Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/06/quiet-killer-core-patriotism
“Violence is as American as cherry pie.” - H. Rap Brown, 1967
The disassociation that goes on here , whereby a given individual is totally separated from the feeling of community , is linked directly to climate change where people living in concrete cities have totally disassociated themselves from the web of nature (and of life) that is around them.
The “Spirit” of Capitalism is that everything is financialized and everything has a market value and everything is there to provide for our personal well being and nothing else. It all about the taking and never the giving or the sharing.
Patriotism with its “freedom Gas” is just another Trojan Horse that the owner class uses to advance their own self interest , that self interest about stealing as much as they can and calling it theirs.
Thanks for this link, Suspira—I’m now subscribing to her website.
You are very welcome.
Reference to Trump, then Dubyah, conveniently skipping over Obama and his kill list, increases in drone strikes, refusal to close Quantanamo, as he claimed he would during his election campaign, and so such more to choose from.
You disappoint me, Mr. Koehler.
Teaching to kill is a lesson never learned
Hi SuspiraDeProfundis: That was a great read with some wonderful ideas. Thanks : )
“War is not the answer.” Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. April 4, 1967.
My take on the problem: The NRA is the military industrial complex’s (MIC) little brother. Designed to desensitize us to violence and our nations crimes of aggression by promoting violence and aggression as a way of life here at home.
The mental health issue is ours as a nation. We see power in insanity. Wealth can only be stolen from others. We are always right and we have the fire power to prove it if you disagree. Freedom means subjugation to US corporate will.
We have become a nation accustomed to bullying to get our way in everything. Personal relationships and foreign policy. We dehumanize the rest of the world as we do what ever it takes to explain away our avarice as freedom. The same as we blame victims of violence at home for the violence done to them.
War and the weapons of war are very profitable. And we are the worlds #1 supplier of both. It only works if we are taught to believe this is normal behavior. So we glorify war. We excuse ourselves by thinking we are pure and moral, the rest of the world is populated with animals. We make sure guns and gun violence are thought of as human issues we have no control over. And the only lives and freedoms that matter our ours… even when it kills us and robs us of our freedoms too.
always seems that our government(s) are trying to make us into Sparta.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
I really appreciate that you are killing my fellow human beings around the world.
I also greatly appreciate that you prefer to kill people rather then try to make Peace with them.
THANKS AGAIN FOR VOLUNTEERING FOR THIS JOB
By “ladies” I trust you don’t mean Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Laura Ingraham. I guess my point is that toxicity is not rigidly gender specific.
Nice job telling the untold story: How our wars not only harm others but severely brutalize us as well.
it’s the result of collective human activity exploiting and profoundly disturbing a complex natural order. Getting along with others is a far deeper, more complicated process than simply hating and dehumanizing them.
That’s also a product of living in a competitive capitalist society. Getting along with someone is antithesis when the purpose is to extract as much profit as possible from your fellow humans. We must change the paradigm from that of competition to that of cooperation.
Amen to that. Just think about how the American work force would feel if their increased productivity went to them or the community instead of one or two very rich owners and CEO’s.
I have read a lot of comments while on the Internet since back in the '90s. At some point I started collecting the ones that I wanted to remember. Here is part of one from 2009 that I find particularly appropriate here (apologize for the length). The author is Winston Wu:
The lack of ‘connectedness’ is in America, NOT most countries!
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by WWu777 » Fri Nov 27 2009 16:20:36 Flag ? | Reply |
IMDb member since July 2004
Post Edited: Fri Nov 27 2009 16:21:49
Important! The “fragmentation/disconnectedness” mentioned in Zeitgeist Addendum applies mostly to America, not other countries!
I wanted to address an important point with one of my essays that counter culture movements such as Zeitgeist, never address.
The thing is, there is this false assumption that all the problems in the USA also exist elsewhere, even in freethinking truth films and movements like Zeitgeist. In other words, America is the world and every other country is either just as bad off or worse. NOT TRUE. I wonder if Peter Joseph knows this. If not, I hope he sees this.
In Zeitgeist Addendum, John Perkins, former Economic Hit Man, near the end of the film makes this wonderful statement:
“Joy comes from that bliss of connectedness. That’s our God spirit. That’s that side of ourselves that really feels it, and you can feel it deep inside you. It’s this amazing wonderful feeling. You know it when you get it. You don’t get it from money. You get it from connection.”
And throughout the film, Peter Joseph talks about the “fragmentation” of man and disconnectedness between people and the environment.
