Why do you celebrate on the fourth of July? Is it because of America’s independence from the tyranny of the King of Great Britain? Is it because you have freedom of religion, or speech, or expression? Or do you just love to celebrate, no matter what the season? After beginning to see America for what it truly is, I can rule out for me all but the last option. America itself is fully dependent, everyone in it is dependent. Where is the independence in America?

America’s Dependence

On July 4, 1776, after a delay or two, the Founding Fathers signed a document that certainly changed the world forever: the Declaration of Independence. It was a formal declaration that claimed the United States of America as a completely separate nation from Great Britain and its unjust king. Had the King given the colonials a representation in Parliament, the revolution would have simply been dangerous, and not worth the risk. I’m not going to go into specifics on events such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston “Massacre.”

As America industrialized, everyone from farmers to corporations began to see many ways to cut corners. One of these was slavery. Of course, this had been in the Americas since the 1500s, when the continents were beginning to be colonized. Slavery as we know it only began with the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Before that, they were treated somewhat better, and could proudly earn their freedom. Although I’m not sure when this transition from subservitude to pure cruelty and exploitation took effect, the idea of “earning freedom” in slavery was effectively no longer existant by 1776. To relate this back to my point, masters were dependent on their slaves’ work, and slaves were dependent on their masters to feed them, and not kill them. I do want to point out that Abraham Lincoln, with his Emancipation Proclamation, did set the slaves in the Union free, while it took a long time for that “freedom” to reach all of America and even longer for the “free” to be free.

America itself is dependent, as well. During the coronavirus pandemic, especially the earlier bits, America’s reliance on China shined bright. We ran out of toilet paper. If you look at pretty much anything, say in a store, and almost certainly in your own home, there are those cheap Chinese electronics and fine-print labels on the bottoms of everything saying, “Made in China,” or mentioning China in the line of manufacture, even if it says “Made in the USA.” There’s always fine print, and it always leads to China.

Freedom of What?

The Red Scare. Being a communist or speaking out against the government was effectively, and in some cases literally, illegal. Where is the freedom of speech?

The Sedition Act is a very good example of this. It outlawed speaking out against the government or pointing out its flaws. I know of a particular someone who would very much like that law in effect today.

Freedom of religion is a lie too, but not at the hands of the federal government. It was the pressure and persecution of the people that brought Joseph Smith’s followers to found Salt Lake City, Utah.

Freedom of expression is limited by modesty laws and the rules at your local government-funded, somewhat government-ran public schools.

So where is the freedom in America? Other countries have surpassed us in different ways. You can more easily fulfill “the American dream” outside of America than inside. It’s what we got and with pushback from many places up top, it’s not going to get better.