In my typically contrarian, anti-American fashion, I’m posting a link to a highly appropriate piece on why not to celebrate our independence from Britain.
3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake
This July 4th, I’m celebrating by taking a plane from the US to the United Kingdom. The timing wasn’t intentional, but I embrace the symbolism. American independence in 1776 was a monumental mistake. We should be mourning the fact that we left the United Kingdom, not cheering it.
Of course, evaluating the wisdom of the American Revolution means dealing with counterfactuals. As any historian would tell you, this is messy business. We obviously can’t be entirely sure how America would have fared if it had stayed in the British Empire longer, perhaps gaining independence a century or so later, along with Canada.
But I’m reasonably confident a world where the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: slavery would’ve been abolished earlier, American Indians would’ve faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier and lessens the risk of democratic collapse.
It’s a debatable thesis to be sure, but it’s worth questioning the lifetime of propaganda that any citizen of this country ingests regarding the unquestioningly glorious rebellion that made us the supposedly greatest country on Earth for all time.
And just to show that there are wonderful things in this universe to celebrate on this or any other day, here’s some starry fireworks for you, courtesy of Hubble.