July 4: Independence Now!! -- From Corporate Domination
Resources for the Fourth of July
If you click on the 13-starred Flag that for many Americans symbolizes resistance to tyranny, it will expand toward its full glory.
Below you will find a new “Declaration of Independence from Corporate Domination.” We recommend it for study during the days before, on, and after the Fourth of July. Beneath the Declaration you will find materials and uides for study toward action, and directions to other Declarations on this website.
NEW DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM CORPORATE DOMINATION
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
That chief among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the sharing of a Beloved Community throughout our planet;
And that to achieve the actual living of these rights, we must ensure —
• honorable jobs with living wages and income, based on livable hours:
• a rhythm of work and rest that frees time for family, neighborhood, citizenly service, and the spirit;
• a life-enhancing share of the earth’s abundance:
• ascertaining the consent of the governed through democratic elections not controlled by wealth;
• pure water, air, and food, and the preservation of open space, wilderness, and the multitude of species;
• and responsible relationships amidst the whole web of life upon this planet.
We affirm that governments, corporations, and other institutions are founded solely to secure these rights and uphold these responsibilities, deriving their just powers from the consent of those they govern and whose lives they shape.
We affirm that at the present time, the power of large corporations — especially those in banking, the military-industrial complex, health care, and fossil fuels — is dominating many branches and aspects of the American government and deeply damaging the American future;
And therefore we demand:
1. Actual full employment with a living income for all on the basis of a 32-hour work week.
2. Universal health care on the model of Medicare for all
3. Restoration of full Congressional control over declaration or initiation of any use of armed force, as well as adherence to the United Nations Charter’s prohibition of all war other than immediate self-defense; the reduction and redirection of US military spending to meet the needs of defense, not corporate subsidies or foreign entanglements; and the redirection of funds now wasted beyond those needs to meeting the urgent civilian needs of the American people and of poverty-stricken regions of the world
4. Strong laws to prevent global climate disaster by capping greenhouse-gas emissions; ending all off-shore oil drilling by July 4, 2015; and swiftly moving the US and world economy from fossil-fuel dependence to renewable energy
5. Laws requiring that all large corporations that do any business in the United States be publicly reviewed at seven-year intervals by a jury of citizens which has the power to cancel the corporate charter, so as to ensure and enforce that these corporations are meeting the needs and balancing the interests of their stockholders, workers, customers, the environment, and society as a whole
6. A Constitutional amendment to pay for all election campaigns solely by public contributions by the US or the states, and contributions from natural persons, i.e. actual human beings, under limits set by Congress
7. Abolition of the filibuster in the U S Senate
And to the achievement of these goals, through our covenant with each other and with the help of the sacred Interbreathing of all life, we pledge our hopes, our commitment, our nonviolent action, and our sacred honor.
We suggest that during the several days before, on, and after the Fourth of July itself, this Declaration become a central text for engaged study. Three questions:
§ Does the vision of the Beloved Community set forth here square with our own values? How might we change it?
§ Is the general statement of domineering behavior today by the powerful 1% accurate and adequate? What specifics would we name?
§ By what nonviolent forms of action — voting, lobbying, sit-ins, boycotts, vigils, mass marches, strikes, etc. – can we end these transgressions and bring the Beloved Community closer to reality?
For additional resources to study, click to our Website here. There you will find the text of history’s first limits on the powers of a king, in Deuteronomy 17: 14-21 (usable as a festival Torah reading on July 4); the original Declaration of Independence with trope marks as a chantable Haftarah, arranged by Cantor Jack Kessler, for use on the Shabbat nearest July 4; the Seneca Falls Declaration on Women’s Rights (July, 1848); Frederick Douglass’ speech about the meaning of July 4 in a slave-owning society (1850), and Emma Goldman’s New Declaration of Independence (July 1909),