of the United States of America to reclaim our government as our own, to assert our right to independence from corporate tyranny, to absolve our allegiance to a culture of consumption, to dissolve all political connection between our free, independent states and the Corporate State, and to pledge to one another in this declaration our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Image by Ed Euthman 2008, Creative Commons license

©2008 ProgressiveKid

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