Its been more than 150 years since we were blessed with the gifted authorship of American transcendental author Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Emerson, Thoreau and their school of transcendentalists represented the first school of America spiritual individualism without attachments to any organized religion. Furthermore, their emphasis on the Overlord, or rather, the existence of a spiritual supreme being, or God, resonated with the American tradition of monotheism, evidenced by the constitution. It furtehrmore resonated with the secular community in that it placed less emphasis on superstitions and dogmatic narratives.
The point of this is to emphasize the individualist foundation of America.
My greatest infatuation with America as a first generation immigrant was with Thomas Jefferson. His theories which echoed social libearlism, secularism, education and rational deism, appealed immsenly to me.
I also came upon other theories of individualism like Ayn Rand, which are much more extreme. Ayn Rand, like other philosophers, unfortunately confuses her brand of individualism. It is in fact a theory of racist privilege. Rand was a zionist who depended largely on welfare and aid from the israeli government.
Ideas like socialism and fascism are both becoming popular in america. definitions for these terms are changing day by day because of lower educational levels among constituents. Youtube video comments are becoming the hotbed of american education.
Since the assassination of JFK, we have witnessed America fall into a trap of populism. You are either a neoconservative or a neoconservative; democrat or republican, you support foreign invasions. Both parties are populist. Both parties seek to appeal to the ideological fanaticism of constituents, which is the product of ignorance (passive) and arrogance (active). the republicans appeal to the mass-minded religious nuts; the democrats appeal to the animal loving, overly environmentally paranoid, Wall Street hipsters.
Both social groups, the democratic left wing and the republican right wing constituencies share one thing – economic insecurity. This makes them vulnerable to the forces of collective-group-think and propaganda.
Americans are pawns of a grand puppet scheme strung together by a coalition of religious fanatics who can’t let go a historical grudge and bitter past, ideological fanatics who can’t separate their delusions from their imagination, corporate-cults that can’t survive without income exploitation, and politicians who are the business on this grand stage, selling us their “business models” — though poorly designed. But if the constituency is too dumb to notice, why not?
Economic insecurity has been exacerbated in America, though it always existed. The struggle between America’s colonial past and its desire to form a national identity is evident in the early conflict between those who wished to extend the tradition of capitalist exploitation, and those who wished to balance open markets with a strong state capable of regulating abuses by political and economic elites. This conflict was waged between the federalists and the anti-federalists. Slavery would come into question very late in this conversation of power-sharing and power-limits, to the misfortune of the African-American population, whose grievances remain largely unaddressed even today, 40 years after the civil rights era, and the deaths of both Malcolm and Martin. Today’s Jim Crow is police brutality.
Back to the subject. Economic insecurity. Why? The colonialists won. America was founded on colonialism, so it is only right that capitalism, that is, the benefits of exploitation, took precedence over the need to form a national identity and cater to the welfare of the general American public, in the list of priorities of the American elite.
Today, this struggle continues. But the conflict is more ambiguous, because the manipulative tactics have become more devious and difficult to detect. The masses are in a trance. The individual is dead.
Is this the fate of democracy? The struggle between democracy and republicanism ensues.
The American constituency has grown less patient than ever, and has become more vulnerable to mass-media, propaganda and ideological inconsistency than ever before. Perhaps this is a reflection of America’s desperate attempt to colonize and control other parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, Latin America, Central and Southeast Asia. The government has utilized all mechanisms available to manufacture consent for war and arbitrary conflict to secure the elites grasp of power, and to preserve the current political system in place, in the words of Noam Chomsky.
What is that political system?
The majoritarian system of democracy divided us and portrays ideologies as competing against one another. Instead there needs to be a recognition that majoritarianism can often trump the rights of individuals, political, social or economic. What is more important, that majority rules, or that individual rights are preserved? The extent of individual rights are hotly debated, but this is often a tactic too. It should be simple. But politicians want to justify poverty and institutional disenfranchisement so they encourage tensions, racism, and xenophobia. They strip us of our rights to tax funds, and to self-investment. A poor constituency cannot have power. Perhaps that is what the elite desires.
Is majoritarianism the problem? No, the problem is our cultural values have begun to diminish. If they didn’t then the majority would rule in favor of righteous policies, not ones that encourage war and unrest, domestically and abroad.
America is learning to heal from its past, but the scars run deep. The individual still exists, but he is striving perhaps more than ever, to secure his place in the world.
What we are demanding, is a New America.
