Tuesday, September 23, 2008

i'm a field negro! (the oddness of nationalism)

it makes sense to be proud of certain things. if one has accomplished a goal, worked themselves into a good and honest person, set a new standard in a desired field, run a successful business, etc. one has good reason to be proud of such feats. oftentimes, oddly, people are proud of things that reflect on themselves in virtually no way. i've heard of people being proud of their height, beauty, their car, their ancestry, etc. why would someone be proud of such things? what did they have to do with any of them? most of those are merely circumstantial, or a reflection of subjective tastes. would these people be proud of a coin flip that landed on tails? "i'm proud to be a tail!" would they be proud if they chose the color green over blue? why would random occurrences or simple preferences elicit a sense of pride? i don't know. it doesn't make sense to me, nor does the pride in one's "country", or nationalism.

many years ago, a few folks with great centralized power got together and drew some lines on a map and called them "borders". these lines don't actually exist in real life. the purpose of these map-scribbles was to determine the area inside which they would subjugate the residents to their will. they didn't actually own the land on which they imposed the lines and really had no right to it whatsoever, at least any more than you or i do. on the other side of the lines is the territory the residents of which are ruled over by a different set of illegitimate persons. the point is that these lines were drawn by people who never had the right to draw them and are jealously and violently guarded by the group inheriting them. all of the people inside the borders, also known as a "nation", are slaves to the powerful line-drawers, forced to submit to their will and forced to work part of every week in order to support their masters (through taxation, deficits and inflation), who live lavishly upon the ill-gotten gains. the slaves are you and i and the government is our master.

nationalists take great pride in their role as a slave. they tout the superiority of the random area which the "borders" encircle. they feel a sense of exceptionalism in the fact that they, by happenstance, were born inside these imaginary lines. nationalism is the oddest type of pride; not only are its adherents lowly slaves of a parasitic class, but they had nothing to do with the fact that they were born inside the borders, it was a chance occurrence. they often go so far as to mock those born as slaves inside other borders, as the tails-flipper might mock the heads-flipper.

many nationalists may be observed flailing and gnashing teeth when others enter the borders without subjecting themselves to the slave-owners, though if the rulers were to erase the border in the night and the nationalist awoke to discover it was now drawn to include the homes of the immigrant, all would be well! the nationalist derives much of his self-identification by the placement of an imaginary line on a piece of paper. yes, the nationalist is an odd individual who, living in miami, feels a fearful distrust of those living 90 miles outside the imaginary lines in cuba, but a brotherhood with those of the far-off land of seattle, neither of which they have ever encountered.

malcolm x called these types "house negros". they love their master and would do anything for him. they worship at his feet and speak out on behalf of his goodness. they hate those who don't unquestionably accept his rule. they berate those who work in the fields under the lash and those who pray that the master, when sick, dies while the house negro prays that he recovers.



may the nationalist serve the master well, waving his flags and singing his anthems, while i, the field negro, pray for the master's death.

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