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Myth of Independence

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


We just celebrated the 4th of July, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. While the United States gained its freedom from British rule, it was not then, nor has ever been independent.


The Declaration of Independence borrowed heavily from the Iroquois Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace.


The Continental Congress in negotiating the Declaration of Independence stripped out the section that would have ended slavery. One of the motivating factors for the split from British rule was the desire for land west of the Appalachian mountains. In 1763, the king of Britain had issued a proclamation recognizing indigenous ownership of those lands and preventing settlements. The colonists wanted to remain dependent on stolen land and stolen labor to build their wealth. “The Shameful Final Grievance of the Declaration of Independence” by Jeffrey Ostler, The Atlantic, February 8, 2020.


Americans have developed a whole mythos around independence. But the reality is that we are all interdependent.


The pandemic has recently reinforced that point. Our communities needed the help provided by so many nonprofits and we needed the support of funders, government, and each other.


Let’s stop trying to be independent, self-sufficient organizations and mimic nature with interdependent, symbiotic relationships.


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