Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Nation of Fools


My entire family is being played for fools by the power brokers in Washington; and they don’t even have a clue about how they are being manipulated. I am embarrassed for them. The truth is out there; but no one is bringing it to our door step. You have to look hard. You have to want to know the facts. You have to care about social justice; and that requires effort; it requires living with a troubled conscience and trying to set things right. It requires that you inform yourself and make an effort to change things. The trouble is that most Americans don’t want to know the truth because it would make them uncomfortable. So they turn their heads the other way and allow themselves to be distracted from their civic and patriotic duties. It is easier to display the flag and plaster their cars with ‘Support our troops’ stickers. This mode of being requires no real effort; nor accountability.

Their government is murdering millions of innocent people all around the planet, torturing people and toppling both democratic and progressive governments; it is committing acts of terror against the world’s working poor; it is plundering their homelands and stealing their wealth. How can any person of conscience remain indifferent toward these acts? How can we wave our flags and support our troops when this is what they are doing? Is this their idea of liberation? Is this their perception of Democracy? Is this the kind of nation we want to be?

While this is going on they are concerned only about shopping, mindless consumption, and watching American Idol. As citizens, they have been rendered totally useless. Fascism flourishes where citizens are inactive and uninformed. Where there is apathy there is fascism.

When will the people learn that the interests of big business and multinational corporations; the interest of the ruling class-are not our interests? When an American president-it doesn’t matter which one-talks about protecting American interests, whose interest do they mean? They mean the interest of the ruling class-the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Murdochs, the Cheneys and the Bushes. They mean the interest of General Electric, Halliburton, Bechtel, Boeing, Wal-mart, Northrup-Grumman; Raytheon, Exxon-Mobil; Shell Oil and Texaco. These are not my interests. Nor are they the interests of ninety-nine percent of the populace. And they certainly are not noble causes to fight and die for.

Most of my fellow citizens would be as angry as I am about all of this if they knew what I know. But they don’t want to know, damn them! It would threaten their comfortable existence. It might even activate some spark of hidden conscience that would force them into action.

It’s not that we are a nation of stooges and idiots (though it certainly appears that way at times); it is that we are a nation of the lazy and morbidly obese-physically, mentally and spiritually. From cradle to grave we are exposed to the brave new world of Madison Avenue, the endless stream of corporate propaganda that dull our senses and wear us down. The assault upon our sensibilities is constant. Our view of the world is misshapened, distorted into the grotesque in the mirrors of the corporate media. We are a nation of addicts. Some of our addictions include: oil, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, conspicuous consumption and hubris. There is nothing wrong with being entertained, per se. But it must be in healthy proportions to being informed. As journalist Bill Moyers has observed, ‘We are not getting the information we need to make us free.’

As a result, the age of reason is nearing an end. We are careening back into the abyss of ignorance and fear that characterized the Dark Ages. Evidence for this consists in the rise of nationalism, jingoism, intolerance and religious fundamentalism. If we don’t soon wake from our zombie state, we will no longer teach the truth of evolution in our public schools. The stage is already set in Kansas for that sorry event to take place. Science and understanding will be supplanted by religious dogma and zealotry. No proof, no evidence will be necessary. We will live our lives by faith-blind faith; deaf and dumb faith. Ecological literacy will become a forgotten dream, as the earth sinks into irrevocable ruin in the bilge of consumption and industrial waste we created. Heretics, as was done in the past, will be subject to persecution; burned at the stake as blasphemers. Copernicus and Giordano Bruno will welcome the company. Free thinking and the publication of non-religious books will be banned. White supremacists (as they do now in the slave states) will hold the reins of power; and a new era of industrial slavery will be ushered in. Behold the twelve hour work day; rejoice in the seventy-two hour work week. And it will be called a free and open society-a Christian Nation. It will be called the Greatest Nation on Earth. It will be called ‘Amerika.’ Religious leaders will openly call for the assassination of democratically elected presidents of sovereign nations. The CIA and its henchmen will obediently carry out the orders. Ignorant, supercilious, bumbling stooges will be our war time presidents. We will exist in a state of perpetual war. Ours’ will be a permanent war time economy, until its collapse in a few short decades of flaming exuberance. The war machine must be fed with our babies-those of the working class. Elections will be rigged and their outcomes predetermined by electronic voting machines that leave no paper trails. Ignorance will be called truth. Hate will be called love. Words will have no meaning. The fascist police state is emerging. Take heed.

CHARLES SULLIVAN is a furniture maker, photographer and free lance writer living in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He can be reached at:


















More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 27, 2016
Paul Street
An Identity-Politicized Election and World Series Lakefront Liberals Can Love
Matthew Stevenson
Sex and the Presidential City
Jim Kavanagh
Tom Hayden’s Haunting
CJ Hopkins
The Pathologization of Dissent
Mike Merryman-Lotze
The Inherent Violence of Israel’s Gaza Blockade
Robert Fisk
Is Yemen Too Much for the World to Take?
Shamus Cooke
Stopping Hillary’s Coming War on Syria
Jan Oberg
Security Politics and the Closing of the Open Society
Ramzy Baroud
The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Colin Todhunter
Lower Yields and Agropoisons: What is the Point of GM Mustard in India?
Norman Pollack
The Election: Does It Matter Who Wins?
Nyla Ali Khan
The Political and Cultural Richness of Kashmiriyat
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“It’s Only a Car!”
October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases