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Unabashed anti-Americanism

5 September 2008 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in diary, philosophy | 8 Comments »

Since I am tired of answering the question “are you anti-American?” here it is.

YES, I am anti-American.

But let’s clarify a few things. I don’t think that the words “I” or “am” or the prefix “anti-” need any clarification. What does need to be cleared up is what is meant by the word “American”.

“American” means many different things. Let’s take them in turn.

  • “America” the country — This, ultimately, is a set of lines drawn on a map, a geographical segment of the world. Do I oppose drawing lines on maps? Hardly. Marking roads, towns and rivers is useful. Even marking places where one might be subject to arbitrary violence is useful. But am I “anti-” the particular lines drawn to separate “America” from “the rest of the world”? YES. And I’m against all the other national and sub-national lines as well.
  • “America” the land — Is it possible to hate a land? Perhaps, but I don’t. Mind you, there are plenty of places within those artificial map lines that I’d never recommend anyone to go, but there is nothing wrong with the land itself, the place, the landscape or its features. Do I hate the Grand Canyon, the central plains, the Adirondacks, or the Jersey shore? Not in the slightest. There are some southeastern swamp areas I wouldn’t recommend, but that doesn’t mean I hate those places any more than I could hate the moon.
  • “America” the people — First of all, I don’t know these people. Sweeping generalizations about “a people” are often wrong and sometimes used to make the most horrifying collective judgements. As with any set, there are some people within the “American” boundaries who are good and some who are evil, some who are thoughtful and some who are mindless, some who are kind and some who are cruel. I can’t hate the “American people” any more than I can hate the “Congolese people” or the “Finnish people”. Mashing large numbers of human beings into collectives in order to pass judgement on them is ultimately a futile exercise.
  • “America” the ideal — Ah, now we’re getting closer. America has a great mythology attached to it. A nation of migrants fleeing downtrodden lives in the old world settle a new, vast and fertile territory, bringing with them the finest ideals of liberal society and a vision of a bright tomorrow, and eventually giving birth to a society of freedom and prosperity. Gosh that sounds great, until you look at the history. The ideal is beautiful. Waving the ideal around today as some sort of excuse for what America has become is rank hypocrisy. And I really hate hypocrisy.
  • “America” the historical national entity — From the extermination of native tribes through slavery, the “Civil” War, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, all the other bogus wars of the 20th century, the War on (Some) Drugs, Jim Crow apartheid, the US-led global abandonment of sound money in favor of fiat currency and predatory central bankers, McCarthyism, New Deal socialism and the entire narrative of American exceptionalism up to the present three wars (Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia) and the endless bullying of the American state on the world stage, I hate America.
  • “America” the system of government — “Democracy, hooray!” This one’s easy; I hate all existing systems of government.
  • “America” the state, comprised of people currently running around in clown suits, their masters in the political class, the plutocrats who own the political class, plus the bureaucracy and the shareholders, employees and managers of all those corporations that exist for little reason other than to serve the aforementioned filth — Well, let’s just say I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

So, am I anti-American? Yes and no. On balance, and for the sake of argument, let’s say yes, yes I am anti-American. And I believe my heart — and my hate — are in the right place.

  1. 8 Responses to “Unabashed anti-Americanism”

  2. By Cork on 5 September 2008

    Great post. I’ve always been puzzled at why progressives and others are offended by being called “anti-American.”

    When a statist yelps, “You hate America, you undermine this country every step of the way, and you hate the troops!” my answer is usually, “Touche.”

  3. By irspariah on 3 May 2009

    I’m sure you’ve already run into your share of vitriol and venom from super patriots. Just remember, the one person who can see in a room full of blind people will always be suspect.

  4. By Uncle B on 8 October 2009

    Anti-American? Not! Critique? definitely! Somewhere, some day something you say will strike a common chord and resonate throughout the land, and force change, as only communication of ideas and sentiments can do! This may work for your sentiment, or a clashing sentiment, creating a new chord, that resonates with a group of smaller chords into the final wave, or even a conclusive popular chord, later on, well after your notions caused but a very small ripple! Even the most outrageously radical rant is held in contempt and strengthens other sentiments, from which new and different chords arise! Here on the net, nothing goes unnoticed, unread, but all is considered, even the seemingly nonsensical make us aware of at least that! We have the free-est and newest communication tool of all time at our fingertips, and we have influenced the ways of the world here, awakened the sleeping, prodded the unaware, and it is world-wide – Saddened Russians, collapse of the U.S.S.R. fresh in hearts, Asians lurking, and commenting clearly, Americans blunting out their xenophobias, seeing them in print for the first time! and recoiling even from their own positions! British sites in conservative submissive beaten style, coming to life with unusual spirits, and even some Germans regaining what WWII had stolen from their psyches! A wonderful place of truths and lies and human communication, be as “Anti-American as you like! Expect responses, some favorable, some educational, some quite revealing! Watch the Governmental and corporate sponsored “Popular Propagandas” die here, injured by the truth from the proletariat, the actual peons in the grist mills, and see if we don’t all conclude that peace is a noble goal for humanity!

  5. By zoop55 on 8 October 2009

    America is not a country, its a continent. Hence U.S.A. “United States OF America”.
    Canadians are American, Mexicans are American, and lets not forget South AMERICA.

  6. By Mike Gogulski on 8 October 2009

    Best thing I’ve read all day, Uncle B! Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. By magiclife on 28 July 2010

    Great Uncle B, and what the fuck does peace actually mean? Does it mean lack of wars in the world? That’s a silly and childish thought. The best thing that could happen would be a complete and instant realization that gov’ts are tyrants, everywhere. But what’s actually happening is that gov’ts now have a new way of seeing into the soul of a movement and evolving their dickheadedness with the movements of cultures, and creating new educational requirements and tools of propaganda to keep up with whatever “the people” may come up with to combat evil…if they ever have anyway. And this new tool of communication, what the hell is it? Are you saying that the internet is a tool of freedom? Numb-nuttedness. It isn’t free. It isn’t free of tyranny and is actually does very little in the way of creating any new useful communications, except as stated above it creates a swifter response to movements. Stop spreading lies of freedom. Freedom doesn’t come from above…the internet was created by gov’ts, not people.

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