America’s Traumatic Relationship to Independence

 

Anyone who has anxiety or PTSD is going to have a hard time with all of the explosions. But deeper, this holiday is a celebration of war, domination, struggle, greed and fear.

Even the way in which the date of this holiday is described is interesting. Referring to the date with the day of the month first is a European style, the opposite of the American style. We should be celebrating July 4th. Stockholm Syndrome much?
 
This holiday is also a celebration of independence, meaning the beginning of war. And that is still a reference directly to the war. It is not a celebration of coming together, rebuilding, envisioning a beautiful future, or any of the things that really make life worth living after the war. It is a play-out of the trauma suffered through the acts of dominating and being dominated. It is a distorted call for healing.
 
We see this in children all of the time. Children act out their traumas, the things that they can’t make sense of, the things that are too overwhelming. In play therapy, these traumas are acted out while healing is facilitated by a therapist… all through play.
 
Our narcissistic ass-clown of a president played out the perfect expression of the trauma of America’s independence… with lots of explosions, tanks, fighter planes and front-row seats for wealthy GOP donors. It’s the story of the bullied who becomes the bully. And Trump’s urging of Americans to join the military to defend our country is a blatantly false statement from the past. Nobody is attacking us. America is not a “good" country. America, since the beginning, has created much more harm in the world militarily and politically than it solved.
 
Now don’t get me wrong… sometimes there is a need to break things so that the pieces can be put back together in a new way. Hitler needed to be stopped. At the time, the best way to break the German war machine was through direct military action. That isn’t the way to address conflict most effectively these days. As new technology is developed, the ability of small groups and even individuals to affect the world increases. The technology to combine facial recognition software and killer drones is already available, for instance. Nuclear, biological, cyber… this is the future, if we continue on our current path.
 
If we continue to celebrate war and America’s position of military dominance, we’re all fucked. We’re just handing the keys to the rich and powerful. We’ll get flashy parades with fly-bys and explosions but not living wages or universal healthcare. We’ll still have children in cages. 
 
Instead of Independence Day, we need a National Day of Healing. And then we need to apply that to the other 364 remaining days of the year.
 
Because the world is changing very fast now…
 
Curiously, though, you won’t really see the changes clearly unless you’ve got a lot of privilege. If you have access to new technology and you’re watching… Most of America isn’t watching. They aren’t seeing Google employees opposed to the company selling it’s facial recognition software to the military, the implications of 5G upon citizen surveillance, human augmentation, that fake news now includes video of whomever saying whatever… that the ability to control people is expanding exponentially and you can’t trust anyone or anything.
 
The new era is, in many ways, the same as the old era. Rich and powerful people living outlandish lives and feeding off the work of the poor. Still telling the old lies about pulling yourselves up by your bootstraps, the us vs. them mythology, ego and individualism, be a patriot, blah blah blah. The difference is that new technology and particularly artificial intelligence is leveraging the power of the rich in ways we’ve never seen before… and the explosion of new tech is just beginning.
 
The new era CANNOT be in the hands of the current elite. Your children (and you) will be unlikely to survive it.
 
In the only future that I can see where life is good, safe and happy, it is good, safe and happy for ALL people. For that we need a lot of healing and a re-structuring of wealth. We need to recognize that Independence Day was only for White male landowners (ummmm… ) and that the trauma of being owned, attacked and killed continued for People of Color and women. Via the police, courts, prisons, concentration camps, educational system and financial system, even today the only really “free" people tend to be white and male. Everyone else is just trying to get by.
 
But… the power to leverage new tech and the brilliance of AI, automation and world-wide instantaneous connection offers the opportunity for ALL of HUMANITY to up-level to lives of much greater ease and abundance. We can all enjoy a beautiful future.
 
And… we won’t vote the rich and powerful out of their wealth and power. We need to be talking about what to do AFTER we remove the ass-clown and his ever-revolving trash cabinet from office.
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