Source: a bad potato (ID: iamhtd)
Part one: the United States finally has its own colony, but I’m sorry at once.
The second part: the United States suffered a big setback in the Philippines by selling white powder and cabbage;
Part three: the United States kneels down to seek the independence of the Philippines;
Part four: how the Philippines declined from the center of Asia;
Part V: what is the order of the United States? Why does the United States promote its values;
Part VI: Why are some countries indifferent to the robbery of the United States?
In the early 20th century, the United States has become the world’s first industrial power. Then the second industrial revolution broke out, and the United States rapidly promoted electrification, becoming the hegemon of the power industry. In the industrial field, looking at the world, it is unmatched.
The United States, with its full wings, looks at Europe. The great powers are occupying colonies everywhere and robbing things every day. Britain, in particular, has flags flying all over the world. The United States is full of envy and jealousy;
Looking at its own strength, the United States is complacent. It can no longer contain its ambition. It also wants to compete for the future. It is determined to join the wave of plundering to conquer colonies in the sunshine.
But after looking at the map, the United States felt a chill. The better colonies had been robbed long ago, and there was no vacant land at all. If you want to find a colony, you must go and grab it from the powers.
The United Kingdom could not afford it. The United States decided to find a soft persimmon to pinch first. It took a fancy to the declining aristocratic Spain. At that time, Spain had been forgotten in the corner of history. Both domestic affairs and foreign affairs were in a mess. The United States did not bother at all. It killed the master with three strikes and two indiscriminate blows, and snatched all the only colonies of Spain, including Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.
The United States finally got what it wanted, and could not help but be happy. But the good times were not long. After about two years, the Americans did not want to do it. Us appointed Philippine governor Taft said: Although the freedom of the Philippines is in the hands of the US Congress, everything the president does is to prepare for the independence of the Filipinos as far as possible.
After 10 years, the United States began to complain incessantly, and its intestines were blue with regret. It was eager to leave the country as soon as possible and kneel down to beg for the independence of the colonies.
Now, with the exception of Puerto Rico, which is a free state of the United States, all other countries have been driven out and “become independent” by the United States.
The most dramatic one is the Philippines. Since 1934, the United States has made up its mind not to want the Philippines. It has issued the Philippine autonomy and independence act, which stipulates that the Philippines must become independent in 1946. Of course, the United States will “help the horse ride.” there are still about 12 years to go. The United States will assess the governance of the Philippines every year to help the Philippines establish a “mature” government.
There is a primary premise here, that is, some people will ask: it is easy to rob a colony, but it is not easy to stop it. Is it not enough to just leave?
This is like the current layout of the United States in Afghanistan. It is not so easy to withdraw, and it is not easy to go.
As early as 1988, the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, but after the withdrawal, the Soviet supported Afghan puppet regime was liquidated by the local armed forces, and none of them fell behind. Former president Najibullah was brutally executed;
The Soviet Union fought a war in Afghanistan for 10 years. Not only did all its input go to waste, but the whole Afghanistan hated the Soviet Union from top to bottom.
Now that the United States has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan, all the puppet governments or so-called “allies” supported by the United States in Afghanistan are frightened. Once the United States, a big supporter, goes away, it will be their doomsday. They will certainly be liquidated by local armed forces and cling to the United States’ thighs.
If the United States ignores the situation and goes straight away, the war in Afghanistan in the past 20 years has been fought in vain, and trillions of dollars have been spent in vain, not to mention the loss of international reputation. Moreover, everyone knows that the United States does not care whether to kill or bury people, and that the employment of people is forward rather than backward. All allies of the United States will be disappointed, knowing that the United States does not care about their younger brother’s life at all.
On the other hand, Britain, because of its ingenuity, withdrew from various colonies after World War II, but made a good plan. Now India not only does not hate Britain, but still regards Britain as its godfather, and highly recognizes that there will be no India without Britain.
Therefore, if we want to withdraw the colonies we have taken, we must also come up with a proper solution.
Why does the United States not want the Philippines?
There are generally two ways for imperialist countries to go out and seize territory. The first way is to directly incorporate it into their own territory. For example, from the earliest 13 states of the United States to the present behemoths, all kinds of buying and grabbing have taken away more than half of Mexico’s land.
