Letting America Die
Why fight for a fake casino nation where the rich and powerful will always win because they always write the rules of the game?
The true face of America is this guy: Gothmog, an Orc chieftain from the film version of Lord of the Rings.
Dear Americans — your politicians lie to you, your media pundits lie to you, your college professors lie to you, and your high school civics teachers — possibly more than any of the others — they lie to you.
They don’t have to admit it because the facts taught to students of civics about America are designed to enable the lie. That is why any attempt to teach hard truths about America cause so much push back.
America’s inherent violence runs so deep it infects most minds from a young age. As adults, is it any wonder they get upset when facts they were told were true are proven not so?
History and civics are politicized, like everything else in America.
But the sad, hard truth is that the United States of America has always been and will always be a brutal settler colony designed to extract wealth from whoever it can exploit. Everything Americans are taught to believe about their country and its place in the world is a vicious lie.
America is violent to the core. Murder and robbery are in its very DNA.
Most Americans are mostly good people — like people everywhere. They are taught to identify with America precisely to make it hard to criticize what the leadership caste does. But they have been transformed into a giant 330 million person strong battery powering a ruthless evil.
It’s The Matrix, only instead of actually being trapped in a virtual reality dream where our lifeblood is used to power killer robots we’re wide awake while it all goes down. About half of every dollar every American pays in federal income taxes winds up flowing to the Pentagon — really, well-connected corporations who have colonized the thing just like President Eisenhower warned would happen over sixty years ago.
America’s history is utterly drenched in blood. Whatever ideals its leadership caste claim America stands for were long ago debased.
As Americans watch their country ripping itself apart just like it did in the 1860s, its craven geriatric leadership is busy trying to wage a New Cold War with the enemies of the hour, Russia and China. The goal is, as happened in the Second World War and First Cold War, to distract Americans from the real powers tearing their lives apart each and every day.
The American two-party system is consuming the entire country, craven politicians working to divvy up congressional districts and states to secure their dominance. At the same time, the American quest for dominance abroad is provoking Russia and China to prove just how far American power runs after twenty years bombing the Middle East to little positive effect.
The real problems facing Americans are never solved — the two parties hold their backers hostage year after year, using fear of the other to evade having to do anything meaningful. If they were to actually fix anything it would mean fewer scared people donating to them — and after Citizens United debased what was left of America’s fragile democracy, money and politics became one and the same.
Perhaps worst of all, speaking hard truths about America violates the new national taboo against speaking ill of Team America. Partisans whine about their opponents “canceling” them — but you know who gets pre-canceled every time they try to speak in public?
Anyone telling the bald simple truth: that America is a lie, a scam, a living crime against humanity. The history Americans are taught is a truncated monstrosity, the “facts” they argue over devoid of context.
The plain truth about America is that it wouldn’t exist if not for genocide. If aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and evaluated the history of humanity, their scientists would put the United States of America and Nazi Germany into the same category.
Americans are taught to believe in a warped moral universe straight from comic books where they are always the good guys blessed by God and everyone else is bad. Only Americans tell the truth, everyone else is just anti-American.
But Americans can’t escape the consequences of the facts, as much as they try to ignore them.
In the eyes of history and the rest of the world America will always and forever be a nation that:
- Perpetrated genocide against the peoples who lived here before Europeans arrived and in many places tried to erase their memory
- Relied on slavery and exploitation of the destitute to build the power of the landholding elite that rebelled mostly to protect its interests
- Started a long series of wars to build an empire stretching from coast to coast, expanding indigenous genocide from Atlantic to Pacific
- Killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in air raids during the Second World War following a theory of war fast long after it was clearly wrong
- Used atomic weapons on mostly civilian targets in a country already buckling, cut off from the world and no longer a threat unless invaded
- Prosecuted post-colonial wars across the world in the name of anti-Communism, killing hundreds of thousands and breaking whole countries
- Chose to embrace military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians
- Allowed around a million Americans to die in two years from a pandemic that was relentless politicized
And this is only scratching the surface. America, to most of the world, is the evil empire the plucky rebellion fights in Star Wars.
Yet Americans from birth are told to celebrate their nation, to revel in its glories, to believe it to be a God-blessed special nation that started and carries on the legacy of democracy. It doesn’t matter how crazy Americans sound to people from the rest of the world — every jingoistic stupidity is justified by the self-worshiping American ethos.
Thing is, Chinese and Russian elites tell their people the same kind of lies too. Now that they judge conflict to be in their interests, regular people everywhere are being ginned up to fight a high-tech repeat of the First World War sometime in the next couple decades.
If you have any sense, you’ll stay way clear of whatever nightmare they conspire to take the world into in the near future.
History seems to repeat for the same basic reason economies have boom and bust cycles and trends go in and out of fashion. The actions of great powers are produced by real material pressures affecting — and blinding — their leaders.
The American nation is disintegrating because of three converging systemic trends its leadership caste is powerless to stop and doesn’t appear able to even perceive.
America’s social system is falling apart because media, politics, and the economy are all structured to prioritize the interests and concerns of the Boomer generation. This is not the fault of the Boomers, the size of their cohort simply pulled a lot of threads in their direction.
But America is also a nation where its people are told there can be only a single true story about anything. Every issue is presented in the media as a death struggle between teams, all nuance crushed under a single narrative. Trouble is, the Boomer generation is collectively experiencing the inevitable but difficult decline that comes with age. Wealthy Boomers are able to afford quality medical treatment and friendly media coverage that makes it harder to realize they’re declining, but no amount of wellness or positive thinking can beat the slow passing of the years.
