Western Folly

Not Honest With Themselves
By Steven J. Grisafi, PhD.

During his visit on March 25th to American troops stationed in Poland, President Biden repeated the often heard platitude voiced by American politicians as they try to explain away America’s demographic difficulties. They make the bold, and false, claim that America is the only nation based upon an idea. They blithely overlook that so too was the Soviet Union based upon an idea. It is that same idea upon which the People’s Republic of China is based, the principle of socialism. Republicans in America like to make the claim that President Reagan caused the demise of the Soviet Union. The reality is that the Soviet Union was an enormous multi-cultural society that collapsed of its own weight. Many Americans, both Democrats and Republicans alike, make the claim that the collapse of the Soviet Union indicates the failure of socialism. They make this claim despite the successful implementation of socialism, not only in the People’s Republic of China, but also in several Nordic countries of Europe. The collapse of the Soviet Union is evidence of the instability of multi-cultural societies. Spanning eleven time zones the former Soviet Union was an amalgamation of Eastern, Western and Islamic cultures. Despite the enormous size of the People’s Republic of China it has avoided the fate of the former Soviet Union by maintaining its strictly Eastern culture.

Neither Belarus, nor the Ukraine, had existed prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We overlook the extensive fragmentation of Europe and fail to notice the large swath of land that has been the province of the language and culture of the Russian people. Nearly everyone in the Ukraine speaks the Russian language; more so than the English language dominates in the United States. Yet, despite the blatant and obvious hypocrisy, the suggestion that America should undergo the sort of fragmentation the American people compel other nations to accept is met with extreme hostility. The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has terrified the peoples of Europe, not only because of the possibility that they could be next, but because they fear the fragmentation of the United States. What they insist upon having for themselves, their own little cultural niche in the world, they consider not suitable for the American people. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell committed a gaffe by failing to include the adjective “American” when referring to Black People in America, numerous Black Americans spoke out regarding how they feel such language diminishes their feeling of inclusion within America. One such person added that it is only when he travels aboard that he truly feels that others believe he is an American. That actually poses consternation to certain other types of Americans that are not part of the traditional image others have of the American people. Europeans seem to form their image of the American people from the loudest voices within American politics. Doing so overlooks the vast majority of the American people who seek, not to change society, but to conform to it. Years ago I wrote in a blog post that George W. Bush is as alien to me as Barack Obama. Neither represent me nor my fraction of the American people.

For me to want what the numerous peoples of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire acquired upon its dissolution after World War I is terrifying to the Europeans, the Taiwanese, the Israelis and others who depend upon their security with protection from the United States. While the people in Poland fear invasion by the Russians, people like me in America fear venturing into the “wrong” neighborhood. Certain thinking persons, who do recognize America’s demographic divisions, consider separation of America’s diverse peoples to be impractical. They assert that there are no strict divisions between Republican and Democratic states. At not time have I ever contemplated any division between “Blue” states and “Red” states. The American people are far more fragmented beyond two political party divisions. Such thinking persons also assert that within all states there are urban and rural areas which tend to align along the Blue and Red divisions. As a result, they consider it fruitless to contemplate separation or segregation of the various American peoples. But I say look at a map of Europe and a map of the cultural influences developed in North America during its colonial period. Observe the extensive fragmentation of Europe. The Europeans, the Taiwanese, the Israelis, etc. etc. fear most that America might dissolve to form an Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Czech Republic, etc. etc. as did the Austro-Hungarian and German Empires. Now we also have promoted the fragmentation of the former Russian Empire with the creation of Belarus and the Ukraine. Americans welcome the separation of those who wish to identify as Ukrainian as distinct from the others who still consider themselves to be Russian. It is the old “Divide and Conquer” trick of the Ancient Romans.

So I say to the Ukrainian, and other European peoples, you can have your little cultural niche in the world. But such privilege you would deny to me because you expect me, and other Americans like me, to harbor your prejudices and serve your needs. Growing up in America there was a clear bias in the education we received in public school. We were taught to admire all things British and to hate all things French. The Spanish Armada deserved its fate and Napoleon deserved his Waterloo. We learned to admire Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. But now such persons are soundly condemned by all. As a result, some Americans, such as me, now say: Enough! Let us segregate and go our separate ways! Let us fragment as all others throughout the world now seek to do. As President Biden has said, America is still a work in progress. So let us take the next step, Mr. President.