Some more thoughts on the U.S. – Old and New Americanism

When I was in high school I remember walking around inside the school going to classes and such.  There were kids everywhere.  I would look out at everyone and a thought kept going through my head that has bothered me ever since: 

“Something doesn’t seem right.”

This perplexed me.  Something seemed amiss.  Something seemed wrong. I thought this strange, as everyone seemed all right.  There were no apparent ‘wrong’ thing going on that I could determine.   It all made me wonder but I passed it off as nothing.

But, over the years this feeling kept coming and going.  It’s presence has been there for over half my life now.  Even now, when I look out across the city, or watch some shows, or something like that, and this feeling comes over me. 

. . . something doesn’t seem right . . .

It seemed like there was something missing, or warped, or something.  Over the years I have given great reflection on this and I find myself saying something to this effect:  “there’s something wrong with this place.  It’s all screwed up”.  Not only that, it seemed that its twisted out of shape or warped.  The term “warped” seems like a fitting explanation for American society . . .  and still does.

After many years of feeling this feeling I began to ask myself what it was.  Why do I feel like this?  I wondered if it was me.  I wondered if it was a problem with how I looked at things.  I wondered if it was just a poor attitude.  I wondered if it hid some deep hatred.  I wondered if it reflected some other motive.

All these things I discounted.  Its quality is more like an intuition . . . something is wrong. 

I began to look seriously at this ‘intuition’.  It was weird in that not even I knew what it was about.  I only knew a feeling bothered me.  Tracing the intuition certain themes kept appearing and keep appearing when I reflect on this feeling. 

It seems that, from where I stand, the U.S. has failed as a human society.  On the human level it just isn’t there.  When I think of the U.S. some things come to mind which include:

  • There’s no authority or anyone to look up.
  • Theres no social structure.  There’s really no family structure or hierarchical structure in the society.  Everyone is just a ‘blob’ of ‘equal’ people . . . woopidado!
  • There’s no social roles.  They’ve hacked the male and female identity to death.  They’ve even hacked the adult/child association to death. 
  • There’s nothing to belong to.
  • There are too many identity problems.  Most of us don’t know who we are.
  • There’s no god or religion.
  • There’s no belief system.
  • There seems a lack of morality and a sense of right/wrong.
  • There seems a lack of direction in people’s lives.
  • There’s no sense of a ‘people’.  In this country it’s a crime to belong to a ‘people’ (that would make us ‘racist’, right?).
  • There’s too much intellectualism and education.  People put too much emphasis on ‘thinking’.
  • There’s too much emphasis on legal/political views which have no bearing on the culture. 
  • The government does nothing but squabble. 
  • The mob, with its senseless mentality, rules everything.
  • There’s too much emphasis on the person, the individual.  There’s a lot of selfishness and self concern here.
  • There’s too much concern over money and profit.
  • There’s too much sensationalism and making a big deal about everything.
  • There’s too much paranoia and blind fear here.
  • They make everything out as a crime here.
  • There’s too much bragging about themselves without looking at themselves.

It seems to me that this is all a result of all the ‘crap’ this country developed, particularly since WWII.  I speak of all the inventions, all the consumer products, all the this, that, and the other things.  In other words, it seems that American society was originally a human society that has had the ‘onslought of inventions’ laid upon it, which has distorted everything.  It’s as if ‘gutted out’ the humanity of our society and replaced it with an ‘invention determined way of life’.

