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Thursday, September 15, 2005


Codependence Day

I see from Wikipedia that September 15th is Independence Day in (are you ready? the full list will take some time): Costa Rica; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; and El Salvador.

Oh, and the Central African Republic as well.

(Just kidding about that last one ;-))

Is it just me, or does the fact that five territorially adjacent nationstates have the exact same Independence Day suggest that the said nationstates are kinda sorta missing the point of "independence?"

(What if they did all declare independence from Spain on the same day? Independence, like democratization, is a process, not an event. For instance, the united States of America declared their independence from Great Britain on July 2nd, 1776; however, the modern United States of America observes its Independence Day on July 4th because that was when the Continental Congress approved the draft Declaration that Thomas Jefferson and his committee had drawn up. And the French celebrate the day the Bastille was sacked despite the fact that the sacking of the Bastille had approximately nothing to do with the eventual outcome of la Revolution: there were something on the order of twelve prisoners in the Bastille on July 14th 1789, none of them particularly memorable, the Marquis de Sade having been redeployed to Charenton lunatic asylum a short while prior to this. The Centroamericans could follow these examples of adaptability: say, Guatemala could get the date the declaration was proposed; Honduras could get the date it was ratified; El Salvador could get the date of the first shot fired in the War of Independence; Costa Rica could get the date of the subsequent peace treaty (to honor the pacifism enshrined in their constitution; and Nicaragua could get the date that Red Dawn was released.

(Just kidding, guys. Elect a compsymp like Aleman and you gotta expect a little gentle teasing... Kidding aside, wouldn't independence from the Brits be a better precedent?)

At any rate, here's an ole to y'all, y'all, y'all, y'all and y'all, and a special attaboy to the Costa Rican libertarian movement, which has endowed that country with the rare distinction of being the only nationstate on earth to elect card-carrying libertarians to high office.

(Please note the form of words: the Costa Rican libertarian movement, not the Costa Rican Movimiento Libertario. The former deserves several bushels of attaboys; the latter may, by its actions, come to deserve them. Hope springs eternal...)

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