Dec 3, 2008

Sheldon Richman on national pride

There certainly are things about America to love. The philosophy expressed in the Declaration of Independence tops the list. The abolitionist movement is another example. Any dedication to liberty and resistance to tyranny are worthy of admiration.

But for that very reason, so much about “America” deserves not love or pride but contempt. From the start, people in power have sought to nullify the ideals that distinguished America from other countries. The record of U.S. interventionist foreign policy, which has required coercion of the American people and others, is a record of shame. American presidents have supported and even installed dictators to advance the U.S. government’s imperial agenda. Their military policy has regarded civilian lives as expendable in the pursuit of an international regime amenable to the American ruling elite’s mercantile interests. Of course, that was justified as spreading freedom and democracy, a charade that fooled far more Americans than foreigners.

Domestically, freedom and free enterprise have taken back seats to other objectives, such as economic stability or national security. Capitalism in practice has meant a system of mercantilist privilege for wealthy interests, with harmful consequences at home and abroad. That is not something to be proud of. It is something to be condemned.

~ Sheldon Richman, "How Can You Love a Country?," Freedom Daily, December 3, 2008

No comments: