“To keep going our present ideal of an industrial plutocracy we must continue to have war. We have to keep scaring the sheep. A politician today is that man among men who can scare them the worst and huddle them the fastest and the most, managing that way to get almost anything out of them.” -Frank Lloyd Wright in a speech given May 20, 1949 in Biloxi, MS
I periodically like to review the nation’s military history. To do the same, here’s a list of our wars and conflicts. It’s a lonnnnnnggggg list, and growing longer by the day.
People say we need to remove the money from politics. While that’s true, it seems more accurate to say we need to remove the profit from war. If we could manage that, many of our domestic ills could then be addressed. But the reality is we won’t manage it without a complete realignment of our priorities, and the structures that support them.
We like to believe our own rhetoric and refer to ourselves the greatest nation on earth. We’re not. We’re but the latest incarnation of imperial greed, bound to fail as Britian, France, Spain and ancient Rome failed. Imperialism is not a sustainable practice. The aftermath of our pending failure in this endeavor could mean utter darkness, or it could mean a new enlightenment.
People also talk about how we’re in the midst of an internal culture war (and have been for decades). That’s correct. And this internal battle is for our collective soul; therefore, its outcome is imperative to our future as a nation. I believe most Americans are good people, but we’re also an easily confused people with little sense of our own history. To stop the confusion, we need to shut off the TV and read. It may not sound like fun, but knowledge is freedom.
If you’d like to take my word for it and crack an important book, I can think of none better than Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Every concerned American can benefit greatly from this book, as it details in plain English what this country is all about.