Monday, July 04, 2005

Glenn Reynolds on Independence Day

Independence Day - Glenn Reynolds - "We usually call it the 'Fourth of July,' but it's worth mentioning that what we celebrate on the Fourth of July is America's independence. Not America's membership in the family of nations, not America's connectedness with the rest of the world, not the many ways in which America is like other countries, but American independence.

That's an unfashionable thing to celebrate in these days of overarching international institutions, globalized trade, and global media villages. But although there are plenty of positives to globalization, there are plenty of positives to independence, too.

It's no accident that the biggest enthusiasts for increasing the power of international institutions, after all, are usually the people who are losing the political battle at home. Independence means we get to decide whether to go along. Being independent means that you may choose to demonstrate -- as America did in the Declaration of Independence -- a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind."

But the Declaration showed that respect by explaining why Americans were doing something that, if the opinions of other countries were determinative, we never would have done.

...Power to the people. It's an American idea, and it's one that elites, abroad and at home, have always found threatening."

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