Independence Day, July 4th, 2023
  • This is my beautiful hometown of Ouray (pronounced YOO-ray), which is famous year-in-year-out for the unmatched splendor of its 4th of July celebration:

    The village of Ouray, where I was born and raised, is named after a Ute Indian: Chief Ouray.

    Chief Ouray as a young man

    Chief Ouray’s mother was a Ute Indian – an Uncompahgre Ute Indian – and Chief Ouray’s father was Jicarilla Apache.

    Chief Ouray was erudite, confident, calm, reposed, multilingual, wise. He spoke and wrote in Ute, Apache, English, and more.

    The word Uncompahgre (pronounced: un-come-PAH-gray) is named after the river that runs along the western edge of the Ouray valley.

    Uncompahgre is a Ute word that means “dirty water” or “angry water” or “red lake.”

    This is a photograph of the Uncompahgre river:

    Here’s another photograph of the Uncompahgre river:

    And another:

    The Uncompahgre river has always been multicolored and is so because mountain minerals color the water.

    Long before the mines existed, the Utes observed this and wrote about it. That is a historical fact, easy to verify.

    I reiterate for emphasis:

    The Uncompahgre river has always been multicolored because mountain minerals color the water, and long before the mines existed, the Utes observed this and wrote about it.

    The Uncompahgre river is not multicolored because of mining pollution, which is an orchestrated lie, a ridiculous and snowballing myth — one that’s pure child’s play to demonstrate as the patently false nonsense that it is. It is false beyond any and all shadow of a doubt.

    This photograph is of Red Mountain, near the river’s source, which is located at a lake called Lake Como:

    Red Mountain is very beautiful, and it’s naturally this color.

    It is not this color because of mining or pollution.

    I repeat: it is not nor has ever been this color because of mining or pollution.

    Ouray, however, my hometown, is a mining town.

    To this day, Ouray’s official nickname is “Switzerland of America”:

    The following photograph, taken before I was born, is of my father.

    My father’s name was Firman Charles Harvey – not, please note, Fireman Charles Harvey, as it’s often misread, but Firman Charles Harvey.

    Firman is an unusual first name — especially with that spelling — and my father never cared for it.

    I, however, have always liked his name — very much — in part because it is unusual, and in part because I (unlike my father) discovered, somewhat serendipitously and some time ago, where his first (and middle) name derive.

    Firman Charles Harvey, RIP. His mother, my grandmother, Jessi Harvey, whom I never had the pleasure of knowing, was a ravenous reader who possessed a prodigious memory, and I’m now certain she named my father after a character in Victor Hugo’s excellent novel The Man Who Laughed: Firman Clancharlie.

     

    My father loved Ouray and the Ouray valley with all his heart, as he loved and respected the rock and minerals and the water and the soil and the earth — and as he also loved and admired the American aboriginals, though he himself, unlike my mother, was not an aboriginal but of Scots-Irish stock.

    But, whatever.

    Race, as my father and mother sagely taught me early on in my childhood, is meaningless — entirely meaningless — because race is entirely unchosen.

    The human faculty of reason is the defining characteristic of all human beings — no matter their blood, sex, sexual-orientation, gender, color, country, class, creed, race, or station — because reason is the thing that unites us as human-beings and defines us fundamentally.

    Why do I say this?

    I say it because it is true — because the activation and constant use of reason is chosen.

    This is also why it’s the only thing that ultimately matters — the singular thing that unites all humanity: because it is the human faculty of volition, no matter our sex, sexual-orientation, gender, race, color, country, class, creed, or station, which we all possess in common.

    It’s what makes us human-beings.

    It’s why we are called Homo sapiens-sapiens.

    The faculty of volition — also known as choice or reason or thought or conceptualization or rationality or the rational faculty — is what distinguishes Homo sapiens-sapiens from every other earthen creature.

    It’s what the word sapiens actually refers to: the capacity to reason.

    Every other human characteristic is secondary (at best) to the characteristic of reason.

    This characteristic is that which distinguishes human-beings from all other known life and is universal to each and every one of us as Homo sapiens-sapiens: the faculty of reason, the capacity to conceptualize, which is also known as thinking, which is also known as the rational faculty.

    The words “reasoning” and “thinking” are synonymous.

    To reason is to think.

    Reason, as John Milton wrote, is choice.

    My father was a storied and legendary miner — one of the best of the best — and in this context Firman Charles Harvey is still, all these years after his death, talked about with admiration, reverence, respect.