Concerns of the Digital Generations — Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z — who are all facing a bleaker future than their parents and grandparents did remain secondary because of the size of the Boomers, and this will remain true for another ten years. This is a big part of why it feels like America is back in the 1990s-era culture wars. Norms and values are shifting — this process cannot be stopped, but a generation used to feeling like it is at the top of the American heap hasn’t been prepared to accept inevitable retirement easily.
America’s political system can’t help but be impacted by the changing social system. Politics in America is driven by language — what people say demonstrates who they affiliate with, which matters because of how much antipathy die-hard Red and Blue Americans feel for each other.
This is a function of the two-party system’s stagnation — each party’s leaders have realized they win no matter how badly they perform. Fear of what happens if the other side wins drives donations, and money is synonymous with political speech. There is no incentive for politicians to deliver real change anymore, so they can resort to pushing conflict with the other team to demonstrate they deserve their donors money.
America is a democracy in name only — it has degenerated into pure legalism where democracy is defined not by how well it translates the will of the people into public policy but by whether certain procedural check boxes were ticked. This is deeply dangerous when so much power has concentrated in the Executive Branch — that was the Weimar vulnerability that allowed Hitler to actually take total power, and the most likely source of a political breach that splits the country.
America has been on a K-shaped recovery since the recessions of the 1970s and 1980s. For those able to go to college, get white collar jobs, invest in the stock market, and buy property, it works. For the roughly fifty percent who fall off the wagon at some point, thanks to structural racism or America’s deep classism or just plain bad luck, life is very different.
The pandemic has both proven and exacerbated critical trends in the American economy. For a brief time, enough people were getting bailouts that they felt more secure — inflation didn’t spike in 2020, note, but in late 2021, after most federal support was ended. It’s being caused not by people’s stimulus checks or unemployment benefits, but a massive change in spending patterns by the well-off once they realized their jobs were secure but there was too much Covid out there to justify going out in public as much as they used to.
So they’re buying imports from China, which have to flow through a few ports equipped with infrastructure designed for lower volumes. Oil production takes time to ramp up, and producers don’t might the profits in the short run. Then people start expecting ever-higher prices, so those who can demand higher wages, extending the cycle — and absolutely devastating people on fixed incomes or who spend most of their income on food and fuel.
America’s Systemic Collapse
At a high level, it is the intersection of these three systems and their long-term interactions that structure history. It doesn’t define it, only steers it. Most of the dynamics are internally generated, a function of people going about their lives as best as they can in a world full of conflicting and confusing information.
It is possible to change these systems, but because their behavior is produced by real-life material processes only countervailing force can ever alter the balance. Sadly, humans tend to only take decisive action when great harm has already been done, and they over-estimate their ability to control the consequences of a system spiraling out of control.
There is no such countervailing force in America, has never been one , and none appears likely to emerge any time soon. A new authoritarian right is on the march, animated by a coherent — if utterly warped from an outside perspective — worldview. But it has no future, it’s only the death rattle of the white Boomer counterrevolution that came after the 1960s.
The old left is now little more than a caricature of the fantasies of hippie enthusiasts still stuck in the Summer of Love. The center is full of bloodless college-educated technocrats desperate to claim everything they believe is Science! and therefore can’t be questioned by anyone without a PhD.
Neither has a real plan for making American less of a nightmare for the majority who aren’t actually here by choice, but because only the privileged generally get to flee dying countries. Everyone else is bound by family ties or simply doesn’t have the money or education to go abroad when things get rough.
For the rest of us, there is only one real hope for a better future.
It’s time to let America die. To stop thinking of ourselves as Americans, but something else.
Personally, being from the West Coast — or Pacific America, or whatever I’m calling this not America part of the continent this year — I don’t give a damn about what happens east of the Rocky Mountains. Let the sea take it or the radioactive fallout from the day the bombs fall on the ICBM silos in the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming blanket it all.
Not my circus, not my monkeys. Not anymore.
The West Coast will make a fine nation — or, if the states break up too, I’ll be happy to make everything between the eastern slopes of the Cascades and the Pacific Ocean from about Eugene, Oregon up to the Canadian border part of the Chinook Nation.
In these parts, Chinook was a trade language widely spoken by peoples from northern California into British Columbia. They traveled to The Dalles on the Columbia River to trade and fish in the rapids there, at a time when people could literally hold baskets over the river to collect all the salmon they needed for a year.
As far as I’m concerned, the nine million or so people in the western halves of the settler colony states of Oregon and Washington ought to get together and surrender to the descendants of those who lived here before the Europeans arrived. Together we can start a new government organized under true democratic principles by and for everyone living on these lands.
The United States of America claims it holds legitimate sovereign rights over all the lands it has conquered since 1775. Not so, I say — there is no way to justify that claim except by accepting the legitimacy of genocide.
Which you are free to, if you like — and don’t mind making the exact same argument the Nazis used to “justify” their spate of mass murder in pursuit of empire. If you want to claim a connection to an American heritage forever tainted in that way, that is between you and the Cosmos.
As for me — and, I suspect, a growing number of people who once felt pride to be American — I say it is high time to start over. America is a lie, America has failed.
It is time to let America die.
Then something better can rise in the days after.