Monday, July 26, 2004
Why They Hate US
In the current confrontation with terrorism, the fact that America has chosen to defend itself (as it had often been compelled to do in the past) has infuriated the usual lot of totalitarian sympathizers and apologists. Lately, the most strident rhetoric directed against America comes from a mundane source. Bourgeois intellectuals and their clones have utilized a politically trendy pastime as an opportunity to spout their standard support for the authoritarian vision – Leftist politics.
There are certainly many educated and informed American citizens who are reasonably aware of their own government’s historical errors and hypocrisies. They are equally aware that some citizens at home and abroad, are quite critical of America’s current (temporary) leadership and its policies. The insight or accuracy of these criticisms bears little justification for what has now become a bizarre and pervasive hatred for everything American. Though polemics are now stated in dramatic terms, the root of this disdain ultimately stems from the rather unremarkable motivations of partisan politics. Hatred for America lies in nothing more profound than a love for the things America does not represent, totalitarianism, collectivism and imposed conformity.
The “useful idiots” among the pampered middle class have always taken a clear side between their kindred spirits of totalitarian collectivism and the perceived greedy “cowboy” of America’s dynamic society. They hate “cowboy” capitalism because they prefer gulag socialism (is a cowboy all that bad a symbol next to that of a concentration camp guard?). Many would surely have preferred that the Soviet Union had won the Cold War. The Jacobin clique is still whining because America has deprived them of their “revolution,” to impose the rule of philosopher kings over the creative actions of free individuals.
One would certainly never expect a Leftist of any strain to note positive attributes in America’s character (or any wealthy, striving, or successful institution). However, one would hope they would have enough common sense to realize that most of the millions, who make up America’s diverse society, are not the caricature of greed and evil that socialist rants have tried to depict.
Though public comments are often measured, we all know of instances where some have been less guarded regarding their views of terrorist attacks on America – calling the acts well deserved if not actually rejoicing over them. To the frustrated philosopher kings, such acts of random violence are seen as just response to some unique cruelty fostered on innocents by Americans.
Rants against Americans often begin with the usual debatable list of “American atrocities,” (of the kind common to all powerful governments through history) proving nothing beyond the obvious stupidity of investing increased power in any government. Ironically, the most inspired critics of American policy are certainly no enemy of strong, centralized government power. Such philosophies would vastly increase government’s scope and authority (always on the assumption that arbitrary power is okay if it’s promoting one’s own noble agenda). Their prime consideration has always been one of determining how much human spontaneity should be rationed (or crushed completely).
Cliché litanies against America typically tell us that it “uses unfair shares of the World’s resources.” Have Liechtenstein and Bhutan failed to receive the “fair share” of titanium alloy that they wanted to buy?
We are told, “America possesses unfair amounts of the world’s wealth.” This is a classic reference to socialism’s imaginary wealth pie that’s somehow being “divided” unfairly. It would never occur to the forces of institutionalized envy, that many of America’s citizens (most, descendants of immigrants) have labored, innovated, and organized the creation of their country’s wealth. Resentment against such abundance is hardly warranted from those countries and ideologies that have made free commerce and creative enterprise a virtual crime. Such productive attributes can only be seen by some as the much maligned “materialism” or soulnessness of those unschooled in the moral perfections of their spiritual betters (the philosopher kings again – intellectuals). One often hears of those “gas hungry cars that Americans drive…” -- Symptoms of mass consumer society. Last I saw, Europeans were driving cars. Perhaps its an issue of degree – Americans drive too many cars… and their critics drive just the right amount.
Pollution and labor exploitation are seen as symptoms of free-market excess, yet we’re never told why a state monopoly over industrial production would magically be cleaner or “more fair” – or why those countries that have seized private enterprises are so much more polluted and oppressive to workers (often taking over the unions and media, as well as the industry).
Then, there are those horrid locally staffed and operated fast food outlets, and the music and movies forced on innocents who’d prefer the good old days of 9:00 to 9:00 field work in that pre-capitalist nirvana some want to force everyone back into.
Domestically, the cry of every closet Stalinist is that of the “class struggle” and poverty’s supposedly rampant presence. Yet, America has probably outspent most countries in history on massive bureau-programs for “ending poverty” (to the tune of some 5 trillion (!) dollars since the mid 60’s -- still, “not enough”).