    He, like his mother, was a ravenous reader with a stupendous memory — a grade-school drop-out (age 12 when he left school for good [and I love you for this too, father]) — and he was self-taught and exceptionally learned.

    My father understood mining as few miners ever have, and as few miners to this day do.

    This is a photograph of the Camp Bird Mine, where my father was Superintendent for decades. As a child, I spent a great deal of time with my father at the Camp Bird Mine, and I loved it as my father also loved it:

    The Camp Bird Mine, where my father worked (and worked). My father loved this mine, as he also loved his work

    For those billions of people across the planet burdened by first-world problems of the most pressing sort (such as not enough gluten-free options in your local restaurants) — those billions who loathe the industry of mining and yet without understanding the first thing about the subject or the industry — I ask you now, with all due deference, to allow me a brief digression:

    Clean drinking water has been a plague upon humankind for all of humankind’s history — and it still is in much of the developing world today.

    Did you know that safe drinking water systems and the infrastructure that provides them are still far beyond the reach of many poor Indian and African villages, where dysentery often spreads because the simple preventative measure of installing concrete rims around the communal drinking wells are made impossible?

    Do you know why they’re made impossible?

    Answer:

    They’re made impossible by a combination of internecine disagreements, poverty, and most of all first-world environmental groups who in their entrenched elitism have the unmitigated gall to imagine it’s within their power and right to keep the rest of the world in grinding poverty, which invariably results in early death and destruction — horrible death and destruction which these elitists observe from their comfortable, air-conditioned high-rise buildings and jumbo jets and yachts made largely from the mining industries they demand the abolition of.

    Did you know that the making of reliable, lasting concrete requires a great deal of mining?

    Did you know that a single wind-turbine — or “bat-and-condor Cuisinart,” as the Audubon Society accurately calls them — requires 30 thousand tons of concrete sunk deep into the earth to anchor each one of them?

    All those tons of concrete require vast amounts of mining.

    Did you know that wind-energy proponents would have us, right now in America, cover an area the size of Germany every single year with wind-turbines, despite the fact that wind power is inefficient and intermittent and requires a staggering amount of hard-core industrialized mining and fossil fuel?

    Did you know that you cannot manufacture enough energy to make wind-turbines or solar panels with the energy that wind turbines and solar panels combined generate? Not even close.

    Do you know how much heavy-duty industrial mining and manufacturing the concrete alone would require for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of wind-turbines yearly — forget all the rare-earth minerals required and everything else that goes into the batteries and other parts which compose these wind turbines — and, make no mistake, there is much, much, much else?

    If your answer is no to any or some or all of these questions, you’re not alone:

    The vast majority of people all across the planet don’t know it either — they have no idea — especially those screaming most stridently for the abolition of mining, the preponderating number of whom are academics and intellectuals — or, I should say, pseudo-academics and pseudo-intellectuals.

    Of course none of this begins to touch the topic of Neodymium, which is an environmentalist tragedy that borders, in my honest opinion, on crimes-against-humanity: environmentalist crimes-against-humanity, which creates pollution on such a colossal scale that to call it a scandal is to understate it by a factor of approximately one million.

    Neither does any of this touch upon the subject of solar cells and solar panels, the making, mass manufacturing, and maintaining of which requires mining and industry of such technical expertise and exactitude that without this expertise and exactitude there would be no such thing as solar panels.

    Nor would there be computers or computer screens or keyboards or cell-phones or satellites, which provide our cellular service and internet.

    Coming from a mining town, as I do, and a mining family, as I do, I can tell you with absolute certainty that all the jet-setting politicians, the so-called limousine liberals, the Hollywood elites, as well as the good-intentioned enviros and hippy-dippies — and I assure you I have many, many self-described hippy-dippy friends, good friends, sweet friends, whom I adore — and yet not one of them has the first idea how much mining is required for their day-to-day lives.

    I can tell you also with full authority that the jet-setting politicians and CIA-sponsored enviro groups like Greenpeace and Sierra Club and Earth First! (to name but a fraction) — all government creations, all government spooks, every single one of them, I promise you (and know it firsthand) — fabricate lies out of whole cloth, as they are also responsible for the worst environmental disasters in human history.

    It is precisely because they’re governmental — and for no reason other than this — that they’re never held accountable or liable for any of the enormous degradation and environmental disasters they create, cause, facilitate, and in many cases plan and deliberately enact.

