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Pledging Allegiance to the Divided States of America

I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will.

-Antonio Gramsci

When the individual’s behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. Time to “drop out”, “turn on”, and “tune in.”

-Timothy Leary

America, the indispensable nation. That old jingoistic canard gets tossed around like confetti in this country, while the rest of the world rolls their collective eyes and crack their collective knuckles. According to patriotic lore, America is some beige, color-blind, miracle designed by the greatest white philosophers since Socrates to free the world from its backwards indigenous ways with the magic of global capitalism. Naturally, this is all bullshit. The kind of sad pep-talk a date-rapist gives himself in the mirror before showering his glamour muscles in Axe body spray. There is absolutely nothing miraculous about America but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t exceptional.

America is an exceptionally cruel experiment in the outer reaches of colonial social engineering. We are a nation defined by the two greatest holocausts in recorded history, spanning three continents and an entire hemisphere. America as we know it was founded by an ambitious collection of European super-colonialists who found themselves and their nations increasingly depleted of the wealth they accumulated from the Crusades. So they traveled the seas in search of greener pastures to irrigate with more dark-skinned blood. They found their sainted killing fields of Shangri-La in the New World and with the superiority of their steel, they decided to take the Americas by force and slaughter anyone who stood in their way. But with an entire hemisphere half empty of its indigenous inhabitants, these European overlords found themselves with too much work for their feeble bourgeois fingers to handle, so they filled their new colonies with shiploads of slaves pilfered from the jungles of Africa to build a nation on their scarred shoulders, murdering millions more in the process and permanently hobbling another entire continent.

But even slave-driving proved too onerous for our glorious founding fathers, so they brought in floods of refugees from their more battered European neighbors to serve as a pauper class between the WASPs and their shackled human property. The result of this massive game of Red Rover was a badly cobbled together empire that lacked the royal blood and soil that usually held the illusion of the European-style nation state together. New races had to be constructed to justify their class division. Scores of seemingly incongruous tribes were lumped together into massive racial conglomerations known as White and Colored (later to be broken down into Black and Brown). Whenever the numbers of the people of color swelled to numbers that threatened the White master race, whole chunks were chiseled off and arbitrarily declared White. Irish, Italians, Jews; we were all niggers once until we became more useful as White insulation than dark fodder.

Eventually, however, these badly manufactured moving lines collapsed beneath the weight of their own absurdity and racism was traded in, at least officially, for a new imperial creed of neoliberal globalism and market order. And so yesterday’s White supremacists became today’s racial harmony loving progressive internationalists, using the racism which they once thrived upon to justify their existence in order to prevent others from engaging in the kind of genocides that made them pillars of international order. Appeals to good old fashioned White supremacy are still trotted out from time to time by the likes of Donald Trump to rally those still suspicious of the new order around it with the vestiges of the old, and the racist power structure remains largely untouched where it remains useful in the courts and prisons, regardless of the politically correct language they have adopted like menthol to numb their pollution. Never the less, by and large, globalization is the new White.

What we’re left with as this strange bastard empire slouches towards Bethlehem to die in a hail of bullets is a colossal landmass of lost souls without purpose. As we cling to the wreckage of our manufactured mass tribes we descend deeper and deeper into nihilistic violence and self destruction. We are ravaged by plagues of mass shootings and narcotics addiction. While our mandarins continue to start unwinnable crusades in a sad attempt to revive their past glories, we stand as a nation on the brink of a societal collapse unlike any seen since the Roman Empire. But in this crisis I can’t help but to see great opportunities. Every apocalypse presents an opportunity, however fleeting, for utopia.

In the case of a post-racial/post-colonial America, I see the opportunity for a thousand utopias. Cleaved from the chains of more traditional national identities, American’s and the citizenry of other vast neocolonial experiments like Canada and Australia have been granted the ability to redefine themselves however they goddamn please. What race do you want to be? What gender feels like freedom? What do you want to call your new species? We can choose to cling to our past as prisoners of a horrific imperial experiment, we can wallow in aggrievement and victimhood and go down with this rusted hulk of a slave ship, or we can rise above it, wipe the slate clean and create new tribes around the more abstract and less constraining concepts of love and community, family and kinship, anarchy and liberty.

There is no reason why hillbillies can’t live on trout and moonshine in Appalachia while hippie dykes macro-may rainbow flags in New England and Mormon Fundamentalists build a new Zion in the deserts of Utah. There is no reason why we cant have Mutualism in Kansas, Syndicalism in Pennsylvania, Communism in Vermont, Paleolibertarianism in Oklahoma and Agorism in Florida. Hell, there’s no reason we can’t have them all in one city block. Ultimately, the only way to save this thing called America is to break this thing called America. This nation was a hideous mistake but it doesn’t have to be our prison. All we have to do is embrace the endless possibilities of a voluntary society by dropping out of this broken involuntary one.

United we fall, divided we stand, dearest motherfuckers. Now lets Balkanize this bitch before the Chinese get a chance to pick at the bones. Viva la succession!

More articles by:

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find him online at Exile in Happy Valley.

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