I am an American. I was born in 1976 and raised in the heart of this country, in a tiny town called Yorktown, Indiana. I went to a school known to be among the best in the state, if not the region – a suburban school, a rich school… an almost implausibly white school. And within the walls of that school, we learned America’s history – the rich, white man’s revisionist version of it. It is the version of history that celebrates the likes of Thomas Edison and never mentions Nikola Tesla. A version that casts Native Americans as savages and our pioneers as courageous & industrious explorers; a history in which every inch of progress is attributed to a rich white man, making no mention of the truly diverse nature of American ingenuity. It is a revisionist history carefully crafted to make America’s Founding Fathers, America itself and Capitalism seem awesome – and everything else, born of pure evil and inherently inferior. This is a history that lauds liars and thieves and cheats as the ideal to which we all should aspire. And throughout my childhood, I believed that revisionist illusion.
I see the Founding Fathers and the foundation upon which America is built very differently now. I see it for what it is. I now understand that what America’s Founding Fathers did was murder and pillage and plunder, stealing everything they could get their hands on. White men didn’t build this country. Slaves did. Immigrants did. And the Thomas Jeffersons of the time didn’t care how many of them died in the quest to amass their grand fortunes. They were despicable and deplorable men – men who didn’t want to pay taxes on the mountains of wealth they were acquiring, never mind that Britain was solely responsible for their having the opportunity to acquire it. They didn’t create a democratic nation to break free of a tyrannical threat or to ensure liberty and justice for all. They wanted it for themselves – for rich white men, and rich white men alone.
They wanted to start over with a clean, debt-free slate, never having to shoulder the cost of dispensing with a native population and having built the infrastructure that would later become the United States of America. Our founders set the precedent and laid the foundation of what we see in corporate America today – socialize 100% of the risk and privatize 100% of the gains. They were the original 1%. And they no more built this country than a hedge fund manager is a job creator.
Imperialistic motivations aside, Britain paid to send them here and paid to keep them here… they bankrolled the entire operation. Then a handful of assholes said, “Fuck them… we’re gonna steal all this shit, call it ours, refuse to repay the massive debt incurred to build literally everything as far as the eye can see… and then when they come to collect, we’ll fucking murder them.” America is awful. We always have been. If we’d been taught the true history of this country and the piece of shit men we laud as American heroes, we’d curse their names and burn the flag instead of wrapping ourselves in the lies it represents. We rewrite everything atrocious and embarrassing, then present it to children every day as fact. We’re the Ed Hardy t-shirt, backwards hat-wearing, bar-fighting douchebag of the planet. And no one can say shit to us, because we’ll just HULK SMASH them out of existence and rewrite history to make ourselves look like the heroes. Anyone who chants USA or has an ounce of pride in being American is either an ignoramus or a horror of a human being. It’s either one or the other.
This nation was founded on atrocity and douchebaggary. We’ve spent more than two centuries burying the truth and killing anyone who dares tarnish our self-aggrandizing image. We are the the most prolific murderers and propagandists that humanity has ever known. Authority is an artificial construct… an illusion created by men with the intent to build armies of brainwashed minions and use their sheer military might to eliminate any perceived threat to their empire, which includes anyone that might question the perception that their authority is God-given. We use that false construct to murder citizens of other nations without compunction or consequence.
We even outlaw the very thing this nation was supposedly founded on within our own borders: self-sufficiency. Today’s authoritarians use their manufactured power & illusion of authority to stroke their maniacal egos and outlaw your right to plant a garden on your own property… to install solar panels on your home… to collect rainwater in your own retention pond. In a growing number of states, any of that is against the law – not because such activity threatens the fabric of democracy or society at large, but solely because it is a threat to American Corpocracy. The scope of that false authority grows every day. Because American citizens let it. That’s the threat to America. That’s the threat to our individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The American Government created the modern iteration of terrorism to distract people from the real threat – the internal threat. America has no legitimate external threat; only the men who seek to corporatize every basic need and make it impossible to live outside their profit-generating hamster wheel, and those men are proudly American. America was founded on greed. And greed will ultimately destroy it.
