HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Activism » Socialist Progressives (Group) » Not Our Independence Day

Sat Jul 4, 2015, 01:47 PM

Not Our Independence Day

Not Our Independence Day
by William Hogeland 7-4-15

The American Revolution is celebrated by many as liberal democracy’s inaugural triumph, a conflict that, in Lincoln’s words, “brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” This romantic narrative of the revolution still enjoys tremendous political currency, as the Right continues to deploy the memory of the Revolutionary War in the service of its agendas, from Tea Party tax paranoia to accusations of bureaucratic tyranny.

More than anything, the American Revolution is celebrated as confirmation of American exceptionalism — a moral, political, and military victory so absolute that it justifies (and indeed mandates) two hundred years of American expansion across the globe.

On the Left, as well, there is the temptation to claim the tradition of the American Revolution; the story of beleaguered colonists standing firm against the British monarchy’s economic tyranny makes for a convenient political allegory.

Even Eugene V. Debs saw in the Revolution something of a historical precedent for the socialist transformation he envisioned when he said in 1912, “I like the Fourth of July. It breathes the spirit of revolution. Today we affirm the ultimate triumph of Socialism.”

But the actual politics of the American Revolution are too often obscured by these kinds of self-serving reinterpretations, argues author William Hogeland. The American Revolution was not a noble war fought in the service of progressive democracy, destined to irrigate the entire planet with its ideology of inalienable freedoms. Nor was it a social revolution from below. Rather, it was the first chapter in an inter-imperial war between Great Britain and its dissident elites in North America. And the American state, even in its earliest incarnations, was more concerned with limiting popular democracy than securing and expanding it ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/hogeland-independence-day-american-revolution-socialist/

4 replies, 1554 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Not Our Independence Day (Original post)
TBF Jul 2015 OP
HassleCat Jul 2015 #1
Demeter Jul 2015 #2
WDIM Jul 2015 #3
TBF Jul 2015 #4

Response to TBF (Original post)

Sat Jul 4, 2015, 02:23 PM

1. Turned out OK

 

Sure, the real motives did not match the flowery rhetoric and exposition of Enlightenment thinking, but rebellions are messy things. We came out of it with this great constitution, even if we don't always respect it enough.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HassleCat (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 4, 2015, 02:58 PM

2. And unlike the Eurozone's documents, ours are designed to be fixed as needed

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TBF (Original post)

Sat Jul 4, 2015, 03:13 PM

3. The revolution was also a rebellion against one of the first

Multi-national corporations. The East Indian company was using its influence through the king of England to attempt to control trade in the colonies. When they threw out the tea in Boston they were refusing being ruled by a multi-national.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WDIM (Reply #3)

Reply to this thread