AMERICANISM, NAZISM, GENOCIDES, BIBLE, SLAVERY, RACISM, BIG TIME LYING, AND HOW THEY ALL RELATE.
NAZISM WAS MORE OF AN ACCIDENT, AMERICA IS MORE OF A SYSTEM:
Roger Cohen finds the USA dangerously hypocritical: there is a US museum about the Nazi holocaust of the Jews, “a German crime”, but there is no museum about slavery, an American crime. He adds: “Germans have confronted the monstrous in them… The truth can be brutal, but flight from it even more devastating. America’s heroic narrative of itself is still in flight from race … it’s time for the country to ask itself the hard post-jingoistic questions and allow the memorialization of even its darkest chapters. To demand truth commissions of other nations, while evading them at home, is self-defeating.” (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/16/opinion/edcohen.php).
Civilizations can change, and today’s Germans are lethal enemies of fascism. If time travel were possible, and they could go back to 1938, they would join the French republic to fight Nazism, in the blink of an eye. Fascism in Germany, however abominable and of great consequence (all together, at least 100 million dead), was a moment in history, abhorrent to the deepest roots of German civilization, and pretty much contrived by a few generations of leaders who co-opted each other (unfortunately starting with the often respectable Bismarck, political instigator of a monster he came to regret). The two main flaws of the German error were xenophobism and hubris. The main control mechanism, sitting above the preceding to make them possible, was blind and servile obedience to fascism, allowed by the death of the mind (obedience was deeply adverse to the original German character).
Not so with America. The American system of thought is four centuries old, and was accepted by all Americans for twenty generations (although in increasingly diluted form, its fundamental nature -anti-intellectualism and profits uber Alles- was not changed).
The American thought system is the progenitor of the success of the USA. It soon intrinsically became the twisted expression of a democracy (“We The People… made of rich white males). But, according to the modern moral standards of the Enlightenment, it was not pretty. Efficient, yes, pretty, no. Thus, America is in flight from many its own master generating ideas, for the deepest reasons intrinsic to its very nature. Genocides, the Bible, slavery, racism, formed an intricate network of mind characteristic of, and crucial to, a growing English speaking North America for many centuries. From those evils blossomed out many of the splendid attributes of America. No intrinsic monstrosity, no American splendor (no wonder many careful students of America, such as Tocqueville, ended baffled and ambivalent). Without understanding this, major malfunctions will occur looking forward, and not just for the US. There is a lesson in this, which can be carried all over the world.
The German flight from the truth of what really happened on August 1, 1914, caused a profound revisitation of the same horror in January 1933, in a more obstinate and self righteous version. It was the flight from truth that created Nazism (Hitler was the first to assert this in print). In the case of the USA, the flight from truth is clear and present, it prevents to analyze what went wrong, and thus what’s wrong now. In that sense it is similar to fascist versions of Islam: in the very genesis of a thought system can lay the paralysis it gets afflicted with. The US mental paralysis is a world problem, because the USA was long one of the mental leaders for the world, but now it clings to memory loss and decerebrated childhood, feeding its various denials, such as been addicted to waste, enslaved to the Rich, terrorized by thinking, petrified by change. In the USA, systems of units dating from the Middle Ages are still in use. Only there, and nowhere else. In more ways than one, the USA is stuck in full mental reverse (just as this Taliban it gave birth to). Why? Because the US thought system is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. But breaking it is the best gift one can make to it.
What is a civilization? A system of thought carried by the many minds of a people (typically living in one or more cities, hence the root “civilis”). The US system of thought originated in English colonial America (hence not in 1776, nor in 1789, but in 1606). The US system of thought had two main proximal inputs: England herself, of course, and the London Company. It was a symbiotic mix of heavens and hell, each serving the other. We passed the 400th anniversary of the hidden Constitution of the USA in total silence, but the democratic candidates for the US presidency were embroiled in theology, as befits savages of 1606 CE, not philosophers of 1789 CE.
SLAVERY, EXTERMINATION AND RACISM ARE MORE AMERICAN THAN APPLE PIE:
The London Company was an English stock company established by royal charter on April 10, 1606, with the purpose of establishing profitable colonial settlements in North America. The London Company had right of life and death over the entire continent, and the mission to impose Christianity on the natives (Charter of 1609). Things went on according to the master plan. The USA is the country that originated in a conspiracy, and we have its foundational document, black on white.
The Puritans arrived later, in 1620, under the authority of the London Company (and of the military). Their master idea fit perfectly well the London 1609 Charter, they thrived. The Puritans had decided to impose the Bible, on earth (and planned to go back in strength and invade Europe to impose their god!). As soon as established, they exterminated whoever was preventing the full expression of their purity (they exterminated not just Indians, although Indians had just saved them, but also “rough fellows”, independent British settlers further north, who had committed the sin of being too friendly with native women (who could be massacred and enslaved at will, since they were unbelievers; notice the similarity with the hard core Qur’an).
