Several years ago I discovered the Pledge of Allegiance had been written by the Nationalist and Socialist Francis Bellamy, in 1892. (The phrase "Nationalist Socialist" is better known by the word, "Nazi.") Before this leftist's drive to support himself by selling a flag to every classroom, the flag was almost never seen in schools.
Bellamy, being a fascist, wanted to collectivize the entire nation. To this end he resurrected the Roman salute for school children--the same one as the Nazi salute--until the beginning of World War II put a permanent end to it.
Since every individual state was originally a "free and independent" nation, when children said the Pledge of Allegiance, to which entity were they pledging allegiance? The entire country?
I doubt it. It is the federal government that drafts teenagers and starts wars, that levies crushing taxes and runs up deficits. Not the individual states. I've never seen, and can't imagine, Illinois or Montana declaring war on some nation halfway across the world.
Since the country and the federal government are different things--indeed eternally opposed to each other--when people say the Pledge, they are pledging allegiance to the federal government. Not the country.
Since the federal government is composed of people, those saying the Pledge are in reality pledging allegiance to those who have control of it. So, when people are wounded or die in wars, they're fighting for a handful of people in charge of a disorganized criminal enterprise that believes it should rule the entire country. I don't see why this isn't the same in every country.
When I look across the world, at what the US administration is doing, the main thing I see is an empire not of colonies, but of military bases. Over 700 military bases in over 140 countries. Deny the US is an empire all you want,
it still is.
This empire is the main thing. There are other, secondary concerns. I see us involved in two wars about the export of leftist delusion of democracy to the Islamic world, securing oil supplies, and protecting Israel. When you look at this fruit, and follow it back to the tree, I find an administration full of oil men, and Christian Zionists and Zionists, ones who want to secure oil supplies for the US, and protect Israel because they believe it will bring Jesus back, or because it is a land for displaced Jews.
The aforementioned are the things for which soldiers are dying. It's not worth it. War, as Smedley Butler noticed, is a racket--those politically connected gain more power and money; those who are not, die in wars. "It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses," he wrote.
We can drill for our own oil in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Canada has one trillion gallons of oil in tar sands. The evidence is now that oil reservoirs are refilling themselves, since it appears oil is created deep in the earth, and has nothing to do with decayed prehistoric vegetation.
As for Jesus coming back, this belief is based on a very few phrases in the Bible. Even if He does, I don't see how it's going to come about through war and destruction, unless Biblical prohibitions against murder have suddenly been suspended.
As for Israel, it can defend itself on its own dime, not mine. Personally, I don't think the US, no matter how assured its convictions or pure its intentions, is going to put an end to war in a place where there has been war for 4000 years.
A lot of people are blaming the neocons--leftists masquerading as rightists--for the mess we're in. I do, too. They're enormously deluded people, and they're certainly cowards. But the problems go further back in time.
I do know the switches were set wrong in the 20th century when Woodrow Wilson--about whom John Maynard Keynes wrote, "He thought he was Jesus Christ"--got the US involved in World War I, even though the exhausted European countries were on the verge of stopping the war.
Wilson, whose ignorance about the world was prodigious, said he wanted to make the world "safe for democracy." That sounds familiar, even today.
Richard Maybury, in his book, World War I: the Rest of the Story, points out the US started to become a world empire in the late 1800s, when it appropriated the Philippines from Spain. Supporters claimed we were going to "civilize" the place, a claim I'm hearing today about Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. I guess we're going to impose abortion, feminism and gay marriage on them.
Taking the Philippines was the first misstep to world empire by these utopian fantastists, but there were mistakes by them before that one.
Before the Philippines, Abraham Lincoln had put an end to the "free and independent" states with the War Between the States. It wasn't a "civil war," because a civil war is about two or more groups fighting for control of the government. Since the South was trying to secede, it was, quite correctly a war between the states, and not a civil war.
You can make the argument the problem goes back to dumping the Articles of Confederation, the loss of which led to the creation of the federal government. It turns out the critics were right: the federal government has turned into an ever-growing, ever-menacing Leviathan.
The late, great Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, in his amazing magnum, Leftism Revisited, claims the problem runs back to the French Revolution, with its belief in democracy and equality. "For the average person, all problems date to World War II; for the more informed, to World War I; for the genuine historian, to the French Revolution," he wrote.
Whenever the problem started, I do know it's been going on for a long time. Here, since right after the founding of the country. It's only now coming to fruition.
I do know this: we have a mere handful of people, ones who cannot tell leftism from rightism, running the US government. Unfortunately, enough people think the federal government represents the country--which it does not--so they follow those running it. It's now clear to me what the word "sheeple" means. The sheeple don't realize they're the ones who are going to be sheared and slaughtered.
The problems get worse because of the enormous power the President now wields. I think we'd be better off if the office didn't exist. Certainly a handful of trouble-makers are leading the US down the road to Hell, but it gets much scarier to realize that merely one man can do it.
Politically, the problem is leftism, a pseudo-religious crackpot cult that has a belief in the creation of an earthly utopia through government violence. Unfortunately it's now infected the right. Because of this, the neocons, who claim to be conservatives, are instead leftists. Democracy, which the Founding Fathers despised, is leftist. As Kuehnelt-Leddihn pointed out, you can't have the equality of democracy and liberty at the same time, because under liberty there are always natural elites. In a democracy, the envious mob always want to bring the elites down.
Ultimately, the problem is imperfect human nature. Theologically, as far I'm concerned, the problem is hubris. It's the sin of Satan: the lust to rule, the lust to destroy, and the lust for attention. It's the problem of every politician, and therefore the problem of every government.
We'd be better off if the entire federal apparatus didn't exist. Too bad it's not in the Constitution that every 50 years the federal government has to be dissolved and started over from scratch. It wouldn't be perfect, but then, what is? I certainly could live with it. Ideally, and easily, we could live without the federal government at all.
If the federal government has to exist, then it, right from the beginning, should have been dissolved every 50 years. There would not have been a War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam...or 9-11. There would be no world empire meddling in the rest of the planet, bringing blowback our way not because of our values, but because of the federal government's actions.
It is because the always-swelling federal government has, like a cancer, metastasized into every individual state, and now across the world, that New York City, in the state of New York, was attacked on 9-11. It wasn't that individual state's fault it was attacked. It was the federal government's fault.
In the long run, the federal government will be dissolved. All in the past have fallen, without exception.This one will, too. The country will survive. At what cost, I don't know. I hope not a bad one.
In a little over 200 years, the federal government has gone from non-existence to taking over the country, and is now trying to take over the world. It's turned into a monster. And no one in his right mind should pledge allegiance to a monster.