The 4th of July and You

Last night I was planning on releasing a video to YouTube talking about the 4th of July and our country’s addiction to nationalism. However after doing two takes of the video I soon realized that it was turning out to be rather hateful and kind of missing the point. While I normally do not mind being hateful and missing the point (especially on YouTube where this is truly what the audience craves) I just could not get into being that way once again. America, Fuck Yeah!

So instead I figure I will just throw some words in my blog to see how that makes me feel.

As we all go to celebrate the birth of our now fairly old nation please keep in mind some of the lessons we learned from history. Over the past year many people have been bringing up socialism due to Bernie Sanders and his campaign to be president of our country. Obviously much of the talk about socialism comes from the type of people who  have never read a book before but since they are a majority of our country it is still something that needs to be addressed (as opposed to my normal reaction to people who choose to be ignorant, which is to ignore them.)

The talk I am referring to was people expressing how Hitler was a socialist so therefore socialism must be evil. Clearly this is a bad argument to begin with but also very perplexing as we live in a socialist country ourselves.

Somehow a large group of people in our country have totally missed the lesson they were supposed to learn about World War II. Instead they have come to the conclusion that Hitler’s desire to build roads and provide welfare to his people (his CHOSEN people to be more specific) was somehow the thing that he did that was evil. The thing I took away from studying World War II was that committing genocide was the thing he did that was evil.

Do people think that Hitler’s desire for social programs was what fueled his genocidal fervor? Is it not much more likely it was the other thing he was known for, his nationalism?

Nationalism at its core is the idea that a group of people will band together to have pride in themselves, specifically a nation of people. Usually this results in that group of people also thinking they are better than those not included in that group. In Nazi Germany it was the German people feeling nationalist pride that led them to believe that the Jewish population was the enemy that had to be eliminated. Nationalism was the tool that Hitler used to convince an entire country to comply with his insane machinations.

So the thing I think we all should have taken away from that is that nationalism is something to be avoided in order to stop ourselves from falling into that pitfall again. As a country we have unfortunately fallen victim to our pride too many times. Whether it be burning witches, lynching people, rounding up a large ethnic group and putting them into concentration camps, eliminating an indigenous population or just jailing those with differing political beliefs we have a record of letting nationalism convince us to hurt those that live within our own country. That is not even mentioning how pride in america has convinced so many that killing children overseas is something we should definitely be doing.

When you are out today eating your hot dogs, drinking your beer and blowing shit up. Just try to remember the danger of inflating a nation’s ego.

Respect is Earned

Let me start by saying that I am anti-war, anti-murder and anti-killing-in-general. So obviously I am not a typical American. I know that the idea of not killing people is pretty extreme given the culture we live in. Don’t let that stop you from reading this. I know I am some sort of crazy pacifist but maybe I can give you something to think about, or at least something you can be pissed off about later.

Given that I am against violence I think that my opinions are not really that far out there. However, I never really see people talking about this all that much because I guess it is rather taboo. Then again, this is the internet and what is it for if not for bringing taboo things out in the open. So here we go.

I do not have any respect for people that choose a career that consists of bringing violence to others and sometimes killing them. Yes, I am talking about soldiers. I know it is very ‘wrong’ to say anything even slightly against soldiers. I just do not get that. Why does this group of people automatically get respect for doing something that I am morally opposed to? It doesn’t add up to me.

I suppose there was a time in this country when serving in the military meant you were willing to give your life to defend this country. I actually wish that was still what our military was about. Unfortunately our military is not about national defense, and has not been for some time. I know that some of you will disagree with that. For those that do think our military is about national defense I want you to think about all of our latest military operations, list them out and then put a check next  to each one that was pivotal in defending our shores. The last great war was 70 years ago, yet we have not stopped killing people overseas since.

 So today we have people who sign up for the military, and we are supposed to applaud them for their courage. They are possibly facing their own deaths,  and I am sure that does take quite a bit of courage. I know that I certainly could not muster the strength to send myself to war, so I will give them the courage card. Is that what we are supposed to respect them for? I have a hard time accepting that. We don’t respect everybody who sacrifices their own lives for a cause. If we did we would have to give the same respect we give to soldiers to suicide bombers or cultists who drink poisoned kool-aid. Yet we do not.  Why is that? Usually it is because we do not agree with the cause that they support.

 

When it comes to terrorists we do not agree with the cause of killing random people in the United States. When it comes to soldiers I do not agree with the cause of killing random people over seas. Yet I am expected to automatically support the people who do agree with that second cause.

 

That is precisely what I don’t get. I look at human life as valuable and in that context war and terrorism are so similar that when you stand back and look at the whole picture you can barely tell them apart. One is despised with horror and the other is respected with honor. I know that the world will never make sense to me because I am probably totally insane. If killing people is wrong, then how am I supposed to respect people that make a career out of killing people? I think about this often and imagine I cannot be the only person that sees a problem with all of this. Yet I never see people talk about it. So there you have it. I do not like violence or death, and I have no respect for those that choose to bring things such as that to the world.