Good mental health was not a prerequisite for European
settlers emigrating to the New World. We are fond of reminding ourselves that
Australia was (and mostly still is) populated primarily with murderers, thieves
and sexual perverts, but the immigrants to America were not noticeably better.
Indeed, the inscription on the Statue of Liberty got the words more or less
correct in referring to "the wretched refuse of your teeming shore".
While the Australians had their serial killers and muggers, the Europeans went
one better with their Christian extremists who spent their weekdays burning
witches and killing Indians, and their Sundays in church thanking God for the
opportunity. The Australians have marginally improved their habits over the
centuries while the Americans have not.
One of the more popular historical myths embedded in the
American consciousness by the propaganda machine relates to the migration of
settlers to the New World, the narrative detailing how hundreds of thousands of
the virtuous oppressed flocked to the dockyards in a headlong rush for freedom
and opportunity. There may indeed have been five or six such persons, but a
much larger group was there to escape the hangman and jailer and an even larger
selection were slave traders, hookers, and budding capitalist scam artists
looking for greener pastures. When we add in the vast numbers hoping to escape
justified persecution for their perverted witches-brew versions of
Christianity, the first Americans were hardly role models for a new nation. The
evidence is more clearly on the side of losers and misfits, criminals, religious
whackos and opportunists than on the mythical oppressed. And, for the record,
there is no evidence whatever of settlers emigrating to America in search of
either "freedom" or "opportunity", at least not within the
current meaning of these words.
America is widely accepted, and indeed even prides
itself, on being a deeply Christian country, with 65% or more of the population
declaring religion important in their lives. This would be supported by
history, since the major migrations to the New World consisted of a long list
of flaky religious sects whose primary goal in emigration was the opportunity
to build a society entirely based on those isolationist and extremist heresies.
It is probably safe to say that Salem witchcraft was the seedbed in which the
peculiarly American version of Christian theology sprouted and flourished, and
which also served as a practical introduction to mass hysteria which would
later be so usefully applied to the concepts of patriotism and democracy. The
enduring echos of this religious ancestry have been highly influential in all
of subsequent American history.
The Preamble to the American Declaration of
Independence ("The most famous words in the English language", if
you're American; just another Hello Kitty greeting card, if you're not),
states: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all White Men were
created superior and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
Rights, the most important of which is slavery". In the recent history of the
modern world, only two nations of people have so thoroughly embraced slavery as
to have practiced it on an immense scale for hundreds of years: the Christians
in America and the Dalai Lamas in Tibet. And only these two groups so cherished
slavery in their hearts they fought a civil war over the right to maintain it.
It is hardly a moral selling point that both sets of racist bigots lost the war
and, while Mao cleaned up Tibet, the racism and bigotry persisted in America,
often violently, for another 200 years and is still widely in evidence today. Christian
virtue does not die easily.
Internationally, the American government and its
leaders function with an absolute amorality, driven primarily by their
commercial Darwinism, their law-of-the-jungle, might-makes-right philosophy.
Yet individually most Americans accept all this as somehow being righteous and
pleasing in the eyes of their god. The vast network of torture prisons, the
numerous governments overthrown, the countless brutal dictatorships installed
and supported, the commercial and military enslavement of so many populations,
the 8 to 10 million civilians massacred, the constant meddling in the internal
affairs of other nations, the so-frequent destabilisation of governments, the
plundering of the resources of so many nations. All of these are excused,
justified, forgiven, often praised, then quickly forgotten by these moral
Christians. Americans may be comfortable with all this cognitive dissonance,
but as Jiddu Krishnamurti aptly wrote, "It is no measure of health to be
well adjusted to a profoundly sick society".
Hypocrisy has always been a prominent, if not quite
endearing, feature of Americans, and especially of their government. It is
Americans who preach democracy and freedom at home while installing brutal
puppet dictators all over the world, who preach free trade at home while
practicing savage mercantilistic protectionism abroad. It is Americans who
espouse human rights at home while building the largest network of torture
prisons in the history of the world. And of course, preaching that human life
is precious at home while murdering millions in other nations in trumped-up
wars of liberation. It is only Americans who moan about "the appalling
loss of 5,000 American lives" in Iraq while killing one million Iraqis,
half of whom were children. It is only the Americans who use the CIA, NED,
USAID and the VOA to pay and prod individuals in other countries to create
internal political dissent, then condemn a government for cracking down on
"innocent dissidents". Maybe one day Americans will lose their stomach
for all this creation of worldwide instability and have another American
revolution. And not before time.
Most Americans are only dimly aware of their own
sordid past, a situation abetted by all the blank pages in the history books.
The portions of US history contained in these pages have mostly been excised
from the historical memory of Americans because they don't fit the mythical
narrative. Most Americans fervently believe their country was founded on God
and Christian virtue, liberty, democracy, human rights and free trade, but when
we dig beneath the propaganda and jingoism we discover the United States of
America was founded on religious extremism, racism, slavery, genocide, a brutal
imperialism and a virulently predatory strain of capitalism.
A significant number of these articles contain a
capsule history of the United States of America with selections that will not
be found in any history book, but that nevertheless consist of facts which are
not in dispute. From this point forward, ideology and reality will be in
constant conflict, presenting stark challenges to our uninformed beliefs.
Mr. Romanoff's writing has been translated
into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language
news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100
English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant
and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international
consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has
been a visiting professor at Shanghai's Fudan University, presenting case
studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in
Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to
China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney's
new anthology 'When
China Sneezes'. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ He
can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org