Political and religious labels are misleading. Depending on the context, these labels change in meaning. In one context, such as Maoist China or Spain during the Civil War, republican might be defined as communist, whereas in the United States, the modern Republican is essentially a neo-conservative. In France, Republicans are centrists and the other major alternative is the far left Socialist Party. Furthermore, labels are often used as a method of control, riddled with arbitrary conjecture & irrationalism. For example, take libertarianism. Ayn Rand is the fountainhead of the label. Despite being a so-called individualist doctrine, anti-statist, anti-communist, pro-anarchy essentially, Ayn Rand remained dependent on government welfare & died in debt. In this case, the ideology is not merely vague — it has no sense.
There are too many organizations that profit off preaching extreme & baseless political views instead of quality innovation. America is the world’s hub for entrepreneurs, open-markets & free-trade. There are however, many barriers to this system. ‘Republicans’ might suggest the problem is an over-reaching government. But usually when the US government is doing any over-reaching, the party in control is Republican. The hypocrisy is evident. Republicans are more correctly described as neo-conservatives. They are statists who use ideology to expand their political agendas domestically & abroad. Personally, I think the Republican party should be renamed the ‘Conservative Party’. Reason is because the Democratic Party is the actual successor of the Democratic-Republican Party which reflects the ideal of limited government more reasonably than the GOP. The classical-liberalism which is intended to serve as the foundation of the Republican Party is completely absent. What actually exists in the void is a religious zealotry, which combines state-expansionism w/ religious evangelism. I would classify the Bushes & Ronald Reagan in this category. If any of the two parties even remotely exhibit any aspects of classical liberalism it would be the Democrats. Generally speaking the Democrats are anti-war & pro-civil-liberties. Most civil rights movements find support from the Democratic Party, more so than the Republican Party.
Meanwhile Libertarians like Rand Paul & his father tout an ideal that doesn’t exist. Perhaps without realizing it, they too are pawns of the neo-conservative movement. The Pauls can’t decide whether they support Israel or not, but seeing as how libertarianism is without affirmation, so too is their loyalty. The inconsistencies in this ideological dogma are rampant. They merely work to further distract individuals from the motive of the ‘Republican’ Party, which is to expand the role of the state beyond democratic & egalitarian means at home and abroad. At home their agenda works to suppress minorities, African-Americans, Muslim & Arab-Americans, Hispanics, Women, Gays, Immigrants, Jews, & Atheists — to disenfranchise them from the social, economic and political scene of America.
The nepotism within capitalism is so rampant that it makes Republicans look completely ridiculous when they make claims about rags-to-riches, especially when few of them experienced this route but rather inherited their wealth or benefit off the nepotism of white privilege in America.
Furthermore the double-standard is apparent in that only conventional views are the big profiteers while conscious non-conformers are disenfranchised from the social, economic & political fabric of American society. White people, especially those who espouse neo-conservative attitude. Let me add that there is a generally accepted belief that atheists and the republican party are incompatible due to religious differences but in reality these two forces work hand in hand. You do not have to be a religious fanatic to be a neo-con. Christopher Hitchens & Bill Maher, two renowned atheists, RIP to the former, were avid neo-cons who supported the Bush Jr. campaign in Iraq. All of these labels are used to pin us against each other instead of addressing the actual issues. Most of these dudes hold profitable positions because they’ve conformed to the neo-con attitude–HIGHLY profitable in America.
Instead of relying on fanatical ideologies & religious social systems for sustenance, why not rely on yourselves and your individuality?
Furthermore, just like Bill Maher & Christopher Hitchens can use their ideology to profit, why can’t we non-conformers & anti-neo-cons? Watch TYT reluctance to call the recent murders of 3 Muslim-Americans a hate-crime, probably because it was committed by a White, American atheist (video below). The Young Turks network remains till this day non-vocal on the issue of the Armenian-Genocide, to the benefit of neo-cons & NATO & some Turkish agents.
While TYT & Uygur have made it clear that they are not associated with The Young Turks ideology which was likely responsible for the Armenian Genocide in 1915, which claimed not only the lives of Armenians but also Assyrians & Greeks, it has yet to recognize the crime as a genocide altogether. I believe only through continued assimilation of Turks & Armenians can this crime once and for all be recognized, justice served & dignity restored.
It isn’t surprising that the Armenian Genocide has yet to be treated as a Holocaust. In an article I once read, the recognition of past political crimes on a massive scale requires amnesty and thus raises the status of a given group to one of privilege; a benefit only some wish to enjoy. How many groups have been historically systematically oppressed, whose sufferings remain today, wholly unaddressed? African-Americans? Armenians? Arab-Christians? Chinese Democrats? Muslims? Palestinians? Africans? Immigrants?
The list goes on.