The original human society that existed before WWII I call the Old Americanism.  The new society that has been ‘altered’ or ‘distorted’ by the ‘onslought of inventions’ I call the New Americanism

The society I then speak about is the New Americanism.  To me it seems an aberration, a weird amalgam of unnatural things blended in unnatural ways.  At one time I called American society an ‘unformed knarly mass’ as it seemed to have no order or logic in its development, it went whatever way it wanted.  It seemed to be formless, without a style or character.  There seemed a lack of unity, no consistency in belief.  In effect, there is no sense of a ‘people’.  They have created attitudes and point of views that only leads in one direction – undermining.  In many ways, the net result of the New Americanism is the undermining of human society and lifeAnd all this undermining is justified by what seems a ‘convincing’ logic, supported by law, science, and god knows what else.  Even I believed it at first.  I’ve often said that the New Americans have ‘outwitted’ themselves by justifying, in effect, their own deterioration, all to their intellectual satisfaction.  They are all just so convinced of it all that they are blinded by it all.  This is why I often spoke of the ‘American high’, where even the beliefs of New Americanism seems to give people a ‘high’, much like a drug.  In this ‘high’ they are as if transported to an alternate fantasy ideal world, believing so much their greatness and happiness and, I cannot forget, how fortunate they are to have all this ‘stuff’.

There is ‘something’ about the New Americanism that worries me.  Speaking of it recently, I spoke of it a particular way.  I said something to this effect:  “The U.S. seems completely disorganized.   There seems to be no leadership.  No one controls anything.  All the U.S. has done in the past 50 years is find ‘justifiable’ reasons to undermine and destroy authority.  They’ve created laws and attitudes that have undermined themselves, destroying right and wrong, authority, identity.  They’ve turned everything into a crime.  And then, to add to all this confusion, there is no consistency in beliefs or point of views.  Everyone contradicts one another (and all with justifiable proof).  The U.S. – the New Americanism – has  become a mess. . . and its all their own doing.” 

In other words, what I see in New Americanism is an unstable, disorganized, confused, and lost society that, it seems to me, cannot hold itself togetherBut it has buttressed itself with all these fancy and seemingly ‘justificable’ explanations to justifiy its existence and that they are ‘right’.  It all sounds good, but that’s all fantasyland thinking.  What I see in New Americanism is a society doomed to fail.  This causes a sense of ‘insecurity’ that bothers me. 

What holds the U.S. together, it seems to me, is not the ‘human’ element but the ‘system’ element.  In other words, its all the organizations, laws, machines, technology, etc. that hold this society and country together.  The ‘system’ gives the U.S. an illusion of stability and constancy.  As for the people (what people?), as for the culture (what culture?), as for the traditions (what tradition?), there seems nothing but a big hole. 

This ‘big hole’ I used to call “The Great Absence”, of a people that should be there but isn’t, of a culture that should be there but isn’t, of traditions that should be there but isn’t, of an authority that should be there but isnt.  I have spent a quarter century of my life looking for these people, this culture, these traditions, this authority, and have came up wanting.  This is why I jokingly call the U.S. and ‘absentee country’. 

Another thing about this ‘absentee country’ is the absence of example, of someone to look up to.  Beginning in my teenage years I found that I was always looking for something.  At first I didn’t know what it was.  Later I determined that was I was looking for was a mentor, someone to look up to, someone to follow, someone to imitate.  Over a quarter of a century has gone by and theres . . . no one.  This, for me, became a serious crisis in my 20’s.  I speak of this as the ‘mentor issue’.  To date, it’s still unresolved. 

Another thing about the New Americanism is that it has developed a life of its own.  No one controls it.  No one can control it.  It moves about and does things on its own.  This worries me as we’ve created a ‘beast’ that goes about as it wants.  This, to me, is not a good sign.  And its incredibly massive.  Never before in history have we seen a ‘beast’ such as this.  What can we expect of it?

Some of the things I expect from New Americanism include:

  • There will be no new authority or leadership established.
  • There will be no culture established.
  • There will be no traditions established.
  • There will be no new belief, god, or religion established.
  • There will be no new morality established.
  • There will be no new ‘people’ established.
  • There will be no new ‘identity’ established.
  • There will be no control of the ‘system’ established.
  • There will be continued emphasis on materialism.
  • There will be continued distortions of human society.
  • There will be a continuation of the ‘Great Absence’.