    That, in brief, is the entire problem — just as it is the entire problem with water pollution: no one is held accountable or liable, because they’re legally protected by corrupt governmental regimes, who in many cases ratify and orchestrate these environmental disasters.

    This is one of the many dirty secrets about which you are never to know.

    The proper procedures and laws that legitimately protect and keep pristine all environments are known as tort laws, which hold polluters fully liable and fully accountable.

    Tort laws are extraordinarily effective and extraordinarily efficient in protecting environments, and in keeping those environments clean. But tort laws only work when they’re fully codified, systematized, recognized, and enforced, which is exactly what doesn’t happen under corrupt governmental regimes, such as those that now rule the world.

    Tort laws are extraordinarily effective and extraordinarily efficient in protecting environments, and in keeping those environments clean. But tort laws only work when they’re fully codified, systematized, recognized, and enforced, which is exactly what doesn’t happen under corrupt governmental regimes, such as those that now rule the world.

    Every sane person I know wants a clean environment — e.g. foresters, farmers, textile manufactures, miners, especially those workers like my father who understand their work in collaboration with their understanding that the human mind possesses boundless ingenuity, including but far from limited to replanting, reforesting, discovering new applications of old resources, finding new methods to extract and replenish — but most of all, they understand how incomprehensibly vast planet earth actually is:

    To put that into slightly clearer perspective, it’s approximately 4,000 miles from the surface to the center of the earth. The farthest down — the deepest into the earth — any oil-field driller, miner, mineralogist, geologist, government planner or human-being in history has yet been able to penetrate planet earth is not quite 7 miles.

    I ask you to pause for a long moment and let that sink it.

    Remember it the next time someone — anyone, no matter who it is — tells you “earth’s resources are being depleted faster than we knew” — or any other such unknowable stupidity.

    In this sense, the intelligent geologists and good geo-physicists have long been correct: what actually exists inside the earth and composes her inner body and profoundest parts is purely theorized and as-yet unknown, as it is also so mind-bogglingly complex and immense that the majority of people simply cannot fathom its size. It’s like trying to model the size of a single moon based on the speculated size of the galaxy.

    I will also ask you, with all due deference, to take special note of the word I emphasized six paragraphs above: sane.

    I emphasize the word sane because corrupt governmental regimes, which now rule the entire world, and most of the bureaucrats who are cogs within these corrupted regimes, are the exact opposite of sane: they are insane — clinically, pathologically, dangerously insane.

    The following is another of the many dirty secrets about which you’re never to know:

    Electric cars are coal-powered cars.

    I repeat: electric cars are coal-powered cars.

    To make electric cars energetic — and most especially the batteries inside these electric cars (which batteries require shocking amounts of mining to manufacture and maintain) — you have to use fossil fuel to make such cars and their batteries energetic: i.e. you have to use coal.

    Period.

    In fact, though, we easily could and should replace every last bit of this coal — the vast amounts of which all so-called electric-cars (by which I mean coal-powered cars) require in order to be made energetic.

    We could and should replace all this coal with nuclear energy, much as the US Navy has successfully and safely been doing with their submarines since the early 1970’s (with not a single issue or mishap) and as the country of France has also successfully and safely been doing for decades (also without a single issue or mishap).

    But, as you know, environmental activists long ago won this particular propaganda war: specifically, the propaganda war they’ve waged against nuclear energy, a subject about which they’ve not the slightest actual understanding, and yet, even in spite of this total non-understanding that’s been successfully countered, refuted, and bunked a billion times (and counting), these same environmental propagandists have nevertheless for decades succeeded in convincing the world that nuclear energy is “dangerous,” “untenable” “full of by-products called ‘waste,’ “too expensive,” et cetera ad infinitum.

    This is precisely why environmentalists the wide world over are still so illogically, irrationally, overwhelmingly opposed to nuclear energy, though they cannot begin to articulate why they’re so vehemently opposed, because they don’t grasp the first thing about any of it but have merely absorbed — uncritically and unquestioningly — the mountains and mountains of lies and propaganda which, for over sixty years now, has been hammered relentlessly into all our heads.

    It is an irrefutable and easily provable fact that nuclear energy is clean, abundant, safe, and that the containment vessels at Three Mile Island and Fukushima, contrary to what you’ve also had hammered into your head, did exactly their job and did it well: there was no significant release of radioactivity and no deaths because of it. Yes, you read that right.

    It is also an irrefutable and easily provable fact that you cannot make nuclear weapons from nuclear energy or nuclear energy plants.