The fundamental principles of both London Co. and Puritans were pretty much according to a racist book full of Shoahs (holocausts), a book they were reading every time they wanted to look deep. That “Mein Kampf” of the invaders made holocausts into a religion, and also the grabbing of lands, etc…. It was easy to transpose the ideas of this book; the Puritans were the Elected people, their enemies who happened to be occupying the promised land, were enemies of their God, and had to be destroyed. Thus murderous, genocidal racism was instated at the top of the mental agenda, and with their God’s stamp of approval. This sort of barbarousness would never have sailed through the Roman Senate, but, armed with the Bible (a book which extolls events that happened more than a millennium before the Roman Senate agonized about destroying Carthage), the English settlers could go where Western Civilization had not gone before: genocide on a Biblical scale.
To start with, modestly enough because the Indians were watching their every move, the London Company had reinvented slavery in a European setting. Jamestown was initially crewed by white slaves (convicts and indentured servants, to be punished and killed in atrocious circumstances at the smallest pretext). (By comparison the French government sent to its colonies only people who had been checked for their highest morality, and they could return any time!) In the English colonies, slavery of the whites was, naturally enough, soon replaced by that of the natives, and, when the colonies could finally afford them, by African slaves (buying them with tobacco revenue, and that is why expensive African slavery was mostly in the South).
The English colonies were without adult supervision (because England was in terrible civil war trouble; when the English king asked the French king to come help with his army, even the war friendly Louis XIV prudently declined). So the most basic standards of civilization could be trampled with alacrity. Perhaps finding that the burning of Indian towns left too many natives roaming the woods, Boston was paying for Indian scalps. The passionate hatred between Indians and English settlers soon got some company from the passionate hatred between enslaved Africans and Whites (some southern states had more slaves than Whites, and only terror made them stable). American racism was an acquired staple of survival. It was married to slavery, creating the particularly monstrous progeny of racially determined slavery (something not tried since 15C BCE India, three millennia earlier!).
None of this, of course was very European: racism was unknown in Europe ever since the Romans had Spanish (1C), African and Arab emperors (3C). Slavery had been unlawful in Western Europe since the Merovingians (7C).
In English America slavery and racism were means to an end: the conquest and possession of an entire continent by greedy Europeans maximizing profits. But it’s no accident that both the Spanish and the French, who both used ethics that were not flying as low, completely failed in North America. Although the temperate coast of North America had been known since the Vikings (who imported timber from it for many centuries), it could not be colonized for military reasons: the natives were too fierce, and they knew that the Europeans had come to steal the land (see Viking and Cartier reports). The English settlers used all the weapons at their disposal, and the war manual that suggested many of them, and the righteous spirit to go with it was the Bible. It’s still true today: Bush attacked Iraq because his “Higher Father” told him to. Long live the Bible and its God! An argument few Americans can resist.
So one should not scoff, and call the European settlers in America naive. That system of thought, which mixed Bible primitivism and European high tech was immensely successful: English Americans became quickly the richest, best fed, and often best educated people on earth (they held that position for three centuries). They were free, and formed into a de facto republic before London and Paris figured out what was going on. Nine generations after inception, excited by French agents, the republic declared its independence (1776). Tocqueville, arriving another four generations after that, declared, not without scathing irony:
“The Spaniards, by unparalleled atrocities which brand them with indelible shame, did not succeed in EXTERMINATING the Indian race and could not even prevent them from sharing their rights; the United States Americans have attained BOTH these results with wonderful ease, quietly, legally, and philanthropically, without spilling blood and without violating a single one of the great principles of morality in the EYES of the world. It is impossible to DESTROY men with more respect to the laws of humanity” (from “Democracy in America”).
DEVASTATING IDEAS LEFT UNCHALLENGED KEEP ON FESTERING; HOW THE AMERICAN GENOCIDE INSPIRED EUROPEAN RACISTS AND EXTERMINATIONISTS:
America invented and justified, by its very success, slavery, extermination and racism. Those (Biblical) ideas fed back to Europe: many Europeans were impressed by their triumph in North America, and longed to duplicate it all over the planet.
