(Just a quick note. This article is a work in progress. The previous versions have been rewritten and this one will eventually be superseded too. Few people know about this site so I use it as a litmus test of sorts. Your opinion is encouraged in the comments section). Cheers Vaughan
We all come from within a culture. Our family, school, church or, no church, town, city, state and country, all play a telling role in determining how we talk, how we act, how we dress, our values and generally, what we think.
We get conditioned, influenced. The culture we come from plays a huge role in forming us.
Generally, we have an unquestioning attitude about our culture. So unquestioned in fact that we hardly even notice the ‘cultural reach’ into our lives affecting our daily practices. These practices are accepted because they are generally unremarkable.
For instance, if we go into our local town we unthinkingly move out of each others way walking on the footpath, people line up behind each other when paying at the Cashier, we all drive on the same side of the road, there’s an accepted uniformity in our actions. There are many varied behaviours we assume, I’ve mentioned only a few.
Simply, it’s an embraced and accepted behaviour. The individual may question, but the pack mentality reigns.
So, these accepted behaviours is what I’m calling ‘culture’.
We acquiesce to this culture for plenty of reasons. As children we learn acceptable behaviour and, we all discover how to fit in and be accepted. Civility requires certain expectations of the individual and we choose to surrender individual impulses to an overall uniformed culture.
For this article, I will focus on some cultural aspects of America’s Patriotism and explore how it affects Americans and indeed, the world.
As an Australian I have my own culture, with all of the conditioning that I described above. But, I’ve also been brought up on American culture since a child, watching television, since the 60’s. I’ve also visited that wonderful country and have two American Daughters in Law as well as spending three years in an American based University.
I have never quite understood America’s patriotic excitement though. Flagpoles seem to come as standard fare in the front of every home. The Pledge of Allegiance is a commitment made daily by American children in schools across the country.
I’ve always accepted this patriotic and celebratory attitude as a good thing, but it’s always been a little foreign to me.
And, that’s OK!
This outward show of patriotic energy is something that seems to lie deep within America’s history and cultural fabric.
I also believe America and her people have some damn fine reasons to be proud too. America’s contributions to the world are too many to try and list here.
I’m a genuine fan of America. I love much of it’s music, (many) of it’s films and I enjoy the many warm hearted and generous people I’ve met over the period of my lifetime.
Also, America’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ and the Authors who penned it, are testament to some of the most God inspired documents ever written.
So, you might understand my frustration when I state, that I see America’s patriotism has been subverted somehow?!
I clearly see a distortion of truth, when I watch American’s act out their patriotic verve.
A deceit has somehow usurped what was once a treasured and patriotic zeal. If deceit lies at the core of anything it will produce a distortion of the intended fruit. ‘A little leaven leavens the whole lump’.
This deceit seems entwined within America’s patriotic philosophy. It reveals itself as either a conscious, or unconscious belief, that America has a Sovereign, and/or God given, right to rule the world.
I think this lie exists. Some embrace it, others embrace it reluctantly, and some just pretend not to see it, but like a persistent odour, everyone knows it’s there. A learned attitude maybe? An attitude that’s rarely discussed? Possibly? but the deceit is ultimately embraced and then acted upon, as part of the cultural experience.
It’s an attitude that Americans tacitly embrace and it expresses itself in some direct, and in some less direct ways.
The deceit reveals itself at the very core of American society. The deceit beats within the patriotic heart of the American family, or at the street level, regardless of politics.
Indeed, the US Federal Government’s Foreign Policy can only survive for as long as it has because, it’s a direct reflection and expression, of the majority of Americans belief.
You may disagree but I think the indications are evident.
Consecutive US Governments made up of any concoction of Democrats or Republicans since the early 90’s, have consistently steered a direct and definite course concerning US foreign policy. There has been a continuity.
This shows that America’s foreign policy is not politically driven but instead, draws itself from a much deeper philosophical well.
America’s 2018 Defence budget takes a whopping 75% of discretionary spending. The US spends as much on defence as the next 10 nations combined. The irony that it’s called a ‘Defence Budget’ generally goes unnoticed.
The US presently has over 800 military bases in foreign countries including 174 in Germany, 83 in South Korea and 113 in Japan. 73 years after WW2!
So for 73 years, since WW2, Americans have accepted their country build over 800 foreign bases, bomb Yugoslavia, Libya, Vietnam, Cambodia, Syria, as well as invade Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Grenada not to mention, ancillary wars, police actions, and the black budget creation and support of Terrorists. I won’t even bother with the many dark and dubious games of the CIA.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Americans have accepted that consecutive US Governments spend trillions of tax payers dollars on the Military War Machine. And they did that without even needing to provide an enemy!