What this film and others never mention though, is that this “fragmentation” and “disconnectedness” most applies to America, Canada, and possibly the UK (according to some). It does NOT apply to most foreign countries, esp those with inclusive social and communal atmospheres like Latin America, Mexico, Asia, Russia, and most of Europe. And almost every poor underdeveloped country has a very connected communal atmosphere where neighbors are all closely acquainted and no one is friendless or lonely. I wonder if Peter Joseph is aware of this.
I KNOW all this from firsthand experience. I currently live abroad and have been for three years, and I have traveled in 12 countries. I definitely feel more secure, whole and accepted overseas, as though I am free to roam and just “be myself” whereas in the US I feel insecure, fragmented, and disconnected from everything, as though I were lost in a “void”. Something makes me feel “unworthy” and “inadequate”, and I have to struggle against it constantly. It’s much harder to be outgoing in America, for some reason. There is a definite difference. And I know many people, both offline and online, who agree and relate the same observations/experiences.
For some reason, this fact is never mentioned, not even in freethinking counter culture literature or films. But it is mentioned in private discussions among intellectuals, travelers, and expats. I can attest to that.
(I think the reason it’s not mentioned publicly is both because of ignorance, and because it’s politically incorrect to say that something in another country is “better” or more advantageous than your own.)
Because of this, I was inspired to take it upon myself to disclose such truths, by writing this new essay for my website that I wanted to share with you all. In it, I include quotes from many others who concur, so you will see that I’m not alone. And I include quotes from Peter Joseph and John Perkins near the end.
So please read this new essay of mine about this. The truths and comparisons contained in it are rare, and you may NEVER hear it again, because usually such info is NEVER mentioned publicly. So, this is a chance for you to know and understand a truth that is rarely, if ever, mentioned publicly, even on the internet.
At the end, I include quotes from Peter Joseph and John Perkins in Addendum.
Fragmentation vs Wholeness: Why there is no sense of connection in America
Several times in my childhood, when I was 9, 14 and 17 years old, I remember going to Taiwan and that for some reason, around my relatives, I was able to be myself, speak my heart out and become very talkative. There was this feeling of acceptance that made me feel healthy and whole on the inside. I was able to be who I was without fear, insecurity or inhibition. It brought out a part of me that was normally suppressed and subdued in the US. Each time I went back to the US, I felt depressed and insecure again. I didn’t understand why, and it didn’t make sense to me.
At that time, I was fully indoctrinated into the idea that America was the greatest country in the world, the leader of the free world, the nation that all other nations looked up to, and I believed it too. So I could not reconcile that with the fact that I felt more happy, healthy and whole overseas. I didn’t know how to make sense of it, and I dared not to speak of it to my peers of course, lest they think that there’s something wrong with me. As you know, admitting that you feel insecure and depressed in America is seen as a huge sign of weakness, so most will never admit it. Plus I thought I was the only one who felt that way and that no one could relate to it anyway.
Also, when I was a teen, my level of awareness was low and I had no communication skills so I would not have been able to articulate my feelings at the time anyway. So I just tried to slowly forget this experience over time, and returned to my dream that someday I’d be a great person in America with an exciting life, rewarding career, and beautiful woman to love. (but to no avail of course)
It wasn’t until I reached 30 when my level of awareness, insight and communication/writing skills had reached new heights and I began traveling overseas long term, that I understood why I felt that way when I went to Taiwan as a teen.
For some reason(s), America has this vibe and environment that makes one feel fragmented, disconnected and insecure inside. Something tries to make you feel unworthy and inadequate, and you are always on the verge of slipping into a state of depression and emptiness. Its as if some empty void was always behind you and you feared getting lost into it. It probably comes from the cultural environment and collective energy of the population. One can postulate all sorts of reasons for this, from the independent lifestyle and attitude, to a conspiracy by the elite to divide the population to squell any uprising against their power, etc. but the bottom line is that there is an inherent sense of disconnectedness in America. There is no sense of human connection in America at all. People are socially engineered to be segregated and paranoid of one another, which is not conducive to healthy human relationships at all. Americans live in bubbles, do not usually know their neighbors nor invite them over, and do not talk to strangers unless it’s business related. They are very non-inclusive and it is difficult to meet people as well as awkward. (In fact, the most inclusive people in the US tend to be cult members and those at Evangelical Revival meetings, which I consider a sad fact) In social situations, people may make small talk and greet one another, but few will ever invite you to their homes or into their lives. Furthermore, breaking into cliques is difficult and does not come naturally at all.
