THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 522, June 7, 2009
"They sense that the Age of Authority is over"
Never Let Anyone Tell Your Story for You
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
Some years ago a historian told me, "Never let anyone tell your story for you." He didn't explain, but he didn't have to: I instinctively knew the unstated rest of his comment: "Because if you do, they will destroy your culture. They will destroy the myths and rites and rituals that hold it together. They'll destroy your community, and the meaning and importance that supports it."
I was reminded of this saying when a friend, very much a history buff himself, told me he had read the textbook given his 16-year-old son in his Advanced Placement history class in high school. He had expected to tear the book apart, but found, to his amazement, that it was a very accurate text. He said the author had even put the word "neocon" in quotes, suggesting, quite correctly, they are neither new nor conservative.
The reason my friend thought he was going to shred the book is because he had read the textbook given to the non-AP students. It was terrible, he told me, so terrible he visited the principal to complain about it, because he wanted it removed.
He gave to me as an example the fact the book listed how many Japanese were interned in the U.S. during WWII, and how many Jews were killed in every country in Europe, but did not list how many Americans were killed in the War between the States, World War I, World War II, or Vietnam.
When my friend asked the principal what percentage of Americans died in Japanese POW camps in WWII (an easy-to-remember 50%), the principal, whose Ph.D. was in Psychology (which I consider a worthless degree) did not know. He had heard of Audie Murphy was but had never heard of Dick Bong.
The principal also told my friend he was the first parent to come into his office to complain about a textbook.
I decided years ago the way to destroy a culture is to take over education, the government, the media, and the churches, and attack the dominant culture. Bit by bit it can be destroyed. It's letting your enemies tell your story for you, And without stories about themselves, and a history, they are really no people at all.
There are two main institutions I see as enemies of the United States: Hollywood, and Washington, D,C., and the schools that support D.C.: Harvard, Princeton, Yale. D.C. is the home of the genocidal behemoth that is the federal government, and Hollywood is home to every possible imaginable perversion,
The people who live in these two placesthe East and West Coastsrefer to everything inbetween them as Flyover Landthe main purpose of which is to produce cannon fodder for D.C.'s wars. I consider it the Real America, and see Hollywood and D.C. as trying to destroy this America and impose their "culture" on it,
Here's an example: when Michael Medved writes a book called Hollywood vs. America, he's not really talking about Hollywood vs. America, even though I'm sure he thinks he is. Medved supports the wars in Afghanistan and Iraqthe America Empire. He supports D.C. against Hollywood, and tries to convince people the "real America" supports the U.S.'s current wars for oil, empire, and Israel. In his world, the Real America supports D.C. Indeed, the Real America is D.C.
The culture that D.C. wishes to impose on America is one in which everyone is "patriotic" and supports its endless wars to "improve" the world. I am reminded of the sayings of both Jesus and Aesop: all tyrants call themselves benefactors.
This culture in D.C. claims we are the Good Guys under attack by the Evil Ones who wish to Do Us In, and will stop at nothing to acheive their goal. Anyone who believes otherwise, in this worldview, is unpatriotic and indeed a traitor. That's the "culture" that D.C. tries to impose on the U.S.
That "us vs. them" mentality reminds me of a comment by Hermann Goering: "All you have to do is to tell them [the public] they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Hollywood, on the other hand, tries to impose on America a worldview which is anti-white male and pro-anyone-who-isn't-white-male. To it the worst place in the U.S. is the South, which is full gun nuts, ranting Bible thumpers, and people who pine for the good ol' days of the KKK.
Holllywood seems to think everyone in Flyover Land is almost exactly the same. I once saw a movie in which the villainous banker is a small Illinois town wore a cowboy hat and a string tie, had a Texan accent, and listened to horrid country music. Such people don't exist in Illinois, a state in which I was born and spent many years.
But to Hollywood, a Texan is a Midwesterner is a Southerner. Almost all the same; there is almost no difference. Only the East and West Coasts really count. Flyover Land is peopled with....who knows exactly what?
Hollywood and D.C. have succeeded so well with their Gramscian march through the institutions and their capturing the culture that many Americans now have little understanding of the original beliefs on which this country was foundedthat of small government, decentralization, freedom, and a military to protect the country, not create an Empire.
How many people these days have heard of the America First Committee, which attempted to keep the U.S. out of WWII? Charles Lindbergh, anyone? Hello? 800,000 members, 135,000 in Illinois alone?
Find anyone in D.C.,or Hollywood, or any grade school, middle school, high school, or college, who knows about this committee. You will find only a handful of people.
I wonder how many Southerners these days know about the Southern Agrarians, with their critiques of what is essentially materialist and mercantilist Yankee culture? Or that the main proponent today is the 74-year-old poet and novelist Wendell Berry, who is currently fighting the blowing up of mountain tops in his native Kentucky by coal companies?
Berry also said, "We'd be nothing without stories." He's right about that. It reminds me of something Ray Bradbury said: "Metaphors are the center of life." Any story that truly resonate with us has to be metaphorical, which is essentially the manipulation of images.
Everyone needs myths to live by.
I define "myths" as "the stories that give meaning and structure to life." The French theorist Jacques Rancière calls them a "dominant fiction," society's ideological "reality," a way that society uses images and stories to give members a social structure, a consensus in how they identify themselves.
People need these myths, and will have them, even if they claim they don't have them and don't need them These mythic beliefs give order, meaning, importance, and community to people's lives.
Even libertarians have them. I've know libertarians who are believers in such "myths" as Techno-Paganism, Discordianism, Objectivism, and various forms of German Neo-Paganism such as Asatru and Odinism. Some have gone so far as to worship the free market itself, including such non-free-market corporate mercantilist entities as Wal-Mart, and believe harmony (perhaps even Utopia) will flow from everyone in the world being united in their desire for McMansions, SUVs, and big-screen plasma TVs.
This (always non-existent) Utopia will never happen, because people with other cultures, in other countries, don't want foreigners telling their stories for them, and trying to destroy their myths, and impose other, unwanted ones on them. The U.S. government is trying that today. and before them, for some 300 years, the British.
The people who believe in the various myths I listed are trying to come up with a history, and something to believe in, because their original beliefs have been destroyed by D.C. and Hollywoodby those who have captured the culture. Who have captured education, the media, the government, religion.
Since many people don't like what this country has turned into, they are rebelling and seeking new beliefs to live by, It's a reaction to the imposition of cultures they don't like. It's a fascinating thing.
People are going to have to take back their culture, to tell them own stories, to not let others do it for them. That means taking back the schools, the media, the churches, the government. It will, unfortunately, take a generation or morethe same length of time it took to lose everything.