    And here’s something else about nuclear energy that you may or may not know: in addition to being clean, abundant, and safe, nuclear energy emits exactly zero carbon emissions, and there is no such thing as nuclear waste.

    Please reread that.

    Nuclear waste, so-called, is recycled and reprocessed for more nuclear energy, and any of the minuscule components that can’t be recycled and reprocessed — uraninite, for example — is simply put right back into the ground, exactly where it was found and mined, exactly where it’s safely existed for eons. It is one of earth’s myriad, beautiful, functional elements. Yes, you read that right too.

    If, therefore, CO2 emissions are of major concern to you and your family, you should immediately demand the lifting all the miles of bureaucratic red-tape, restrictions, and bans on nuclear energy. You should demand it now, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of the foreseeable future.

    The cleanliness and safety and sheer power of nuclear energy dwarfs wind, solar, hydro, and fossil fuel combined — and it does so by science-fictional, planet-sized proportions. One small human palmful of uranium, for instance, contains more potential energy than boxcars heaping full of coal.

    (If you’re interested in reading more about this important subject and the absolute truth of what I’ve just written, please see my article on vonmises.org. I years ago sent them this article, a total unknown, totally unsolicited, and they immediately accepted it and liked it, not a word of it changed. It has at this point been read and shared by millions — many of whom are nuclear physicists and scientists, who to this day, over a decade after the article was published, write me letters of compliment. I say this as neither boast, bombast, bluster, or self-promotion, but purely as a testament to the long-known truths about nuclear energy.)

    Coal, like uranium, requires mining.

    Unlike uranium, coal requires a great deal of hard-core mining.

    My father worked as a coal miner, a uranium miner, and a hard-rock miner. Hard-rock is distinguished from what miners and geologists call “soft-rock,” such as coal and uranium.

    So please say the following aloud with me and remember it forever and never let yourself be bullied or steamrolled into believing otherwise. This is an incontrovertible fact:

    Electric cars are coal-powered cars.

    Until nuclear energy replaces coal, as nuclear energy easily could and should replace it, electric cars are coal-powered cars.

    If you bother to seriously research this subject, I caution you ahead of time, be prepared: you may very well go through every one of the Five Stages of Grief, which occur when tragedy strikes or worldviews are overturned with the suddenness of a bone snap. These five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

    All transportation requires mining — all of it. Strike that: all of it and more:

    If you use any of these modes of transport — aircraft, boat, car, bus, train, motorcycle, bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or segway, then you are relying on the by-products of mining for your transportation. A significant variety and quantity of minerals are required to manufacture these vehicles without even considering the fuel to power these modes of transportation. Now let’s think about the surface most of these vehicles travel on [including you if you run, walk, jog, or wog]. The roads, rails, and concrete paths — they’re only possible because mining companies mined the minerals used to make these surfaces for you. The same applies to the equipment used to control the flow of traffic and make it safe and reliable for you to travel. Mined minerals and more mined minerals.

    (Source)

    Your home or apartment is made mostly of minerals. The foundations of your home or apartment are made mostly of concrete and steel.

    The basic services in your home (refrigeration, water, electricity, gas) are conducted through copper and steel wires and plastic pipes. Think about that the next time you turn on a tap or flick a [plastic] light switch. Your bathrooms and kitchen are fitted out with essential and non-essential products that also contain many minerals only made possible from mining. Yes, mining provides you with the basic elements of your life — elements which most take for granted. You fill your home with all sorts of electronic gadgets to improve your quality of life. None of them are possible without mining the minerals that they are made from. Did you know that your television contains several rare-earth minerals? And your computer screens? And phone screens? And your phones, including the buttons and tabs that light up? How many of us use frying pans, pots, plates, cups, glasses, and cutlery at home? That’s right: the majority of us use these items that are made of minerals. Minerals that have been mined.

    (Ibid)

    Reader, this doesn’t even begin to tap into this subject, I do assure you of that.

    Neither does it touch upon beauty products, nor clothing, nor bedding, nor paint, nor jewelry, nor watches, nor clocks, nor medical equipment, nor office supplies, nor furniture, nor staples, nor nuts, nor bolts, nor washers, nor hammers, nor picks, nor shovels, nor garden hoes, nor chisels, paint-brushes, pencils, pens, books, and of course — of course — the most important thing of all: energy itself.

    Without the beautiful, noble industry of mining and smelting, humanity would be blasted back into the stone-age or even before.

