NEW CASTLE, Pa., June 29, 2015 — The Fourth of July holiday is not just America’s Independence Day. In many respects, it marks the beginning of independence for the world. Reviving the dream of Athenian democracy, the 13 British colonies that would become the world’s most influential and powerful nation not only rejected the traditional rule of a monarch, they also put forth a philosophy that today resonates throughout the entire world.
With their Declaration of Independence, America’s Founding Fathers rejected the notions that all people are born subjugated to those endowed by their creator to rule and that nations exist solely to serve the powerful elites. In doing so, they laid the foundation for modern views on the role and responsibilities of government.
The success of governments is now measured by how well it serves the interests of their peoples while strong countries are built by addressing and balancing the interests of a nation’s peoples, not its rulers.
When government fails to adequately address the needs and wants of its people, it is their inherited right and responsibility to demand government recognize its failures and address the grievances of its people.
With economic disparity suppressing freedom and civil unrest provoking few constructive results beyond violence, however, the many peoples of the world are struggling to assert their most fundamental rights as human beings.
The strength of democracy is rooted in the fact that it is the system of governance most capable of allowing people to express their needs and wants over time, so their interests can be balanced and society can be strong.
It does not, however, guarantee that their interests will be met. For that, people must continually struggle to balance their interests with their neighbors’ interests.
The struggle for democracy runs counter to the interests of the powerful and egocentric extremists. This means there is constant social pressure to suppress the interests of majorities and vulnerable minorities, which creates conflict.
On the positive side, all democracies are rooted in this notion that governments exist to serve their people and the people have the right protest when their interests are not being met.
The principles behind America’s Independence Day are alive and well in every struggle for freedom around the world. From Ukraine to Hong Kong, Asia to South America, Europe to North America, the eternal fight for democracy may be long and often discouraging, but it is one that is won and enjoyed moment by moment, day by day.
This is why the Fourth of July is a day all the people of the world should reflect on as they make their mark on this world.