"I'm known for my irony. But even I would not have
come upon the idea of erecting a statue of liberty in the harbor of New
"I know of no country in which there is generally less
intellectual independence and less true freedom than America."
"Although America has always been convinced of being
the land of freedom par excellence ... there is in fact no other country
in which people are forced to live under such overwhelming constraint
... They have a deadly hatred for undomesticated men and absolute souls."
"I think that America is the greatest failure in history.
Much, much more has been given to it than to any other country on earth,
but we have lost our souls."
"America is a monstrosity." "I don't hate
it, I wish Columbus hadn't discovered it."
"L'Amerique? C'est Revolution de la barbarie à
la decadence, sans toucher la culture."
"The singular people"
Moloch. In the Bible that is the evil god, the god of the Canaanites and the Ammonites, the idol to whom humans were sacrificed. "Moloch" according to our dictionaries is that power which ravenously demands sacrifices, always more sacrifices, insatiable, all-voracious. Moloch therefore cannot be that other: salvation, light of the world, "the bright light of hope," the "chosen people," "the Israelites of our time," the "New Jerusalem" with its "manifest destiny," its divine mission as leader of mankind and pattern of perfection, as something quite noble, special, lifted above all other countries, lofty.
But America is all these things, of course, and not just for its own sake, to its own advantage and profit, oh no, but to the benefit and advantage of the entire world. And this, even though the world is in wretched shape on every side, heaping crimes upon crimes, sending forth spies, supporting terrorists, fanning conflicts large and small, setting off world wars and overwhelming the best of all lands with a flood of cocaine. It, the chosen nation, "the singular people" (Hermann Melville) has, to be sure, its weaknesses, minimal imperfections so to speak, incidental flaws in its otherwise impeccable uprightness. While foreigners, as their children learn from the earliest age, are always at fault and must therefore be lifted out of the dirt, educated, beautified, and ennobled with American ideals. For Americans insist on never having possessed colonies; they who love independence would never think of making others dependent; they, citizens of a free country, would never think of depriving others of their freedom, no. They are protectors of the world only, guardians, saviors, true angels of righteousness. As for the Devil, well, that used to be the Russians. But there are still plenty of devils out there, lots of them, under manifold guises, embodiments, nationalities .. Only one remains ever pure: the Yankee.
It's always been that way. And still is. There's hardly been a president who hasn't clearly recognized this American role, announcing it in solemn declaration to all the world. No more wars, just major police actions
For John Adams (1797-1801) already, their second president, the U.S. was "a magnificent plan of Providence" clearly intended to liberate and enlighten that part of mankind still oppressed by slavery. Not by means of war, no. An Adams doesn't wage war. His move against the evil French was purely defensive, losing in one year more than 300 warships.
Under Thomas Jefferson, his successor (1801-1809), a believer in eternal peace, wanting to end war forever, one of humanity's most venerable cultural institutions is founded: the military academy of West Point. And the struggle with the pasha of Tripoli goes on for years. The pasha raises his tribute so Jefferson, unfortunately, must send warships into the Mediterranean. Jefferson after all, founder of the Democratic Party and one of the most celebrated, successful speakers of his day, holds that the U.S. is responsible for "keeping the sacred fire whose sparks will always serve to ignite it in other regions of the world." So four years of war with Tripoli. But waged by the president only in the name of peace, the beautiful "spark." He gives the order to fire only on account of the "sacred fire." In doing so, of course, he shows a little contempt for the Old World, but only because the New World is so much better, because Europe, for example, "does not have a single ruler whose talents or services would suffice to claim him an office in an American parish."
So it is.
Jefferson, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln one of the leading founders of modern American society and intellectual life, wished that "an ocean of fire lay between us and the Old World." But he could also be more generous and allow "old Europe" to support itself on the strong shoulders of America, "as well as it can, bound by priests and kings, hobbling along next to us." A Samaritan. A man of nobility. He wanted to be a support, a helper on the way to better times for the old, miserable continent, suffering under priests and kings. And so he recommended liberality and progress to His Majesty King George III of England in his "A Summary View of the Rights of British America." This the same Jefferson, third president of the United States and owner of 200 black slaves whom he carefully counted each evening, he, Jefferson, who regularly took pleasure in one of his slaves, the attractive Sally Hemings, thereby crossing the color bar and declaring, while slaves all over his state of Virginia lay in irons that "American will be a signal to the world that calls humanity to break the chains..."
Jeffersonianism took root in their noble minds. America was a land of peace. It didn't wage war. Of course it restored order when that was necessary -- which was more and more frequent as it grew in size. Not through wars, crusades, catastrophes, not at all. But through major police actions, so to speak. As friend to helper to all. A force for order. There were always excellent reasons for intervention, setting straight, establishing peace as it were. And intervention is of course a last resort, when all humanitarian measures have failed in the face of an evil enemy. So begins, on the heels of the Tripoli War, the War of 1812 against England to establish "freedom of the seas." The war against Mexico in 1845 is a war "for civilization." The Civil War of 1861 is a war "for unity," the 1898 war against Spain a war "for democracy." The wars against Germany in 1917 and 1941 are for nothing less than "world peace."
"...the most lawless people on earth"
The U.S. naturally intervenes in quite different ways. It
depends on the governmental system of the other, their economic conditions,
the degree of their strength or weakness. The more pliable, dependent,
powerless they are, the more massive and ruthless are Washington's pressure,
threats and punishments.
Excerpted from: Karlheinz Deschner: The Moloch
This page was last updated on 12/23/03 - subject to alterations -