July is America's celebration of independence, so as 300 million people dwell on this subject may I share this thought about freedom with you.
This is a excerpt from the book 'Passport to International Profit" from the 70s. I believe that this idea is even truer today than it was 30+ years ago.
"The Concept Conversion Trick. The Concept Conversion Trick works like this: A government starts when people agree on a good concept for working and living together. The people go to work and if the concept is good they will create a paradise. The government gives them a flag and a song. Then they pull the trick. They convince the people that the flag and song are important while the people are busy watching the flag and singing the song the government replaces the concept with a set of ever increasing written rules and regulations administered by bureaucrats and backed up by a police force.
"This trick trades people's individual freedoms for a shiver up the spine when a song is played or a piece of cloth waved. It turns spirit into matter. Like trading love for a beautiful plastic doll. When the trick has been pulled, the dust settled, the people realize too late what happened. Anyone who steps out of line is called unpatriotic or even criminal. He is swatted down by the bureaucracy or police force, crushed with overwhelming power or made an example so others will tow the mark for the good of society. All this is done in the name of public interest."
So as we see the flags, hear the songs and watch the fireworks today, perhaps we should stop for just a moment and dwell on the concepts beyond the symbols of freedom! Doing so can help us truly be and remain free.