In essence, what I suggested in the previous blog post is that the American psyche as it stands today was defined and shaped by the cultural and literary experiences of the United States in the 1960’s. As a result, ever since the shaping of the American psyche in that particular period of American history, American culture and the American experience has been defined by a bifurcation between a cruel and repressive mainstream culture on one hand, and an eccentric and sensual counterculture of sorts on the other hand. Given that there is a Freudian and psychoanalytic element to American culture and the American experience, the American mainstream represents the cruel and repressive “ego,” whereas the American counterculture represents the eccentric and sensual “id” in Freudian terms.
If I had to assess where I stood amidst this bifurcation of American culture and the American experience during my teens and early adulthood, I was very much part of the counterculture in American society. For one, I began gambling and alcohol well before the legal age of twenty-one. In addition to having a very rich sex life in college, I was also experimenting with hookers and marijuana. I carried on the eccentricity and sensuality even into grad school, where I had to cope with a highly repressive and suffocating environment in Washington. In order to detox from the toxicity and negative energy in Washington during my grad school days, I would often travel to Canada where I had a girlfriend of sorts and “friend with benefits” who many people envied, and whom I had to consider as a fiancé because of cultural purposes and convention.
But soon after finishing grad school in August 2013, I mentioned that I entered into an ‘individuation process,’ and as a result I delved into philosophy and religious studies on my own. I became a voracious reader after finishing grad school as a result of entering into the ‘individuation process.’ As I mentioned before, I was not a voracious reader as a student, but became one after finishing school.
During this individuation process, I came across an article written by two “scholars” in Washington who very much represent the cruel and repressive mainstream culture of Washington, namely, David Barno and Nora Ben Sahel. These two lovebirds of the cruel and repressive mainstream once wrote an article, in which they suggested that the military draft be reinstated. When I read this article, I was not only disturbed by the suggestion these two made, but I was also infuriated.
Then, I recalled the stories of America’s experience with Vietnam, which was one of the factors in shaping the American psyche during the 1960’s. One of the hallmark reactions to Vietnam and the military draft which forced many Americans to fight in Vietnam came from the famous boxer Muhammad Ali. Despite being drafted, Ali refused to join the war, and he courageously defied the threats of being sent to jail. Ali famously said: “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America.” Ali added: “And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father…Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”
That spirit of defiance against a cruel and repressive mainstream no longer exists with the type of energy it possessed in the 1960’s. Nevertheless, you can sense its reemergence to a certain degree. And when David Barno and Nora Ben Sahel call for the reinstatement of a military draft, individuals like myself are obliged to follow in the footsteps of Ali and argue in the face of such nefarious calls that the Chinese, North Koreans, and Middle Easterners never fostered the stereotype of a brown guy being a “terrorist’ or a “sand nigger” or anything else. It was people like John Bolton, Eliot Cohen, Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Kristol, and of course Nora Ben Sahel and David Barno who fostered those stereotypes. In sum, these “Chicken-hawks” should go fight their own wars instead of sending others to fight for them.