These will all continue to be.  Why?  Because this is what New Americanism established.  It is a result of its condition.  It’s what it has created.  Why would there be anything different?  Why would there be any change?  This is part of the reality it created.  As a result, it is part of its characterstics and qualities.  Because of this, as long as it continues so will it display these characteristics.

Because of this, it is only natural that I would like to ‘get out’ of this condition.  Some people thrive in the New Americanism but there are many more of us that don’t.  It’s quite evident that the New Americanism is very specific in its manifestations and, accordingly, it appeals to a very specific type of person.  This shows that it caters to a small aspect of ‘human life’.  In other words, New Americanism is not a ‘general human way of life’.  What I mean by this is that it is not geared to human life overall, reflecting the overall human condition, but only to specific aspects of it.  This means that if your character does not reflect New Americanistic traits then you are ‘out’ and thats it.

It seems to me that New Americanism is not that tolerable to different ways of doing things, though that is not what it professes.  To me, it has the quality of “it’s our way or the highway”.  I know this from personal experience.  I’ve talked with many people who have repetetively described similar feelilngs I have (though its usually stated differently and with other explanations).  I’ve also found that there are many of us who ‘live apart’ from it, and do not participate in it.   The people who do this, I’ve found, do not realize that they are doing this to avoid New Americanism.  Many may give ‘generic’ explanations (such as they want to get out of the ‘rat race’) or may have no explanation at all, not seeing anything unusual that they are doing.  I see it a lot with the people of my own generation (mostly white American males).  In a way, we retire away from ‘mainstream life’ and go our own way, doing our own things, usually by ourselves.  It’s like we’re trying to get away from it.  I’ve often felt that this is one of the reasons why the white American male seems to be ‘in the background’ nowadays.  In a way, many of us have ‘given up’.  I can definately see a ‘giving up’ quality in the white American male nowadays.  What’s interesting is that few realize it. 

One of the weird aspects of New Americanism is that very few people realize that they are reacting against it when they are.  In fact, when I started this inquiry I didn’t realize it either.  I only had a sense of a ‘something’.  It took years to discover it.  I’ve often felt that this was a result of a number of things which include:

  • New Americanism is an illusion.  It’s based in illusion and dazzlement.  This is one of its main powers.  As a result, many of us have been ‘confinced’ of it, if only superficially. 
  • There is no concept to base their behaviour on.  Without a concept, its hard to determine why a person feels the way do or why they do what they do.  It took me years to develop the concept of New Americanism and understand its traits.  Had I not of done that, I would never of known why I felt the way I feel. 

As I said above, New Americanism is based in illusion.  This is because its based, really, in consumerism which is really nothing but creating illusion for the consumer so they will buy the product.  In many ways, New Americanism is just one big ‘advertisement’ trying to get people to ‘buy’ their line of a happy life.  Whether a person believes it or not depends on if they ‘buy’ the illusion or not.  Because of its illusion qualities, New Americanism seems to be this great thing.  I, too, believed it at first.  But, looking deeper, I found otherwise.  It seems that it is the deeper minded people who can see behind the illusion of New Americanism

New Americanism tends to be hypocritical, saying one thing and doing something else.  In fact, with New Americanism you have to ‘read between the lines’, I always question what it does and I never believe what it says outright.  There are many inconsistencies with it and I’ve heard many people note these inconsistencies as well.  Often, these can put a doubt in a person.  It can lead to contempt and hatred in some people, as some people feel ‘led on’ and deceived, I’ve found.  One of the problems with New Americanism is that when people do find inconsistencies they loose faith in it.  This has helped create many ‘counter cultures’ and rebelliousness here. 

In some sense, New Americanism, being a consumer illusion trying to convince people of its ‘right’, breeds rebelliousness or disappointment.  This is because there is only so far that the illusion can go.  An illusion is naturally limited in its scope and can’t be sufficient for all purposes.  It works fine, when the situation matches its illusion, but when it doesn’t the cracks begin to appear.  This fact makes New Americanism doomed to fail.

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