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Whither America, Wither the World?

By Ali Parsa

As a naturalized American citizen I have always utilized my freedom of expression to make my adopted country a bit better. That stems from my firm conviction that the constant influx of immigrants with new ideas, talents and resource has made this Nation of Immigrants unique and vibrant and preserved it longer than any empire in the history of the world. The dynamic nature of this country also makes its comparison with other nations almost impossible in most respects. No wonder the founders of America called it "An experiment in freedom and democracy." What most of us tend to ignore is that, like all experiments, America's survival depends on periodic evaluation and adjustments. This writing is another small attempt on my part to accomplish that.

I perceive America as an equal opportunity habitat for nurturing the greatest experts in all human endeavors including the most notorious criminals! Henry Ford said, "What is right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity-intellect and resources-to do something about them." Woodrow Wilson said, "The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation." And finally Benjamin Franklin perceived America " Not as a slave, but as a freemen our money we'll give."

The latest event that has inspired my awe is a surge of public awakening just when I was deeply concerned about uniquely high public apathy in America. While some are unhappy about this change and all its inconveniences, I consider it as a blessing, as a harbinger of hope for a better America and a better world if the public continues to stand up and takes America back from the grip of extremists.

But before we go into the reasons for this awakening we need to recognize the fact there are two kinds of extremists- good an evil, depending on who is the judge! The American Revolution we call good and noble was carried out by a handful of extremists who were called terrorists with bounty on their heads by the tyrannical empire they defeated. The words "Resistance to tyranny is obedient to God" adorned Jefferson' ring.

The other extremists in that historic conflict were a handful of people who were opposed to the American Revolution at its inception. Most of them fled the country with their assets and returned to undo the American Revolution and sadly they have stained America's prestige as a world leader. Unlike America's founders, the modus operandi of these extremists was colonial mentality that can be summarized in excessive ignorance, arrogance and greed, and in the meantime hiding behind the shield of hypocrisy pretending to be what they are not. Historically these were also called sheep in wolves' clothing or "fox in charge of the chicken coop." The hidden agenda of colonial mentality is that the public is created for exploitation only. They could be called names like Taliban, Nazi, Neocons, Alqaeda, fascists of various sorts, but their common denominator is always ignorance, arrogance and greed.

Once again it is worthwhile to underscore the fact that the unique purpose of the American Revolution was to educate and inform the public and put the people in change of the government and not the other way around.

The evil extremists, as they should be called, have conditioned the people to forget Jefferson's words; "Enlighten people and tyranny of body and mind will disappear like evil spirit in the dawn of a day." Increasingly more people are finding out the extremist evils have gone unchecked for too long by the public.

It is not difficult to see that this is the exact opposite of Thomas Jefferson's recipe for the survival of the government of the people when he said, "Those who expect to be ignorant and free, expect what never was and never will be."

Under the management of the extremists public education has not only failed to educate the public in the area of core subjects, but even in common sense such as how much, how often and what to eat that has given rise to overeating and spending billions of dollars to fight its adverse effects. Take the idea of 'shop till you drop' the highest incidence of substance abuse in the world, spending money one does not have, becoming easy prey to credit card fraud and low interest loan mortgage traps, paying outrageous prices for gasoline and all commodities dependent on oil that has nothing to do with the supply and demand and everything to do with merciless profiteer and speculations-- a small picture of a free market gone haywire. In short the public has been conditioned to willingly place their minds, bodies and pocketbooks at the disposal of the exploiters of all kinds. This sad situation is what threatens America and the world the most.

An effective public education system could deter our self-destruction by teaching the simple analysis of cause and effect. Remember that most of our problems would not be problems if we had the knowledge of not becoming prey for the exploiters who hide behind sophisticated terms in order to opiate us and numb our common sense. In the annals of older civilizations this is called muddying the water in order to catch more fish!

One major reason for this is that most of the media is not geared to educate and inform as much as it is to sell and entertain. Had the American public not been conditioned to ignore world history they would safeguard their freedom more as Eric Frome said, "The world is graveyard of empires that did not meet the challenge of their time." Or, Barbara Tuckman'. "Every revolution will, in time put on the robes of the tyrant it deposed." I would add, especially when the revolution is left unguarded.

Outrageous influence of money in elections has robbed the individual without big money of their voting rights and electability as a means of having a voice in their government. This is the same as reversion to disenfranchising a segment of the people or requiring a poll tax.

