Celebrate the Fourth: Declare some Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Though I’d love to celebrate Independence Day by pulling-a-founding-fathers and casting off the bondage of the state, such a declaration would scarcely do much for me. A number of Americans have tried it only to be hauled off to jail for tax evasion. Nevermind that I do consider myself an independent, sovereign individual: it’s just that the state does not care for my freedom, wanting rather to take that which is mine for its own purposes.

A discussion for another day.

Fourth of July celebrations these days are ironic: they pay lip service to “freedom” while cheering on government. The Declaration of Independence was about throwing off the bondage of government and being free.

Yes, July 4, 1776, is a day to remember, a day when certain men set a precedent by declaring their innate, individual freedom as human beings. I honor that declaration today and every day by believing in the freedom of individuals.

Rather than merely talk about freedom and independence, I have a challenge: find some small way to throw off the chains of government. Doing so means declaring some independence.

How? It’s pretty easy: completely ignore some “absurd law” of your choosing by breaking it. What’s an absurd law? Any law that restricts the free use of your property1 or prohibits you from engaging in some harmless activity.

This could mean driving without your seatbelt. Or it could mean smoking marijuana. It could be as silly as watering your lawn on an uneven day. Maybe for you its carrying a concealed weapon in public (like a pocketknife). Have an open container in a public space. Ignore a traffic sign on an empty road. Perhaps the most popular will be shooting off some fireworks. The point, though somewhat absurd itself2, is that by breaking absurd laws, you express your freedom as an individual with unalienable rights: you declare some independence and celebrate freedom.

If you choose to declare some independence today, I’d like to hear about what you did. No act is too mundane nor too profane. Get creative and be free. Finally, it should go without saying that there are plenty of laws worth abiding by3: expressing freedom requires being responsible for yourself and respecting the property1 of others.

1 Your stuff and your body.
2 Though we live in awfully absurd times.
3 Most of which require no study of legal or regulatory texts — or require being displayed on signs.