However, to be able to annex our territory, we also need to consider our own digestion ability. If our digestion ability is not good, we will leave a lot of problems. For example, Russia has expanded rapidly since the earliest principality of Moscow, and it has directly grown 50 times larger. Subsequently, it has brought a lot of ethnic and religious problems. Moreover, its innate culture has no advantages, and it is unable to integrate foreign nations. These still lead to huge hidden dangers;
It is a lot of problems to expand from our surroundings, let alone thousands of miles away? Just as Britain’s self-governing territories will eventually become independent.
At most, the United States is expanding the surrounding land with advantageous resources, and it is absolutely impossible for the Philippines, which is thousands of miles away, to be its 51 states.
It’s like last year a president of a certain country joked that he wanted to become a province of China. Many netizens were elated, but calm down and think, what are you happy about? Don’t you think it’s not wrapped enough?
Even if this country wants to join China from top to bottom, neither the government nor the ordinary people will agree in the end.
First of all, the poverty alleviation staff will not do it. Then there must be a thousand grass and mud horses whistling by. I finally completed the first stage of the task, and now I have done it in vain
The government is even more unwilling. After decades of efforts, the goal and task of poverty alleviation have been completed. Now it is back to before liberation overnight, and it is now a hell of a difficulty. It has to travel so far to help the poor
All the GDP figures have been pulled down, and the ordinary people will not do it. Nearly 120 million people in extreme poverty have come to grab jobs all of a sudden.. there are tens of thousands of thousands of thousands of people who have nothing
Security work is even more like an enemy. Once it becomes a country, what can tens of thousands of drug dealers do? It’s almost like starting a war
Therefore, just like the current regime in Afghanistan, if it wants to join the United States, the United States will not agree with it. Puerto Rico has been fighting for 50 years and has held five referendums, but the United States does not want it. In the end, it is at most a free state of the United States, let alone Afghanistan.
Once Afghanistan becomes the 51 states of the United States, the United States will no longer have to resist immigration and simply deregulate all of them, then I will be happy to see the jokes of the United States
Since then, Americans have been terrified, and it is estimated that they will immigrate to Europe. The Taliban are probably crazy. Now they can find any opportunity to conduct jihad in the United States, and it is convenient to bomb wherever they want.
The bigger the territory, the better. This is still the thinking of hundreds of years. It is also the era of agricultural empire. To expand, we should take the land and take the population. Agricultural products and land are the main wealth. We should collect head taxes on people and land taxes on land;
Agriculture is a country’s security guarantee, but it can only be a guarantee. Now which country has become a powerful country by relying on agriculture?
In this era, who is going to rob the land for farming?
Well, the second question is that it is troublesome for the United States to annex the Philippines into territory. Why not let the Philippines become a colony of the United States?
After World War II, there were 65 more independent countries in the world. The independence of these countries was not found by the conscience of the great powers, but because the cost of governance was not enough to support the benefits of the colonies;
The income is too little, and it is not enough to lose.
After taking Cuba and the Philippines, the United States immediately plunged into the quagmire of war and paid a high cost;
During the war between the United States and Spain, the independence movement of the Philippines had been rising one after another. During the 300 years of Spanish occupation, there were at least five uprisings every year on average, and Spain was already in a dilemma.
The United States deceived the Spanish rebels and drove away the Spanish colonists in order to help the Filipinos achieve independence, so the two sides began to cooperate. In May 1898, the United States Navy wiped out the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Within three months, Spain was completely defeated by the United States. Finally, the United States spent $20 million to buy the Philippines back from Spain.
While pretending to be reluctant to give up, Spain was happy. It quickly collected $20 million from the United States and fled, completely stripped off its non-performing assets and left the quagmire of the Philippines.
When the Philippine insurgents saw that the Spanish had finally withdrawn, they were elated and convened the Malolos Congress to prepare to draft their own constitution and declare independence.
But when did the United States suffer losses? Of course, it had to earn back $20 million. It directly occupied the Philippines. The Philippine insurgents were blindsided and worked for a long time in vain
In 1899, President Aquinas, leader of the Philippine Independence, issued the Aquinas declaration: if the United States must exercise imperialist rule in the Philippines, the Philippine people have no choice but to fight with the oppressors and aggressors to the last breath of their lives in order to defend the national independence of the Philippines; I believe that people with conscience and sense of justice all over the world will know right and wrong.
