On this day in 1776, British subjects in North America publicly declared their independence from Great Britain. In doing so they were courageously standing up against an autocratic king and his cronies, and trying to protect their ancient, hard won freedoms stretching back to before Magna Carta, which were in danger. It remains an inspiring example for everyone.
In their Declaration of Independence they were explaining, to the world, their actions, the reasons why these became necessary and what they believed in, particularly inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Their actions were well within the bounds of progressive English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish political thought of the day, in particular, that of John Locke and Dr Richard Price, which itself has some roots reaching back to William of Ockham. Sadly though they omitted reference to property (in its widest terms), which governments have a habit of taking or destroying, rather than protecting, and failed to define happiness leading to endless confusion.
It was a great day everyone should remember and celebrate; yet the work is unfinished and will remain so if we do not follow their example and don’t stand up against rulers who abuse their power over us and ignore our rights and wishes.
And so, In the Spirit of the 4th of July 1776,
A Declaration of the British People
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a once free people to dissolve the bonds which have connected them with their rulers, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, respect for the opinions of others requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to act.
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that everyone is created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of Life, Liberty, Property and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among nations, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such guiding principles, powers, and policies in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to facilitate their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that old ruling Establishments should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that the people are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by challenging the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursues a design to reduce them to manipulation and humble servitude under corporatism or other forms of unrepresentative, poorly managed and exploitative forms of governance, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of this land; and such is now the necessity which constrains this people to alter the Government and Systems of Government. The longstanding history of our rulers is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of Tyranny over this nation. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
- They have managed our decline as a free and dignified people with our own identity;
- They have continually ignored us and our wishes;
- They have imposed taxes and other burdens without our consent and destroyed our existing wealth;
- They have placed ever increasing and outrageous debts on us and future generations by their imprudent borrowing, financial dealings and extravagance;
- They have signed away our ancient rights and freedoms without our consent; They have given foreign, alien courts and bureaucrats supremacy over our own courts and Parliament;
- They have opened our borders to miscreants, criminals and those who would destroy us, and when these persons are found amongst us they awarded them rights to remain and profit at our expense;
- They have visited spin upon us which manipulates us and disguises the true nature of their actions;
- They have restricted the freedoms of the press and of speech;
- They have caused scandals in their pursuit of personal gain at our expense and against our standards of honesty and trust;
- And they have done or failed to do, many other acts, known to every good and honest citizen, which have made our condition worse than it could otherwise be.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. Politicians and others in the ruling Establishment, whose characters are thus marked by every act which may define emerging oligarchy, are unfit to be rulers of a free people.
On the 4thof July with grateful acknowledgements to Thomas Jefferson (author), John Locke (political philosopher) and the 56 brave signatories of 1776; also Dr Richard Price and Thomas Paine