    My father was 56-years-young when I was born. He died when he was 71.

    My father loved the 4th of July.

    He loved the 4th of July for the reason we should all love it.

    My father taught me more things than I could ever quantify or calculate, and he taught me best by showing me through his own example and by answering my questions, and then by letting me practice on my own. He never forced me, but he always encouraged me, as did my mother.

    I loved my father very much, and I always will.

    I now think that the most important thing I learned from my father was something which he himself learned from Oscar Wilde: those who do not think for themselves do not think at all, and that “vocabulary-building,” as my father called it, far from being incidental, inconsequential, or something ornamental and fancy — a fancy ornament you only try out and wear upon your sleeve so that others might notice and be impressed by it — serves in actuality the exact opposite function: vocabulary-building fulfills a crucial human need. This need is the most important human need there is: Vocabulary-building grows the mind because humans think by means of words.

    My incomparable mother, little Cecilia, who for over two decades owned and operated a successful restaurant in my hometown of Ouray, taught me the same thing.

    As she once, many years ago, when I was but a boy, read aloud to me:

    “Thinking is linked-up with language and vice-versa. Concepts are embodied in words. Language is a tool of thinking” (Ludwig von Mises, Human Action).

    This is a photo of my mother’s former restaurant in Ouray, nearing twilight:

    This is two buildings down from my mother’s erstwhile restaurant — Ouray at the beginning of what’s called an alpenglow sunset:

    Photo by Joan Shapiro, author of Stolen Seasons: Observations, Poems, Lyrics and Rants, published by Sisu Press, Placerville, Colorado.

     

    This is little Cecilia with one of her blue-ribbon-award-winning pecan pies:

    The following is my mother shortly after she double-mortgaged our house to purchase the restaurant, which she was far from certain would succeed.

    But it did succeed.

    It succeeded beyond her wildest hopes and dreams — and for one reason above any other: her homemade pies and pie crusts, her homemade cinnamon rolls, her homemade donuts, her homemade soups, and her homemade everything else in collaboration with her herculean work-ethic, which surpassed even my father’s work ethic — and that’s saying a hell of a lot — and which my father fully acknowledged and fully admired.

    Just incidentally, the ovens, pots, pans, forks, spoons, spatulas, containers for heavy whipping cream and ice cream, the floors, plumbing, bread-makers, and so much more, including her clothing and their buttons in the photo directly below, and the very door (its glass and paint and locks and metal door handles) — the very door she’s holding open for guests choosing to patronize her newly acquired restaurant — were only possible because of the industry of mining.

     Little Cecilia and Ray Harvey, circa 1995. Her glasses, my wristwatch, and all of our clothing, including the buttons and zippers, where only made possible because of the noble industry of mining.

     

    The 4th of July symbolizes independence.

    Everybody knows this.

    But much like governments across the entire world, the word “independence” has become totally corrupted and perverted — corrupted and perverted beyond recognition.

    It’s for this reason that I close this year’s 4th of July post by asking the same question I’ve asked in previous 4th of July posts:

    What in its fundamental form is independence?

    To what does the word “independence” actually refer?

    Answer:

    Independence is individual autonomy.

    It’s the freedom to govern yourself and to rely upon your own independent judgment.

    Independence is not anti-charity.

    Independence is not anti-good-will.

    Independence is not anti-companionship.

    Independence is not anti-friendship.

    Independence is not lone-wolf.

    Independence is not anti-compassion.

    Independence is not anti-affection.

    Independence is not anti-neighbor.

    Independence is not anti-sisterhood or anti-brotherhood.

    Independence is not anti-mercy.

    Independence is not anti-love.

    Independence is not anti-blue-sky-above.

    And independence is most certainly not nor ever was “rugged.”

    Please, I beseech you, reader, the next time you hear that last hackneyed phrase wrapped in pathetic platitude, tucked inside vapid cliche, packaged inside mindless dogma, do me this one small favor: dismiss it and banish it forever from your boundlessly brilliant brain — your brain which truly does contain unlimited capacity for growth — dismiss and forever banish the “rugged-individualist-rugged-independence” canard for being the most asinine stupidity ever conceived by any human species born from the womb of propaganda.

    Independence, like its handmaiden individualism, is not rugged.

    It never was.

    Neither of them ever were.

    It was all a lie — every single word of it.

    It was always a lie, and it still is a lie, and it always will be a lie.