Therefore, the Philippines did not hesitate at all and took up the gun to continue to fight with the Americans, who directly launched the massacre and appointed MacArthur’s father as commander to suppress the Philippine uprising.
The United States pursued a scorched earth policy in the Philippines, burning all the villages entrenched by the Philippine guerrillas. As long as the men smelled of gunpowder, they immediately shot and killed them. They treated prisoners of war without mercy, implemented a policy of massacre, and used torture such as “spa” and “rope punishment”.
Not only that, the US military has also set up concentration camps in the Philippines, brutally abusing prisoners of war and civilians, doing outrageous things almost every day, and raping women and looting property are happening everywhere in the Philippines!
Therefore, in 2016, a reporter asked Philippine President duterte whether he wanted to thank the United States for helping Filipinos drive away the Japanese.
Duterte said: the United States has ruled the Philippines cruelly for 30 years. Do you want the Filipinos to thank it for this? It’s a pity that I won’t do this, because I know the history of the Philippines, and I still have trauma.
When Spain left the Philippines, the Philippine population was 9 million. After only three years of fighting, the US population was 7.63 million, a gap of 1.37 million! In other words, the Philippines has reduced its population by 1 / 7.
What you Americans do is much worse than what the Japanese do. Do you want me to thank you?
However, to the disappointment of the United States, the Philippines is not India, and there is no Gandhi. It just lay on the ground and said that I killed myself. The Filipinos’ resistance one after another caused the United States heavy losses. In this war, the United States sent 126000 people and 12000 casualties, of which 4374 were killed, spending a total of $1 billion.
That was one billion dollars in the last century, and Americans are losing blood.
The United States has been frantically suppressing the Philippines for about five years, captured the leaders of the Philippine uprising, and persuaded the leaders of the rebel army to “cooperate.” finally, the situation was stabilized, and the Filipinos began to obey. But the problem is how to earn money back after spending so much money.
We can’t fight for several years just to help the poor in the Philippines.
But on the issue of making money, the United States is foolish.
In those days, Britain made money by colonizing the whole world, but now times have changed.
Just like today, if selling black slaves could earn money, Britain would have killed back to Africa long ago. But now it is obvious that selling operating systems and chips makes more money than selling labor-intensive products. You can’t catch black millet and force them to become programmers, can you?
Britain scrambled for cotton and grain in India, and at the same time planted opium poppies in India to make opium for drug trafficking. But that is past. Now the second industrial revolution is over, and mankind has entered the electrical age.
Or even today, if the Philippines sends it directly to the United States, what can the United States do?
Developing agriculture? The United States ranks first in the world in terms of agricultural resources and has the largest amount of arable land in the world. At the end of the 19th century, it realized full mechanization of farming. Its agricultural level is much higher than that of the Philippines. The cost of engaging in agriculture in the Philippines is at least twice that of the United States.
Then we need to help the Philippines to do a good job in infrastructure construction and agricultural mechanization first. The money invested will be earned back by selling sugarcane. It will not return its capital in 50 years
Industry? The United States does not want to engage in industry, its infrastructure is in a mess, and the Philippines has no industrial foundation. Do you want to help the Philippines? To engage in industry, we must also have skilled personnel and engineers.
What can we do? The United States started compulsory education in the Philippines and trained engineers first? And then build a high-tech slave factory?
Now the Philippines has stopped resisting, the uprising has basically subsided, and the United States has become dizzy. Philippine agricultural products can’t be sold, and they can’t earn any money. The only thing that can earn a little money is that Philippine sucrose is a labor-intensive product, which has a cost advantage over the United States. But local farmers in the United States, in order to protect their own interests, simply don’t do it and ask the government to restrict Philippine sucrose.
Then came the Great Depression of the global economy in 1929. The United States itself was on the edge of a cliff, let alone the Philippines.
The United States made great efforts to really perform a trick in the Philippines, selling white powder and making money from selling cabbage.
I grabbed it, but how can I sell it for money? The United States has not figured out this problem for 30 years.
You should know that at the same time, the United States also realized economic plundering of central and South America, that is, it did not fight or expend military power, but made a lot of money, and the company that did this work was a company called United Fruit, which purchased a large amount of land in Central America in the name of the company.
