Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Measure of a Nation, by Larry Romanoff - The Unz Review


One of the major American propaganda initiatives pretends to measure and judge nations, a stage performance in which Americans, with the invaluable assistance of the Jewish-owned media, hog the only microphone while exercising their presumed right to set the norms of evaluation of the inherent moral validity of other nations and forms of government, and even of national cultures themselves. But most of the standards applied in these exercises of ‘Feeling good to be an American’ are vacuous, measures undefined and largely undefinable, virtually all unmeasurable, and mostly utopian nonsense. We are constantly patronised with foolish claims of ‘freedom’, of ‘democratic values’, ‘rule of law’, the ‘rules-based international order’, or things like being ‘a genuinely free and open society’. The phrases, while appealing, are so general as to be meaningless.

Moral superiority doesn’t come from mouthing platitudes or pretending to utopian values, but from actions. It’s what you are, not what you say you are. I don’t much care what you claim to stand for or to believe in; I’m interested in your actions, which is where the proof resides. These juvenile PR performances consist mostly of Americans wasting everyone’s time in claiming foolish mythical ideals and providing long lists of things they ‘believe’ but never practice, their religious convictions proof of nothing except mass hysteria, especially the parts about democratic values. Americans believe they are ‘good’, but in what way are they, as individuals or as a nation, better or morally superior to a Canadian, a German, a Chinese or a Brazilian? The simple truth, obvious to everyone but Americans themselves, is that they are not superior, and there is compelling evidence they are worse.

When we are discussing the nature of nations, the intrinsic value of their governments and structures, and even of social morality itself, these norms set by the Americans are themselves wrong. The most important distinction for a nation, as with an individual, is its character, demonstrated by deeds rather than platitudes, the major determining feature of which is its attitude toward humanity, primarily reflected in its level of aggression or belligerence – the desire for peace or for war. Most everything else that is important about a nation or a person flows from this distinction, from a character of either respect and concern for people, or contempt and aggression. Though we often define these characteristics in political terms, their basic nature is not political but human, and reflects the character, the human nature, of the people living in these nations. The real measure of a nation exists in the same characteristics we employ in measuring people. We don’t primarily evaluate people based on their politics or religion, or their health, the extent of their assets or their physical strength. All these are mostly irrelevant when we ask, “What kind of person are you?”

Nations have personalities and personality characteristics which serve to define them. Germans are renowned for their precision and respect for quality. Only Germany could build a Mercedes or a BMW. Only the Italians could design and produce a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Only the French could make a 2CV. It isn’t an accident that Italy and to some extent France are the fashion centers of the world. Some nations and their people are imbued with a culture that values group cohesiveness rather than individuality, or naturally focuses on the richness of quality of life rather than obtaining possessions. Some nations of people are interested primarily in money, others in power. Virtue is as important in judging a nation as it is with people. We may be naturally envious and perhaps attracted to people who are rich and handsome or beautiful, perhaps powerful as well. But when evaluating others, most of us are able to look past the external and superficial and pry a little deeper, with our examination focusing first on the essentials of a person’s character.

Whom do we admire in our lives? People who are strong, but good. Superior men and women of great proportion and strong character, those who are not arrogant, mean-spirited or petty, but who are patient and tolerant with those less endowed or gifted. We admire generosity and a kind heart. We despise meanness and boastfulness, as we do jealousy and envy. We abhor violence and violent people, and avoid those easily aroused to anger. Nobody respects a man who throws his weight around, depending on his physical strength or powerful connections to protect him. Nobody admires a woman who lacks modesty, nor have we any respect for men who are predators of women or who enjoy preying on the weak. Nobody likes a bully or a hypocrite, a liar or a thief. None of us will choose to be in the company of someone who always wants to be in control, who refuses to recognise the needs or wishes of others, and we all know the dangers of a man who revels in power when he obtains it. Instead, we admire those who exhibit patience and tolerance toward those who are less fortunate than themselves. We respect honesty and personal integrity, an adherence to truth, a high level of maturity. We admire courage and we despise cowards. We admire those with a sense of justice for others as well as themselves, who treat others as they would like to be treated. We dislike and avoid those who are habitual liars, and most of us have a natural and well-deserved contempt for those who lie about others.

So, if we were to assess and evaluate Captain America, how would he rate in terms of moral or any other kind of superiority? To begin with the superficialities, we would admit he is physically strong, wealthier than many, perhaps handsome and well-dressed, and seems to live in a nice house. But then what? He claims to believe in a god, but freely breaks all of that god’s laws. He is nothing if not a violent person, violence toward almost all others being a defining adjective of his character, and he has been this way since childhood. There is no question he uses his strength to bully and intimidate everyone around him, and he is certainly a predator. Preying on the weak is one of his defining adjectives. He is also a coward, avoiding confrontation until he can sufficiently weaken an opponent from a distance before attacking, having never demonstrated any interest in what we might call ‘a fair fight’. Like his bullying, his meanness is legendary, and he is nothing if not a Social Darwinist, with his law of the jungle disposition directing virtually all his social encounters. He is not only mean and violent, but he enjoys making and watching other (weaker) people suffer, and has also been this way since childhood. He is generally determined to win at all costs, freely shedding whatever values he pretends to hold. He not only tells volumes of breathless lies, but he uses those lies to first denigrate the characters of those he intends to bully and physically attack, hoping the ignorant will not realise this is his tactic to justify his violence against them. And he is a whiner. He takes by force everything he can, and whines when he can’t.