This is not just physical but psychological, as “every man is an island” in mind and attitude, as well as body. That’s why one often feels “alone” in America even while amongst friends or in crowded places. Worst of all, people are conditioned to think that this is normal and how people naturally are segregated, selfish and paranoid but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. That is NOT how humans are by nature. That is how people are socially engineered to be in the US.
Moreover, this inherent disconnectedness and fragmentation in US society makes it awkward and unnatural to socialize and meet other people, or even to make friends. It just doesnt come naturally, so to speak. And of course, dating between men and women also suffer. Simply put, the whole essence of human relationships is severely eroded by the fundamental fragmentation and disconnectedness in America. This is why many in America often feel very alone, even when they are around friends and people, because there is no natural connection with others. In America, one is never truly accepted the way they are, instead one has to constantly prove their worth under neverending pressure. Unfortunately, without true acceptance, one can never be truly whole.
This fragmentation and disconnectedness is not only with others, but within onself as well. People are not whole on the inside, and they do not even know who they are. That’s what makes it so hard to deal with problems and struggles in America, when you are fragmented, weak and divided on the inside. And since many have few or no real friends to talk to, they have to go to therapists instead. No doubt this contributes to America having the highest rates of mental illness in the industrialized world (and perhaps the whole world). The unnatural stresses, pressures to be something you’re not, coupled with inner fragmentation, naturally will break down a person, causing one to blame oneself for being “weak” and not good enough or tough enough. All of this is insane, dysfunctional, inhuman and unnatural of course, but since people are programmed and conditioned to blame themselves for their dysfunctionality rather than society, they will not draw attention to it out of pride, lest they expose their weakness. They are also programmed to think that this is natural and normal, and that they cant do anything about it. What most Americans dont realize is that this inherent disconnectedness and fragmentation gradually erodes oneself, making them weak and insecure, impairing their self-confidence, self-esteem and mental health. Instead, they assume that any inner breakdown they suffer must be due to some problem with them that they need to fix, never realizing the true source of it.
On the other hand, in most countries beyond America, there is a natural sense of connection and wholeness, both within oneself and with others, which doesn’t exist in America. People feel accepted and can easily “be themselves”. As a result, one never feels all alone (at least not the way one does in America) even when one is physically alone. Everyone has problems and struggles of course, just like they do everywhere, but the key difference is that they are easier to deal with because when one is “whole” on the inside it becomes FAR EASIER to deal with such difficulties. This natural inner wholeness is true strength. It is why people in other countries do not suffer mental breakdowns or illnesses when they endure life’s many problems like Americans do. And moreover, natural connectedness between people also makes human relationships far more healthy and natural, so that it is much easier to socialize, meet people, make friends or date the opposite sex. This is something you have to experience to truly understand. It is what Americans lack and do not even know that they lack. Only when they meet others with such wholeness or go to countries that allow them to feel that way (as I have) that they realize that they were lacking it all along. Only then do they see how insecure and fragmented they were on the inside, all the while falsely assuming that the rest of the world was the same.
One important point. Its not that other countries do anything in particular to make people feel connected and whole. They dont have to. People are NATURALLY whole and connected to one another. The difference is that most countries ALLOW the natural wholeness and connectedness of human beings to develop and flourish, whereas somehow the USA doesnt. Instead, America engineers its people to think that they are selfish individuals in competition with one another who are segregated by their individual freedom. And it’s beaten into them that no one cares about you; only you can take care of yourself; its every man for himself under the name of individualism. In other words, America divides its people, fragments them, and makes them feel empty on the inside, so they will be weak, controllable and over-consume to fill that emptiness that they dont even consciously recognize. Its not a jurisdictional control, more like a psychological form of control, which the public is unaware of.
So, the answer to my teenage mystery is not that Taiwan did anything in particular to make me feel “whole” and accepted. Rather, it was probably the absence of the persecutory environment against my sense of self in America that led to my experiencing inner wholeness and acceptance for the first time in my life (along with the kindness of my relatives there). In other words, I automatically became my natural whole self by simply removing myself geographically from the fragmented cultural environment and energy field of the USA.
As a poster on my forum wisely said:
“If anyone feels they “come out of their shell” when overseas, try to keep something in mind. That person you are overseas is the real you. The person you are in America is a prisoner, nothing more.” - Grunt
And best selling author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer noted:
The ego thrives on separateness. Authentic freedom is found by absolving this sense of separateness from others and God. Wayne Dyer (Four Pathways to Success, audio tape)
So, contrary to the teaching of US culture that freedom is to become a selfish disconnected individual which turns out to be a prison of the soul, true freedom is being able to connect with others. And thats why I felt freer and able to come out of my shell overseas than I did in America, big time.
