Victory at San Jacinto liberated the individual | Opinion | – Jacksonville Daily Progress

Posted: April 20, 2022 at 10:18 am

On April 21, Texans will celebrate San Jacinto Day to commemorate the battle that culminated the Texas Revolution. While that victory secured Texass independence from Mexico, the revolutions animating principle was protecting the individuals independence from the State. The Texas Revolution liberated the individual.

When Texas delegates adopted a Declaration of Independence in early March 1836, they listed their reasons for separating from Mexico. That document cited numerous claims against the Mexican government:

It denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience, by the support of a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries, rather than the glory of the true and living God.

It has suffered the military commandants, stationed among us, to exercise arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny, thus trampling upon the most sacred rights of the citizens, and rendering the military superior to the civil power.

It has made piratical attacks upon our commerce, by commissioning foreign desperadoes, and authorizing them to seize our vessels, and convey the property of our citizens to far distant ports for confiscation.

In the years leading up to the Texas Revolution, the Mexican government increasingly restricted the intellectual, political, and economic freedom of individuals. As Ayn Rand noted, Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries. Dictators like Santa Ana destroy political freedom by restricting and controlling intellectual and economic freedom.

Intellectual freedom means that we can express ideas without reprisal from the government, no matter who or how many may disapprove. Political freedom means that we do not need the governments permission to act in the pursuit of the values that our lives require. Economic freedom means that we can produce and trade as we think best for our own lives without interference from the government.

Mexicos efforts to subjugate Texans was founded on collectivismthe idea that the individual must subordinate his interests to the alleged interests of the group. Implicitly, the Texas Revolution was founded on individualismthe idea that individuals have a moral right to live for their own personal happiness. At the most fundamental level, the Texas Revolution liberated the individual from the despotic rule of the Mexican government.

That Texans did not apply the principle of individualism consistently is a stain on them. That failure does not negate the principle that the individual has a moral right to live his life for his own personal happiness.

In an age when the government is increasingly restricting our intellectual, political, and economic freedom, it is worth remembering the essential lesson from the Texas Revolution. Those who oppose growing government control over our lives must understand, articulate, and defend the principle of individualism. We need another revolution. However, taking up arms is not the solution. Taking up the pen is. We need a moral revolution that rejects collectivism and embraces individualism.

The political implementation of individualism is the recognition and protection of individual rights. Each individualmale or female, black or white, gay or heterosexualhas a moral right to act as he deems best, so long as he respects the freedom of others to do the same. Collectivism subordinates the individual to the group. Individual rights subordinate society to moral law. Collectivism holds that the individual exists solely to serve the group. Individualism holds that each individual exists for his own sake.

Sam Houston, Davey Crockett, and countless other brave men and women fought to establish intellectual, political, and economic freedom. If we wish to honor the legacy of the states founders, we must begin by embracing the principles for which they fought.

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Victory at San Jacinto liberated the individual | Opinion | - Jacksonville Daily Progress

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