Certainly, he is a hypocrite, his hypocrisy being so outstanding as to qualify as a defining characteristic of his nature. We see no evidence of a kind heart or a forgiving disposition, and the only product he appears to distribute with generosity is his inherent violence. It is obvious to everyone that he revels in power as does every inferior man. We see overwhelming evidence of his pettiness and immaturity, as we do of his lack of simple honesty and sincerity, insincerity again being a defining adjective of his character. He is often jealous and envious, to the extent he will do all possible to bring down those whose virtues stand out and who appear to attract admiration or respect of others. He is so deluded that in his mind, only he is entitled to respect and admiration, to say nothing of obedience. Justice (for others) does not appear to be in his vocabulary.

He is arrogant and boastful almost beyond description, modesty also being absent from his vocabulary. He boasts often of his high level of education, but he appears to be more ignorant than anyone anywhere. Greed is a most unpleasant characteristic, but this man is greedy in an especially unpleasant way, not only wanting to be rich to the extent that he will beat others and steal from them, but also determined that all others should be poor and should remain poor. He not only wants to be richer than everyone else, but wants no other person to have any riches at all. Superficially, he appears to make exceptions for a few of his friends, but surreptitiously he steals from them as he steals from anyone and, if push came to shove, he would freely use his violence against even them. He is also essentially lawless, violating any domestic or international laws that he finds inconvenient, depending on his physical strength and bullying power to protect him. Plato said it best, more than 2,000 years ago: “The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

Perhaps the most startling characteristic of this man is his capacity for self-delusion. He travels not only his own country but around the world, boasting sanctimoniously of his sterling character, telling all and sundry of his high values, his faith in his god, of his belief in freedom and equality, in what he calls ‘human rights’, and so much more, all characteristics that are patently and evidently non-existent in his actions. He then asks the world to ignore his multitude of criminal actions and judge him solely on these imaginary values he professes. Is the man crazy? Yes, of course he is. A psychotic, and a very dangerous one. But it’s even much worse than this. Captain America is first and foremost a killer. That is what he does best, and what he has always done, and he treats with utter contempt those whom he kills, especially the small children who are merely ‘bug splats’ to him. To say the man is pathological is to severely understate his mental illness. There are few anywhere in history who has killed as many people as this man, and who has done so as savagely and without remorse, or who glorifies killing as much as he does, writing and singing of ‘glorious battles’ he has had against weak opponents. He exhibits a thoroughly vicious level of criminality.

In early 2014, American writer John Kaminski published an article titled ‘America Minus the Mask: First and Foremost, a Nation of Killers’. He began by stating, “America is a nation of killers. It always has been, from the first Pilgrims who set foot in Massachusetts and later murdered the very people who had saved them from starvation. The entire American population is trapped in a self-delusion that they are heroes, fighting an endless string of evil enemies. But in fact, their targeted enemies have always been innocent people, usually minding their own business, put in harm’s way by their own valuable possessions, which Americans inevitably covet, and will kill anyone to get. The most prosperous and forward-looking countries have always been the best killers, and America, whose budget for wars and weapons exceeds the combined total of all the other countries of the world, is the most prodigious killer country of all time.”

He noted, as I have tried to detail extensively, the intense propaganda campaign begun by Lippman and Bernays, that had Germans eating babies in World War I, and Libya’s Khaddaffi killing his own people, and so many more lies so the Jewish bankers in the City of London could remove an irritant and control the oil and gold. He wrote, “Though the lie is revealed, the outcome may not be changed. This is a portrait of American justice around the world, the legacy that this obnoxious nation of killers continues to unleash upon the world. All the fine words of theologians and philosophers are only meant to cover up the unspeakable realities of Hiroshima (and others) that aim to pare down the population to a manageable level on a plantation run by fellows with whips in their hands.” He ended with this paragraph:

”How proud must Americans be that the US continues to be the war-making giant of the world. All it takes nowadays is a fistful of practically worthless dollars, and the US sucks another prostituted nation into the corrupt orbit of the New World Order. A few of us try to stand up and point out that this is all wrong, but our voices are lost in a tidal wave of irrelevant trivia that is more important to most people than their own lives, than their own well-being. And as new planes are launched and new bombs dropped, our voices are drowned out by the ugly sounds of people gasping for breath and dying, because of our refusal to acknowledge that we ourselves have failed to protest the lies that are killing them. Because of our profound ignorance, our families will soon suffer the same fate of those innocent people who have died because we did not have the courage to confront the lies we were told, and are still being told. America is a nation of killers. If you call yourself an American, you must accept that as the truth, and act accordingly in some way to try to redeem yourself from the thoughtless scumbag that history will judge you as having been. Or at least you will have to do that if you care about anything at all.”

