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We, The People Are Violent And Filled With Rage: A Nation Spinning Apart On Its Independence Day

We, The People Are Violent And Filled With Rage: A Nation Spinning Apart On Its Independence Day

School shootings, hatred, capitalism run amok: This 4th of July, we are in the midst of a tragic public derangement


FRIDAY, JUL 4, 2014 06:45 AM PDT

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard ’round the world.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn,” 1837

For centuries most Americans have believed that “the shot heard ’round the world” in 1775 from Concord, Massachusetts, heralded the Enlightenment’s entry into history. Early observers of America such as G.W.F. Hegel, Edward Gibbon and Edmund Burke believed that, too. A new kind of republican citizen was rising, amid and against adherents of theocracy, divine-right monarchy, aristocracy and mercantilism. Republican citizens were quickening humanity’s stride toward horizons radiant with promises never before held and shared as widely as they were in America.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/04/we_the_people_are_violent_an...

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The author

correctly identifies part of the problem as a severe cultural detachment from guiding values. However, he completely misses the mark when he starts throwing blame on capitalism itself, implying that gun rights are somehow oppressive, and various other aspects.

He also doesn't understand

the part the government plays in his "corporate oligopoly". Or the government edicts which exacerbate the reactions he says are so detrimental.

I believe the dissonance people seem to be feeling these days is the realization that the government is NOT America, and doesn't really speak for what americans want or believe. Don't our founding documents say the government is "by the people, for the people"?

Of course, those documents were shredded years ago, but most people don't know that in their daily lives. As things get closer to home, they are starting to realize it, even if they still live in denial.
The 4th is still a reminder to some.

His assumption seems to be that the government IS America. I think he's wrong.

Just open the box and see


> Don't our founding documents say the government is
> "by the people, for the people?

The answer to your question is "no" in several senses. The first, and simplest, is simply that those phrases came from the tyrant Abraham Lincoln.

And even if you attribute those ideas to the Declaration of Independence (which most consider a "founding document") or the Constitution (which some also consider a founding document), they would have to be properly interpreted as empty propaganda. The idea of government by the people and for the people is simply contradictory. Government is *always* by the ruling caste and for the ruling caste at the expense of the (regular/ruled) people.


for the clarification. I didn't know that was Lincoln.
I agree with you as to his place in history, and that those words would be just propaganda.

But, being one of the ruled, I wouldn't know it was propaganda, while I'm eating my hot-dog and drinking a beer at an Independence day celebration.

The phrase was mentioned to me the other day, and I should have checked where it came from before I posted it. I heard it from what could be considered a "typical american". One of those that don't yet realize that the government does NOT represent "the people". With near constant prodding, he is beginning to show signs of life. That was all he could come up with to refute that the government is doing naughty things. I think he's out of ammo. ;)

Just open the box and see