    “First, confuse the vocabulary,” as the mass murder Vladimir Lenin famously expressed this particular mode of propaganda.

    Independence is one thing only: voluntary, consensual human action and voluntary, consensual human cooperation.

    That is all it is.

    Independence is nothing less and nothing more.

    The exact same thing is true of of the word “individualism,” and its actual meaning — actual meaning, I emphasize, as distinguished from its perceived and deliberately propagandized meaning.

    Individualism, like independence, is chosen human cooperation and chosen human interaction.

    Independence is individual freedom.

    And so is individualism.

    Both words refer to the fact that each one of us possesses by right the individual freedom to choose with whom we associate and why.

    What, though, do I specifically mean when I say “individual freedom”?

    Freedom in a politico-economic sense has only one meaning: it is the omission of state force.

    Freedom is the absence state force and governmental coercion.

    Freedom means that you are left alone — free from the coercive power of the state.

    The thing that distinguishes the free person from the unfree person is voluntary, consensual human action versus action that is coerced, compelled, or in any way forced.

    Freedom, like independence and the word “rights,” is one of those things that virtually everyone believes in — that is, until everyone finds out what it actually means. At which point, almost no one believes in it.

    The difficult thing for many people to accept about freedom as I’ve just described it — the literal, actual meaning — is that true freedom doesn’t actually guarantee much of anything.

    It doesn’t guarantee success or happiness, or shelter, or food, or healthcare, or education, or a universal basic income, or a level playing field, or a level training field, or anything else that must ultimately derive from the production or work of others.

    Nature assures no creature of automatic survival or prosperity — the human creature included.

    Do you have the right to a home? Then you have the right to the knowledge, expertise, and labor of the carpenters or contractors (and all the sub-contractors) who will build the home to which you have a “right.” This means, among countless other absurdities, that you have a “right” to their knowledge, time, skill, labor, livelihood, and life, which of course includes the lives of their family members. If you have the “right” to a home, you have by logical elaboration the “right” to all those other things and much more.

    Do you have the right to a lung transplant? Where, then, is your right if there’s no one able to donate the lung to which you have a “right” to have transplanted into your body? Where did that right go? Where does that right go if there’s no medical specialists able to perform such difficult and exacting work?

    (For a deeper elaboration and codification of this vital and vitally misunderstood principle, please read the following article, which I wrote less than a year ago: What is Justice? an Inquiry into the True Nature of Rights.)

    That which is required for life and prosperity comes about through the process of voluntary, consensual exchange.

    There is no type of freedom other than the type that voluntary exchange brings about.

    The division of labor is the fundamental social phenomenon.

    The division of labor is the fundamental social phenomenon in large part because it brings about prosperity through the process of voluntary, consensual exchange — exchange of goods, services, expertise — and it large part also because it creates greater abundance of these things and much more: goods, services, experts, and the expertise of these experts who precisely because of the division of labor can focus exclusively upon their area or areas of specialization and develop them into infinity.

    Freedom simply means that you are free to pursue all these things and that if you achieve them, including any and all wealth you may earn from the division of labor and the process of voluntary, consensual exchange, they are yours unalienably — which means: these things cannot be rightfully taken, transferred, revoked, or made alien.

    The words unalienable and inalienable are synonymous and both are still in use today.

    “The legitimate functions of government extend only to such acts as are injurious to others,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, circa 1785, in his slender book Notes on the State of Virginia, and here Thomas Jefferson is speaking of — and against — the instigation of governmental force, compulsion, coercion.

    Around the same time Thomas Jefferson was writing those words, another erudite fellow, a German named Wilhelm von Humboldt, independently came to the exact same conclusion:

    “Any state interference into private affairs, where there is no reference to violence done to individual rights, should be absolutely condemned” (Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Limits of State Action, 1791).

    That — the absence of violence, the omission of governmental coercion, state force and compulsion — is, in the last analysis, precisely what Independence Day is all about.

    Therefore I wish you all, in complete seriousness and sincerity, an EXPLOSIVE and happy Independence Day!

    Ouray, Colorado, 4th of July, 2022.


About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning at the core of my life.

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Fred Drietz 07.05.2023

    Once again I am truly blown away by your writings! This is AMAZING! I always learn so much from you and am inspired on a regular basis by your spirit, wisdom, and way of thinking (reasoning). I’m so proud that I can call you my friend and brother!

  • You’re so awesome.

    Thank you for reading, and thank you even more for your exceptionally sweet comment.

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