Tuesday, May 22, 2007

From the "Debunking American Exceptionalism" department:

In the event readers need a summary of the case for divine intervention on behalf of humanity against the detestable monstrosity we have become, here it is:
  1. We are a gluttonous herd of swine devouring resources at a rate well beyond the Earth's capacity to renew them. Metaphorically speaking, we are one of twenty people populating the globe. Yet we greedily gobble a quarter of the pie, leaving our nineteen neighbors to divvy up the remaining 75%.
  2. Our socioeconomic system, in which our de facto aristocracy, myriad "think tanks", textbook authors, and mainstream media whores have inculcated us to place an unwavering faith of cult-like proportions, is only several generations removed from feudalism, mercantilism, chattel slavery, and the early industrial capitalism which fostered the abject human misery about which Dickens wrote. Concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, exploitation of the working class and the poor, various forms of servitude, profits and property over people, unbridled consumption of resources, and an insatiable need for growth and expansion are inherent malignant aspects of our much vaunted "American Capitalism". Encouraging and rewarding greed, narcissism, hyper-competitiveness, selfishness, and ruthlessness, the "best system there is" has propelled shamelessly decadent pigs to obscene opulence while leaving over half of the world's population to wallow in extreme poverty.
  3. Rather than dismantling the military leviathan we created to facilitate our involvement in World War II, we chose to embrace a perpetual Military Keynesianism under which a mere 5% of the world's population spends more on war than the rest of the world combined. We have no problem "tainting" our capitalism with a little socialism as long as it enables the continued existence of the parasitic "defense" industry, allows us to maintain over 700 military bases in at least 130 different countries, and empowers us to wage the covert and overt imperialist wars necessary to advance the interests of capital.
  4. We have a long history of spouting off about our devotion to "freedom and democracy," decrying (and sometimes lynching) authoritarian rulers who refuse to surrender their nation's sovereignty to our empire, and installing and supporting brutal tyrants who serve the needs of our beloved plutocrats. Iran, bad. Saudi Arabia, good. Venezuela, evil. Colombia, righteous. You get the picture.
  5. In the course of our "infinitely benevolent" quest to democratize and free the world, we have left a bloody wake of annihilated human beings euphemistically labeled as "collateral damage." Millions of Native Americans "sacrificed their lives" so that we could found and expand the United States. At least 600,000 Filipinos were felled as we toiled under the crushing responsibility of our "white man's burden." A half million Japanese died so we could display our power to Russia, a significant threat to capitalism's hegemony. Factor in the 135,000 at Dresden, over two million Koreans, three million Vietnamese, the aforementioned million plus in Iraq, and millions more (counting those murdered via covert operations, smaller military interventions, and by proxies like the Shah, Pinochet, and Israel...not to mention the blacks who died as a result of the slave trade and Jim Crow lynchings), and the malevolence of the Third Reich pales in comparison to the criminal enterprise known as the United States of America.
  6. Aside from having developed and deployed nuclear weapons (in spite of the rest of the world being years away from attaining them and Japan's loss of will to continue the war), we possess and continue to develop the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet. Friendly regional hegemons, like India and Israel, receive our blessing and assistance in nurturing their nuclear capabilities, sans signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Meanwhile, we relentlessly beat the drums of war against Iran for exercising their right (as a signatory of the NNPT) to develop a program to produce nuclear energy. How much longer can the chicken-hawks in DC refrain from unleashing atomic hell, again? How much blatant hypocrisy can the world endure?
  7. Given our love affair, no scratch that, our obsession, with shopping, acquiring, owning, and consuming, we keep the Once-ler's fat, happy, and running at full throttle. As the Truffula trees, Humming-fish, Bar-ba-loots, and Swomee- Swans disappear at an alarming rate, we're too busy "lovin' it" at McDonald's and cashing in on Wal-Mart's "always low prices" to notice or care. Global temperatures rise, ice shelves plunge into the sea, glaciers recede at alarming rates, violent storms rage, species become extinct, and bees disappear en masse as we intrepidly continue filling our two lives per gallon Hummers with inane consumer goods that we don't need. "Keeping the economy strong" is indeed a noble calling.
  8. As crafty as we are, we are not solely reliant upon military means to impose our cultural imperialism. As Milton Friedman and "the Chicago Boys" demonstrated with their experiment in Chile, neoliberalism is a powerful economic tool with which we can integrate weaker nations into our empire. Astoundingly, nation after developing nation accepted our Trojan horse of "generous" loan packages which in turn forced them to crush organized labor, privatize, deregulate, and cut or eliminate humanitarian expenditures. For many years, Fidel Castro was one of the few hold-outs in the face of our economic tyranny. With the recent emergence of leaders like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales, hope looms on the horizon. Yet predictably, we continue to rain misery upon the people of Cuba and are desperately attempting to sell the world on the idea of pouring our food supply into our gas tanks so we can eliminate our dependence on Chavez's oil and give him the "Fidel treatment."
To spare ourselves the guilt of our undeniable abetment in crimes against the Earth and nearly all its sentient inhabitants, we desperately cling to the Disneyesque illusion that the United States is a benevolent "policeman to the world" that preserves and advances noble ideals like human rights and freedom.
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but the analyses of Hannah Arendt and Ward Churchill define our reality much more accurately. No matter how closely an individual US American might adhere to humane principles, we are all "Little Eichmanns." We can minimize our roles, but there is no escaping participation in our nation's virtuoso performance of "The Banality of Evil."
Nerdified link. My emphasis added.

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