This country has been an empire in the making since the beginning. And empires are corrupt by the nature of how they build off of other people. 1st it was the natives and all the excuses as to why we desired and should take their land. When you can act like you are innocent while exterminating a people, you are exceptional.
That term has always bothered me, what we have been exceptional is in creating the most powerful empire ever. And empires are corrupt by their very nature of having to steal from others to build.
Actually empires always fall from within, they collapse because they can’t contain the corruption enough. Internal strife happens and they crumple.
There are many lies told about US history in order to make us seem exceptional. One example here is about WWII. We are the heroes who defeated the nazis. We fought against the evil nazis to save the jews. That is what we tell the children. And it is complete bullshit.
When the jews were fleeing Germany, the west knew what was happening, why the jews were fleeing. And no one wanted the jews in their country. The US forced many jews back to Germany. Anti-semetism was strong in the US at that time. We didn’t want them here and we didn’t care what happened to them.
What forced us into war was the fact that the US and Japan wanted the same territory for their empires and for decades before the war, we had been at odds with them. We opposed them at every point and made claims for the same islands. We aided the russians in their war against Japan. Even sent troops.
And our military force was growing in the pacific. Japan couldn’t keep pace easily enough with our forces. Which is why they decided upon a surprise attack to destroy as much as they could of our fleet. Though they hurt us badly, they failed to destroy our carriers. And the carriers turned the tide.
That was the real cause of WWII. Once we went to war with Japan, Germany declared war on the US and we responded in kind. It was not some noble cause for us, it was to protect the empire and to be able to keep growing. Of course these days we are taught that it was about fighting evil.
What is ignored is that at the time before the war, we had enslaved the population of the Philippines. They were revolting against the dictators that the US put into place and we had troops there to subdue the population. It just turns out that the Japanese were even a worse master than we were. After WWII we promised them their freedom, but instead installed another dictator over them.
And the philippines is just one country, the middle east after WWI, we made deals with the French and British to rule the middle east and install dictators who would be friendly to us. Like the royal Saudi family who still rules. It is why we still support the Saudis in spit of them spending the most money in the middle east upon religious fanatics who them hate the US. Forget the Iranians, they are in a poor second in terrorism. Their beef is with Israel and the Saudis.
And The reason why Israel exists in the 1st place is because the US, France, and Britain hated the jews so much that they didn’t want them in their country. So the grand idea was to create a country where the jews could go and leave those countries. Russia was happy to also agree with that. And until a few decades ago, the evangelicals and conservatives hated the jews. Then the end days movement gathered strength and according to that prophesy, Israel has to exist. And when the end days come, the jews will die or convert to christianity. Which is why they love Israel so much.
I understand Ponyboy’s frustration, my idealism has been destroyed by the reality of what will happen, not what can. I would love to see such a movement succeed, but I lived through the 60s’ and we had such glorious dreams. Equal rights for all, an end to poverty, a fairer society. We stopped one war, but another started. And equal rights never happened, poverty is worse, and we certainly are not a fairer society.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair. And most americans’ salary depends upon a person not understanding. To do so and try to act upon that means risking their job, their standing in a community, their friends, etc. Most people want security, more than freedom. Freedom is a grand idea, but it means a constant fight against those who wish just to be secure.
I know, because that is what I did. I worked in a skilled nursing home for over 21 yrs. When I was retiring, I got my final review. The 1st paragraph- Skip is the most stubborn person who has ever worked here and in spite of all efforts, he insisted upon doing things his way. We were not able to change him. I have always been proud of that 1st paragraph.
The 2nd stated that Skip was the best advocate of patient rights and in taking care of them that we have. And I never would have been that latter, if I accepted the system and kept my mouth shut.
So I know what it is like to fight against the system, I didn’t win. I didn’t change the system. I only fought against it. So I know how difficult it is to change the system. I am almost 68 yrs old and I know what it is like to piss into the wind, pardon my french. I’m in my corner with the cut man, who says throw in the towel. I have lost my optimism that I had when I was young. We were going to change the world, yet BLM still has to be, METOO has to be, all of it still the same old stuff.
It took bloody decades of fighting for the unions to win any concessions. And unions have been broken to a mere shell of what they used to be. And what they gained is steadily being lost. The teachers’ unions might be winning right now, but what about a decade from now? Will they still fight? And will they be all alone? The children of the 60s’ fought until the late 70s’ and then stopped. That is what happens to movements, they are either bought off for awhile or they wither and die.
History repeats itself. The rich lose some battles, but they have never lost the war.