The events of Tuesday have forced me to change my views about history, my country, and mankind’s future.
It’s better to be honest than to pass around fairy stories. This is my effort, at the end of my career, to adjust you to reality.
I Was Wrong
I was taught that America was special, that Americans were special, that our better angels would always come to save us.
None of that is true.
America’s success is an accident created by ruthless, racist men from the Great Nations of Europe, starting in the 15th century. They were helped in their genocidal way by viral diseases, which exterminated an entire race and left a clear field on which to work. They brought with them slaves to work those fields. The Constitution I once revered was just their effort to protect slavery. After slavery was found uneconomic the Constitution was adjusted, this time to protect money, a financial order without moral compass.
What Americans believe in is comfort. Our own comfort. We’re no different than anyone else. I think this is a uniform desire, and that the definition of comfort rises as you get more of it.
Some of us try to look out for the other guy, but most of us don’t give a shit. That means democracy is bollocks. It’s a delusion to think any government based on ideals can maintain itself against the greed of men seeking comfort for themselves and their chattel.
That’s what families are, or so most Americans believe. Families are chattel. Women are servants, children created to maintain the system of comfort for the master in his lounge chair and shiny pick-up.
Our delusions about democracy helped create the greatest level of mass comfort the world has ever seen. We have used that comfort only to sustain itself. The “American Century,” which ended this week, was based entirely on force of arms. Ideals had nothing to do with it. We have the weapons needed to destroy the world so we’re just going to do it until our comforts are gone.
Ever since World War II, great men have argued that America had a unique role to play in the world, that we were its savior, its repository of high ideals. That’s how I was taught, and I believed it. But my fellow Americans have now tossed all that away. We’ve ripped the mask off to reveal fat, lazy, air-conditioned assholes who are indeed willing to be conned, again and again, by anyone with the confidence to do it.
The world sees that. The mask is now gone. It can’t be remade. It lies at our feet, revealing the monster beneath. That monster has control over great wealth and great machines, but without wisdom, without some sense of right and wrong, its reign is destined to be briefer than that of any Chinese dynasty.
That’s where I want to start this story.