If there is one thing I have come to learn to really appreciate it is my individual freedom.
It is becoming extremely taboo to tout your individualism.
It is often viewed as a sense of paranoia.
I have learned to face a fact: most people prefer to rely on others – instead of themselves – for financial/political gain.
They themselves do not possess the qualities necessary for financial success.
The irony is that these qualities are not just scarce but that most people are unaware of them entirely.
These qualities are spiritual, and this is the irony, that it requires a form of spiritualism to succeed in the realm of materialism.
This is my philosophy of Islam, a perfect blend of secularism and spirituality. This is my version of what I believe is perfect Abrahamic monotheism.
As a Syrian, I have seen the lines drawn between believer and non-believer; adherent & heretic. Usually the lines are separated between Alawite & Sunni, but my version of pure Islam embodies neither and at the same time a little bit of both.
My emphasis in this post is on how my philosophy in life has brought me to a confrontation with a worldly dilemma: collectivism – the inability of other human beings to develop a sense of self-respect and individualism due to a variety of reasons ranging from insecurity to familial underdevelopment to political suppression.
In America the general idea is that Republicans, the right-wing, Libertarians, the tea party, Ron Paul, Ann Coulter & Ayn Rand are the de-facto symbols of individual freedom – especially the individual freedom that birthed the American model of governance.
Initially, the preservation of individual rights sprung from the individual concern about the fate of his most basic rights. Eventually, once the individual discovered his innovative capacity, he wanted a new form of individual rights: the protection of intellectual property.
The general narrative against collectivism is that human beings form tribes that eventually turn into governmental forces that suppress individual innovation and ultimately bring an end to prosperity and the general welfare.
The USSR, Nazi Germany, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Iran, the DRC – these are all national entities which have evidently subjugated their people to terrible standards of living throughout history – some still exist today.
My ultimate question is, from where does this ultimate desire to stifle the “ultimately economic” freedom of the individual?
Why must we as individuals suppress our self-expression, our ambition to be great, our desire for dignity and freedom…for the sake of preserving the insecurity of other individuals?
But what insecurity do I speak of? If all individuals in a given society are free to do as they wish; what fear of failure ought any of these individuals have? The fear of fulfillment? The fear of not being acknowledged? The fear of being overlooked? The fear of financial insecurity? Or, less innocently, the fear of not losing exclusivity and power?
Ultimately…my political philosophy can be described as a classical liberal monotheist, with some socialist elements that recognize the crimes of history. Conservatism, collectivism guised as individualism, and all other forms of collective thought-manufacturing, is the antithesis of freedom, salvation, enlightenment, education, happiness & prosperity.
Capitalism purports to be the preserver of competition but in reality what it does it strip the realm of ‘God’ as the superior deity in order to fill a void or insecurity of skill, thereby relying on arbitrary ownership of ideas. This is capitalism. Communism does the same.
All the isms of this world serve one giant agenda of collectivist persuasion – to turn men into sheep and to herd them into giant collectives and to pin them against one another – the age old ‘divide and conquer’.
Meanwhile all the moderates, the spiritualists, the self-reliant, the skilled, the humble, the abundant…whose currencies are neither government nor business…but rather…God and nature…these are the messengers whose messages are as warnings to a world of ignorance; a world that was never free but in which free men are constantly struggling to preserve their dignity and purpose.
It is us who recognize the fallacies of man, who have read history and understand the imperfections of our entire race, it is us who struggle.
I have no currency. I have no religion. I have no ideology. I am but a man of Nature and the one and only Supreme Being.
Those men who wish for more than nature wish for power and vanity. They wish to be worshipped and to worship that which is not our God. Beware especially of the fanatics.
These men are slaves of the systems of ownership of other men that human beings have created in this world. Capitalism owns men by convincing them they can achieve higher social status and greater acceptance if they conform to a set of a capitalist set of values that ultimately enslaves you to that methodology of thinking, thereby preserving power in the hands of that very same capitalist elite. Communism does the same by making you think that you are more powerful and socially reputable if you propagate/advertise yourself as an ascetic intellectual who does not require the basic needs of man. Ultimately both of these philosophies have a non-genuine intent: social status and power.
Anarchists are another great tool for power-mongers as they promote jealousy by pinning the only source of potential stability – government – as the enemy.
Remember, government is not necessarily the problem, but rather, the ideas that are used to enslave our governments to groups of men: cults.
Democracy and socialism have been hi-jacked by power-hungry capitalists, communists, anarchists and such.
More ideas and isms will spring forth in the future to destabilize countries, usurp resources, and maintain power.