Civilization had to fight hard in Europe, to triumph over Europe’s own savagery, and it was natural to extend an even more violent effort overseas. Racism is a natural instinct, a consequence of psychobiological tribalism, when all one sees is white men, and one identifies civilization with them, and civilization is in a world wide fight (against superstitious religion, habits and elites of the past, etc…). Savagery got identified with anybody not white, such as black men. Although such an identification was certainly culturally correct (don’t scream or a 19C Maori will come back, and eat you on my behalf), it was genetically erroneous, sure. But the point is that racism, however erroneous, flourished in Europe, and the conquest of the “New World” was seen as its prophet.
English America and its USA were a great inspiration for many (such as a particular Belgian king who devastated Congo for Ivory, allegedly killing millions). The racist Prussian fascists, such as governor Goering (the father of that WWI war hero, Herman Goering), instituted in Namibia an accelerated program trying to do very fast, around 1900, what the Americans had done in centuries, away from prying eyes. The British themselves used against the (European) Boers methods of concentration camps, deportation and pseudo accidental death (of more than a third of all the Boer women and children) that they had learned from the US Americans.
The Nazis, of course, were the most dedicated students of the genocide of the Indians. They decided to duplicate it in Europe, applying it to all their enemies (starting with the Poles, then the Jews, etc…) They put all these ideas on steroids, missing out completely on the plausible self denying moral subtlety of the American ways (which made them sustainable). As Tocqueville indicated, the Americans had become expert at lying to themselves and keeping appearances civilized. Although of course he came to observe after 220 years of continual holocaust (missing most of it). (US American civilization took three centuries to exterminate the Indians, and, by trying to do the same to all of the advanced Europeans of Eastern Europe in three years, the Nazis were bound not to make friends, even among themselves.)
Another meta feeling that was comforted by the keeping of appearances, was that English America, come hell and high water, was always right: nothing succeeds like success. It was fundamental to assert this loud and clear, because this loud crowing was part of the cover-up (another was to play real dumb and inarticulate). This lack of doubt about America has become a central American mental tradition. It explains why the role of the USA in helping fascist regimes (and, first of all Hitler’s) was never put front and center. Unsurprisingly, so has it been for the role of the USA in pushing Judeo-Christo-Muslim fanaticism (before S. Hussein put God on the Iraqi flag, the USA chose as motto “In God we trust” in 1954. This religious slogan unconstitutionally replaced the US Founders’ “E Pluribus Unum”; it’s unconstitutional to bring a god in because, so doing, Congress made an “establishment of a religion”, and that is explicitly forbidden by the US Constitution. But nothing succeeds as well as enormity, as Hitler pointed out (in this apparent competition of enormities, Hitler earlier put “Gott mit Uns” all over his SS)).
ANTI INTELLECTUALISM AS THE ULTIMATE COVER UP:
A characteristic of the American thought system is its anti-intellectualism. Pushed around, Americans tend to evoke their “faith” in “god”, rarely their supreme intelligence and sensibility. The Bible overlords it all, in some ways more than ever (some American Founding Fathers wrote some very strong anti-Christian stuff, and got elected, whereas saying the same nowadays would be death to any politician). At the same time, of course, in part to prevent the rule of absolute idiocy, which would be counter-productive to the overall mission, the USA has the best universities in the world (if “best” is carefully evaluated in the realms of easier thoughts, and the readily publishable; don’t expect the first genuinely American Abelard, Buridan, Voltaire, Gauss, Nietzsche or Einstein any time soon…).
Europeans remember the old Nazi proverb that “whenever I hear the word Kultur, I pull out my Browning” (Browning being an American brand of revolvers American capitalists smuggled to the Nazis in vast amounts). Culture was what ultimately stopped Nazism (the German army coup against Hitler of 1944 was launched as a matter of cultural principle by its upright instigators). France opposed Nazism at every turn, from January 1933 on, mostly for higher cultural reasons (just as the USA cooperated with Nazism against France by common hatred against those who detested genocides, racism, slavery, and the Biblical god).
The American thought system, increasingly laden with contradictions, encouraged by its devotion to the Bible, has avoided to think. Thinking is intrinsically creative, and may turn to dust the old American mummy of obsolete habits, if it ever touched it. In any case, the verdict of the American elite, when asked why they got into Iraq, admit that it was by “lack of intelligence”. No kidding. OK, that’s what they say, but not exactly what they mean, but that’s just because they did not think about it yet.
It’s encouraging that candidate Obama has been trying to think aloud in public, but the screams of the Beotians have been loud (thinking is traditionally viewed as “elite”, the plutocratic elite insists, in its successful strategy to confuse the American people). It’s discouraging to remember that, in the fight between anti-intellectual theocracy and the so called “Golden Age of Islam”, the theocrats won, and destroyed civilization (as they very nearly did in the Roman empire between 300CE and 550 CE).
