Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 4th is a Scam

James Altucher has a very powerful, unique take on the Fourth of July. The key takeaways are below. In the article that I excerpt from, he also has some suggestions on direct voting which I have not posted below since I think a private property society is the way to go, but if you want to read all of Altucher's thinking in his article, including  direct democracy, it's here. Below is Altucher on the truth about July 4th:

The last time I visited my congressman (when I was 12 years old), he was both drunk and senile and I couldn’t understand a word he said. His administrative assistant had to translate everything he said. And then he got re-elected four more times before finally dying. Did he really represent my interests?

I’m the most apolitical person I know. But I do like to think of things that can improve the country. Let’s forget July 4th for a second, which was a war fought mainly between the values of the East India Company and the values of colonial tea smugglers that cost the lives of the children of 35,000 mothers. Note we tried to invade Canada twice to get them to help us but they would have none of it. Now they are our biggest supplier of oil. Go Canada!

Most importantly, lets not view the Constitution as gospel. Countries, people, systems, technology evolves. As they do, its important to see what from the past is good and what can be discarded.

I’m talking about the Legislative Branch in our system of checks and balances. It costs us billions a year, its fully corrupt, and is taking perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars out of our economy through inefficient allocations...

Finally, lets get to July 4th and the reasons we fought for “Independence”. I put it in quotes because the majority of people still couldn’t vote (so couldn’t be considered independent) in the first 20 or so elections. (e.g. women, African-Americans). And after our “Independence” we genocided another 10 million Native Americans so I’m not sure what values make us so great but whatever.

A) We supposedly were upset about taxation without representation. But the Stamp Act, the Sugar Tax, and the Townshend Acts were all repealed before the war even started. So all the things you read about in grade school were just wrong.

B) Two things were happening: the East India Company was going bankrupt because prices on tea were being kept artificially high. So the Tea Act reduced the duties so that we would actually get CHEAPER TEA. But guess what: smugglers were already selling 900,000 lbs of tea (versus East India’s 560,000 lbs) so they were pissed off! Hence they riled people up and organized the Boston Tea Party, which led to the Intolerable Acts, which led to every able-bodied 18 year old in the country invading Canada to get the British out. Canada promptly told us to get the hell out and the rest of the war was fought near our homes.

C) Well what about our “values”? England got rid of slavery in all of its colonies in 1833 and allocated money to directly buy the slaves from slaveowners in every colony. 620,000 people died in the Civil War 30 years later. A war that would’ve been totally avoided if we had no Revolutionary War. And the only reason Lincoln freed the slaves was because we (“the North”) were losing that war and needed help. That war was also fought over economics: the South wanted to control their own tariffs on the enormous amount of cotton being shipped abroad. So they seceded so the wealthier North wouldn’t get to play with that money. Again, Britain would’ve just freed the slaves 30 years earlier than they would’ve been if we were still a colony or, by then, a commonwealth. (I’m summarizing 50 history textbooks so I’m sure there’s room to criticize me but I’m largely correct here).

D) Canada is still a commonwealth. Queen Eizabeth is their queen. Does it matter at all? Of course not! Canada avoided Iraq also. Politics is not only useless, it kills people.


  1. At some level, these things are facts or fact-like. But removal of supreme rulers and institutionalizing democracy and rule of law was a big deal. I'll still celebrate. Lots of things to not like about America. On balance, still the best thing to have happened to the world since humans starting wearing clothes.

  2. While counter-factual history is great for helping to put historical events into perspective, its rather pointless to argue what could have been or to try to find a single point where things went wrong. The one thing history teaches us is that human society rarely takes the optimal path and that all nation states eventually collapse, as will this one.

  3. Anonymous 6:58 is crazy. He or she actually thinks the US state had something to do with American prosperity, when in fact it has always been an agent working against it--as is the wont of any government. Still, until recently, the country survived this parasitical enterprise, but who knows what America COULD have been?

    The greatest thing to happen to mankind is the industrial revolution. It coincided with North America being settled. That combination is why America (not to be confused with the USA)was so prosperous.

  4. To live in the physical paradise that is America is a great blessing. There is no question about that. The question is only if we are worthy of it.

  5. pretty good article, although it will take awhile for me to start taking him seriously again because of that article about a month ago saying how dow was going to go up to 20,000

  6. I celebrate by peacefully burning the cloth idol. One 4th of July I didn't have time to find a $0.25 mini-flag to burn, but they handed out flag cookies at work. "The Lord doth provide." So I filled it with a few black cats and blew up the cookie. My kids still wanted to eat the remnants. Reminded me of the people drinking the water after Moses burned the Golden Calf, so we ate the cookie remnants in repentance for prior patriotism.

  7. I agree that there were some bad things had happened over the last couple centuries, and it is the nature of government corrupted by people to grow.

    I'll even acknowledge that on some level the founders were all tyrants and self interested to some degree (Whiskey Rebellion), but there is no other country that had done so much or provided so much opportunity for the masses.

    Immigrants came here throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, not Canada or elsewhere so much.

  8. @sth_txs

    Canada has roughly the population of California because Canada is mostly uninhabitable.

  9. A better way to be free:

    A Way To Be Free - Robert LeFevre

  10. I agree with the writer's sentiment but it is important to remember that the 'War of Independence' actually profoundly shaped future British colonial policy too. The earlier model of British colonial policy was shaped by the conquest of Ireland and moved towards a exploitative mercantilist model vis a vis the settlement colonies.

    The American rebellion changed all that, even if many of the American elite merely wanted to duplicate the colonial system with themselves as the prime beneficiaries. The British then pursued a much softer line with the "dominions" (e.g. Canada, Australia, NZ etc.) and readily transferred power over domestic affairs to local assemblies etc. Although some mercantilism remained, with the last gasp essentially being "The Sterling area", London applied a "softly softly" approach to the "white dominions". The older pre-American revolution paradigm still remained in force in the rest of the empire. So in a sense, the American war of independence consequentially benefited the dominions as well.

    Just as an aside, the case of colonial elites wanting to reimpose the older exploitative system with themselves as the new beneficiaries, seems to be a common enough pattern experienced in "post-colonial" societies elsewhere in the world. In both Latin America and Africa, local power elites, even after insurrections against the imperial power, usually repurposed the old system too. So there does seem to be some kind of recurring pattern here.

  11. "You watched in awe at the red, white, and blue on the forth of July. While those fireworks were exploding, I was burning that fucker and stringing my black flag high." - Against Me!: "Baby, I'm an Anarchist"


    politik kills politik kills politik kills

    politik use drugs
    politik use bombs
    politik need torpedoes
    politik needs blood
    thats what my friend is an evidence politik is violence
    what my friend is a evidence politik is violence....

  13. Anarchy in a non communalist society only allows for the most violent, vicous, and ruthless to control, thorugh fear, the peaceful population. It is an unfortunate fact that not all human beings will control themselves morally and intelligently. What gets my goat is how easily the people allow themselves to be duped by hypocritical politicians pushing emotional buttons and give up their rights and needs for 'deregulation', creating a political wild west and oligarchy. There is no good party bad party all government is evil all anarchy is evil. Middle of the road people, middle of the road. Power corrupts, helplessness victimizes, we know this, we see this, but we don't act like it.

  14. Anonymous 12:09