Let’s lay down a basic set of ideas first: America basically sucks because it is a fleeting experiment, Europe is our ancestral homeland that is worthy of praise and emulation. I am not anti-Europe, I am very pro-Europe and I wish our cousins across the pond all the success in the world in rebuilding their race and civilization.
The thing is, if you live in America, I don’t think you should be trying to act as a Pan-European. Europe deserves respect, and to an extent we are European. But at the same time we aren’t. This is America, and for better or for worse, we live here, this is what we know, and our land has, however limited and superficial, a history and tradition and even a collective mind. We are not doing ourselves any favor by totally disregarding anything unique in America. To those that argue that America has nothing worth preserving, I would argue that any culture, at some point, had to create its mythology and aesthetic. So why cant that time be now?
Building a new American image
When I say “America,” most people, especially in the last 25 years, probably conjure up images of massively overweight people, race riots, cheesy commercialized culture, and a mass of non-specific white people. The thing is, America wasn’t always like this. Besides the fact this country was aggressively Anglo-Saxon before World War II, we did at one point have a fair share of serious artists and craftsmen. Winchester rifles? Edgar Allen Poe? Hermann Melville? Sure any European nation can muster more than that, but Europe has had thousands of years. America hasn’t even had 300. In short, the reason people hate America, is in part, because it conjures up nasty images of fat people and commercialism and rootlessness. Compare a European nationalist rally with pretty slender young white women with any sort of conservative/anti-immigration rally in the US. Most people aren’t into overweight middle-aged women in American flag jean shorts. This is the most obvious example of America just having a nasty image, among other things, but it touches at something more profound in the modern American character. Mainly that we just aren’t serious anymore. Everything has to be over the top or a joke or overly simplified.
Think for a moment about de-industrialization in the United States, and the kind of music it produced. Compare the heavily American sounding song Telegraph Road from 1982 (Yes, I am aware Dire Straits is British, but the point still stands) to this hunk of cheesiness from 2011. While the comparison is not exact, Dire Straits showed that there is an American sound and spirit that can be captured, and that is not ugly or superficial, but profound, deep and somber. Something that is inspired by our ancestral homeland, but still distinctly American, that is here, that is now. The 2011 song likewise is just over-the-top post-9/11 patriotic silliness that will fade away along with the shopping malls and suburbs.
A new American image must by necessity include a new American people. Physically fit, respectful, intelligent, proudly Anglo-Saxon (but in that old American kind of way), aware of history, and taking pride in craft, and able to reflect and explore both the lower and higher depths of human nature. It has been done before, and with enough effort, it can be done again. Ugly post-modern shopping malls should be replaced with small stores made of brick or wood in a classic style inspired by pre-Civil war America. Suburbs should be replaced by fewer houses, but houses made with care and character. Not just some Douglas Fir junk thrown up by a white foreman and some Mestizo workers in a few months.
It didn’t stick last time because we didn’t want it to. Our culture was fast destroyed with influenza after 1945. Even Asian and European countries to a lesser extent are losing some of their original culture. What hope would a young nation have then? Poverty and the decline of the middle class is horrible indeed, but perhaps out of it can come a new birth of culture, chiseled by hard experience that will melt away the commercialism. But we need to lead. Yes, America is not that great. We do not have the ancient cathedrals, the ancient history, or the blood rooted in soil. But for all its faults, if you are in America, you live here, and this is what we have got. And in the end, a lot of culture is just making the best with what you have around you, both resources and people-wise. We are an inferior place to Europe (even in its heavily degraded modern form), but we can fix that.