America the Cruel

I had the pleasure of talking to a young American a few weeks ago about life in his town in Virginia. He talked about how everyone is segregated racially, how people are very hostile, how there is a tension in the air, and how people are generally much meaner than they are in Canada. What occurred to me was something I hadn’t really thought of before.

Why, in a country of such wealth and power, do the citizens behave like that?

One answer is that the United States is an imperialist country. Let me explain.

When a dog owner wants the dog to be a mean, ruthless and vicious killing machine, he has to beat the dog, starve the dog, tease it and torment it. And by doing so, the owner will bring out the worst in the dog, making a mean-tempered, killer animal.

In a similar fashion, the US system tortures its own citizens. Even though it is the wealthiest nation in the world, its people are left to starve, to suffer, to struggle and to die. This keeps them on edge, making them more ruthless, bringing out the worst in them, and making them ready to fight. The US tortures its own people in order to breed the warriors it needs to fight in its wars and to operate the war machine.

Therein lies a catch-22 of war: war creates more war. For without war, the money spent on war could go to dramatically increase domestic social services. This surplus could help to take away some of the root causes of people being angry and war-mongering. Plus, some of this money could be spent on foreign aid, thereby decreasing threats from external attacks.

This solution is simple, and would probably work. Implementing the solution, however, is not so simple. It would require the solidarity of a large percentage of the US population… a population that is segregated and hostile due to its own establishment.

In my previous post, didn’t I say I would be spreading optimism and hope? Damn. Well, I supposed we need to understand the problems before we try to fix them.

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