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Why is America Great?

Controversial Content
Added: Sunday, November 20th 2016 at 11:48am by ill-mind

Why is America Great?

I am a natural Leftist of the Old School: Marx, Lenin, Gramsci. And as such I have to side with those who voted for Trump in the nightmarish election just passed. That does not mean that I am in any way a supporter of Trump. It means that in this election I sided with the White Proletariat — those dispossessed of security and stability by industrial decline and globalisation, those decried, derided and ignored by Republicans and Democrats alike. I am for the underdog. Always.

Trump has captured their votes by understanding what it was they needed to hear and then telling it to them. And true to the nature of the class that gave him birth, his fundamental greed and his crass stupidity, means that he will betray them. And in the doing of it he might, he just might, prove to be the catalyst that opens the eyes of American workers to the deceits perpetrated against them since at least the end of WWI.

One of those deceits is that aspect of modern Capitalism’s cultural hegemony (hello Lenin, hello Gramsci) that states that wealth, in and of itself, is a marker of the ‘greatness’ of a Nation. It is certainly a fundamental marker of, if not the sole foundation of, Trump’s definition of the ‘greatness’ of his America.

Never once, throughout the whole of his campaign, was he asked to make clear what it was thought made America ‘great’. Neither was his opponent, La Belle Dame sans Merci, Clinton.

What of her definition of America’s ‘greatness’? It can be nothing more than America’s ability and willingness to intervene in the lives of other Nations in pursuit of whatever, at any given moment, comprised her definition of the ‘good’.

Whether that was the political ‘good’ of her philandering and ridiculous husband (as in relation to Haiti in 1994, where she opposed intervention because it could only add to his then political woes); or Iraq, in 2002, where she enthusiastically supported invasion in order to ensure Bush was in the strongest possible position to wage war.

Or in Pakistan, during her tenure as Secretary of State, where her opposition to Obama’s drone wars was made manifest only by its absence; or Libya, in 2011, where her definition of the ‘good’ was, simply, the ‘national interests’ of Britain and France, (they were, after all, our good buddies) and the almost inconsequential consideration that Regime change in Libya could only be good for the Libyan people, under the so-called ‘principle of R2P’ — the ‘right to protect’, which lead to the ludicrous situation in which we killed Libyans in order to prevent Libyans from killing Libyans.

Really? Really?

Clinton would have lead us into war on the basis of a vague, diffuse and inconsistent morality that amounts to no more than ‘oh they’re being mean to babies. Let’s go kill them’ (not caring how many babies ‘we’ killed in the process). Trump will lead us into war in the simple furtherance of his greed and on behalf of the idea that those own the country should (continue to) run the country.

And neither of these grotesque positions has anything to do with the true greatness of America.

As any fool ought to know, America is a political experiment, perhaps the greatest and strangest political experiment there has ever been. The fact that it is deeply flawed and fallible in practice takes not one whit away from its greatness in principle. It is the sole representative and exemplar of the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, an English thinker of the Seventeenth Century, who argued that political peace and stability could only be achieved by the erection of a Sovereign Power. All those who wished to live in peace and security would consent to be ruled by this Sovereign, whom they themselves had created by an act of pure political will.

The creation of the Constitution of the United States of America is the single solitary example of such an act of political will in the history of human civilization.

It is this act of will, in conjunction with the idea that America is a Nation of Laws, founded on law and governed by law, that constitutes the greatness of America. It is this idea, that all citizens are equal before the law, that even the wealthiest and most powerful can and will be held to account before the law, that has drawn millions to America throughout its brief history.

The fact that this idea is far more often honored in the breach than in the observance is neither here nor there. The idea exists and continues to exert an existential magnetism that cannot be denied.

It is this magnetism, this weight, that will undo the bigotry, the asinine stupidity, of the coming rule of the buffoon, the murderous clown, Trump. Real resistance to that rule can only be based on another idea that is singular to the American experiment: that citizen qua citizen is absolutely equal and no distinction in law can be made between them.

Black, White, Yellow, Red, Green with Little Pink Polka Dots; homosexual, heterosexual, or some tiny shard of the newly emergent array of sexual preference and practice: what is granted to one citizen, as a citizen, is granted to all citizens. It is on this foundation alone that the American people can stand in resistance to the horrors of bigotry and inequality that are to come.

As I have said, I think Trump to be a catalyst. And catalysts often cause violent reactions. Whether America survives his Presidency in its current form is a matter open to debate.

I hope not. I hope America, as a consequence of what is to come, transforms itself into a Nation that much more closely approximates to its ideals and its aspirations, that it becomes a Nation, and a people, worthy to be held up as an example to the world.

But I confess, I have my doubts.

User Comments

summary, Trump is the way to another new form of America.  Time, as I often say, will tell what the new form will be.

Catalysts often remove toxins also. Just a thought. It is why many on road auto's have them.     Many toxins in our government and in the White House

Re American greatness in global affairs; though rather long, this classroom video is worth watching...


Some people can't see it but we have been a laughing stock to the world for a long, long time. North Vietnam kicked our butts and Leftists geered the military, calling them "baby killers". Then Iran sacked our embassy and kicked our butts. In fact, the term "paper tiger" has been used so much even the Russians don't take us seriously anymore. Foreign countries look at us and call us fat and lazy. al Qaeda looks at us and calls us "The Great Satan." Nobody who has any respect for us would ever do that.

