You might call it propaganda, state lies, fraud, illusions or delusions. I prefer pretenses which afford the peddler thereof and the hapless fool who buys into them just the degree of deniability so that they can pretend that what is represented or misrepresented is respectable and a touchstone for the common weal.

1. America was founded: The country which we call “America” was not “founded.” It was an organic expression on a new territory of the values and virtues as well as the flaws and vices of Western Civilization, but particularly the British Protestant version thereof with later quickening from immigrants from Catholic Europe. A country is the unique relationship of a people or people with a space or territory. It is, in and of itself, not a nation nor a state. What we call the “founding” is actually the second attempt of the American republics who called themselves “states,” i.e. sovereign entities, to form a general government. They seceded from the union under the Articles of Confederation and acceded to a new union under the document which we continue to call the Constitution.

2. America is a republic: America was never a republic and certainly is not now. Until 1860, it was a union of constitutionally federated republics. From 1861-1865, there were among Americans two competing unions of constitutionally federated republics: that of the United States of America and that of the Confederate States of America. In the crucible of war, Lincoln and his Republicans destroyed both unions and created the nascent Hobbesian state which has grown into the monster which we confront today. A Hobbesian state is an artificial corporation with a monopoly on coercion, with the ability to define the limits of its own power and with the animation of a will to power, be that will to power expressed through an oligarchy, an ideological faction, a nomenklatura of the Soviet kind or a fascist hierarchy. After the War Between the States, the Confederate Constitution was placed, where a relic belongs, in archives. After that same war, the U.S. Constitution should have been placed in an archive where such relics belong. Instead, the Constitution has been made a prop (a pretense) behind which the Hobbesian State carries out its nefarious schemes while getting the fickle masses to genuflect before the prop (pretense).

3. The Constitution is the law of the land: Since the Constitution was the product of sovereign states wanting to create an agent to act on their behalf, their being the principals and the agent being their creation, then the Constitution can no longer be the law of a land in which the principals which gave it whatever authority it might have had are no longer principals but mere subdivisions of a consolidated Hobbesian state. The Constitution might ought to be the “law of the land,” but to claim such is mere pretense, to come back to the title.

4. America is an exceptional nation: Neither by tribe nor ethnicity has America ever been a nation. The closest we have come to that is in those years immediately after WWII and even that only in the sense of a common destiny forged in the common effort of WWII. We are no more exceptional than any other country. We are not a second Israel of the Old Testament and we have not inherited the authority of the Church, although progressivsim does have a messianic faux-metaphysics. Our “exceptionalism” certainly does not give us the authority to cloak our imperial wars with moralizing platitudes (pretenses) of saving the world for democracy, overthrowing evil dictators or ensuring equality for all as the big banks get richer, as the military/industrial complex gets richer, and the political class which are parasites on the former get richer and more powerful. Close on the heals of the claim that America is an exceptional nation, exceptionally so, is the claim in utter hubris that we are an indispensable nation, meaning that other nations – bomb, bomb, bomb Iran by McCain – are dispensable.

5. The Republicans are the virtuous party: The Republican party brought most of these pretenses to life. It started an an unholy alliance of corporatists (Lincoln), Free Soilers (no blacks in the new territories) and abolitionists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson who saw abolition as instrument to ensure that blacks would “go the way of the Dodo,” and Marxists. While Nixon conned us gullible Southerners, who have been dying like the Janissary in imperial wars since the Spanish American War, to switch to the Republican Party, made easy in part because the Democratic Party was abandoning us, he was at the same time ensuring that his “justice department” was enforcing the draconian policies based on the Civl Rights Act, enforcement which destroyed entire communities and ironically put thousands of black-owned business out of business.

Whatever we have learned through the social, cultural, political and economic upheavals from 2015 to the present, let us not return to these pretenses. Reach down, if you have not been cut off from it, to the real America which resides in your patrimony.

Robert Peters

Robert Peters is an independent historian in Louisiana.

Leave a Reply