All too common during the holiday seasons, people are wracked with guilt, typically stemming from either real or imaginary transgressions. Objectivists, uniquely, have always explained that individuals should live their lives without giving sanction to emotional blackmail, even if it comes from one’s family. Is it any wonder then that libertarians wouldn’t be predisposed towards exorcism, of a kind, towards government holidays whenever they came up to the forefront of casual small talk?
Freedom holidays are defined as a type of libertarian culture jamming technique whereby government mythology is undermined through reappropriation of Americana. What this means, specifically, is that by way of renaming mainstream statist holidays, American political dissidents become able to help grow an emergent society from within the shell of the old, by repurposing a government holiday towards one that is more liberty-minded. Common values like rugged individualism, the family being the most important societal unit, and the sanctity of autonomous free will (that is, self-ownership) are what, presumably, bind American libertarians under one banner of freedom.
Reappropriation can be used in a variety of ways to celebrate these freedom holidays. One rather moderate approach to do so would be to ignore only the national (that is, federal) holidays, in favor of celebrating the ones recognized by “your” state government; in my case, this would be the Texan holidays. A more abolitionist way would be to replace all government holidays with freedom holidays, wholesale. Probably the most effortless way to reappropriate statist mythology is by simply establishing brand new freedom holidays.
Examples abound regarding the existence of freedom holidays. Kal Molinet, an honorably discharged Air Force veteran who has been promoting freedom holidays for at least a few years now, began one of his vlogs by saying:
“Hello. My name is Kal Molinet, from Richmond, Virginia, and I am an anarchist, and today, I’d like to talk to you about Agorism [Day]. It’s a freedom holiday that we celebrate on the second Monday of September; it’s our replacement of federal statist holidays, it’s our way to reappropriate them. Not just to, of course, end that culture, but to replace it with what would exist in a free and voluntary society.”
Obviously, Agorism Day is the freedom holiday replacement for Labor Day, since the latter is all about worshiping trade unionism, instead of appreciating the agora (that is, the unlicensed, untaxed, and unregulated laissez-faire freed market). Molinet has already reappropriated several government mythologies into freedom holidays, as the following list demonstrates:
- 3rd Monday of February
- Last Monday of May
- July 4th
- November 11th
- 4th Thursday of November
- 2nd Monday of October
As you can no doubt tell, the anarchist and patriot factions will likely disagree as to which holidays should be replaced, yet, this is how reappropriating a pre-existing government “high holy day” into a freedom holiday is done.
Nationally, there are other freedom holidays that ought to be mentioned here that don’t always replace a pre-existing government one. Some have suggested that the reappropriation of Valentine’s Day into International Day of Men Going Their Own Way by the MGTOWs (who are a type of “men’s rights activists”) is an expression of self-ownership, and Lemonade Freedom Day, which appears to be held any old Saturday in August, is arguably a simplified version of Agorism Day. Other recommendations have included replacing the following national holidays as such:
- 3rd Monday in January
- April 19th
- September 11th
If there’s anything I’ve learned thus far from the examples by Molinet, the MGTOWs, and the Lemonade Freedom advocates, it’s that freedom holiday reappropration is nothing more complicated than turning the mainstream narrative on its head, while promoting truly American values.
These freedom holidays need not be limited to the national stage, however; Texas Government Code § 662.003 also lists the Texan-only holidays. For the sake of comparing and contrasting, I’ve included not only these Texan holidays, but also potential replacements, just in case the good people of Texas ever decide to abolish the government here, pursuant to Article I § 2 of the 1876 Texas Constitution. These Texan holidays and their proposed surrogates are listed as follows:
- January 19th
- March 2nd
- April 21st
- June 19th
- August 27th
Naturally, there can’t always be a one-to-one ratio in the sense of deliberately contradicting the government version, and in those cases, freedom holidays were included to highlight the government’s heavy handedness in other matters, such as consumer choice.
Are there any drawbacks or limitations on the use of freedom holiday reappropriation? Unfortunately, it bears mentioning that there are, in the interests of truth and fairness. Notably, the kinds of extracurricular activities one would normally expect from the mainstream versions don’t easily translate well into the freedom holidays, such as fireworks you would expect for July 4th being possibly incongruous with anarchist theory, or a Thanksgiving family dinner having anything to do with private dispute resolution. Personally, I just don’t see how being against corporal punishment encourages a familial atmosphere that recognizes the Founding Fathers (or an eager appetite, for that matter).
Far too many people hold government approved holidays as nearly sacred, yet I suspect the only reason some people even slightly care is because, simply put, they get the day off from work. Maybe you’ll decide that freedom holiday reappropriation is stupid or otherwise symbolic and therefore not practical; despite that, I would encourage all of you to ponder this technique as a likely viable option, perhaps debating amongst yourselves as to whether it’s of any worth to you, or not.
Just the other day, I myself proposed Death of America Day to be held every February 29th in a mocking gesture against conspiracy entertainment, mainly because conspiracists all too often tilt at windmills, instead of attempting to expose and circumvent statism. I’d also like to think that after constitutional government has been restored, maybe the calendar could be reset back to year one, akin to the fictional North American Confederacy, yet somehow, I doubt that will ever occur.
Postscript: I’d like to acknowledge and thank 11th Cav for his assistance in suggesting some of the proposed freedom holidays in preparation for this article, despite his intense aversion to becoming a “YouTube Hero.”