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Friday, June 30, 2017

Thoughts and feelings over the US Fourth of July holiday

By សតិវ អតុ
So another Fourth of July will come in a few days. That is a holiday I have mixed feelings about. No doubt that there will be plenty of jingoistic TV shows and commercials on TV and radio promoting all the wrong things about this holiday. It was a great revolution for its time. The United States was created out of a change, based in part on the anti-feudalistic political movements in Europe and anti-colonialism in the Americas. A small group of colonies of the United Kingdom decided it was time for their own independent country. So they kicked the British out. They got rid of any form of feudal aristocracy. It all seemed good at the time. And let's not forget that this revolution was strictly for the benefit of white people of European decent. Black slaves and Native American Indians were not invited to this new world.

But then we come to the United States in 2017. We have no formal aristocrats, but we
have them informally. Such individuals as Charles and David Koch, Robert Mercer and even out own president, Donald Trump, have huge incomes and promote politics, in the Republican Party, that entitles them to the kind of wealth and power only kings, queens and other royalty are known for having. They have no formal titles, but they have so much power and wealth they don't need them.
For a country that fought off colonialism we are the most imperialistic force in the world today. We are the only country that presently occupies two nations, Iraq and Afghanistan. While we originally fought a colonial power, today we ARE a major colonial power.
If there is one thing I do like about this holiday it is the fireworks. Along with plenty of beer, grilled meat and a chance to hang out with my friends and relatives, who could ask for a better holiday? But there are those who do.
This is a modern capitalist country and we really need a revolution for a socialist country. We really need to celebrate an end to this over extended empire. We need a holiday that celebrates an end to modern day feudal lords, such as trump and the Kochs. To put it simply: We really need a Revolution!
But still, I like the fireworks. I like spending time with my friends and family. I like drinking beer. And the US Revolution represented the change from the era of feudalism to the era of capitalism, as Marx once predicted. I hope some day we have a second revolution to usher in that era of socialism. But until then I will probably continue to celebrate the Fourth of July.  

For some notes on the importance of our various theoreticians of the 18th century. This is from last year:

I like to remind people that there are a few good things about the US revolution, as well as some not-so-good things. We are talking about a revolution that concluded with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies were to become an independent nation.
The most important thing about the US revolution was that it served as a turning point from Feudalism to capitalism, according to the Marxist theory of historical materialism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels claimed to have identified five successive stages of the development of material conditions in Western Europe.[1] One of the shifts that Marx and Engels believed was important in his stages of human economic and political development: From feudalism to capitalism, from capitalism to socialism.
Of our founding fathers, the Republicans (anti-aristocrats at that time) included both Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. They differed from George Hamilton and his Federalists who wanted to create some kind of aristocracy.  In his later writings, Paine condemned the Federalists for trying to reverse the US revolution and what it stood for.

For the rest, click here.

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