Even the enemies Americans are being conditioned to accept today are trumped up (no pun intended) for domestic consumption.
This cannot happen, and continue to happen, for this amount of time without the consent of the American public.
Some American’s may voice their dissatisfaction in the privacy of their own home, but they seem reluctant to care enough, to organise and do something to stop it from happening.
But wait, there’s more.
The lie reveals itself in an unusual way. American families continue to send their young men and women to fight wars in foreign lands, subjugating and bludgeoning a people for, hegemonic reasons and then, upon their return, they venerate them as heroes.
American’s venerate their Veterans as Heroes! This is the distortion of the fruit that I mentioned earlier. When there is deceit at the core the intended fruit will always be distorted.
Venerating Vets may be a good and treasured trait, if their Military are Liberators, but they’re not Liberators. And, they haven’t been Liberators for quite some time now.
When you peel back the veneered political and media rhetoric, any informed person knows the American soldier have been invaders, and the bludgeoning tool of American Hegemony, for a very long time.
Modern American history teaches us that many Vietnam and Iraqi War era Vets returned home feeling more shame than pride with their exploits.
(I can accept that American military troops once deployed have a responsibility to defend themselves and each other regardless of the political reason, or right to be in that country. Soldiers have the right to feel much pride in how they defend themselves and protect their buddies in any theatre of war.
This is a valid and heroic pride. But this is a pride that belongs to the platoon or squadron. IMO this is totally separate to US National Patriotic Pride).
The veneration of America’s Veterans shows a twisted logic. I can understand ignoring the immorality of their military purpose, and celebrating their return as a mother would a son, but the veneration of them as heroes is one twisted step too far.
If America’s knowledge of these wars was focussed as it was during the Vietnam War maybe we’d see some resistance? Maybe? But I have to wonder if the culture is now so conditioned and pleasantly deceived, that America’s care factor is at zero.
When viewed through the lens of recent protests, American’s stare seems well focussed on their own belly buttons and not on the innocent victims of their Military conquests.
You might think that I’m being too harsh on the normal, everyday American citizen? And, ‘if American’s really knew about the dirty deeds being committed by their military, they’d feel shame and do something to stop it’.
I actually think the same to be honest. I would certainly hope this to be true. This may be a large part of the reason why there’s so many people like myself, writing articles from every possible perspective, trying to get the attention of Americans!?
Because right now, instead of feeling shame, they’re feeling pride!
I doubt many even realise what’s happening. I do think that people are expressing their patriotic verve within the cultural expectations of American society. They’re generally, just expressing their ‘cultural norms’ but without asking, why?
I’m trying to show how the embraced deceit produces a distortion with the rationale, and then, cultural expectations manipulate people’s actions.
This veneration of Vets is the outworking, or the fruit, of the deceit.
Cradling this deceit not only condones the lie, it perpetuates it.
As I stated earlier I’m a genuine fan of America, and the incredible opportunity that is her future. But being a fan or even a patriot, does not pardon us from ignoring deceit. That practice only serves to subvert an entire people.
The Love of Country should at the very least motivate patriots, to identify why pain exists.
If American’s continue to absorb this deceit, the Military budget and, the subjugation of innocent people in far off lands will continue to grow at the bloodied hands of America’s sons and daughters. Where this leads, is anyone’s guess.
America’s patriotism has been subverted and a deceit has been embraced without Americans ever identifying why the fruit always seems bad.
American families continue to feed their virile young men into this Military Machine, only to be spat out years later confused, damaged and, with blood on their hands.
They also don’t seem to see the ‘cultural system of thinking’ they’ve assumed that produces this ongoing theatre of Human Misery.
It’s too easy these days to blame Government or Wall St or other esoteric structures. It only serves to rid the individual of responsibility. The individual is at the heart of this issue.
No politician will ever change the militaristic Foreign Policy of the United States, because policy is drawn from philosophy, and until American’s identify the deceit within their cultural patriotism, nothing will change.
America’s militaristic and historic malfeasance does not ever produce heroes, only victims.
Americans need to accept that true Heroes defend a people, or a land, from invaders.
There is no truth or honour in continually labelling your invaders as ‘Heroes’.
It is a lie, a cultural deception. And, it’s a deception Americans must address for the future of their children and, the children of the world.