I briefly discussed elsewhere the recent Hollywood movie “American sniper“, based on the true story of a Chris Kyle, an American described as “the most lethal sniper in American history, whose fame spread in all directions, a hero …” This man wrote a book about himself, describing in part how he so much enjoyed killing Iraqis, even young children, watching their mothers in anguish and weeping over the dead bodies of their children. The book became hugely popular, spending almost a year on the New York Times best-seller list. Hollywood made a movie about him that was also wildly popular, being nominated for six Oscar categories at the Academy Awards, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott officially declared February 2 as “Chris Kyle Day” in the state, “in honor of an American hero”. Bronze statues were cast in his honor. One newspaper said the film received “widespread praise among conservatives for depicting an American soldier at his best”. Chris Hedges wrote a powerful article titled “Killing Ragheads for Jesus”, in which he stated this movie “lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society – the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth.” He wrote that the movie opens in a church where the congregation is listening to a sermon about “God’s plan for American Christians”, where our hero sniper, Chris Kyle, will be called upon by God to use his “gift” to kill. Kyle is quoted as saying, “I only wish I had killed more. I loved killing … I loved what I did. I still do … it was fun. I had the time of my life”. Hedges noted that Kyle even got a tattoo of a cross on his arm because “I wanted everyone to know I was a Christian.” The righteousness of killing in god’s name has stalked America since its birth and is as virulent today as it has ever been. If this doesn’t frighten the hell out of you, I don’t know what would. How can you avoid concluding that Americans are totally, criminally insane?

In all of this, I think we could ask Americans a few questions. Doesn’t it turn your stomach to know what your government has done in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Libya, and the CIA death squads in Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador? How do you feel about Madeline Albright deliberately killing half a million small children to teach Saddam a lesson? If you’re proud of that, what exactly are you proud of? The dead babies? The fact that you could kill them without punishment or retribution? How can you, as a human being, not respond with wrenching disgust at such a person and the people who appointed and supported her? Have you seen the photos of the horribly genetically deformed fetuses emerging in Iraq, Libya, the former Yugoslavia and Vietnam? How can you live with that? How do you feel about your country so freely killing so many millions of women and children in other countries, then lamenting a few children killed in a school in your country? How is your President different from any psychopathic dictator or mafia boss? How can you not be revolted by your own President, government, and country? How can you, as an American, simply turn away and not look at the centuries of evil and misery your country has inflicted on so many innocent nations?

You have always taken great pride in your Presidents and other national leaders, often citing them as evidential justification of your nation’s moral superiority, but most of your favorites like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy are non-starters, with a long enough list of slime, sleaze, racism, pettiness, cruelty, immorality, criminality, and genocidal instincts to make Attila the Hun believe he was born before his time. A great many of your Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense Secretaries were certifiably criminally insane. How do you feel about your leaders opening a university dedicated to teaching torture and repression of civilian populations? You take such pride in your democratic institutions, but how do you answer the charge that your Congress is the greatest single body of traitors in history?

Where in all of this do you find a foundation for your claim to moral superiority? How are you as an individual superior to anyone, anywhere? How is your government superior? How are your Presidents and leaders morally superior to the genocidal thugs they instruct at your School of the Americas? Your entire country, from its “democratic” government, to its institutions, CIA, military and corporations, is just one large criminal enterprise. I don’t see how it is possible today to be an American and not be deeply ashamed of my country and everything it stands for – not things it says, but the things it does. It is long past time for the world to stop pampering you, and instead to challenge your mindless claims of goodness and superiority by presenting you with all the dirty truths of your nation, and demand from you an accounting of your actions and crimes.

You pride yourself in being a democracy, government by the people, and claim you are in charge, that you dictate the actions of your Congressmen and Senators, and have the power to replace them at any time. Whether or not these claims are true, you as an individual are responsible for the enormous crimes of your government. You either knew or should have known what your President, CIA and military were doing, and your willful ignorance cannot excuse you. And when you learned of these crimes, you did nothing. You didn’t object, you didn’t speak out. There were no street protests, no millions of letters to the editor that expressed your horror or even disapproval. In fact, most of you appeared to approve of these acts, priding yourself in being American as you appear to define that term. And in all of this, you are so proud to be an American that you sing yourself to sleep each night with lullabyes about your democratic values. But how dare you boast to me about your democratic values when your hands are dripping in human blood?

Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons)

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