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The Myth of an American Empire

Without claiming to be an expert at socio-political sciences, Val shares his out-of box impressions about the world's affairs.

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To quote myself from some other of my articles -- being an individualist, I am terribly against generalizing; so if you asked me what I think about Americans, I would answer with question: "Which ones?"

For in just about any society in the world there is a huge diversity of individuals -- some geniuses, some morons, those successful, and those homeless, law abiding ones, and criminals -- and America is no exception.

However, judging by an average in all that diversity, we could call Americams quite industrious, goal oriented, highly materialistic, but also tending to "think big", which then spreads over the way they see themselves.

"American Dream", which refers to ambitions for attaining prosperity -- and beyond -- doesn't stop at that, but also involves a dream about American "global leadership", "military supremacy", "medical superiority", "best standard of living", the "happiest nation" -- and what not on that scale of the bests.

Now, let's try to do a realistic landing from those clouds, by first examining "global leadership".

In the so called "free world", whose leader America is aspiring to be -- leaders get elected, not self-appointed; while we don't really see any signs of the world having elected America as their leader.

Also, in a free world, leadership doesn't mean a self-appointed role of a global police. Nor it means coercing nations, telling them who can, and cannot be their friends and business customers. Nor it means sanctioning nations, which is just a nice word for economic terrorism, as that often results with even a shortage of medical supplies -- all that justified simply by "our national interests".

So, let's forget about global leadership, and see a little about that "medical leadership".

There is this staggering number of some 350,000 yearly deaths in the US due to medical screw-ups, with many pharmaceuticals being often recalled, including those hastily approved by the FDA -- after proving themselves to be lethal or seriously damaging.

In short, that medical practice is so "superior" that people are massively looking for alternative solutions to their health issues.

Someone even said jokingly: "It's a scary thought that our doctors are 'practicing' medicine".

As for mental health in America, statistics are revealing that one in every five Americans have some mental issues. Maybe that has something to do with another statistics about an arrest being made every few seconds somewhere in America.

"Best standard of living? Nope. It's only at the 13th place on the list of those with the highest standard of living. While America may have the most of the rich people in the world, that doesn't hint one bit at the prosperity of the whole nation, with 27 million people without any health insurance, and half million homeless. Anybody lately drove through Los Angeles?

Now, let's look a little separately at that much dreamed about "military superiority".

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Number of Available Nukes Doesn't Make a Darn Difference

Let us go realistic about it, shall we -- I mean, whether you have ten or hundred nukes, if you ever wanted to use them, after an estimated fifth one you have dumped, the whole world would gang up against you for polluting the atmosphere with nuclear radiation.

So it's nothing but a psychological bullshit that no one in the world's military headquarters is taking seriously. All these trillions of dollars used on military advancement -- which could have been used for insuring everybody and for infrastructure -- is practically used only for playing a military boogieman to those who are too grownup to believe in boogieman of any kind.

Nukes are so well distributed around the world that they are The Only True guarantee against a global cataclysm of a World War Three.

Indeed, if it was not for the sobering presence of the nukes, those political hotheads would have already destroyed the planet with nothing but the conventional world size military conflict.

Let's face, folks, this biggest irony in existence -- that we are electing leaders who have absolutely no talent or intention to establish international friendship, cooperation, and harmony.

Think about it. How hard would it be to jointly decide to make our human coexistence peaceful?

Instead, here we see this bunch of paranoid clowns not trusting each other, feeding their nations with fairy tales filled with imaginary enemies, and obviously unable to heal their heads from historical neuroticism. Unable to see into a future that would not be just a repetition of the past.

It doesn't take some genius to figure how nations have nothing against each other, it's our much trusted leaders who keep inventing enemies.

Thus, America somehow needs over 75 military bases scattered around the globe to protect itself -- from whom? In anyone's healthy brain there is no such a scenario of any of the biggies attacking any of the other biggies.

Does it make America "militarily superior"? Come on, folks, those long range missiles are already pointing at every American installation and even city; that potential "enemy" has had enough of their own military geniuses to defend themselves by making a horrible damage to the attacker.

So, who are we kidding here? If China, Russia, India, or even one North Korea can have their satellites in the orbit, they can also have their space weapons there. So, all this is just a myth, all this psychological parading with some "military advantages".

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Patriotism Doesn't Define a Country

While patriotism is a noble and virtuous quality, it shouldn't mean a blind mind.

