By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Exile in Happy Valley
America is a nation that loves its fairytales and folklore, not just the legends that we teach to our children as if they were scientific fact, but the stories we tell ourselves that make up the very fabric of our day to day lives. The fables baked into our sacred holidays and tightly woven into our collective consciousness as a self-ordained master state, the indispensable nation, the greatest country on earth.
There’s the first Thanksgiving when desperate pilgrims seeking shelter and tolerance in the New World graciously broke bread with their new native neighbors.
There’s the glorious gunpowder miracle of the American Revolution, when our sage like Founding Fathers threw off the king’s shackles and magically invented democracy out of thin air.
Then there’s the Second World War when the Greatest Generation saved the planet single-handedly from the scourge of Hitler and his undefeated Nazi stormtroopers.
And of course, there’s the time that Ronald Reagan saved the world from the evils of communism by defeating the Soviet Empire in the name of freedom, capitalism and apple-pie.
We tell ourselves these stories so often that they’ve become almost second nature, forming a sort of national identity so existential to our very sense of self that even in the most heated of partisan political debates, the argument is never about the accuracy of these stories but rather which side lays claim to their tainted legacy.
But these kinds of nationalist fairytales and folklore are really little more than a nostalgic and downright mystical variety of propaganda and, like most propaganda, they bear very little resemblance to the ugly truths that they were designed to obscure. Uncoincidentally, this kind of jingoistic zealotry has also made Americans downright allergic to these very same ugly truths. But here they are.
The truth about our buckle-loving pilgrim ancestors is that they were really little more than a puritanical death squad sent over in the Mayflower by King James to ethnically cleanse the native Wampanoag Nation of Turtle Island and prepare its scorched territory for use as slave plantations. Thanksgiving was invented by the nation these butchers built on the unmarked graves of the innocent during the Civil War and was then revived to its current folksy format during the Great Depression, on both occasions in order to galvanize a splintering empire beneath the authority of a single flag.