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The Falsity of America

All rise!  It is the anniversary of this conflicted, sclerotic, blind, self-destructive country.  There will be celebrations.   Glitzy extravaganzas of flash and fireworks providing the shimmering eye candy to camouflage the corpse of the myth that is centerpiece and theme our national shivaree.

A nation built on genocide and slavery, with a Constitution launched with sanctimonious pieties never meant to be honored, ranking property over people, with blood-and-guts Capitalism–wealth and privilege–enthroned to rule an emasculated citizenry concussed by propaganda: this is the “exceptional” America we swarm on this day to extol.

From infancy we are indoctrinated with the fairy tale of our own magnificence; inoculated with the toxic serum of race arrogance; infected with the poisonous virus of violence.

And what noble wonders has America wrought behind its hero story?  We’re told we won two World Wars.  In fact, we barely showed in the First, after Europe cannibalized itself; and we stalled until Russia, at staggering human cost, pulverized the Wehrmacht to win the Second.  We made the world safe, not for Democracy but for Wall Street Capitalism, which made a killing on both bloodbaths, and  on destroying and nukeing Bushido-addled fascist Japan.

Hey, but how about the job we did on Latin America?  We turned that entire continent into a ghastly vivisection lab for psychotic military monsters, paid to run their countries as Dachaus, gulags, for American Capital.  What we could not buy or steal, we raped.  Where we couldn’t install our native murderers and US-trained military brutes to crush their people we did our own crushing–in Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba–and where rebellion lived, we funded the murder of generations of defiant young idealists in Chile, Argentina, Brazil.  The dead hand of our “intelligence” vampires is at its grisly trade now, bleeding Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras.

And what of our notorious “Nation Building”, seeding our lethal “freedom and liberty” wherever there is some wealth we have not pirated, or some native eccentric that won’t sell his soul to our IMF ganefs.  This is best exemplified by the sickening, barbaric massacre of the simple, guiltless peasants of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. According to one sick US Harpy, “we” feel that killing their children is “worth it”.  The depraved Hillary, queried on our Libyan gorefest, cackled: “we came, we saw, he died”.

Ah, well, you will say, even if all that is true, you leave out the many grand, humane things America has done for its own people.  Yes…  And what are those things?

Social Security!  Medicare!  True, in 1935 the U.S. passed the Social Security Act and in ‘66, Medicare, programs that now rank below those of every developed nation on earth.  It has rued them ever since, damning both as unjustified “entitlements”, vowing that inadequate, inflation-devoured rates and benefits will not increase, but rather must be abolished as immoral.  Their doctrinal, fantasy “invisible hand of the market” exists only as a fist to smash the people, never to care for them, though they are the state.

Under both duller, dumber Republican, or slick, bullshitting Democrat presidencies, there has been total stagnation in workers’ wages for fifty years, jobs eliminated or exported, obscene profits only to the Super Rich. The gap between the .001% and the rest of us was not so vast even under J.P. Morgan and the Robber Barons.  Four men now have as much wealth as the lower 50% of the country.

But if you are fairly well off, have a soul and all this appalls you, you will retreat to the defensive posture you know:  No matter the evil and falsity of America, it has provided you a decent life, a home, a job, some comfort and safety.

And there’s the cognitive rub.  Americans are comfortable enjoying every privilege available at their level, from Bud Lite and food stamps to Romanee-Conti and Kobe Beef.

There is nothing inherently evil or even remarkable about this.  It’s what humans do.  What is disgraceful is to do it out of wilfull ignorance of how such privilege is possible. What is unforgivable is to know it is due to the rape and looting of the world and celebrate it… because it’s for you.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at: hgmnude@bresnan.net

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