Each year we celebrate the sacrifices of the American colonists whose belief in self-determination was so unassailable that they put their lives on the line to prove that democracy was possible. A small minority of radicals reached out to those who sensed the oppression of the economic aristocracy of the day but lacked the clear vision to see that the problem was inherent in a system where a few are given the power to determine the lives of the rest. They convinced growing numbers that overthrowing this system was the only way to end the threat of economic slavery. When enough colonists understood that it was their God-given right to rule themselves, the resistance was born--out of which came the American Revolution.
The Revolution was not merely a reaction to taxation without representation; the spark that lit the fuse was a special corporate tax break for the East India Company that benefited only the English aristocrats who controlled the British government and used it to advance their own narrow self interest. When the good of all was threatened by the fascism of its day in 1775, "We the People" of colonial America arose to fight the tyranny of crony capitalism, giving birth to a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all white men with property were created equal.
In the decades since, there has been a continuous battle between those who understand that democracy is based on equality of all persons and those who would preserve the advantages of a fortunate few. Americans fought a Civil War where brother murdered brother to pay in blood for the original sin of allowing slavery to persist in the newly-formed United States of America. Women won the right to vote only when the men who loved them stood by their side demanding that their rights be respected by the ruling class. It took unseating some of the lying men in Congress who claimed to support suffrage to make the point that liberty for women was not to be denied because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are now engaged in another form of civil war --one in which Americans are divided between those who fear radical change and those who understand that only a peaceful democratic revolution can ensure that the American experiment in democracy does not fail, and, the last, best hope for mankind does not perish from the Earth. Americans must help their fellow citizens realize that in order to save democracy, we must once again come together as one with the common purpose of ensuring liberty and justice for all. To engage now in divisive politics where those with whom we disagree are regarded as the enemy is to forfeit our right to rule ourselves by consensus to guarantee that our children will not be enslaved in a fascist New World Order. If we do not come together in a spirit of universal concern for the rights of all, we will not only have failed those who have willingly given their lives in the belief that they were fighting for freedom, but we will have also failed in our responsibility to our own children to assure that they will inherit a world better than that in which their parents were born.
The rights of former slaves were assured not by bloody civil war but by a constitutional amendment declaring them citizens with equal rights and a unified movement by a rainbow coalition to assert those rights when they were threatened by racism and hate. Similarly, the voting rights of women were assured only through constitutional amendment and the struggle by men and women who understand that democracy depends on equality and were willing to stand together to ensure those rights and that America would continue toward true democracy where liberty and justice for all were more than just a reassuring myth.
Following a senseless world war between corporate Empires, in the 1920s, those sickened by war came together in an international effort to declare that war was illegal . They succeeded only by putting aside differences in strategy and working simultaneously in the League of Nations and through efforts to ratify by treaty the principle that every nation has a right to self-determination without the threat of unprovoked war by powerful alliances of governments operating solely for the benefit of a privileged few. This is the only way to ensure that the American dream of democracy will spread to the world at large. In the end, there will be no democracy in America until all Americans stand for liberty and equality for every citizen of Earth.
The task for Americans is to free themselves from corporate rule by unifying behind a constitutional amendment that will make it forever illegal for the moneyed class to buy politicians who put their interests over those of "We the People." Such an amendment can be passed if Americans ask of candidates for federal office whether they will support an amendment that will undercut the current source of funding that has entirely corrupted the electoral process in the U.S. They cannot be paralyzed by the fear of failure. If they believe in the ideal of democracy, they will find a way to bridge the vast chasm between those who choose to identify with the imaginary tribes of conservatives and liberals. If they can agree that they will not be willing slaves of corporate Puppetmasters who control the U.S. government, they can free themselves and the world from the grip of fascist tyranny once and forever. When we do, we truly will have won the war to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy for the first time in human history.
This article originally appeared on the website of Soldiers for Peace International under the title Interdependence Day 2012 .