It’s that time of year again, when jingoism reigns supreme and bootlicking chauvinists congratulate themselves on a revolution they didn’t participate in and that didn’t go far enough in the first place. If you want to learn about the xenophobic roots of the United States, check out our guide to nativism—but if you want another perspective on how to observe this national holiday, enjoy The CrimethInc. Guide to Celebrating the Fourth of July. Strictly for entertainment purposes, you understand.
Don’t invest meaning in flags and other false symbols of liberty, turning them into fetish objects representing all the autonomy you have ceded to the authorities. Do take courageous action to break the spell of mass obedience, showing that not everyone is willing to participate in passive spectacles as our freedoms are stripped away one by one.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking a bunch of rich people seeking to increase their profit margins actually care about whether you can feed your family. Do organize in solidarity with those worse off than yourself—when it comes to standing up to the powers that be, they will likely make more reliable comrades than a billionaire and his toadies.
Don’t seek to divide people according to religion and ethnicity, increasing the likelihood of war and terror attacks under the pretense of opposing them. Do confront oppression and bigotry everywhere they occur, like these members of the IRPGF fighting the Islamic State in Syria. While Islamophobes disingenuously spread fear in hopes of provoking conflicts that will elevate them to power, the real resistance to ISIS is being spearheaded by anarchists and others from the defense forces of the autonomous region of Rojava.
Don’t celebrate the legacy of colonialism as a way to legitimize your ethnicity, like the individuals depicted here claiming the legacy of Christopher Columbus as a part of Italian heritage—remember, until it became convenient for the powers that be, Italians were not included in the gated community of white privilege, either. Do resist colonialism in all its forms, like these indigenous people dissuading Brazilian police from further encroachments.
Don’t antagonize people who have different beliefs just because you have a line of police officers behind you who will let you get away with anything while trying to arrest the people you assault. Do provide medical care to those who have gotten themselves injured in confrontations, even if they don’t share their values: who knows, it might help them rethink their position.
Don’t wait for permission from those who always come up with excuses as to why it would be better to trust some politician or non-profit organization to take the lead in making the world a better place. Do take action according to the dictates of your conscience, taking responsibility for yourself and for the fate of the world we all share.