Thoughts on Independence July 4, 2022


We’re heading into the 4th of July weekend as I write this. This has spurred some thoughts on what that does, or should, mean to Americans and people everywhere.

Now, I’m a baby boomer, and my thoughts might be disregarded out of hand by some younger people. I get that. It’s kind of the way of things. On the other hand, I have seen a lot in nearly seven decades of living. I hope that has given me a perspective worth hearing.

My thoughts on independence have strayed a bit from the usual 4th of July reflections on political and constitutional freedoms. I’m concerned these days about independence from corporate, institutional, and ideological domination.

cbd diagram

On institutional dependence:

This is a tricky one. We have developed institutions and disciplines that have a large impact on our lives. Medicine, education, and religion are a few obvious examples.

For the most part, this has had a beneficial impact on our lives. On the other hand, we can be led into dependence on the words and policies of perceived experts. That can sometimes lead to practices born out of a narrow ideological focus. A focus with such ideological blinders can limit the possibility for beneficial growth of individuals and societies.

Example: One reason the team at CBDtop10 began our CBD crusade was our belief that legal and medical industry dogma has stifled the potential benefits to be found in CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids in the cannabis family of plants.

I’m not advocating blanket adoption of alternative or holistic medical practices, or the scrapping of cherished practices in religion and education. I’m just saying that no group has a monopoly on deciding what is good or bad, and it is worthwhile to investigate different lines of thought and be open to non-traditional input.


On corporate dependence:

I think it would be dificult to find many people who disagree with me on this one; corporations today have an undue and often harmful effect on our lives as individuals and as a society.

We can all think of examples of corporate misdeeds and profiteering that have made news. Beyond these glaring examples, however, are the less obvious, more insidious ways in which corporations affect our independence of thought and action.

Marketing has been refined to near perfection in forming thoughts and desires in consumers. This can lead to the adoption of products and practices that might restrict our freedom of choice in the marketplace. We must be on guard against predatory practices that attempt to steer society on a course that benefits corporate interests over individual welfare and freedom.

On ideological dependence:

We in the USA pride ourselves on our independence from centralized, authoritarian government. I’m not the first to observe that this is not necessarily a permanent condition. We as a society must remain on guard to retain that independence and the personal freedoms we enjoy.

As I write this, the war in Ukraine is giving us a front row seat to the emplyment of propaganda. This is a powerful tool in forming people’s thoughts and actions. We can see that depending on where you live and where you get your news, you can have a very different perception of reality.

Adherence to groupthink and confirmation bias gives us another reason to be alert to such mind control. We as a society are experiencing extreme polarization of political parties and ideological groups. This can and does lead to disregarding potentially good ideas. Sadly, it also leads to vilification of other people who might be and should be working toward the same goal, but from a different perspective.

This concerns me the most of the examples I’ve given. The happiest, and arguably most successful countries in the world tend to be highly unified in the goals they pursue and the ways in which to achieve them. Even in our multicultural, diverse society I hope that we could find some agreement among ourselves on the path forward.

There must be an effort to be on the same general page while avoiding the groupthink that I just fretted about. A balance is needed, and I remain hopeful that we can achieve one. Failure to do so could, and most likely would, lead to a more authoritarian and less-free society.

So there it is – my ramblings for this 4th of July weekend. Watch for new reviews and a flurry of interesting blog posts coming soon to, and enjoy your weekend, my freedom-loving friends. Stay healthy!

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