THE TENACITY OF CIVILIZATION NEEDS TO DEAL WITH THE FINAL AMERICAN IDEA:
After a crafty hesitation of four centuries, full bore European civilization threatens to finally land in North America (if it had landed earlier, the USA would have been more Indian than Mexico). The opportunistic causes of the English American monstrosity have faded; the continent was conquered, the beast should be digesting its prey, instead of getting all agitated. The Biblical political philosophy of holocausts, racism, slavery, and theft of the land, having fulfilled its role, should be safely disposed of, instead of trying to recycle it in Iraq or Afghanistan (with Halliburton playing the role of the London Company). But old habits die hard. Although they worked well against the Neolithic ones, Biblical methods will not work in the cradle of civilization, however numbed out it was rendered by that other war manual, the Qur’an (the Qur’an derives from the Bible, and was used in a similar fashion).
Moreover there are more pressing issues. The greenhouse disaster is upon us, and some old American ideas, such as the unrestrained exploitation of the land, long successful in a continent voided of its native population, have to be detected, exposed and thrown out before they attempt to germinate all over the planet, in the fury of the overcrowded rats.
In the 19C, most of the system of thought supporting slavery was destroyed. In the 20C, racism and extermination came into direct conflict with democracy, and democracy won, and the system of thought of racism ended fatally damaged (in no small reason because especially France (but also Britain and America) used colored troops in combat to munch through the white master race: many extremely fierce “French” divisions were mostly African; for thirty one years, Senegalese and Germans were not in the habit of making a single prisoner: the lethal hatred was mutual, a good ground for future respect).
So now what is left among US bad mental habits, that still set it aside from its parental European thought system? Is there a head to this nagging obsolescence? One idea is left above all, and it’s at the genesis of it all. It shows up in basic principle of the US health “care” system.
As we said above, the London Company itself was founded for profits, Biblical extermination was its tool, and the ultimate master idea of its foundation was that BIG PROFIT IS THE END THAT JUSTIFY ALL AND ANY MEANS (an example of the application of this idea is in US health care, where death of American humans is OK, as long as the profits roll in! Death of profits would be major, death of humans a way to prevent that). Slavery, extermination, racism, Bible and war crimes, and systemic lying and dissembling were just instruments of that master idea, in total violation of 20 centuries of explicit Western civilization (religion, aka the Bible, allowed and instigated that violation, and that is why it became the sacred American text par excellence). The progenitor idea of all master ideas has survived so far, and reached a new level of achievement by sending the US Army to the Middle East to protect the oil, as the paramount mission of America. And by having the richest Americans taxed at the lowest rate (15%!).
The overall American idea that BIG PROFIT IS THE END THAT JUSTIFY ALL AND ANY MEANS has to see its prominence destroyed. It was appropriate to the invasion and destruction of the old North America. But now is a new World, all over the planet, and we don’t want it destroyed. Throughout old civilizations, capitalism was always against the excesses of plutocracy, ever since there were cattle herders, and there was a wealth tax (and yes, a “death” tax!).
A NEW SURVIVAL SKILL. THE DECONSTRUCTION OF DANGEROUSLY OBSOLETE THOUGHT SYSTEMS:
The time for holocausting some obsolete thought systems, before they holocaust us, has definitively arrived. We may as well start with this new approach to thinking within the USA rather than with Afghanistan (or China!). After all, the US Americans want to pretend that they can think, that they are an elite of a crowd.
It’s time to clear the mental tables, not just for the sake of the USA, but because now, whether we like it or not, whether we realize it or not, we are one world, one spaceship, and the air is getting foul, and the waters are rising, and the food stores are running low, and the third class passengers are rioting, and the oceans are getting empty of all, but poisons… It’s the road to hell, and no Bible can paper it over. Only hard core truth can come to the rescue, and appreciation for it is not found in many of the parts of American thinking that made the USA such a success. Therein the conundrum for the pusillanimous, and the challenge for the wise: how to save America while changing its soul.
Conclusion: PASSION IS NEEDED FOR DECONSTRUCTION.
Having being the author of a Biblical revisitation of an atrocious past transposed in modern times for seizing an entire continent, a form of civilizational devolution that directly preceded, encouraged and inspired such extravagances as Nazism, the least US American civilization could do now would be to acknowledge the enormous errors and terror of its old ways with many museums allowing people to recognize the full horrors of racism, slavery and genocides that made the USA what it is now. It is not a question of begging forgiveness on ones’ knees. After all, contemporaries did not commit these crimes. But the trains of thoughts and emotions that allowed these crimes are still in great part still around (as the mayhem in Iraq demonstrates for the whole planet to see). Becoming passionate about condemning these crimes will energize the vigilance against the cognitive, logical and emotional patterns that gave rise to them.