I hate to tell you guys this, but part of what made it easy for the vile progs to take over education and turn it into the sort of brainwashing hate-your-own-country fest that you’d expect of occupiers trying to change the very essence of the country they took over, is an essential component of the national character.
As far as I can tell, ever since the Puritans formed the Mayflower compact, Americans have been obsessed with self-help and self-improvement, not just as a people, but as a nation.
As a nation, we are forever obsessed with making ourselves better, more just, more welcoming, more prosperous, more…. everything.
“But doesn’t every nation do that?” you ask. Uh… not really. Not so you’d notice it. Oh, sure, you hear a lot of blather about “restoring the great glory of the nostrilian people” and whatever, but mostly what that means is not an effort at internal transformation, but more a “get in our neighbors’ faces and saber rattle, so they acknowledge how we’ve always been superior to them and full of sparklies.”
(And no, “making America great again” is not of that order. It mostly is — like every other program of self improvement America embarks on, about changing our own fundamentals and how we operate, but now with more of a return to “things Marxists hate” like border security and actual pride in who we are (no more apology tours is not the same as getting in the neighbors’ faces and saber rattling. Okay, the elites think it is, but I think we’ve established both here and in Europe that the elites are dangerously abroad, and I mean that in every possible sense.))
I think it’s because of who we are. Who we are as a nation, in the sense that we were founded on an idea and documents that affix that idea. Look, yeah, other countries have constitutions (it’s a thing. We’re the cool kids they all want to imitate) but most of them were countries and peoples before the constitution, and they’re just trying to be cool. (Though apparently one of my ancestresses was enthralled with the first Portuguese constitution, which, like the Magna Carta gave subjects some rights. The things I learn when I’m talking to my dad.) Also, who we are as individuals, because most of us are descended from people who left everything behind to seek a new beginning, or did so ourselves. This means as human beings (remember we’re social Great Apes) we’re fairly weird already, and genetically as well as culturally that “Seek a better life” probably remains part of us.
All of this is fine, of course. No, it’s actually more than fine. It’s great and makes us who we are to a great extent, and a vexation and confusion onto all the other nations.
Though frankly we also don’t understand them at any sort of fundamental level. Those of us like me who grew up elsewhere are like voices that preach in the desert saying things like “other nations are not like us” but most of the great mass of people has no clue. I quote this incident a lot, because at the time it made me choke with laughter and tears, but one of the idiots going to serve as human shields for Saddam actually said on television that Iraq could not have weapons of mass destruction, since it couldn’t even provide clean water for its people. Apparently the idea that other nations/peoples have different priorities is completely foreign to most people. They should read PJ O’Rourke’s description of traveling by train in Siberia, where not only were there not enough bathrooms for even half the passengers, but the floor was raised to keep in the effluvia should someone throw up (or piss) on the floor. Because one of the characteristics of dictatorships is that they don’t give a good g*ddamn what the people they rule over think or want.
The problem with not understanding other countries is that we also don’t see where we are different. Which means we don’t realize the dark side of our thirst for self improvement.
Frankly, for chest beating, self-blaming, screaming about our defects to all and sundry and generally giving people abroad the idea we’re much worse than the hell holes they inhabit, NO ONE can beat the US. Oh, okay, fine, Israel comes close and ancient Israel was about as “good” at it as we are (EVERY defeat was blamed on their having fallen short of G-d’s expectations. And maybe it was true, but it’s not how any other country then or now reacts.) England can at times be very self blamey. But that’s about it.
Even compared with our Western peers (not France, because la Belle France always knows it’s better and superior to any other form of human civilization. I mean, really) we are like the bolemic girl damaging her health with self-blame, while her peers just, now and then, go on a diet.
This made it trivially easy for the progressives who were by and large taken over by Russian agit-prop by the middle twentieth century to take over our schools and the minds of our kids and by misdirection turn us into self-enemies convinced that the US is the worst nation on Earth.
