insanitybytes22 wrote a post, Independence Day | See, there’s this thing called biology… (wordpress.com), that examines the relationship between independence and inter-dependence. Apparently, in that state where she lives behind “enemy” lines (Washington), some people are thinking about renaming Independence Day to Inter-dependence Day. To people who want to make everyone dependent upon the government, is “independence” a cuss word?
Where I live in the 9th circuit of hell, which often seems to be a bit like a playground for everyone’s utopian visions, there’s been a push the past few years to change Independence Day to Inter-dependence Day. It’s somewhat amusing, in an area full of rugged individualists, seeking never-ending counter-cultural I-dentities, independence has become a bad word that makes some people uncomfortable. It’s an odd juxtaposition, because the very same freedom and independence that grants people the liberty to pursue their individualism, is being shunned.
Weird! Anyway, it is worth reading the whole thing. In fact, I read the comments too, and I thought this one cute.
I do agree IB, however, that said, I think you seriously underestimate how much we are inter-dependent. The roads you drive on are shared cost and use, the emergency services, the folks who built your car, the people who built your house, even the very air we breathe is shared beyond comprehension. For instance each breath you take contains 3 or 4 molecules that were breathed by Napoleon, as well as great number from every person on the planet.July 9, 2016 at 10:06 am comment by Paul
I decided to reply to Paul. Here it is.
I agree that is difficult to overstate just how much we depend upon each other, but there is a distinct difference between interdependence and sharing. Is the ability to share necessary to make interdependence work? Yes, but we can share a resource without being inter-dependent. Sharing the air we breathe has not, until someone discovered air pollution, even imposed any kind of sharing burden. Think about your example. Three or four molecules is an insignificant number.
We don’t choose to share the air. We just do. However, because air pollution is so dangerous to breathing, we now have to do our best prohibit to prohibit air pollution.
Let’s consider more carefully the point insanitybytes22 has made. The folks who are supposedly the most into sharing tend to have the most problems with sharing environmental resources. Communists pollute ruthlessly. Why? When the government owns everything, they are no independent actors who can exercise control over it. Ironically, when people can think and act independently — when they have the opportunity to be discerning in their sharing — they regulate things like air pollution better and with efficiency. Independent people can more easily hold each other accountable.
That is why inter-dependence works best in the marketplace where people can act independently. In the marketplace, we each get to choose who we must be dependent upon for this, that, and everything else. That allows us choose dependable people with whom we can become interdependent. When we can each act independently, we have the means to hold each other accountable and eliminate the undependable from responsible positions.