In the manors of China and the United States, United Fruit not only has its own economic system, but also formulates its own laws, sets up its own military barracks, and can even arbitrarily arrest and kill workers, becoming a country within a country.
Look at Britain and the Philippines. The United States feels like a fool. It has made up its mind to leave immediately without delay.
In 1934, the United States issued the provisions of the mcduffie act, and the Federation of the Philippines was established the following year. Its constitution is modeled on the United States to a great extent, requiring the Philippines to become independent as soon as possible;
But if the United States wants to withdraw, the Philippines will quit. Damn it, in those days you wanted to seduce me. Now you say go, how can it be so easy?
Did my mother give you a white bubble?
As a result, like the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the two sides kept haggling. At best, the United States decided to give the Philippines a 10-year coaching period. Before that, the United States had sovereignty over these islands, continued to manage their foreign affairs, and assumed its responsibility for defense.
The United States basically copied its own political system and copied a small United States in the Philippines. It should be said that the Philippines has a good foundation to become an economic power.
You should know that in the 16th century, the Philippines was the trading center of Southeast Asia, and after Spain occupied this land, it quickly started the Manila galleon trade – that is, the trade between Asia and America by ships. For example, in the 17th century, galleons transported silver produced in America to Manila to buy Chinese silk.
The Philippines has always been the trading center of China along the maritime Silk Road with the Americas and Europe. In 1900, the per capita GDP of the Philippines only lagged behind Japan, becoming one of the veritable economic centers in Asia.
After the United States left the Philippines, the per capita GDP of the Philippines has soared to 254 US dollars, compared with 156 US dollars in South Korea, 97 US dollars in Thailand and 87 US dollars in China in the same period. The Philippines is an extremely rapid developing country next to Japan.
But as soon as the United States withdrew, the Philippines was finished.
Because the political system of the United States can not allow any country to develop.
When we look at problems, we must look at the origin of the problem, just like how good the American economy is now?
In 2020, the United States frantically printed more than $5 trillion of money, with a crazy deficit of $678.7 billion. The United States has as much debt as the developed countries in the world combined, and its GDP is still falling frantically.
It can be said that if the United States does not open plug-in, its economy will be worse than that of Africa.
But the United States is not afraid, because the United States has more aircraft carriers than the whole world combined, and its military expenditure exceeds the sum of two to nine, so it can open an unlimited money printing mode. Without this, the American statue of liberty will be taken by creditors to repay its debts.
If I don’t understand this and copy the American model, just like Ethiopia said that I want to learn from Britain to expand my colonies and also go out to seize territory, I will only be beaten to the north.
The American model did not bring wealth to the Philippines. What it immediately brought was corruption. The government became more and more corrupt. It reached its peak in the 1960s. Shortly after Marcos was elected president of the Philippines, he exposed his autocratic nature under the “American system”. He revised the law, suppressed the media, cracked down on the opposition, and monopolized the power of the country. However, Marcos is best known for his rampant corruption and embezzlement of state property.
Corruption is a normal thing in the United States, because the government originally serves capitalists and does everything. Trump does not spare a lot of money even for medical equipment. But the United States can stand the toss and turn, but the Philippines can’t.
Marcos basically regards the Philippines as a company and his own tool for making money. He has to “handle” all economic transactions in the Philippines. What he does is to make money. He can either establish his own company or hold shares in the original company.
For example, the sugar industry is the pillar industry of export income generation in the Philippines, and Marcos has long coveted it. He first set up some companies, and through the formulation of laws, these companies have an advantage in planting, pressing and marketing.
Then he established the Philippine sugar exchange, which monopolized the export trade of sugar. No one except him was allowed to engage in it. He bought it at a low price from the farmers and sold it at a high price. He made a lot of money and his hand cramped. In the end, it was announced that the sugar industry was not subject to the minimum wage law, resulting in 500000 sugar workers earning not even $1 a day.
Next, starting from sugar production, Marcos pocketed all the industries in the Philippines, including coconut, banana and tobacco, which are the pillar industries of agriculture. Then he began to control the Philippine industry and thus the entire Philippine economy.
The industries controlled by the Marcos family include logging, paper making, oil, insurance, shipping, aviation, beer, cigarettes, textiles, hotels, casinos, newspapers, radio and television… In the end, he went crazy and simply opened his own bank, squeezing all the other banks to death.. as long as it was a business in the Philippines, it was his, much more powerful than Li Jiapo.
