Being unamerican doesn't mean hating Americans!

I feel like I've written this entry a half dozen times now, but since people keep bringing it up, I don't have a choice. Yes, I think the US government is committing evil acts (evil in the sense that they are self-serving to a small group of people and harmful to most Americans and world citizens) and I think I can provide pretty much unlimited documentation to back up that fact. However, I don't think the average American is evil — at least not any more so than the average German was at the height of the Nazis' power.

America, as we idealistically remember, was defined as a nation steeped in personal freedom — a beautiful mix of revolutionaries, transcendeltalists, mountain people, quiet farms, and libertarians with a set of doctrines that would change the way the world conceived of a modern Western Nation. Sadly, in the mid 1800's corporate entities began growing in power, and weaknesses of greed subverted the government into something which no longer held the people's interests as its highest priority.

Which brings us to the current world hell.

Now, does saying that make me a racist? Does it mean that I hate all Americans? Of course not — that's quite a ludicrous notion (I have lived in America, traveled extensively in America, own businesses in America, pay taxes in America, and am married to an American). To people who are writing various “fuck you” notes on their pages, I implore you to open your eyes, read what I'm saying, and most importantly, take a look around you. America has been taken over. A coup happened a long time ago.

A film on 9/11 recently quoted an Egyptian as saying that the Americans killed on 9/11 actually deserved it, since America is “government for the people, by the people” (representative government) and thus the people can be called upon to answer for the crimes of the government. Now, if it really was representative government, that might be true. But I think by now Americans know that it's not a representative government.

Now, I'm oversimplifying here of course — since it's the majority that determines the outcome of an election, these statements may be false on an individual level (while retaining truth on the national average). In any case, to reword that previous paragraph, you have a choice of two mutually exclusive cases:

  1. The American system of government “works”. As such, the government is the direct representative of the people and acts on their behalf. In this case, the American people are responsible for the actions of their government.
  2. The American system of government does NOT work, and the United States are in fact governed by a group other than representatives of the people. In this case, the American people are not responsible for the actions of their government.

Now, I think the general consensus is that the latter is closer to the truth, if not the precise truth. The problem is that America — and the rest of the Western nations to a lesser extent — consumes most of the world's resources and holds most of the world's wealth. As a result, Americans and Westerners in general reap the benefits of being the top level in a global pyramid scheme, while at the same time looking the other way as we commit our governmental wrongs.

Someone just made an interesting point to me as well — if the government doesn't actually represent people, why do people get so angry when its actions are criticized?

Now, some people have said “but what are we supposed to do?”

I'm not saying that everyone MUST go and protest in the streets or become a militant. What I will say is that we need to think about our day to day actions, and understand the greater implications that they have.

Revolution, one small (but calculated) act at a time.

At its simplest, don't eat at McDonalds — eat at the locally owned business. Support organic farms. Make less garbage. All little acts like this chip away at the power that the global corporations hold. By doing these things, strangely enough, you go a long way to personally ending war and suffering in this world. You don't have to wear a beret to be a revolutionary, and you don't need to hold your fist to the sky to fight for social justice.

My solution for myself is threefold:

  1. To use my “loud voice” to further general awareness of important issues, both locally and internationally.
  2. To use my business success to support small businesses and new ventures.
  3. To live a responsible lifestyle which rejects as many of the vices (bait) of the corporate-controlled modern world as possible.

These things are all small, but if enough people start doing them in their own way, we will collectively change the world. We do have that power.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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