Every empire since the dawn of civilization has fallen. Ours will be no different. We re-branded the atrocity of imperialization, slapped a couple catchy slogans on and wrapped it in the American flag to hide the evil at its core – from both ourselves and the rest of the world. We call it freedom fighting now… we call it spreading democracy. All it is is murder. It’s a practical genocide of any person or idea that does not blindly mirror our version of democracy and defer to our manufactured authority without pause or question. Those that dare be impudent enough to not bow at our feet are beheaded – some literally, some figuratively – but neutralized, just the same. We do it now with unmanned drones controlled by glorified frat boys holding joysticks while wearing fatigues… like they’re playing XBox Live in their mother’s basement.
Today, we imprison Americans and non-Americans alike for their dissent. We murder or intern those with the audacity to fight for what they believe – those who fight for their cultures, their sovereign nations, their God… those who believe as earnestly and wholeheartedly as we do that they have a right to exist and to decide for themselves what shape their lives will take. While they are as unswerving in their belief as are we, they don’t cross our borders – they don’t invade our country, murder our national leaders, destroy our infrastructure and topple our sovereign government. Only we do that. Over and over and over again, to nation after nation after nation. Never forget, 9/11 was carried out by citizens of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon – not one, NOT ONE Iraqi. 14 of the 19 men responsible for carrying out the 9/11 attack were citizens of our ally, Saudi Arabia – a nation whose documented human rights violations are a wonder to behold. Yet we somehow parlayed that attack into a justification to destroy Iraq and topple its sovereign government. Revisionist history… for the win. Again.
Insurgents pose no threat to America. They never have. Hostile foreign governments don’t carry out military operations over our skies or murder our citizens with impunity and the blessing of the rest of the world. They don’t drop bombs on civilians using unmanned drones. They don’t destroy American schools or hospitals or churches without ever looking their innocent victims in the eye. We do that. Our allies, often threatened with economic sanctions for non-compliance, do that. And we demand all other “civilized” nations join in our efforts or suffer a similar fate. We are the greatest horror that humanity has ever known – not simply because of our atrocities, but for our absolute refusal to admit they are even atrocities. There is no honor or nobility in that. To take pride in murdering a man without facing him is the act of a coward. America is a nation of cowards, at best complicit in the acts of its government.
In 2009, after 18 years of making it against the law for journalists to photograph and report on the return of fallen soldiers as they were unloaded from aircraft, the ban was finally lifted… a ban that was unconstitutional in its nature and unravels the very fabric of a free state – a free press. “Those pictures were in poor taste”, they said… “a violation of the soldiers’ families’ right to privacy.” It certainly couldn’t be that the reality of dead soldiers would have made America’s profit-motivated ideological genocide and quest to control the world’s natural resources for the gain of private corporations harder to sell to the American public. No… I’m sure that can’t be it. Why bother to lift the ban at all then, you ask… because we have all but eliminated dead American soldiers from the equation, thanks to our robotic flying machines of death. We no longer have to pretend those flag-draped coffins don’t exist. Why not lift a ban on reporting when you’ve made sure there’s nothing left to report?
The only real threat to the future of humankind is America, because we silence anyone who sees our false benevolence for what it is – imperialism. And we’ll sooner burn the world than see our true nature revealed by those who refuse to abandon their beliefs in favor of ours. ISIS exists because of us. Every terrorist organization that has existed in the past half century exists because of us. In fact, we’ve actually armed many of them. We are both their greatest recruiting tool and most reliable arms dealer. Another reality of American history that you won’t hear in a high school history class. We’ll kill everyone before we let the world discover that truth. We gave Native Americans blankets infected with small pox. On purpose. We damn near wiped them off the face of the planet – murdered their people and buried their culture. But our history labels them the savages.
That’s the foundation of America. That’s how we started. Our transgressions against Native Americans are only the tip of our iceberg of horror. Not only will we never apologize for it, we’ll never even admit it. To this day, we relegate Native Americans to reservations that only technically disqualify as internment camps. We desecrate sacred tribal lands so multi-national corporations can extract every drop of oil from the ground – again, socializing 100% of the risk and privatizing 100% of the gains – WHEN WE DON’T EVEN NEED TO. Profiteers haven’t figured out how to meter the sun, so they make us think we can’t survive without fossil fuels.
America is awful. We always have been. And until we face our history with new eyes, we will fall like every empire before us and never live up to the grand illusion that America is a shining city on the hill.