American Independence

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

America just celebrated Independence Day – when the American colonies formally separated from Great Britain in 1776. This declaration stares us in the face every year and forces us to study certain realities of political life. Here are a few.

1) Political science confirms the right of people to abolish and form new government. This science is based on the principles of both natural law and utilitarianism: that human happiness and survival are primary to our existence.

2) Conditions may be required to justify separation. For example, our Constitution was formed by the people’s delegates from their states in special conventions called by state legislatures. Unlike the Articles of Confederation, this union was not formed by state legislatures. Thus, as Abraham Lincoln noted, the only way states can separate is by the same method they created the union. But for people who continually suffer from government oppression and usurpation, separation is mere survival. (For example, see southern Sudan). Thus, political separation is objectively weighed on a scale of necessity.

3) Independence can advance liberty and prosperity. People must apply correct science and not irrational emotions here. Like a doctor treats illnesses in the human body by proven principles of medicine, biology, etc., society must similarly treat the political body. Of course, the greater the illness, the greater the remedy needed.

Regardless of political persuasions, Americans should be thankful for the principles advanced in our Declaration.


By Joe Carbonari

When we, the United States, declared our independence we did so because we were fed up with unfair treatment. Chief among the grievances was taxation without representation. When decisions were made, as to who was going to have to pay how much, when, and on what, we didn’t have much of a say. We, as a colony, did not adequately control our lives. We did not consider the decisions fair or conducive to our well-being. We revolted, and we won our independence.

The Greeks are doing something similar now. Their country has run up a great deal of debt, relative to the size of their economy. Most is owed to European banks. When unable to pay they have been bailed out, on a couple of occasions, by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Little debt has been forgiven, but rather the payback period extended. This has not worked well.

As part of the extensions the Greeks have had to agree to cut expenses and raise taxes. This has not stimulated the economy but rather worked to further constrict it. Unemployment is high; average citizens are struggling, and the future looks bleak. The Greeks would like to see their debt load reduced and some stimulative measures introduced into their economy. Their creditors say tighten your belts and pay your bills. This isn’t working. Greece voted to rebel. Good.