It is the 4th July today. The so-called “Independence Day”. But independence for who? Where is the freedom that the common man was promised? Where is the freedom for the worker, the proletarian? He was subjugated to the Englishman and now he is subjugated to capital. The chains weren’t abolished, the chains didn’t change form, only owners. But does the proletarian care if he works for the English or the American? What is the difference after all? Is that why he was fighting? Is that why he still fights everyday?
The fireworks talk to him and say: “we, Americans, are all one, we, Americans, are all free, we live and constitute the land of freedom”. But should the proletarian fall for that? Empirical evidence shows otherwise. In the “land of freedom”, which by the way produces more than it can consume, 42 million are struggling with poverty, people of color are being shot by the police for no other reason than their skin and anti-fascists are being labeled “terrorists” while in the meantime the President and the cabinet are flirting with fascism.
In 1852, Frederick Douglass in a speech asked a question that remains significant today: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?”
He answered: “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”
Don’t celebrate along with the rich their and only theirs day of independence, but as Rousseau put it, “eat them”. In socialism every day is a day of the worker’s independence. The 4th of July should mean nothing to us now.