To an average European Marxist, it would certainly never be considered that Europe itself was able to fund its own extensive welfare schemes with money it saved while the US largely paid the bill for 50 years of defense and social aid.
Among standard cliché arguments, we’re reminded of slaves and slave masters (in a society where no one is presently either) or of Native American slaughters, supposedly perpetrated by our descendants (most of which arrived in the US only in the last 100 years).
But, what of the good things? Does America do good things? Ask one of the critics to answer the question “Is there anything good about America?” They can’t. Not because there is nothing good, but because to say so would conflict with a stance that has little to do with reasoned appraisal and everything to do with envy, and projection. The current focused critique’ is not about some unique quality of evil that only America exhibits. It’s not about opposition to war, aggression, or oppression. It’s about political philosophies, those that succeed, those that consistently fail, and resentment against the former.
It would seem that international assistance, of any amount, would be looked well upon, yet America’s massive outlays of food and funds to other countries can only be seen as dubious, self-interested, or “not enough”-- Can they do anything right?
America’s – relatively – free market system has produced a powerhouse of invention, creativity, and diverse cultural/artistic expression. Of course, the successful results of this unbridled creativity and commerce can only be seen as being motivated by “greed.” This word’s pervasive misapplication needs to be noted. Is it “greed” that is being practiced in the normal striving common to most of humanity, to hope for the best personal condition for ones self and one’s family, and to apply one’s self to that end? Is every act performed to the end of increased wealth and achievement really the cruel aggressive and heartless condition one tries to conjure when using the tainted word “Greed?” Why is Sean Penn’s substantial income not “greedy” but a successful businessperson’s income is? Are Michael Jordan’s strivings for success less “greedy” than Bill Gates’?
Socialists would tell us that economic interest (i.e. Oil) could be the only motive for US actions. To the contrary, is it that unreasonable to suggest that America also has a valid interest in protecting its citizens from attack by fanatical religious and political factions? The socialist view of all motivation and action can, unfortunately, only be seen in terms of economics. Love, religion, art, leisure folly – are all seen as cold sterile economic issues. Is it any wonder then, that states established on radical Socialist principals have always been dull, lifeless prisons stifling humanity’s true creative potential?
Fervent critics would still have us believe their stance is wrought on unbiased logical appraisals, but their views and the debatable “facts” they raise stem from nothing more than an emotionally driven alliance with the socialist worldview. This is why the ruthless slaughter of millions for the cause of “egalitarian justice” is always brushed off or even justified when compared to the perceived horrors committed by America’s flawed liberal democratic state. Hatred of America is the initial stance. After the fact, the Leftist merely gathers the “facts” to “prove” their hatred is justified.
If the socialist bureaucracies of the world would free the human spirit from their dusty “five year plan” fantasies, they too might create a large middle class and its historically advanced condition. In the end, they’d prefer to line citizens up to rationed state troughs like barnyard animals and chime that they’re somehow “being fair” by “sharing” wealth (while simultaneously making it a crime to create new wealth). They will always view political models, like Castro’s decaying gulag, as better systems when compared to America’s diverse free-market society.
Lip service to humane goodness aside, I have yet to be convinced by any of these critics, that their level of “compassion” or sense of “justice” is any better than the next fellows (and many reasons to believe it may be less). If one criticizes communist gulags, one party police states, and “revolutionary” dictatorships, even moderate leftist will immediately counter with anecdotes regarding America’s flaws – often implying that an open and free system such as ours is actually worse! The left will insist, of course, that their bitter invective toward all American actions is motivated by some fair and well-reasoned appraisal of facts that merely accounts for all sides fairly. So, try this test: State criticisms of America like those on the left would make. Rail on its “injustices, inequality, belligerent militarism and imperialism.” Should not the all-reasonable and fair minded then immediately counter with examples of more horrid governments? Well…no. The left, for all it’s haughty attempts to appear above partisan conflict, does take a very clear side. It is consistently and passionately anti-US, anti-pluralistic, anti-free market and anti-free civil society. It is equally passionate in its consistent defense, and often open support for, the most authoritarian and oppressive systems to have ever existed.
