America’s cities and towns will soon fill with parades, fireworks, and barbecues. They will be celebrating the Fourth of July, the 230th birthday of America. But one hopes that the speeches will contain fewer bromides and more attention to exactly what is being celebrated. The Fourth of July is Independence Day, but America’s leaders and intellectuals have been trying to move us further and further away from the meaning of Independence Day, away from the philosophy that created this country.

What we hear from politicians, intellectuals, and the media is that independence is pass

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