For a little metaphor which should say it all, I love my wife, and after 57 years of marriage I sometimes dream about arranging for our second, Golden Wedding on a Hawaiian beach, with all those romantic, colorful props.

But I don't see her, even from her best young age, as -- by everyone's taste -- a most irresistible female human specimen on earth. Just like I see millions of women out there who wouldn't give me a second look at times when I looked my best.

Are you seeing where I am going with this?

It's O.K. to have dreams, as long as we are not expecting others to share them with us, because -- hey! Surprise! -- they prefer dreaming their own.

However, we are not hearing about any other country in the world making such a big deal of their ambitions generated by those dreams. It's almost as if American folks are perceiving themselves as being "God-chosen" , or something.

I have been in America some dozen times, even lived and worked there for a while (as a legal immigrant with a proper green card and social security number) -- but in all that time I was not lucky enough to encounter a single of those "American avatars", or even find anything out of ordinary about those, otherwise fine folks.

Yes, many people move there, but it's all very relative, as we are talking about many of those desperate ones who might even move to Russia or China if they could -- while many also leave America. We have many born-Americans here in Canada, just like there are many born-Canadians in America.

Like I say, it's all very relative, and nothing to generalize about, surely not enough as to say how "everybody wants to live in America". As a matter of fact, many of those doing-well Americans would gladly leave America if they only had guts for emigrating, which is a huge step. Ask me, I've done it twice, to start all over from a spoon on.

Back to patriotism..

Let us be totally honest about it -- so many Americans are simply compensating for their mediocre life achievements by trying to see themselves as a "part of something that's best and superior in every aspect imaginable".

So they live their nation's life instead of the one which doesn't have much to show. And they involve themselves in politics, because there is more going on there than in their own households.

And they glorify their country, proud of a mass of people whom they don't know, and many of whom they wouldn't even want to call their countrymen if they knew them. In some instances of my encounters with some of them, I would suddenly get that scene from the "Looney Tunes" cartoon with Duffy Duck running amok and yelling: "I am rich! I am rich! I am filthy rich!"

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Finding Friends -- Not "Followers"

That myth of American Empire, as experienced by those stubborn dreamers, wouldn't even be so bad, but the problem arises when, during their sleepwalking, they start bumping into reality.

Like, here comes China as a new serious competitor on the global market. No tariffs seem to have helped to weaken them economically, as they rapidly spread their markets to Africa and South America. A metaphor pops up with a balloon being squeezed at one side making the other side bigger.

"How dare they compete with one mighty America" -- goes the outcry of the patriots, instantly branding them as an "enemy of America". Of course, patriotism is strong enough to contaminate some simple logic, where China is not really "plotting anything against America" while simply advancing themselves.

Unless of course, America is the only privileged one to look for ways of bettering themselves.

So, for a little metaphor (I love metaphors, unless you already noticed), here I am, let's say, successfully losing some extra pounds, looking good -- and there is a bunch of my friends who believe that I did it to make them look fatter and less attractive.

Or, I am reading a shitloads of smart books about human nature, and there go my friends (hmm.. let's drop in some family members as well) who somehow believe that I did all those studious efforts "just to make them look stupid".

I guess, no one has any problem getting the point of these two metaphors -- but then it becomes something altogether unforgivable with China in the equation.

Maybe we could stop being so obsessed about what others are doing wrong, and try to see what we are doing wrong.

Like maybe, just maybe, that much trumpeted image of a "superiority" and "global leadership" is not really working for us. Maybe, just maybe, people don't really appreciate political, economic, or even military bullyism.

And maybe, just maybe, the European NATO allies are not too happy -- with a reason -- to participate anymore in American adventurism in the Middle East catering to their friend Israel.

Could it be the time to start making friends instead of unwilling followers? After all, in these times when the word "freedom" seems to be so popular in American slogans, could we fathom that the world would also love to be "free" from anyone bossing them around?

Being called an "empire", doesn't even sound all that flattering. All empires had one thing in common -- they crumbled of their own weight.

Which brings to mind -- after American politicians of that era dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, someone in Japanese headquarters allegedly asked: Should we plan a retaliation?" -- A general replied: "No need for that -- they will destroy themselves".

For the final words -- hey, if a scholar of Noam Chomsky's caliber sounds like he just might agree with the most of what was said in this post -- maybe it shouldn't be bluntly scrapped as "just another anti-American crap"

For, it ain't that. Not one bit.

In eyes of all those more sober ones, it will be properly interpreted as a friendly reminder, nothing else.

© 2021 Val Karas

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