What has been stated here would clearly infuriate some. To them, it’s impossible that one could defend the US when comparing it to the fundamentalist theocracies and socialist gulags of the world’s history. To them, a defense of America’s system and people can only be viewed as a Jingoistic, warmongering stance (“right wing extremist”).
Those who tell us that American “hegemony” (existence) is a curse to the people’s of the world, will certainly have opportunity to view alternatives in the uses of power and success. In the next few decades the locus of power may likely change, perhaps to China or Europe, countries that may then defy the darkness in their own histories and usher in a new utopia, free from hegemony and fast food franchises. Then again, they may be disappointed.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Canada's “Evil” Neighbor
Of course, results in the Canadian poll are little different than what one might find in Europe or other Western countries. It is in such relatively free and affluent systems that citizens have enough spare time to despise their own middle class lifestyle and the free exchange of goods and services that permit their historically unusual circumstance. Such political sentiments are easily extrapolated to hating the current symbol of all this bourgeosie progress.
And there was, of course, Iraq. After international media and a host of Leftist authors (i.e. Michael Moore) were finished touting their cliché line, America become an obvious force of evil for having removed one of the most authoritarian regimes in existence. Iraq has become a mere centerpiece in a tirade regarding the evil found in all aspects of American society and culture.
Surely, If some Canadian youth don't like American movies, they shouldn't watch them. If they don't like American music, they shouldn't listen to it. If they don't like American fast food outlets (owned and staffed by their own citizens), they should certainly eat elsewhere. So, what exactly has come from America and imposed itself on Canadians against their will?
With all the slack being cut of late for ruthless totalitarian regimes and terrorist Islamo-fascism, I have to wonder why the word evil is so readily applied to the country of Disney and Thomas Edison.
Probably a good portion of the world's population now hope for the eventual defeat and decline of America and its style of government (self-government) so that others can assume the role of "evil" hegemon. Since evil can often incarnate in varieties of style and intensity, those horrified youths’s who have been duped by public schools and media might consider more caution in what they wish for. There’s certainly greater and more evil threats than those that exist on the longest peaceful border in the world.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
AMERICAN CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
I was born in Ohio... I'm guilty of crimes against the people.
I'm from the land of McDonald's and Disney, Starbucks, and moon landings,
country music and soul,
jazz and hip-hop,
Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan.
I was raised on corn fed cattle and sci-fi flicks in stereo sound.
I ate food from around the world because people came to my country from around the world and opened restaurants.
The conspirators of state in the nation of my birth decided to defeat Hitler, Stalin's legacy, and recently, an Iraqi Mafioso who put humans into shredders and left dismembered bodies on widow's doorsteps.
The system of my birthplace let Edison alone so he could invent the phonograph, electric light, and movie projector. Bill Gates is rich because selfish and evil capitalists conspired to transform the way information is processed and exchanged.
Several million fat, thin, tall, short, black, yellow, brown, and white people fall in love, raise kids, and pay mortgages on homes because The Heart of Darkness thought that would be OK.
Deserts, marshes, mountains, valleys and plains are the habitat of the worlds's latest scapegoat, and tyrants are given blank checks because, in the eyes of some, wanton entertainment is a crime far worse than authoritarian rule.
The place I was born has too many people who are religious, ...or “nonbelievers,” or selfish donors to 1000 charities (but never the right ones at the right times).
The citizens in the nation I'm from don't like to obey the will of bureaucrats, those who know better how to rule one's life and understand the “compassionate” need to create more rules.
I haven't learned to submit to the wise will of unemployed cafe' poets in France or Holland, and if left to my own choices may choose a path they don't like. I may even wear the wrong hat, oppress indigenous peoples, or fail to use the salad fork when it would be the right thing to do.
My country's President is “like Hitler” because he cut taxes and opposes Al Qaeda. My Congress is full of fools because they agreed with the President, (though some later changed their minds).
We failed to see the wisdom that wiser Germans possessed when they followed their Feuhrer. We were course and unsophisticated when we failed to follow artists and philosophers down the road that Stalin promised would lead to Utopia. We failed to listen to a wise nation of patisseries when they said “surrender”-- on more than a few occasions.
