Finally watched THE LAST FULL MEASURE – a 2019 film based on the real life story of the effort to get a posthumous Medal Of Honor for an USAF Airman, William H Pitsenbarger Jr, for his acts of service during a rescue mission in Vietnam. He died after saving many other soldiers lives, but being Enlisted, was not given the same priority for the MOH that Officers were. Only 3 of the thousands of MOH awarded in the Air Force have gone to Enlisted, the rest to Officers. Class divisions and inequality, unsurprisingly, are built into the US military.
In this scene with Diane Ladd, who plays Pitsenbarger’s mother, she says they didn’t stop their son from going to serve in Vietnam because they had raised him with American Values and couldn’t tell him to defy those just because they were scared of what they could lose. “If not our son, whose?”
I’m thinking about how the indoctrination and propaganda in the US informs us that this is the high moral ground to stand on.
In reality, the wars and invasions that the US is involved in are resource wars on behalf of the Bourgeoisie ruling class, and they condition us to believe that the human sacrifices that must be made in order to support those wars are normal and good.
The ruling class requires this violence in order to increase their wealth and maintain their power over the rest of us. Whether oil, lithium, cobalt, gold, or any number of natural resources, the US has started wars and conducted coup d’etats against other sovereign nations on behalf of Capitalists.
These resource wars in the name of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny serve the banks and billionaires. You know, the same people and organizations that have been shown not to pay much, if anything at all, in taxes, but who rely upon the infrastructure built and maintained by the working class, who have to make up for the fair share of ruling class unpaid taxes with increased payments of our own, and decreased community supports.
But it’s really important to the Bourgeoisie ruling class that they have at least 10 superyachts each, and more money than they could ever spend in their lifetimes, and often more than several generations of their descendants could. Meantime, other human beings suffer from not getting their basic needs met. These are not representative of billions of individual failings. This is an unjust system designed to work exactly in this manner.
Oh, and we taxpayers had to bail the same tax dodgers out after they’ve bankrupted themselves pursuing their greed – all on the back of the working class. They just received the largest upward transfer of wealth in human history this past spring as part of the CARES Act. Five TRILLION dollars.
On top of all of that, they expect us to be willing to sacrifice our children for their cause, which they manipulate the population into believing is “our” cause. That is false class solidarity, and it’s important for people to recognize this truth, and the implications that come with it.
American Exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, and the heroification of US historical figures are all part of a white supremacist mythology that is killing all of us, including the white supremacists. It keeps us all in thrall to the capitalists, who are committing ecocide. They have underground survival bunkers, where they expect to ride out years of an unsurvivable climate, while the rest of us suffer.
I’ve gone into detail on all of this in blog posts and past podcasts on all of these matters here on the site, please check out the archives. If this is all new information to you, I highly recommend that you check out the recommended reading section and start your journey of learning actual history. Addicted To War is a graphic novel that is heavily indexed with the reliable historical sources on which it is based, and is a great introduction.
“Okay, so what do we do about it?!” You may be asking. In addition to seeking out educational materials like those I just mentioned, we also need to organize in our communities in order to build dual power, and make ourselves ungovernable by the Bourgeoisie. The specifics of how to do that involve more than just a tweet thread or a blog post, but to get a good overview, you should read this thread from Black Socialists in America.
You should also read this article from Indigenous Action.
The Bourgeoisie social order under which we all live will never give us the tools we need to save ourselves, because the ultra wealthy regard the rest of us as various degrees of disposable. Those famliar with Martin Niemöller’s “First they came for” prose need to understand that it is not just about the Nazi regime in Germany. It informs us that the working class must not allow the divisions that the Bourgeoisie ruling class has sown amongst us to keep us divided. We need one another if we are to avoid Fascist genocide and ecocide. We must agitate, educate, and organize with one another to build strong communities where we can support one another through the crises we are currently experiencing as well as those to come.
If you are looking for a way to connect with other like-minded people in your community, getting involved with a mutual aid group is a great place to get started. You can search for a group in your area in the US at the Mutual Aid Hub website.