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.