We drink, beat our kids, and shoot each other (all of us, all the time), unlike everyone else who ever lived. On quieter days we just go to work , listen to music, and get haircuts (while plannning who we will next beat and shoot).
We've created a party of a million variations in human potential. We laugh, cry, play, work, fuck-off, and sleep as if we were so selfish as to merely seek pleasure and avoid pain (unlike everyone else in the world).
We're guilty of success. Our sins are our happiness. Our flaw is our optimism.
I was born Ohio and implicated by birth in wrongdoing.
We laugh and are told to stop. We live and are told to die. We smile and it's a crime against humanity.
If we could only follow the pure examples established elsewhere, where blood, violence, and authority has reigned through time.
If we could only learn to obey our betters and become like them, then we wouldn't be so different, so dynamic, so independent, so innovative, so free, and ... bad. But, we keep on smiling,...and it's a crime against humanity.
Who Are "The People?"
“We need more Laws to protect The People (from themselves). We need to feed more power to individuals and institutions who will 'address the needs of The People.' We need to eliminate the 'enemies of The People.'”
So, who exactly are The People? It seems that the further out a demagogue goes on the political spectrum, the greater likelihood that people (individuals) will suffer for the greater cause of The People.
For a politician to say what they really mean when using this euphemism would require acknowledgment that the people they speak of are just another special interest group no more noble or “deserving” than any other.
Are The People, farmers? Poor laborers? Wealthy inventors? Lawyers? Clerks? Rich liberal housewives and actresses? Do white, divorced, unemployed, and paraplegic men dying of cancer, “have all the power?”
The implication in every “...The People” rant is always that, somehow, successful or fortunate citizens are not The People. Of course, when a Statist demagogue speaks of The People, he or she is typically implying lower classes, the poor, or the “oppressed” (groups which are ultimately comprised of diverse and conflicting elements), but even this is not what they are really getting at.
If you're a medium or low-income blue-collar worker with a mortgage who happens to be conservative, try convincing a Social-Statist that you're one of The People. Whether black, Hispanic, woman, or poor; a conservative is a non-“People” in the eyes of those who love the state – or more likely, an “enemy of The People.”
The collectivists' obsession with philosophical word games has always insured that “enemies of The People” can be defined broadly. So it was that to Pol Pot, the wearing of glasses or speaking French could place one in a dangerous category as The People’s enemy. Even in the milder rants of the Democrat Left, successful and accomplished persons are “greedy,” selfish,” and “racist” when compared to “The People,” (who we are to assume are kind, gentle, sharing, and noble – like the Left-Wing ranter themselves, of course).
The People are always perfect, and the rest of humanity, being so flawed, must be shoved into a contrived and illusionary template so that a leader or party can claim they've changed all of human history out of their infinite compassion.
Even among moderate crusades for the collectivist ideal, the self-proclaimed spokespersons for common people have been, ironically, the uncommon elites of the intelligentsia, academia, the arts, and the media, all rallying in opposition to their common enemy, the people of creation and commerce – the business class. Those who apply themselves to practical innovation and achievement are not The People in the eyes of those who resent the most productive elements among us.
Realistically, The People, the Volksgemeinschaft (folk community), and the Village (to use Hillary Clinton’s euphemism) are ultimately mere abstractions – they mean nothing. Some form of these political clichés have been conjured regularly through history in the same way that “society” is now so often used as a rallying cry of both hatred and concern. “Society,” like “The People,” has been accurately described as a mystical concept that refers to no one in particular and everyone but one's self.
It often appears that the more obsessive one’s concern is for The People, the less likely one can relate to people individually, let alone recognize them as valid persons of diverse and varied interests.
Class envy and resentment toward successful individuals or groups has never accomplished anything but stagnation, self-destruction, political upheaval, and the establishment of varying levels of tyranny. In the final analysis, reference to The People is just another way to say, “Those who agree with me.”
There will always be some who believe a demagogue’s lust for power is mitigated by mock concern for some imaginary group abstraction, but there will also be others who see through such nonsense, resisting the perennial attempt to impose sacrifice in the name of Romantic notions about who The People are – but, what do they know, they’re probably “enemies of The People.”