In the end, Marcos did not refuse anything. He wanted to earn anything as long as he didn’t have to be ashamed of his money. He gave all the war reparations from Japan to the Philippines after the war to MI.
As a result, the overall economic recession in the Philippines has never eased. Marcos never cares about public utilities that do not earn money and never asks questions.
By the time duterte came to power, the Philippines had become the largest economy in Asia and the paradise of drug dealers in Southeast Asia. Drug crime, corruption and poverty were the three chronic diseases of the Philippines.
In 2016, duterte was officially sworn in at Malacca palace in the Philippines, becoming the 16th president. Duterte vowed to voters that he would crack down on crime, especially in eradicating the drugs rampant in the Philippines, “kill 100000 people, and throw their bodies into Manila Bay to feed fish.”. After duterte announced at his inauguration that he would “kill criminals without amnesty,” the Philippine government launched a nationwide “war on drugs” to end the drug trade on a large scale.
Duterte started the most powerful war against drugs, claiming that “all drug-related personnel who try to resist stubbornly can be killed directly without legal procedures!”
At this time, the United States, which had disappeared for a long time, reappeared, exerting pressure on the Philippines, believing that the Philippines did not pay attention to human rights to drug traffickers, and openly demanded that the Philippines release drug traffickers
In fact, seeing the choice of the United States towards the Philippines, we need to clearly understand the characteristics of the new colonial era;
The first colonial era of the great powers was started by Spain. Direct robbery, drug trafficking and slave trafficking were everywhere in the world. They improved in Britain and reached the peak. At that time, colonial management still focused on grabbing territory, plundering raw materials, minerals and agricultural products from the colonies, exploiting the human resources of the colonies, and entering the era of capital accumulation through robbery;
But by 1945, as a global industrial superpower with a complete industrial system, the United States had increasingly high scientific and technological content of its products. It was not an era of making money by selling cotton. The first question we faced was, who should I sell my things to? Where is the market?
Almost all the world is colonized by Europe, and the United States has only three colonies, all of which are leftovers from Britain and France. This is obviously not conducive to the development of the United States. At this time, in terms of industrial production capacity, the United States can dominate the world by one person, and what it needs is a free market for dumping.
Moreover, the steel output of the United States reached 80 million tons, more than that of Germany, Britain, the Soviet Union, Japan and Italy combined. In 1945, the steel output of the United States accounted for 63.92% of the world’s total output. At its peak, the oil output of the United States once exceeded 70% of the world’s total output, and raw materials could not be used up.
The United States is also the world’s largest grain producer and exporter. Its grain is not only supplied to its allies, but also used to produce alcohol and other materials, so as to reduce the situation of inventory and grain surplus. American beef cans can make American soldiers want to vomit, and bread and cheese can be made casually
But if half of the world is still a colony of Britain and France, and Europe continues to engage in trade protectionism, who will sell American products to?
As a result, the United States entered the war at the most appropriate time in World War II and became the biggest winner. After the war, Europe became a ruin, and then put pressure on Britain and the United States to promote the colonial independence movement;
In the 21st century, the situation has changed again. A financial company on Wall Street earns more money than 100 industrial companies, and it does not need human costs. The United States has degenerated into a global financial hegemon. At this time, the profit model of the United States has changed again, just like more than 50% of the shares of the three stars belong to American capital. It is enough to be a shopkeeper. Why bother to do industry?
I can earn money lying down. Why go to war?
The United States is very smart now. After the twists and turns in the Philippines, it never does this again.
The way the United States rules the world, or its profit model, eventually changes from selling goods to collecting seigniorage tax. The specific manifestation is that it doesn’t need to do manufacturing at all. It can print money directly if it runs a deficit every year. Last year’s deficit was equivalent to the total output value of Saudi Arabia in one year. If other countries had gone bankrupt long ago, the United States can buy global wealth directly with paper.
Then it kept issuing debt and dollars, leaving the world at a loss. Either it also issued more currencies to make it as bad as the United States, or it watched the United States plunder wealth.
