Today is our "Independence Day." It seems as though this might be a day to pause and reflect on what we are, and what we could be. If we actually did this on any other day, I would be willing to cut us some slack on this day, but we don't. We seem to be in a perpetual state of self-delusion.
One of our major delusions is that what we experienced in the aftermath of our declaration on July 4, 1776, was a revolution. But was it, really? In the end the people who were in control on the ground were still in control. The slaves were still slaves, the poor were still poor. Native Americans were on the verge of experiencing, if they had not already experienced it, one of the more egregious cases of genocide and ethnocide* in world history.
The Jamaican historian of the Caribbean Franklin Knight points out, in his The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism, that the Haitian revolution, which culminated in 1804, was the first successful revolution in the Americas. In the end, the former slaves were on top, and the former landowners had been killed or fled to places like Louisiana. At the end of the American "revolution," the former elites were still the elites.
Some other delusions we have about ourselves are listed and explained on this web site. Among them:
- When politicians and regular folk talk about “Protecting our American Way of Life” ™ they are referring to our “freedoms,” our ability to worship the way that we wish to do so, dress the way we wish to do so, and so on.
- The USA is the best, most desirable place in the world, and everyone in the world, if they had a choice, would want to live here.
- America and Americans are the most giving people in the world – we help out other countries more so than any other country does.
- America has the best health care system in the world. Anyone who needs care can go and get it at an emergency room, whether they have money or not.
- “The Government” (and/or Government employees/employment, and/or “bigger government”) is bad/useless, and private sector employees are always more useful/valuable/productive.
- The American people have the most civil (and other) rights, freedom and privacy on the planet.
- Liberals/Progressives and their leaders just want the government to take care of all of their needs, from the “cradle to the grave,” they don’t believe in personal responsibility, they expect the government to somehow magically make everything fair, and they want the population to be controlled by the government. That’s how it is in Europe, and that’s what the Liberals want here too.
*Ethnocide is the anthropological term for destruction of a culture that leaves the people in place. This was the official US policy toward Native Americans, especially late in the 19th century.