Globally, we are bankrupting our country in fighting futile wars and in effect buying enemies. Does anyone recall Jefferson's words, "We must not let our rulers leave us in perpetual dept, profusion and servitude The take-home lesson here is as truth made us free, falsehood has been making us slaves.


The extremists are replaying the crusades and world wars by demonizing other cultures, religions and ethnic groups; setting them up for violence to justify our wars and in the meantime blaming them for all of our problems to divert the attention of our people and forget Thomas Jefferson's words, "An empire collapses more from within than from without."

The truth is that this economic downturn or 'bubble economy' is neither the first nor will it be the last if we fail to take ineffective measures. Let us consider the denial of other truths in our history. How can we still call ours the richest nation in the world while we ignore our per capita national debt is over $40,000, mortgaging our children's future, our social security funds and our infrastructures?

We have been running our government on IOU's and the nest eggs of our senior citizens, namely their social security and health care for a long time. We have changed our currency from gold standard to paper that is on its way to be not worth the paper it is printed on.


We are in violation of the wishes of founders who were adamantly opposed to venturing into unchartered territories whose history, culture, religion and language we do not know. It is most ironic that, we have, since the American Revolution gradually fought major wars by our executive power without declaration of war by the Congress and behind the backs of our people. We are energizing the repressive regimes by telling them 'do what I say and not what I do, and call it spreading freedom and democracy.


Predicting the potential destructive power of ignorance in keeping the public uninformed, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) said, "The end of human race is that it will die of civilization." Later Albert Einstein uttered these words, "I don't know what weapons will be used in WWIII, but WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones."

 Welcome back to fast back warding of the history of the world when a self-anointed king ruled a vast region of the known world, bullying and the law of jungle applied and the laws were mostly written so that the ordinary people were exploited as they are now. In fact the world has become far more dangerous because we have put far more emphasis on stockpiling weapons of mass destruction than investing in the education of our young and taking care of our senior citizens and now the increasing number of our maimed, disabled and mentally ill soldiers from our futile "War on Terror." What God given right do we have to take the whole world hostage for the act of a few extremists who are energized by us to begin with? This is equivalent of arrogantly assuming "Do unto others before they do it unto you" Just because we don't believe in dignity and decency of humankind.

Both in America and worldwide there is an innate desire for effective education. The American Ideals as I understand would advocate utilizing our wherewithal in eradicating those ills at a cost that would be a pittance as compared to our stockpiling weapons of mass destruction-enough to annihilate the world many times over.

The American Ideals are based on freedom and dignity of individual and their potential to bring out their good rather than evil side. It is unbecoming of America-once a haven for the rule of law to torture the people for their conviction and even outsource torturing to the repressive regimes we have declared as terrorists. If we heed that wisdom, we have no need for the "War on terror." We actually need War on Ignorance. I love the American people and I am sad that their decency, trusting nature and lack of general knowledge also makes them very gullible and easy prey for hypocrisy, ignorance and arrogance. To prove that almost all other countries love America I will take any individual or group of Americans {with the exception of some politicians) and bring them back safe and happy or else I will pay for their trip.

Alas, the extremists do not profit as much from the latter approach. Bullying other nations, energizing the repressive regimes and requiring the world to shape in our mold and bribing our way to accomplish what is unbecoming of America and its ideals, to say the least.

I would never write this if I did not believe in potential of America to do seemingly impossible things. Finally, we will never have a government that works unless we the people arm ourselves with knowledge and make it work through non-violent means-Gandhi style.

Let us have the wisdom of America's forefathers in seeing the forest rather than a single tree. As Gandhi said, "If you follow history with a long enough arc, things always get better, and the truth always prevails."

 Let us not confuse the application of technology for temporary and mundane pleasures as an end rather than a means to achieving a moderate, healthy, happy life free from abuse and excess. Let us also stop blaming Corporate America for our problems for corporations produce goods and services that the public demands, be it "Tickle-me Elmo or sophisticated gadgets that upgrades and enhances the status of human beings.  

The good news is that millions of decent Americans, small and big corporations have joined the forces for change. If Giant Microsoft and Bill and Melinda Gates respond to the most pressing needs of our world, so can the rest of our corporations. Let us prove Abraham Lincoln right by not letting the 'government of the people' perish!

Ali Parsa's website:

... Payvand News - 05/22/08 ... --

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