Thoughts on America: from an American

America: land of the free, home of the brave; or so the story goes. This land is my land, your land, our land; to exploit and abuse, as we see fit. The buffalo and the carrier pidgeon know what I'm talking about...

Sometimes the March of Progress is more like a stampede. Either run with the pack, or be trampled underfoot. That's often the way of the world. Ask the Lakota about the so-called progress of the modern age.

The United States of America: the New World. Bastion of unchecked natural growth; its indigenous peoples' ravaged by disease and social upheaval, and cultural erosion. The Europeans couldn't believe their good fortune: the birth of the American Scheme. 

In corporate terms, they executed what is called a hostile takeover, pouring soldiers, prospectors, hucksters and scam-artists of all persuasions, not forgetting the priests and missionaries anxious to save heathen souls from their 'shameful' existence...

...Whose culture was superior: the atavistic natives, whose history was largely destroyed, scattered to the winds; or the jaded, reckless, swaggering Europeans...with their booming death...shining steel...magnificent beasts of burden...firewater...and purported thirst for blood and gold, and Ponzi schemes...? 

This--contrasted with our more recent history, of being the world's only superpower (and the inspiration for such a heady term in the first place)--is our national legacy...as the descendants of those dusty conquistadors and slave masters--their spiritual and ideological heirs are still busily carry out the Plan; Manifest Destiny; a New American Century...

...Even though we are supposedly more civilized nowadays (even more civil than those civilizers of the Old New World), remnants of the old way break through here and there, quickly spun by our ever-vigilant media trickster-gods, explaining away any such behavior as belonging to mentally-ill psychopaths, who cast aside their humanity in a sudden fit of pathos. But then, as now, reality is full of complexities...

The truth about Americans is, we come in all shapes and sizes, of all types and persuasions. We are bonded by forces, over which we have little control. The twists and turns of history have deposited us in our various roles and stations and identities, and we play our parts accordingly. The landscape has changed, the people are different, but they still think of themselves, and everyone else, in the same sorts of ways, and as having the same weaknesses...

It would seem that human nature is malleable, but it has its limits...

Contemporary America is a strange beast, a juggernaut of rust and blood that stretches the world over. Isolationism is dead; America the empire, is administered out of Wall Street, the new Versailles. Our reach is long, longer than they will admit. 

There is blood on Lady Liberty's hands, and it won't go away, no matter how she scrubs them. 

Take the War on Terror, which may be the modern American concept? The beauty and horror of such an idea are palpable: indiscriminately killing people who are claimed to be 'terrorists,' because they fight in defense of their own country, and their own interests; at least that's what it boils down to in most of these cases... 

Never mind the realpolitik involved...

The 'victim' donning mask and gun, transforms itself into a vengeful ghost, a 'nation-builder...' 

Which means that we essentially bombed the 'terrorists' into the Stone Age, and then built a McDonalds and a prison amongst the rubble; now that's Democracy...

...America; my 'birthright,' how foolish I was to believe them, when they told me you were mine. The ultimate betrayal, a mass delusion, fit only for school children and infantile adults...

The old tales are beautiful though, aren't they? The unwavering Vigilance, Justice, the Moral Superiority; the Freedom, and Responsibility, to maintain the system, which was formed to benefit the people...

Well, in every lie, there is a kernel of truth. 

The Natives who fought valiantly against their usurpers, survive to this day, in the face of incredible odds and pernicious opposition...

The Asian derivatives, many of whom who died building the railroads...the children of Africa, many corralled in slave shacks and ghettos (talk about a diaspora), still fighting for their rights and respect, as we all must to varying degrees. 

The various other groups of immigrants, many of them indentured servants, who came here looking for gold in the streets, and found only tenement slums, and hateful stares. Or twelve hours per day spent in a coal mine, only to die before their time, of black lung, or ripped to pieces in a sudden collapse... 

All of my countrymen and women...who have brought their own experiences to this place, and have contributed in their unique ways...

Remember, there is a long history in this country, of human beings pitted against one another like dogs, for a little extra profit. Don't be fooled by the halcyon mythology: America has long been this way...

The struggle for supremacy, and human rights, continues unabated to this day...

This is the true glory of America: the audacity of the common man and woman...

May it ever be that way...

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