America: The Proposition Nation(s)
What it means to be American...and Post-American
"America is a proposition nation, not one built on blood & soil?"
"So as long as you accept the values and principles of America, you are American?"
"So if you reject the principles of America, even if you're here, you aren't American?"
"Now hold on just a minute there buddy"
Whether or not America was founded as a blood & soil nation is irrelevant. If it was ever meant to be a blood & soil nation, that nation disappeared a long time ago. We live in "America as proposition nation" times.
The problem we must now deal with is whether we believe America is a nation at all, or if we are nothing more than a glorified strip mall for international Capital run by hostile elites. We have been reduced to mere consumers instead of citizens, and our chief moral imperative is to be optimally productive and to consume just the right amount to keep the machine going. Unfortunately, the machine was never designed for you and I. It was designed by, and for, the elites who plunder this country.
If America is to be a unified country in any sense, let alone a unified nation, there must be some set of shared values. A kind of mutual respect and understanding for basic core values. But these values cannot be vague and simply emotionally potent. If "freedom" is to count as a shared value, groups of people cannot disagree on what "freedom" means. Then it isn't a shared value. How do you expect half the country to take "equal opportunity" seriously if it means excluding white kids? It should come as no surprise that civics have declined alongside our social fabric tearing apart. I will not propose a causal direction or priority between those two, but there is a relationship.
The United States is an internal empire, ruled by an imperial capitol with enough security forces to keep the component nations from tearing each other apart...so far. It cannot be underestimated how much of our background values are shaped by the atrocities of the 20th century and our societal aim to never repeat them. Inclusivity is a moral imperative because to deny it is to open the door for the 20th century and its horrors to be repeated. A noble aim, but one that has the unfortunate result of suppressing natural societal dynamics to the point where it may cause its own atrocities.
If we are incapable of coming up with shared values, or if the divides are intractable, then the American project has reached its conclusion in everything but name. Whatever is left must be considered "Post-American." We are a spiritually exhausted empire. Whatever unique drive that we had, whatever vigor, it is gone. Sublimated into endless bureaucracy and spectacle. America died long ago.
I have beat the drum of alternative institutions and parallel societies repeatedly. I will do so again. You must build Post-American institutions. Institutions resilient and durable enough to withstand onslaughts from Blue Empire. All while doing your best to fight back against the "American" institutions that can now only be considered hostile to you. I am personally working on a set of projects with the aim to help small groups of parents engage in homeschooling/pod-schooling/neighborhood-schooling. We can all do something similar.
Despair is easy. But there can be no despair. There is only the work that must be done. Godspeed to us all.
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