My Declaration

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One of
the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen
these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our
founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.

~
Charles
A. Beard

Many people
say if you do not like your country then you should leave. If, after
many years of living here with family, friends, and other ties,
I may find my country to be something other than one I can wave
a flag for, do I still have to leave? Why is the State my master?
If I move to another country that I like better, I will still be
a slave to that State. This is like one slave wanting to leave his
master and serve another more generous master. The slave is still
a slave.

If I was completely
free, I could declare my independence and form my own State, like
the Catholic Church has its own State, Vatican City, which is only
108.7 land-locked acres. Its citizens, around 1000, have dual citizenship
with Italy, much like some citizens of Israel and Canada have dual
citizenship with the U. S. They trade and interact with other countries
and citizens voluntarily. I would certainly offer dual citizenship
to many people if I had my own country.

Each country
could decide their form of government: monarchy, republic, democracy,
etc. If a citizen who joined a country became disillusioned with
the government, he could always declare his independence, and leave
and join another country.

Monaco is a
small country in southwestern Europe. It has a strong relationship
with France. Monaco lies on the Mediterranean Sea at the foot of
the Maritime Alps, forming an enclave in southeastern France. After
Vatican City, Monaco is the smallest nation in the world, with a
land area of just 1.95 sq km (0.75 sq mi). Monaco’s estimated population
in 2005 was 32,409. Monaco’s population density, at 16,205 persons
per sq km (41,969 per sq mi), is higher than any other nation. There
are no income taxes in Monaco or Vatican City on their citizens.
If you are a citizen of a small State, you may be better off than
as a citizen of a large State. The large States can evoke envy,
which make them a target of others. A small State is almost anonymous.

Why did Thomas
Jefferson use the pronoun “we” in the Declaration of Independence?
He could have used the pronoun “I” to declare his independence from
the King of England and live happily in his country called Monticello.
The reason Jefferson used “We” is because he needed help from his
friends because King George would not allow people to be free. Jefferson
and his friends had to use force to be free. This holds true today.
No one is free unless he can declare his independence from the country,
state, county, and city governments that control his life.

If everyone
is free, each person would be able to declare his independence and
form alliances, or dissolve alliances, and trade with other independents,
all voluntarily, for mutual benefits and protection. Jefferson’s
declaration that people have the right to declare their independence
from their masters would have applied to his slaves. Some who declared
their independence would voluntarily decide to stay in Monticello
because it was in their best interest and some would form alliances
with others.

A person in
America in the year 2006 is not free to buy a few acres of land
and declare his independence. A homeowners' association or town
is not free to declare its independence. Too many people who are
dependent on the produce of others, will use force to prevent a
producer from freeing himself from the non-producers. Can you imagine
the hue and cry from the rest of the country if a large state declared
independence? Could California declare its independence with all
its “national” parks and military bases? Would the rest of the country
give up two great harbors, San Diego and San Francisco?

Individuals
who join together voluntarily to form a state should also have the
right to voluntarily declare their independence from that State.
Compelling one to join a group is immoral. The state will be healthy
if members can voluntarily join or leave. Does one wave the flag
for the freedoms we have? How can one say we are free when there
are thousands of rules and regulations telling us what we must do
and what we cannot do? How can we be free and have the highest prison
incarceration rate of any country in the world? The constitution
does not guarantee liberty. The right to be independent does.

The Magna Carta
was written in 1215. After it, many philosophers wrote about individual
liberty and natural rights. It took more than 500 years, until 1776,
for a group to advance the Magna Carta so that groups were independent
and free from Kings, Popes, and Caliphs. During the interval from
the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence, the printing
press was invented. Since the Declaration of Independence, the internet
has arrived. Individuals must not wait another 500 years to declare
themselves free and independent to choose whom they will form alliances
with.

July
4, 2006

Charles
Tolleson [send him mail]
is a retired United Airlines pilot in Foster City, CA.

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