Never before in history has the US government been so openly predatorial, yet the American people have never been more apathetic to foreign conflict. Anti-war activism was a central tenant of American leftism since its inception. But, nowadays, it seems like people are more concerned with transgender rights and other issues that only affect a small minority of people. Most Americans know very little about what is going on outside America. In many ways, millennials are more informed and more caring than their elders, but, in terms of knowledge of the world abroad, they are no improvement. They speak as if talk of other countries bores them. When I mention foreign policy while in the midst of a political discussion with liberals and leftists, I feel as though I’ve committed some social faux pas. Antifa is quick to protest and de-platform Milo Yiannoupolis, The Proud Boys and other racists, but war criminals like Henry Kissinger are allowed to walk the streets freely.
Some of this is a result of people being far removed from foreign policy; its effects are not staring you in the face on a daily basis. When you have one governing body overseeing 330 million people, there is also a massive disconnect between Washington’s policy and main street America; people feel like they can’t effect change, and they’re mostly right. But if a majority of the country were to get on the same page, change is hypothetically possible. We could do a general strike or a march on Washington. We could all stop voting for neoliberals.
But more important than the unaccountable government is the lack of interest. It is a malignant cultural disease, infecting all demographics and regions. It’s a failure of the education system, but only to a degree. Some of the most educated people throughout history received very little schooling. The key is to have intellectual curiosity. I don’t think this is something you’re born with; it’s a habit that you learn that is hopefully reinforced by your environment. If more people pick up the habit, even more people will learn it from them. If you grow up around people who only talk about simple, unimportant issues, you may not develop intellectual curiosity.
I went into depth about what I think are the reasons for the death of the anti-war movement in America in an article last year. To summarize, I think it largely has to do with the rise of identity politics, reality TV, social media and computer games, as well as the destruction of the average attention span. Now I’m going to talk more about what we should do to combat it.
Remember, if you are appalled by the institutionalized mass-murder that your country commits around the world everyday, you are sane; you have a healthy mind. Everyone else’s minds have been rendered defective by the social engineering they have been subjected to since they were toddlers. Never feel guilty. If you talk about these things, people will resent you. In the worst of cases, if you live in a red state where Fox News is the word of God, your family may stop speaking to you. You will make a lot of people uncomfortable. But that’s their problem.
Mention the genocide in Yemen often. Find a neoliberal, MAGA or identity politics oriented Facebook page, and post pictures of starving Yemeni children. The identity politics crowd may be complaining about the lack of diversity in X movie or on Y college campus; the MAGA crowd may be pretending that AOC is a communist who wants to flood the country with Mexican terrorists so they can steal your social security, and the neoliberals may be telling each other how wrong it is to vet candidates in the Democratic Primary (even though that’s exactly what elections are for), but the more than 100,000 children who have starved to death in Yemen is infinitely more important than what they are talking about. Somewhere deep in their little dead souls, they know it is. Very few people have an ego that will allow them to process that information in a healthy way and integrate it into their worldview immediately. Don’t worry. It still had an effect. It’s called planting seeds.
If you have kids, teach them the importance of questioning everything and encourage intellectual curiosity. You should make sure your child’s worldview is not limited to their home country by showing them world maps and teaching them the names of different countries at a young age.
To quote the great George Carlin: “It’s not important to teach children to read. Kids who want to read are going to read… It’s much more important to question what they read. Children should be taught to question everything.” I cannot stress this point enough.
No one should ever indoctrinate their children into an ideology, whether it be political or religious. Kids under a certain age are incapable of questioning authority. So many people today believe what they believe just because they were taught that by their parents and they never questioned it. Of course you should teach them universal values like killing is bad, but you can do that without telling them to support a specific political party. And if they understand these values and principles, they will inevitably come to the correct conclusion that war is also bad. That is the common sense position that everyone is naturally inclines towards. Only being the target of propaganda from a young age can get someone to deviate from that.
Grown adults today need to understand that the entire rest of the world makes fun of their delusions that America invented freedom. Only a thoroughly propagandized person can believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are “American values.” To buy into that, you would have to believe that other nationalities enjoy death, subjugation and sadness. One quick, objective look at the human experience debunks that notion. Everyone knows these are universal values, but they’ve fooled themselves and others into accepting the delusion of American exceptionalism. To trick anyone into believing something so patently absurd, you must get to them at a young age, so it’s every parents responsibility to inoculate their children against patriotic programing.
Inspiring curiosity in a blank-slate mind is step one and it’s the easy part; the hard part is maintaining curiosity. Before you know it, your kid is a teenager and they’re addicted to computer games and can’t find Russia on a map. I’m not sure how to handle this. It is one of the major problems of out time. People today can always find something to occupy their time. They’re rarely sitting around letting their minds wander, and the average attention span is getting shorter and shorter. We are going to have to have a revolution of thought (a renaissance if you will) to turn this ship around, and I don’t see too much to be optimistic about at the moment.
Most people today seem to appose large interventions like in Iran, but they have no objections to sanctions (which are also a form of warfare) or “surgical airstrikes” or “military advisors.” People have been so desensitized to the machinations of the US empire, their minds barely even register it as news anymore. US bombs falling all over the world is the norm now. To question it is to be an “isolationist” or to want America to look “weak.” The media has implanted this mindset in us. We need a multi-pronged attack strategy to combat it.
Most people in China and Russia understand, at least to some extent, that they are being propagandized. America is the only global super power where most people believe that their media is the unvarnished truth. This is partly because American propaganda is much more sophisticated than that of other countries. They employ a divide-and-conquer strategy and allow lively debate within their narrow spectrum of acceptable discourse.
For those of us who are paying attention, it’s our duty to point out the plot holes in the mainstream narrative. It is where the establishment is most vulnerable, and it cannot stand without its narrative. Point out when something doesn’t add up, when the media is pushing a blatant lie. What else can we do?