Plus, we've had a lot of problems internally. We've had the recession, and unemployment, and businesses and factories moving their operations overseas. A lot of companies have downsized or gone out of business. In the cities we've had gang related crime, homelessness, child pornography, and prostitution. And I think that's what Trump is getting at when he says we need to "Make America Great Again."

We need to turn things around. We need to make trade deals that are good for the country; good for jobs and good for industry. We need to keep factories operating and we need to keep industry on our shores. We need to make owning a home and keeping a full-time job a reality.  So what we really do need, folks, is to make America great again which translates to more productive, more secure and more focused on building a brighter future.

Good luck with that. Because Trump is going to sell you, everyone who thinks like you, and everyone who voted for him, straight down the river. Why? Because he's a billionaire, and billionaires don't give a damn about you. They do, however, care about maximising profit while reducing cost. Which means no new mass employment.

No new coal mines. No new steel mills. No new shipyards. No new employment for the little people. No new anything, in fact. Just more of the same: the same lies, the same excuses, the same scapegoats (Muslims, immigrants, wimminfolks).

Those who voted for that bloated oaf in a bad suit and a worse comb-over are about to experience the greatest political disillusionment in American history. Which is exactly what needs to happen because perhaps the American working class will wake up, smell the coffee, and finally destroy the rule oligarchs, plutocrats and other assorted parasites.

Vive la revolution, baby.

I guess we'll just see about that, won't we?

Like there is a better country with better solutions? name some

Oh there is no better country, anywhere on Earth. Here even the destitute live like Princes, you go dumpster diving here and you can live on the castoffs of the Masters of the Universe, live as only royalty live anywhere else.

You know that the most potent military forces that have ever existed throughout human history protect you, that the likelihood of your having to flee invasion, become a refugee in your own country, be displaced by the encroachment of a foreign power on your home soil, is zero to nil.

On the streets, do you see children that have had limbs hacked off in order to make them more successful beggars? No. Nor will you.

We live in the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever known, and there is absolutely no better place to be on the surface of the Earth.

And all we have to do in order to make it perfect is kill the rich.

Why yes. And with any luck the treachery of the People's Hero will finally open eyes that have been too long closed and the American people will rise up and slaughter all those who believe themselves to be kings over them.

There are no kings in America. There never again will be kings in America.

"And all we have to do in order to make it perfect is kill the rich."

That's funny. All I thought we had to do was join them.

Good luck with that.

Try. You'll find that it's much, much harder than it was.

Why is America great?

Because they have got autonomous robots which can kick any Nation's ass on the battlefield.

That is my opinion anyway.

Then I have to say that you are truly stupid. If I were President I'd put you and all your kind against any convenient wall and blow your brains out - and then hold your ruined corpse up to the American people as a perfect exemplar of what is meant by 'civics'.

Some people are too stupid to be allowed to breathe. You're one of them.

If you were President??? Make an example of me for having an opinion?

Or is it make an example of me for expressing it?

If I were President... If I were King of America... Both scenarios are so unlikely to come to pass that they hardly bear mention. But if you think that the greatness of America is dependant on the technology it commands you are, as I said, too stupid to be allowed to breathe. Alas, as things are, you're allowed to hold an opinion. You're allowed to express that opinion. And, in response, I'm allowed to say that you should be put against a wall and shot for doing so.

I'm not a fan of democracy, never have been. And while I try to be civil to all, I'm not a fan of 'civil liberties' either, they being nothing but an excuse for pleading the merits of any given 'special case'.

There are no special cases. There are citizens, and non-citizens, nothing else. Citizens have rights and obligations. Non-citizens have nothing. And all citizens are subject to the authority of the State. And if the State says that you will die, then die you will.

Why? Because the State alone endures beyond the lifespan of the petty, parochial, interests of its citizens and the State alone stands above those petty interests and is able to arbitrate between them for the good of all.

Don't believe me? Then I suggest you read Machiavelli. And Hegel. Familiarity with Marx and Hobbes wouldn't hurt, either.

In other words, get an education before you inflict your ineffable ignorance upon me.

I should read blah blah blah, and blah blah blah - LOL

Yea. And while we are on the subject of history lessons and constitutions.

You should consider revising about Charles 1st, and while you are about it you might also want to revise about King Louis 16th - LOL

L'etat, c'est moi. And I'm entirely familiar with the fates of Charles I (the English killed him) and Louis XVI (the French killed him). But guess what? The State, which cannot be personated or embodied in an individual, continued to develop and remains in existence at this time.

So your point is what? That revolutions occur? Yes they do. And they are then co-opted into the State which abides.

As I said, you are an idiot.

England and France really exist?

Aren't the located in Paris?  


(hehe, inside joke for those of you who wouldn't understand.)

THEY, not the.

arggh.  It's early, my love.

They are most certainly in Paris. Unlike God, who is happily selling used tires in north eastern Ohio.

LoU is alive and well in Painesville.


I thought this deserved a bump at this time.   My husband wrote this 4 years ago.  I may repost the entire thing on my own blog, where it will get more traffic.

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