The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

“America’s Worst Enemy”?

| 10 Comments

I saw a tweet go by that referred to Putin as “America’s worst enemy.” My response seems to have generated some confusion, so let me try to clarify.

Whenever you talk about an enemy of America, or a friend of America, or American national interests, stop for a minute.

America, like every other country, indeed, every other thing whether social or natural, is a unity of opposites in conflict. Sometimes, for some purposes, the unity is what we want to consider, sometimes it is the conflict. When considering a confection that features sugar and lemon juice, I must be aware of the pieces and how they inter-relate if I want to prepare it right, but when it’s time to eat, what someone eats is the whole confection.

But we aren’t talking about a confection, or about sugar. We’re talking about a political entity, the United States of America, in 2016 (by one day). It is ruled by an elite group that runs it in the interests of maximizing their profit—this was true before Trump was elected, although he is certainly the most open, naked, vicious representative we’ve seen yet. When the talk is of “America’s interests” it is the interest of the 1%. It is not my interest, and it is not yours. My interests lie with those being overworked in Russia, repressed in Palestine, bombed and murdered in Syria and Libya and Iraq, and yes, exploited in Israel.

This is the lie—deliberately spread by union bureaucrats, politicians, and apologists for capitalism—that permits so many to accept not only the bombing of children in the middle east, but tries to explain the under-employment crisis in terms of competition with workers in other countries, which serves to derail and misdirect the struggle here that could actually fight for decent wages.

A “traitor to America” is a traitor to the ruling elite. “America’s interests” are the interests of the ruling elite. This does not mean that any “traitor to America” is necessarily doing something good, but it means whenever you use phrases like “national interests” without questioning them, you are simply accepting at face value the biggest lie of all. “What’s good for General Motors is good for America” is only true if by “America” you mean Wall Street. This is what President Obama meant at the post-election press conference when he referred to the election as an “intramural scrimmage.” As far as he and his class is concerned, that is, indeed, all it was. How about, as we fight through the question of how best to organize against Trump, we begin by rejecting the fundamental assumption that living within certainly artificial geographical boundaries somehow means we have the same interests as anyone else living within those boundaries. We don’t.

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

10 Comments

  1. That’s always been how treason and heresy are defined. And that’s why they are considered the ultimate crimes – because the king and the bishop define them that way.

  2. For the record, I wasn’t confused by your post. Guess that means I’ve got my eye on the ball 🙂

  3. Hear, hear. All my life I have been baffled by the notion that I should care less about people dying in foreign countries than my own. Especially when the same people who tell me that tell me America is a Christian nation and all life has intrinsic value. The dissonance is staggering.

    It is, indeed, generally in my interests that my geographic region propspers. It is not in my interest that it does so by infuriating other regional potentates or devaluing human labor, human worth, or human dignity. Anyone who can so devalue others can do the same to me, when my turn comes.

    My enemies are all those who devalue humankind. My allies are those who look at someone other than themselves and ask how they can help. Everyone else is sonewhere in between.

  4. skzb

    “My enemies are all those who devalue humankind. My allies are those who look at someone other than themselves and ask how they can help.” Hear, hear.

  5. “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” -Thomas Paine

  6. That’s one of the things that is so cunning about the CIA. They get to deceive, disrupt, destroy, overthrow, and murder, and all done in secret. Legal as long as it is done in “the national interest.” Definition of “the national interest?” However the CIA defines it.

    It appears that JFK figured out that the CIA was running amok, and could never be controlled. So he privately announced plans to break up the agency and scatter its duties to multiple agencies in the four winds, thus greatly diluting its power. That was in the fall of 1963.

  7. Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.
    The more things change…

  8. Agnotology the study of the deliberate spread of ignorance. Interesting article and very apt in the current environment.

  9. I had the misfortune of watching several hours of CNN this weekend (long story). That network is beating the hell out of the “Russia hacked the U.S. election” story.

    They are running a seemingly endless parade of “US Intelligence Experts” to bemoan Trump’s refusal to cowtow to the current intelligence community’s consensus.

    It’s totally relentless. I wonder if the MSM has marching orders to prime the public for some kind of big move against Russia?

  10. Kragar:I think it is a case of using any tool at hand to beat the opposition of the moment (opposition would be Trump in this case). Interestingly, CNN is rushing to give Trump credit for defeating the Repub’s attempt to get rid of ethic’s oversite.
    The MSM as you term it is much less organized than you seem to think. “Oooh, a squirrel!”, is much more their current mode of operation than a coherent policy.

Leave a Reply