“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.” – H.L. Mencken
Patriotism tells you our world is divided into special areas and those who’ve been lucky to be born in particular places, are better governed, outstanding, and more precious than those inhabiting any other spot. Every day you hear variations of this from the TV, school and almost every other place you go. We’re told from birth that it’s the duty of everyone living in our special spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose our superiority upon all the others whenever ordered. The price includes, in the words of General McChrystal, “a lot more population control measures. We are going to have to give up a lot more of our precious civil rights than most of us imagine because we want security.”
As ‘our’ government discovers new ways to limit our civil liberty and privacy, it’s important that we keep in mind that these infringements aren’t the root of the problem. It’s American foreign policy, the regime-change operations, the interference in foreign elections, coups, assassinations, embargoes, sanctions, foreign aid, torture, abuse, invasions, and occupations, which produces the anger and the hatred that then leads to the constant threat of terrorist retaliation. ‘Our government’ then uses the constant threat of terrorist retaliation to justify its constant and ever-growing limits on the civil liberty and privacy of American citizens; empire abroad leads to loss of liberty and privacy at home. (The use of dialectical materialism in the form of problem [thesis] -> reaction [antithesis] -> solution [synthesis] should be noted here, as well as how Marx and Hegel’s ‘great revolutionary leaps’ are regularly employed by Mordor on the Potomac. -JJ)
Iran is a good example due to our actions there for the last hundred years. We stood with the British who effectively took over Iran for their oil. Because of the British occupation a third of Iranians died during WW2 from starvation1.¹ In 1953 the CIA overthrew their democratically elected government because they had the audacity to nationalize their oil. The CIA installed their dictator whose secret police, we trained, were some of the most brutal on the planet.² During the Reagan years we shot down Iran Air Flight 655 with almost three hundred onboard. All Iranians know this, and more, but few in the Empire do because every day ‘our’ free press tells you the official story about our victimization by a country smaller than many of our states. We’ve done the same, with variations, in too many countries to list here.
When a national election is called, one-half of those eligible doesn’t vote. Far from thinking of the greater good of their society, most Americans embrace a tribal ethos of ‘what’s in it for me and my clan’ as they expect others to adopt their ideas. Many Americans identify themselves first by tribe or religion as in ‘Italian-American’, ‘African-American’, ‘Baptist’ or ‘Red Stater’. Members of these tribes gather often throughout the year to celebrate themselves, and they’re ready to spit on the cultures of others. Their loyalties tend to divide along tribal and regional lines. Facts don’t matter because ideology filters everything. In recent years, for example, elected officials have proposed the idea that their state should secede from the federal union (Texas/California), create its own currency (South Carolina), and enforce only those national laws with which its ruling warlords agree (Montana). Several state legislatures are forming laws that will outlaw public protest. We’re not as united as the official version would have you believe.
Americans accept individualism to the point that laws equating corporations with people, with the same rights as a flesh-and-blood human being aren’t successfully opposed. You say that democracy is messy, and that Americans should just be left to muddle along as best they can, and learn their lessons without interference but America is a vital source of uranium, soybeans, corn, situation comedies, ethanol, inspirational speakers and other such indispensable resources without which the global economy would collapse. Moreover, America possesses a sizable supply of weapons of mass destruction.
America is full of those who are eager to turn the democratic process to their own ends. Some politicians say that the secular state should base its laws on a Christian version of Sharia. Others aren’t concerned believing ‘consumers’ will consistently vote in moderate government who will move continually toward healthy secular society. I believe we have to face facts: we want a peaceful, democratic world, but we know some people aren’t ready for democracy, and Americans are some of these. Some recommend an authoritarian strongman of the sort Americans understand and respect, like the ones that operate behind the scenes; someone who can flatter their national pride and keep their well-armed warlords under control. Some believe Trump is that strongman…be careful what you wish for.
In countries we interfere with we tell those people they need a few decades of practice, under our control, before they’ll be mature enough to govern themselves. The British told their colonial subjects the same thing.‘Our’ free press told us and Iraqis that Iraq was one of those places. It may not be politically correct, but we have to accept that fact perhaps we qualify as well and maybe that’s the case in most countries. Most humans have trouble giving up their expectations to make room for others and we see that every day.
Democracy is several wolves and one sheep voting about what will be for dinner. Democracy is fully self-destructive and has been throughout history. Its usual focus is emotional which may be why the Constitution made space to remove the emotion and place our controls in the hands of oligarchs. ‘Our freedoms’ aren’t protected from ordinary politics but determined by them; recipes for endless social division, as different parties try to substitute their preferred vision of liberty for those actually in the Constitution.
Journalism covering ‘our government’ is mostly public relations; propaganda, done for money, and not for the purpose of describing truth. Corporate-owned ‘news’ is propaganda, getting its information from government-owned ‘news.’³ The problem is journalism, as it exists, isn’t what people believe it to be and doesn’t deserve to be trusted. The mainstream press has lost the confidence of ‘consumers’ becoming little more than the mouthpiece for ‘our’ owners, who spin their own self-serving tales and tell their own lies. Rather than acting as a watchdog against deception, the mainstream media have become the Establishment’s apologists and propagandists. If ‘consumers’ were told any troubling truth that might greatly shake their trust in the big lie and if they realize how far American politicians go to achieve their political ambitions, they might be more willing to believe other serious allegations of government wrongdoing. ‘Our’ free press is a propaganda machine for the ruling elite. Since ‘land of the free’ isn’t applicable anymore what will our new motto be?
I’m still wondering why Census needs my house GPS/coordinates, except that as a wild free-thinker, I may need to be carpet bombed some day…freedom can be only so free, don’t you know.
- https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup ; http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/cs/pdf/CS_Iran.pdf (p. 276-277)