There is a long list of things I would change about Americans if I could – turn off the TV, be more aggressive in criticism of public figures other than coaches and general managers, stop trusting politicians, don’t be taken in by advertising, listen, listen listen to me – that’s a a short list, but at the top would be to simply grow up. Countries are sausage factories, and the people who rise to power are the most ruthless and cunning. They manipulate themselves into positions of power, control of resources and other people. They steal, lie, and cheat. They murder people who threaten them. Most “accidental” deaths of prominent people are actually murders.
They do all of this with impunity, as the law is at their disposal too. I laugh at people who think we need a “new investigation” of 9/11. By whom? The ones that did it? An “international body”? That investigation is ongoing, and the people who are calling for a new one are the ones doing it. We may someday know most of the details, but no one of prominence will ever be punished. People who get too close to the truth will be killed. (I do wish that while they are at it they also investigate the anthrax attack – that is part of it as well, but has slipped down the memory hole.)
The United States, like Monty Python’s Camelot, is a very silly place. If it is like that here, it is like that everywhere. We are, however, a large country with several features that make us exceptional:
- We have natural resources on our continent that have always assured our ability to take care of our own needs;
- We have oceans on either side so that it is very difficult to attack us;
- We have neighbors north and south who are not as aggressive and cunning as us, or are just cowed by our hegemonic power.*
All of that makes us a world power.
We have one other feature that makes us strong – the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. I’m not talking about his magnanimous personal qualities – just his legacy. He recognized that if we did not bind ourselves together as a nation, that if the South were allowed to go its way, that we would eventually become a mirror image of Europe – smaller countries fighting among themselves. We would not be just North and South – we would be New England, Texas, Pacifica, Dakota, Utah, Portland – and there would be no end to our wars and squabbling. For that reason, he trashed the constitution and waged a bloody civil war to force rebellious states back into the union. If it were only slavery, Mr. Spielberg, we’d still have our slaves.
Americans think of themselves as Americans, and are bound together more than any people on earth. We have no secessionist movements of any note, and the idea of one of our states attacking another is so absurd that it never crosses anyone’s mind.
Inside this fortress, this bubble, are perhaps the dumbest people who ever lived. We are raised to be that way. Yes, we have mathematicians and scientists, prestigious universities that attract the brightest kids imaginable. Our weaponry is second to none, much of it owing to Project Paperclip wherein we imported the best Nazi scientists, most Jewish, after the war.**
So we are dumb as a jar of marbles, and led by a class of psychopaths. We are a “pathocracy,” as Łobaczewski asserted. We cannot afford to be lazy, and so our brightest ones are harvested for use in the greater ambitions. But I would bet that if I went room-to-room in the dorms of MIT and Harvard and Stanford, other than being intimidated by brilliant minds, I would not find more than a handful who know about how we make our sausage. We are shielded in that regard. And among our ordinary kids, there is never a shortage who are willing to go to war for some made-up reason.
I am a “conspiracy theorist.” That’s an expression reserved for sausage lovers, used to construct a barrier to prevent normally inquisitive people from looking into how our factory is run. I suspect there is an alienation factor at work that allows us to investigate without worrying too much about the social stigma. Indeed I am one who does not like submersion in groups and so does not care about ostracism. So I see the other side of the barrier with ease. The lies are obvious. Of course JFK was murdered by some group for reasons that are murky. Every major event in our history, other than those caused by nature, has details and causes unknown to dumb Americans. Once you see a small part of it, the rest opens up like a sunny sky after rain.
Here’s a scene from a movie I saw as a boy that stuck with me – Journey to the Center of the Earth, the good one made in 1959, and not the 2008 crappy one. Prof. Lindenbrook and his group carried lanterns with them on their inward journey, enough they thought to get them there and back. At a certain point they lose their light and think they will perish. After a few seconds of darkness, the walls of the caves and passages light up, the source natural phosphorus all about. The lanterns were blocking it.
That’s a nice metaphor. As a kid I only thought about lanterns, of course, and the message of the screen writers didn’t hit me until many years later.
Turn off your TV’s and radios (except Car Talk), drop your newspaper subscriptions. Start looking around you without them. You too can be a conspiracy theorist.
* The only reason Canada is still an independent country is her allegiance to the British. Attacking Canada, which we did on many occasions, was always risky as it invited Britain into a continental war. I look at the 45th Parallel as a symbol of British Power – the British aristocracy, one of the most treacherous groups ever to live, saying “this far, no further.” Someone else needs to explain to me why Mexico still stands as a somewhat independent nation. Cuba, along with Canada, has managed to escape complete submission. But everything is always in play.
** Some speculate that the Ashkenazi Jews are the smartest people who ever lived, and ascribe it to a culture that arose out of rejection and exclusion by Christians. That’s a chicken and egg debate. (Chomsky is Ashkenazi Jew, so bug off. “They” are only somewhat evil. Israel, like the US, is ruled by a psychopathic class, but that does not represent the population as a whole.)