“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.”
(Words & music written in 1940 by Woody Guthrie, 1912 – 1967.)
It’s time to dump the term “Homeland” as a synonym for America and erase it from our vocabulary. What the hell is this word anyway? A gang of vipers in suits and ties dreamed it up after 9/11, that’s what. Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs working the Rep-Dem two-headed rattlesnake. Yes, I lost a family friend from Virginia and his wife in the plane that hit and disintegrated inside the Pentagon. But I don’t support this mutant Patriot Act and Department of Homeland Security.
Never mind Benjamin Franklin, one of the American Founding Fathers, wrote back in 1759 “Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Or even earlier in 1738 when Franklin warned “Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.”
Do mind security is an illusion even today. The term “Homeland” is an abomination and so is the despotic department named after it. Dump the name, abolish its Department, and reorganized the institution into a leaner, more integrated agency which stands for freedom rather than neo-fascist tyranny in the disguise of pseudo-democracy all dressed up pretty for the election prom.
Look what fellow monstrosities inspired such a grotesque abomination as “Homeland:”
Tsarist Russia and Soviet Russia, nasty empires both, glorified Russia as “the Motherland.” Especially under Dictator Josef Stalin. Mother Russia was a vast prison of gold and ice worked first by serfs and then by gulag slaves, a mother who sent her sons off to the charnel house of war. During and after World War II many Soviet soldiers who were Nazi prisoners of war committed suicide by tearing apart walls to drive their heads into nails before shocked American troops rather than face return to Stalin’s execution squads. That’s the Motherland for you!
Nazi Germany emphasized “the Fatherland.” A bit more masculine, perhaps, and just as murderous. Do we need to say more?
To refer to the United States of America as “the Homeland” is Irony, irony with a capital letter “I.”
What constitutes the Homeland exactly? All fifty states? Or all fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and assorted island territories across the Pacific? Alaska’s part of the Homeland? Hawaii, a Polynesian kingdom whose Queen was overthrown and her people’s realms conquered in a byzantine American plot cooked up by the embryonic military-industrial complex? What a joke. How about the Original Thirteen Colonies instead? If anything was a Homeland it would be what those thirteen old British colonies referred to as Mother England. Right in the heart of the British Empire, too. The Scots, Irish, and Welsh tried to toss out the English once upon a time, but the Americans did it first and the Irish second.
If the entire Untied States (hmmn, now that’s an interesting malapropism) was the Homeland, what then constitutes the Hinterland? Our own unofficial empire, of course. A Homeland thus becomes the anchor for the de facto Euro-American Global Empire of the Money Power. Oh yes, look away quick. It’s a human trait to see evil in others but dare not in one’s self and among one’s own kind.
Even the Chinese refer to their country as the Motherland, African-Americans call Africa “Mother Africa,” and the French, especially under the Emperor Napoleon, called France their “Fatherland.” Mother Africa, however, refers to a unity of peoples, not an ultra-nationalistic and militaristic patriotism. We don’t think of Mother Earth as an Orwellian New World Order empire. Some do think of Mother Earth as a New Age or Neo-Pagan Goddess who’s teamed up with Father Sky. They’re apparently preparing to teach us humans some mighty fierce lessons. Are you ready?
What makes “Homeland” even more ironic is this Homeland was built upon the genocide of Native American Indians followed by the concentration of such survivors onto small, resource-poor reservations. African and African-American slaves, European and Euro-American indentured servants, and Chinese coolies built this so-called Homeland. This history gets buried and is allowed little thrift as we glorify the industrialized slaughter of the Civil War and the rise of Titans of Industry.
The final irony is Americans all came from somewhere else. No other nation is such a mix as is the United States. You’ll find people from among all the countries of the world represented here, including nations and ethnic groups no longer in existence. We humans all came out of Africa originally. We’re all one species spanning one world right here on Planet Earth. Earth is our home. Yes, there are wild, fun-to-imagine theories and science fiction shows claiming otherwise, but Earth is our home planet and Sol is our home star. Doesn’t mean we go rounding up and killing people though. And just call our world “Planet Earth.” Earth ain’t our momma. Earth is our planet.
Yes, it’s time to drop such anachronistic divisions. We’re all together on Planet Earth. It’s time we grow up as a planetary species, integrate our selves politically and financially, learn to cooperate and resolve conflict without war, and rebuild our global civilization. We can choose what steps we take next and what such structures and institutions may evolve. America isn’t some Imperial, Nazi, or Communist Parentland. And for all humanity the whole world is our home.
The Global Long War on Terror fosters Orwellian gobblyspeak. It’s time we reclaim our language. Occupy America, our America, your America, and the land where human beings from all lands come together as one people. Occupy Seattle, your city and mine. Occupy Earth, as the whole planet is ours, not America’s or China’s or Russia’s or any one nation, religion, tribe, gender, or ethnicity. Remember “Occupy” is an intention, a deliberately mindful awareness to reclaim and recreate. We’re all human beings here. We don’t need a Homeland to secure. We have a species to unite and a planet to heal.
Sing it, Woody! All together now…
“In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.”
William Dudley Bass
16 November 2011
Copyright © 2011, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.