My politics does not agree with the term “independence.” The word implies owing; that the piece of paper that declares identity and self-determination is but a debt repaid. The word implies something deserved; medals to the honored as treats to well-behaved dogs. “Independence” implies an absence of dependence, or at least, a lurking presence of a previous relationship.
I don’t like to call it “independence.” The heroes fought for nothing less than freedom.
The struggle to freedom is never-ending, and it should not stop. The challenges to our essential freedoms will always be there, and there will always be things that stand in the way of realizing true freedom and independence (for whatever the latter is worth). We do not surrender rights, or give them up at the expense of other privileges. If we’re not prepared to struggle, to fight, to take, and perhaps even to die for freedom, you’re better off without it. If you’re prepared to surrender freedom, you’re better off being a slave.
I question the politics of our independence, its authenticity, and how genuine it is. I question the idea that we owe other nations our independence, on the basis of a piece of paper or the “altruism” of colonizers. I question the idea that independence and freedom are things that we should “keep in mind.” We fight for it, we struggle for it, and we resist the chains – break them – that keep us bound to an existence that makes us independent by recognition, and yet our freedom is always put into question.
I am not a patriot. I do not wear three-stars-and-a-sun, and I do not wave the flag of this country. Yet I struggle for that freedom, and I long for the day that we go beyond independence, and realize that flags, marches, and declarations written on pieces of paper make a country with borders. Yet in that country with borders, freedom will be challenged.
We must fight, we must dissent, we must resist.