A Fourth of July for the World

by Newt Gingrich

The Fourth of July has a meaning far beyond the American border. The Declaration of Independence was an historic break with virtually all previous human history.

For most of history, societies were run by the strongest, toughest, and most ruthless leaders. When they could, these leaders turned personal authority into a system they could pass on to their children. Suddenly, bosses became kings, and people grew up expecting to be subservient.

Royalty understood the importance of cultural values and myths reinforcing power. The right to rule came from God to the anointed king. Then the king dispensed power as he saw fit. Individual citizens had only the rights lent to them by the king — and the king could take them back at any time.

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