Therefore, power is the ultimate goal and nation-states are their tools. Private and public security forces that inhibit the spread of genuine democracy and socialism are the controllers of this world. The ideologues. These are the kingpins. The money, the resources, the militias: these are their tools.
Now that I have no fear I am free again because I see the ignorance of this world and that my God is perfect. Fatalism has always been true.
Men are at fault for their intentions. There are consequences.
The true men of this world have sought truth and education; they have equally sought to spread it.
Most men are busy worrying about the power and vanities of this world, when they could merely focus on their gifts and blessings.
Do not allow your ambitions to distort the truest definition and origin of a word or concept.
There is a huge difference between classical liberalism and libertarianism, and conservatism. I align classical liberalism with my God of Islamic monotheism, and get socialist nationalism. The gods of other ideologies are either other men, preachers, clerics, power-wielders or themselves.
(The genius of capitalism is that it allows for one man or one small group to use money to hire and own employees and their skills so as to make it seem as though human beings are individually capable of perfection when in fact the capitalist must enslave workers upon workers to curate perfection).
Had an interesting conversation with a dear friend of mine on the issue of the debate between religion and science, atheism and theism.
While I sought to avoid all the useless rhetoric which leads to no answers – I sought to reconcile what I believe to be two perceptions that are not all quite that different. What I have noticed as a common denominator amongst so-called atheists is a disdain more-so for the morose attributes of religion rather than the philosophy and intellectualism behind it. In reality, even in today’s modern world, religion is a tool for control, power and crime (as expressed through politics), which does nothing to improve the image of the philosophy behind theology in the first place.
Social liberalism grew largely out of the resistance movements against monarchism, despotism, authoritarianism, and socio-economic control. Since most of these ‘tyrants’ in history were in fact justifying their actions through religious dogma, it only makes sense that individuals would be repulsed by the idea altogether. But just as there have been religiously dogmatic tyrants, there have also been irreligiously dogmatic tyrants. And in the midst of it all, we’ve even had tyrants who could not make the decision for themselves, such as Hitler, who in one angle portrays himself as a God-fearing messiah, and in other, an anti-judaic anti-christ. Stalin and Lenin worked to disenfranchise religion entirely from the socio-political scene.
Ultimately, each individual ought to be free – atheist or not. In the end it seems to me what matters are the virtues of life that are carried in philosophy altogether. Religious fanatics will claim you cannot be good without obedience to organized religion; atheists claim you can be ABSOLUTELY moral without the help of God. Both seem quite extreme. I sympathize with the atheist however, because religious dogma is terrifying. Yet, I do believe that without God, man falls prey to hubris, which eventually leads to power-grabbing, and an obstruction of human liberty and dignity.
Ultimately, I must say I am devoted to the Abrahamic God – and I believe all truth and beauty resonates from Him. The wonders of philosophy, morality, existentialism, and secularism as well – all of these resonate from that wonderful truth which is perfection – the Lord of the worlds. No, I do not traditionally welcome the Christian anthropomorphic version of God, and I do reject the evangelical and fundamentalistic zionist interpretation of God – seeing both of these as equally dogmatic and detrimental to individual liberty, dignity, and truth.
I am a muslim and a jew. I believe in the message of Allah. I do so philosophically, however not ‘religiously’. I submit to God – not to one man’s devious understanding of God.
Here I am free. Isn’t that odd? And yet, still constrained. Taboos. Fears. Politics. You know.
I wrote a story once. [censored]. It wasn’t incredible.
It was divine.
Am I living it now? Wow.
America is the Utopia of the 21st century. It is the ideal democracy although within it there are forces determined to take advantage of it. What fascinates me is American Exceptionalism, this idea of being favored, special, different, than the rest of the world. On one hand, it is the most beautiful political drama. On the other, it is an ugly tragedy. Still, America holds firm.
The startling question I have is what is the reason for this exceptionalism. I would argue it has much to do with religion, capitalism, and individualism.
It could be argued that other parts of the world exhibit these characteristics like Europe, Japan, Brazil, etc. But I find individualism a fleeting ideology in the world — a struggle rather.
America, is the last stronghold, or perhaps the most powerful one. That is a double edged sword.
I have faith in America though. Let’s see what comes in the future.
The freedom of speech warrants my personal desire to express social, political and economic as well as spontaneous internal manifestations of my soul.
Our duty as Americans is to understand the source of our national problems in order to improve our image as a nation and to improve relations with other nations. Our job is not to eradicate evil, but to weaken it, to stifle it, and to secure Justice. All pessimists are just unambitious lazy people who have nothing better to do than be pretentious. God bless America, save Palestine, and free the world from the ignorance of injustice.