Terence McKenna well describes the costs of being an apostate. “The cost of sanity in this society, is a certain level of alienation”
And once you get past the propaganda it’s alienation-city because we live in a mean country where greed and war are the dominant themes. But in America we dress it up in religious and patriotic garb because we’re the “bright shining beacon on the hill”, or something.
Many years ago, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles claimed, “There are two kinds of people in the world: Christians who believe in free enterprise and the other kind”. That says it all. Americans are expected to adhere to the capitalist mantra of big business and of the elites whose only aim was to eviscerate the middle class and gather all wealth to itself. Americans have been so brainwashed by generations of commercial propaganda that they now almost unanimously support their own headlong rush into poverty, because to object to it is to be anti-American.
I mean when you really think about it, the whole point of the anti-communist hysteria following WWII, was capitalism putting that whole New Deal thing behind them.
Decades of “free enterprise” propaganda have deemed any government involvement in any segment of society or industry where big business and the elites could make a profit as either socialism or communism and therefore treasonous to the basic religion of multi-party political Christianity. The propaganda was so powerful that it became virtually impossible for an average American to be a Christian socialist or a believer in both democracy and social security, or to be any of these and simultaneously against big business.
Meanwhile, American imperialism can be best described as–the dollar goes abroad to seek a better return on investment and the flag follows. We’ve been at war ever since, involved in one kind of expeditionary skirmish or another. These are hybrid wars America has been waging against any country that chooses an economic path other than subordination to the United States. The recent historical record shows how every nation trying to develop outside the Washington Consensus is terrorized at myriad hybrid war levels. This nation becomes a target of color revolutions, regime change, illegal sanctions, economic blockade, NATO sabotage or outright bombing and/invasion.
History, of course, has been one of the casualties of this generations-long domestic propaganda war, since the Americans freely excised the often-barbaric unpleasantness of their actions and reduced historic events to simplistic, Disney-fied caricatures, creating countless popular myths to captivate their domestic audience and shield Americans forever from the truth of their own history.
Michael Parenti expressed the situation perfectly when he wrote “The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology.” This lack of history and perspective is the result of the result of a century of mass manipulation and programming. One of the natural and planned results of the incessant programmed propagation of these totally false historical mythologies was the destruction of intellectual independence. Americans have been propagandized and programmed to see the world through the same pair of eyes – the pair the owners wanted them to look through. Contrary to American claims of free and independent thinking, ideological uniformity became paramount, where independent thinkers, dissidents and those with dissenting opinions most often found themselves immediately ostracized.
Their understanding of the word is controlled by CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NY Times. They live in a Matrix. They have no awareness and no control over their existence. Freedom of speech in America means staying within the prescribed narrative. Stray from that, and you will quickly find yourself ostracised, unemployed and unemployable.
I can attest to the blinkered thinking of friends and family and marvel at the power of the propaganda system which has brought about a sort of Mass Formation Psychosis that is peculiar to Americans. And since the start of the US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine the propaganda has gotten worse. A lot worse.
By the way, you’re not that crazy. I see it too and constantly remind myself that it’s no measure of health to be deemed sane in a profoundly insane society.