Darkness and Hope in these United States
The United States today is a land of paradox.
A nation famed for our liberty, we have the highest percentage of population incarcerated of all the nations of the Earth, this not even including the many citizens on probation, living without full citizenship rights, even rights like that to move to another city to seek more gainful employment, a right granted to serfs at the end of the medieval period in Europe.
Almost painfully slow to enter foreign wars since the social upheaval of the Vietnam era, our military expenditures surpass the next 14 nations combined, which is not money wasted in the strict sense of the word. We are fully, indeed over-prepared for any war or fighting force conceivable to man. By and large, we ignored the deeper lessons of the World Wars regarding hyper-militarization, fascism, and dehumanization; and instead only noted the patriotic boost to industry and our eventual victory. It is a dangerous world; But let us not regard hypermilitarism in excessive reverence. A blunt instrument destroys: a fine art creates.
Neither have we fully heeded the lesson of the second Iraq War: The ability to destroy an enemy army is useless without the softer but more civilized arts involved in persuading and governing a foreign civilization, for the time of occupation that is. The arts and ways of civilization and scholarship are destined to define the 21st century, however prepared we are to repeat the great wars and great sufferings of the last century.
We are a mighty, superabundant economy tested by many centuries; Yet millions of citizens (even children) experience the ravishes of poverty, poverty far more degrading and extensive than can be found in Western Europe or even most of the industrialized world.
Indeed, the United Nations recently saw fit to research and publish a report on the subject of American poverty, as if we were some third world back-water. There are countless impoverished Americans and so many of them are working or are children but are still unable to adequately meet life's basic needs! Many of the impoverished are not recent immigrants but full citizens with centuries of roots in this nation, and forefathers who spilt honorable blood on the fields of our wars.
Analyzing these verifiable facts, what comes into focus is a picture of madness and of injustice!
Our domestic politics along with our habituation to the Cold War is causing us to continue a hostile and brutal blockade of our greatest nuclear rival: Russia. Between Russia and the U.S.A., there are enough nuclear and hydrogen bombs to send mankind back to a radio-active stone age... yet politicians and pundits continue to insist on Russia's economic isolation over the repatriation of the Crimea, a populace largely desiring to be Russian... A policy that could lead to nuclear war, or more likely to the dissipation of nuclear weaponry around the globe and into the hands of truly unstable states and organizations.
An impoverished Russia would have no other choice.
For all the prosperity and apparent beauty of these United States, we are in a burgeoning state of crisis, one which our elders are happily trapped in even as a needle addict willingly and daily bruises, bleeds and poisons his body... and imagines himself to be in a perfect world. Beneath the veneer, so it is with our body politic.
Fortunately, there are many and exemplary exceptions among the elders, and the upcoming generations have in overwhelming majority more sane and productive views on subjects such as poverty and mass incarceration. Let our great and resourceful USA reach out to join the world in the pursuit of a brave and noble new vision for human and American civilization. Let It be a practical set of programs and transformative phenomena that will lead us much closer to that ideal we are all 'created equal!' with a right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'