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The Birth of a New American Mythology (****)


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Jan. 13 2021

James Lindsay

We are witnessing the birth of a new national mythology in America, and it is not good news. Imperfect as it was, the old one was better, warts and all, and it needs to be fought for. This new mythology turns the story of America on its head, positioning it not as having been born in the pursuit of freedom and liberty in 1776 but in slavery and evil in 1619. It has mainstreamed itself since the 1960s but especially over the last five years as it used Trump’s presidency as a foil to legitimize its pseudo-real description of America for millions, and now it has gained the beginnings of cultural hegemony (which it is already abusing). This magic narrative has been and remains the key to their power.

This new mythology is using its own narrative about Trump’s presidency and, especially, the events that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, as a pivotal moment in its story arc, where it finally gained the upper hand on more than 400 years of evil and could usher in a new world order based on equity, guaranteed by the “perfected” state apparatus and its corporate partners (especially in tech). The thing is, while the real American story genuinely is the story of freedom, this new alternative, of “liberation,” is based not in truth but in alchemy, and like all such regimes, it will therefore end in catastrophe. Lead, as it sees our history, cannot be changed into gold, as it views our future through its manic utopian lenses, and drinking potions of cinnabar will not make people live forever but will slowly poison them into madness.

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