At the same time, let Europe develop freely. If the enterprise develops well, it will be directly sanctioned and robbed. From ALSTOM to France Hing Bank to Deutsche Bank, it will be tens of billions of dollars, or it will be directly forced to acquire, or it will be directly forced to relocate these industries to the United States.. it is efficient and easy.
You can make money and don’t have to worry about it. Even the governor doesn’t need to be sent. What’s wrong with that?
Therefore, in this era, the United States does not need such a high-cost solution as colonization at all, or a small number of countries in the world except China, Russia, Iraq and so on are all financial colonies of the United States, which pay taxes to the United States obediently and are robbed by the United States.
Is Europe now a colony of the United States? Yes or no,
It can be said that it is because Europe’s military, public opinion, communications, and social organizations are almost completely controlled by the United States.
I said no because the United States is simply too lazy to take charge of local internal affairs.
The United States did not actually rule Europe, but it was the supreme emperor in Europe.
All European enterprises can be robbed and sanctioned by the United States at will. It can station troops in various European countries, build military bases, and directly influence European political and economic policies;
If you want to rob, you can rob at any time, but you don’t have to pay attention to it at ordinary times. Isn’t this much easier than the Philippines?
It is equivalent to that Britain took India and planted leeks in India. Britain needs to manage and maintain order by itself, organize production by itself, and wait for the leeks to grow and cut them.
Now the United States is simply too lazy to manage. It only sends troops to watch the leek fields, while European politicians toss around on their own. The United States is simply too lazy to manage how to organize production. When leeks grow, the United States runs to cut them. The United States feels that this mode is much more hassle free.
In fact, to many countries, this is not unacceptable, that is, paying taxes?
Especially for politicians, who never consider national interests, what’s wrong with holding America’s lap and acting as America’s agent and lackey?
At the same time, I am too small to pay much tax.
For example, why should Poland apply for the U.S. garrison? First of all, with the U.S. garrison, Poland has become bolder. It feels that my father’s is mine. It can pretend to be a tiger, and it can close the Russian oil pipeline to Europe at any time to coerce Russia into giving Poland advantages;
Secondly, Poland’s GDP is less than 700 billion US dollars. How much can we pay even if we pay taxes? Moreover, there is no manufacturing industry in Poland. The United States wants to trade paper for Polish goods in deficit, and Poland has nothing to give the United States;
What’s more, the cost is negligible compared with the three annihilations in history.
Another example is the European pig five countries, which have been eating and dying together, have no pursuit, and do not want to develop industry. It seems to them that as long as there is no war, you can toss about casually. I don’t care.
At this time, the United States wants to plunder the world with a new colonial system. It doesn’t need to occupy anyone’s territory at all. It only needs military bases to occupy the key points. The United States never makes clear how big its own territory and territorial sea are. It makes it clear that what it wants is the whole world, and at the same time, it frantically promotes American values.
Why should the United States promote its own values?
We have discussed this issue. To put it simply, I asked the Indian Prime Minister: do we give 10 yuan a month or save money to build dams, so that you can spend 100 yuan less each year for three years.
100 times of the income, Indians will 100% refuse to choose immediate interests.
American style democracy divides and re divides the world, making it a tiny individual that can’t resist American hegemony. All countries lose their long-term strategies and can’t confront the United States. Or if Russia adopts American style democracy like the United States, and all parties fight every day, will there be people like Putin? Will you resist the American plunder?
If the United States gives a little assistance with political conditions, and the Russian President refuses, the road leading Party will immediately come out with a rhythm
The United States continues to spread hatred and differences around the world, making the world not peaceful. Under the new colonial system of the United States, whoever has a large economy and a high industrial output value will be exploited more ruthlessly.
However, the hegemony of the United States has declined with the naked eye. Will this set of values of the United States be useful in the future?
This depends on who will replace the United States to become the new hegemon in the world after the decline of the United States, and who will have the opportunity to choose to follow or take over the United States. The United States is the wedding dress for who.
Of course, we can choose not to vote, or we can establish a new order by peaceful coexistence such as a community with a shared future for mankind… But I’m afraid countries like Japan will not agree.
Because once the hegemony of the United States is overturned, Japan will be very painful, and its right to be a dog will be completely deprived, and Japan will never be happy again:
I’m not going to be an American vassal? Whose vassal should I be?
What can I do if the master is gone?
You want me to be independent? Why should I be independent?