Reflections on the 4th (Reich) of July by Cherokeetears
Parades, fireworks, songs, and Empire. As the fourth of July ends for this year, it is important to reflect on the nature of the holiday, the country it represents, and the legacy that such an event leaves on the minds of bourgeoise nationalist First Worldists today. As Americans were reminded to “support the troops” that support their consumerism, they took pride in the romanticism of the “revolution” that made the way for a country founded on stolen land and genocide. They celebrated the forcible “American way,” and because they supported this way, they also supported the subjugation of others to achieve the American way. So, what is good about “Independence Day?” Well, let’s briefly review a few key moments in American History.
The forcible removal (read: ethnic cleansing) and mass murder (read: genocide) of 10,000,000 American Indians can be considered a monumental, if not completely under-appreciated, extension of the earliest American conquest so patriotically called “Manifest Destiny” among other names. The absolute destruction of all remnants of American Indian culture and history can be attributed to American “patriotism.” What about such horrors as the massacres and murders, residential schools for assimilation, repetitive reservation relocation, and the intentional spread of smallpox? Americans truly do have something to be proud of within their own indigenous populations: they can be proud of effectively destroying an entire population over the course of 100 years.
The era of slavery and the following years of Jim Crow are epochs of American history that continue to influence ethnic tensions and inequalities even today. There is no reason to believe that slavery was anything less than a crime against humanity, for which America never truly paid the price. The “Founding Fathers” themselves had slaves, Jefferson even fathering children with slaves, only to enslave them along with the other human workhorses. As slavery ended, bigotry continued. With the passing of Jim Crow, widespread lynchings, and racial prejudices that continue de facto today. Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson legalized “separate but equal” institutions. Dred Scott v. Sanford only further removed the rights of blacks, declaring that they are not citizens.
After we talk about the horrible inequalities that blacks were subject over, we can see a continued (but bought off) oppression of minority groups in the US today. Minorities largely inhabit the lowest economic strata in the US, and crime rates and socio-economic conditions are still bound in ethnic discrimination. The system hasn’t changed, and these groups, now as beneficiaries of imperialism, have no motivation or interest to stop the oppressors, and have become oppressors themselves. They too are “proud Americans.”
We have yet to mention today’s globalized system of US hegemony and imperialism, that rots the infrastructure of countries, causes wars, and bleeds countries of their economic power: all so that Americans can keep their cheap gap clothing and high standard of living. The US has been responsible for war crimes committed by US appointed leaders all over the world. The US can be proud of its support of the crimes of Augusto Pinochet. The US can be proud of the embargo in Cuba. The US has a lot to be proud of even outside it’s borders.
And now, globalization and Americanization teaches people around the world that they can be Americans too. They can buy nice clothes, and own nice cars if they simply open up their economies to “free trade.” However, we know that the American way of life is a parasitic wayof life that is inaccessible to 5 billion other people in the world. The fact of the matter is, not everybody can be an American, and I guess Americans are proud of that too.
The American way is a way of pride in destruction. It is a blind bourgeoisie nationalism that does nothing to further the cause of self-determination, but rather seeks to control the rest of the world “because it’s a country’s freedom” to do so. The American way is a way of little Eichmanns, a way of greedy American parasites seeking more of the pie, and acting in blind bourgeoise nationalism* and chauvinism to justify it. Yeah, I guess Americans do have a lot to be proud of.
*When “nationalism” is mentioned in this article, it is not the progressive nationalism that leads to liberation, but rather a fascist/imperialist nationalism that only seeks to further the interests of the ruling class.