This psychological feeling of alienation and emptiness in the US explains why so many immigrants who were happy and whole in their own countries suddenly become stuck up, defensive and cliquish in America. Whereas they were “whole” and normal in their own country and had nothing to prove, suddenly in America they feel insecure as if some black abyss wants to swallow up their sense of self and identity. So they resort to overasserting their ethnic heritage with patriotic fervor, as though it was the last thing preserving their identity. This is why you will notice that those in the immigrant’s home country are not as rigid about sticking to their traditional ways as the US immigrants are. The “traditional ways” are the last thing that gives the US immigrant a sense of who they are, lest they be sucked into the giant “void” in the USA. On the other hand, the person in the immigrant’s home country can be more open minded and tolerant about not sticking to their “traditional ways” because his/her identity is not dependent on them nor threatened by some host country that wants to assimilate them into a “fake unnatural culture”.
Now let me clarify some things. I am NOT advocating collectivism here, or conformity without independent thought. Far from it. Neither extremes, selfish disconnected individualism where no one cares about anyone else or conformity to the collective without free thought, are ideal. Instead, why not have a healthy balance? In Europe for example, people believe in connectedness and seek having interdependent relationships with others, yet at the same time they pride themselves in their free thinking intellect and knowledge/understanding of other cultures. Theyve achieved a healthy balance between the two, and thats what I advocate.
You is welcome too!
Below is continuation of Winston Wu’s essay:
Jeremy Rifkin, in his book, The European Dream elaborates on this in a scholarly manner:
(Pages 13 14)
"The American and European dreams are, at their core, about two diametrically opposed ideas of freedom and security. Americans hold a negative definition of what it means to be free and, thus, secure. For us, freedom has long been associated with autonomy. If one is autonomous, he or she is not dependent on others or vulnerable to circumstances outside of his or her control. To be autonomous, one needs to be propertied. The more wealth one amasses, the more independent one is in the world. One is free by becoming self-reliant and an island unto oneself. With wealth comes exclusivity, and with exclusivity comes security.
The new European Dream, however, is based on a different set of assumptions about what constitutes freedom and security. For Europeans, freedom is not found in autonomy but in embeddedness. To be free is to have access to a myriad of interdependent relationships with others. The more communities one has access to, the more options and choices one has for living a full and meaningful life. With relationships comes inclusivity, and with inclusivity comes security.
The American Dream puts an emphasis on economic growth, personal wealth, and independence. The new European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and interdependence
The European Dream is more cosmopolitan and less territorial
Americans tend to think locally while European’s loyalties are more divided and stretch from the local to the global. The American Dream is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The European Dream is more expansive and systemic, and therefore more bound to the welfare of the planet.
Also, when I speak of disconnectedness I am not referring to geographic spacing between people or isolation in remote areas. No, I am speaking of something far deeper that has to do with a psychological attitude. If merely crowding people together created connectedness, then New York and Los Angeles would be the most wholesome and connected cities in America. Are they? I dont think so. Or take a remote Russian village in Siberia. Though geographically isolated, one does not feel insecure, lonely and disconnected from others there. Life may be boring as hell, yeah, but people do not suffer from loneliness or sink into depression and insanity when confronted by problems. And every man is not a psychological island there. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a sincere travelogue of someone who went to a remote foreign village and felt lonely, disconnected and found the villagers to be anti-social and segregated. Furthermore, as mentioned before, you can feel all alone in America even around your friends or in crowded places, but in other countries with connectedness, you can be physically alone yet not really feel alone. Why do you think that is? Ponder it and youll see the real nature of what Im talking about here, and that its not about geographic isolation.
In America, you are NOT taught to FEEL GOOD about yourself at all! You are NOT taught how to cultivate good mental health, self-acceptance, inner wholeness and well-being, or healthy social relationships and friendships. No way. Instead, you are conditioned and engineered by your schools, media, culture and peers to feel UNWORTHY, INSECURE and INADEQUATE deep down, and to fill that emptiness within by 1) becoming a workaholic slave to a corporate dictatorship (aka “getting a career”) so you can make money and 2) become a mass consumer junkie who tries to buy everything he/she can that’s on the market out there. In other words, you are programmed to try to fill your emptiness and insecurity by over-working and over-consuming (buying too much useless junk) perpetually without end, all under the doctrine that “material goods lead to happiness and well-being” and that “the more the better”. In short, your self-esteem is artificially based on your status in a corporate dictatorship and what you > can BUY to enhance your “image”.
(continued in next post)
It goes on but I think you get the idea…