Since I have to work today, I set this post up yesterday... but in reality, I'm recycling a post from a couple of years ago. One of my all-time favorite songs is Fourth of July originally released by LA's X, but written by Dave Alvin, originally of The Blasters, who joined X for their See How We Are album. Here's a video of Dave performing the song with a reunited Blasters:
The song resonates today, with its tale of a couple struggling with economic privation, and the effects that it has on their relationship:
On the lost side of town, in a dark apartment,
We gave up trying so long ago.
The song ends on a hopeful note, as the narrator tries to rouse his significant other with the prospect of actually deriving some enjoyment on the holiday. Of course, his success, and the ultimate success of the couple's relationship, is never revealed in the song, but I like to view it as an optimistic song.
That being said, one of the biggest cultural problems facing the United States is the conflation of economic system "Capitalism" with the political system "Democracy". Free-market blatherskite notwithstanding, an autocratic society can embrace capitalism (China is a perfect example) while a socialist society can have a population with more freedom than the U.S. population (the Scandinavian countries are a perfect example). The old English jurist Lord Henley observed that "Necessitous men are not, truly speaking, free men, but, to answer a present exigency, will submit to any terms that the crafty may impose upon them."
I often rib one of my vanishingly few libertarian friends that Socialism will save Capitalism from itself. I think that it could also save Democracy from Capitalism as a side effect. Of course, even an incremental reform of healthcare is being fought tooth-and-nail by corporate feudalists, so we can look forward to Freedumb! ringing for the next four months. For one day, though, we can ignore the idiocy, and enjoy at least some measure of freedom, even if it just boils down to a one-day beer bash.
Enjoy your Fourth of July, and don't blow any digits off, now.