Take slavery. Please. We certainly don’t want it, and we’re one of the nations on Earth that has eradicated it as thoroughly as it can be eradicated from human society. We fought a war and died in great numbers to eradicate it.
It had, of course, been a point of self-blame from the beginning. Our constitution, based on the Natural Rights of men leaves no space for it. That it was allowed to subsist past the founding was a real politik decision forced on the founders, one without which we would not have existed as a nation. Which doesn’t make it right, but makes it… understandable.
The other thing that makes it understandable is that slavery is an old sin of mankind. It probably existed amid hominid groups. (I’m not going to say it exists among great apes. I have a vague memory of having read an article saying it did, but it’s too long ago, and I can’t remember where, besides the fact that this “animal observation” studies are often wrong.) It is, in the end, just an outgrowth of the “band” structure of great apes, in which the leader has the power of life and death over all around him.
Slavery both hooks into the really bad parts of humans, those that want to control others and treat them as things, and in pre-industrial societies where there is a lot more boring, unpleasant or outright dangerous work than anyone today can even imagine (I remember articles about the horrors of working assembly line. Your ancestors would have LAUGHED at those), slavery is often the way this is solved, by having people who can’t refuse to do such work.
In industrial societies, such as in the parts of the middle East and Africa where slavery subsists, it’s just because humans can be twisted and horrible, at least if they don’t make an effort to be otherwise.
However, your children likely think that America invented slavery to oppress black people, which makes America uniquely racist and uniquely evil and a terrible place that needs to atone for sins in the world.
I don’t really have the time or the inclination to go look up the dates of the abolition of slavery, but not only wasn’t America the last, slavery subsists in some countries today.
Then there is the racism thing. Oh, PLEASE. Americans don’t even GET racism in other countries, where often different ethnic variants OF THE SAME PEOPLE are considered wholly different races. And for Americans looking at them (including the country I came from) they all look like cousins to each other (and no, that’s not racism. It’s just that America has greater genetic variety and we get used to it. Watching the Portuguese gymnastics team while I was visiting my parents, I realized for the first time how much everyone there looks… related. Even what I used to see as pale blonds aren’t blonds. Really.)
And if you go back and examine every place that there was a racial minority, I believe the normal reaction of the majority is to kill them (eating them is optional, though it happened in a lot of places.)
But because Americans still feel guilty over compromising their own principles over slavery, people from countries with far-worse histories can feel superior to us. Well, if we weren’t that bad, why would we be beating our chests so hard? And people who hate us (some of them our very own indoctrinated brethren) can use our guilt to brow beat us and turn our children’s loyalties away from us.
Take that “our founding fathers owned slaves”. To anyone who knows any history that is “So they were men of their time and fairly wealthy? Okay then.” Sure, it went against their own stated principles, but in a society in which slavery is actually part and parcel of the fabric of society, freeing your own slaves might not be practical or even really possible, due to contracts, obligations, and other such constraints.
The fact that such men could DREAM of a society without classes and without slavery is what is a miracle, not that they were flawed human beings and men of their time. Judged by that standard, I’m afraid the future will see us as vastly inferior to those 18th century men.
So — what to do?
I’m not saying America should stop trying to improve. I do not think that is even possible, given the makeup, genetic and constitutional, of this country.
But we must always remember the past is another country (and other countries are other countries, too, and not just America with cooler food and interesting clothes.) Declaring a moratorium on judging our own past, and taking it as writ that the founders and everyone else who made us were men (and women) of their time (it is, for instance, probably inappropriate to judge people like FDR on their eugenics beliefs or the belief that a command economy was best. It was what was in the air at the time. It hadn’t been proven otherwise, as it has now.) Perhaps it is a good time to think of it as “judge not, lest you be judged” and we just need to stride forward doing the best we can.
Beating our chest is not what is important. Building a better future is.
Teach your children well.
Then get out there and build. The funny image in the mirror is just that, projected there by neurotics and the enemies who manipulate them.
We are, flaws and all, the last best hope of mankind. Keep it so.