Opposites Day

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson for June 02, 1988

The simplest way to understand America is to pretend it's Opposites Day. The 'free market' is, in fact, violent coercion. 'Liberal democracy' is in fact fascist oligarchy. 'Freedom' is debt slavery. 'Human rights' are 'property rights'. The 'rules-based order' actually means the violation of international law. Once you see things this way, you can see the way things are. If you just assume that the Americans are lying, 95% of the time, you're right all the time.

I grew up in America and they mythologize their Founding Fathers in an unrelenting marketing campaign to children. Even today they put the Founding Fathers in blackface and stage propaganda pieces like Hamilton. But American Independence Day was the biggest Opposites Day of all. All the highfalutin language about freedom was a farce when they wrote it. These 'fathers' had and raped slaves on the regular and sold their own children. For all the talk about 'by the people, for the people,' only propertied white men could vote, and that's still where the power remains, by design. America was always rule by the property, not the people, which you understand if you know what day it is. The facts are buried in lots of marketing, like any other product.

The fact is that America never stopped colonizing. They extended their Manifest Destiny south to South America, and conquered Europe and much of the Pacific after WWII. This was dressed up as 'just helping out, aw shucks' but once you remember that it's Opposites Day you'll understand better. They're just helping themselves and everyone else can go fuck themselves, which is America's true founding credo. What America markets as spreading freedom and democracy is spreading debt slavery and pliant oligarchies. Liberal democracy is a Trojan Horse used to keep countries divided while bankers loot the place. This is all buried in a barrage of marketing that will be swept away by history like so much packaging and garbage. Some day the think tanks will stop firing and the media will stop mediating and people see American Empire for what it was. Awful, from start to finish. One long Opposites Day that ran contrary to all honor and humanity, not to mention what they did to the critters, who were beneath mention.

I grew out of America after decades. I still believed in the hype until more recently than I'm proud of. To be honest, material conditions can make you believe anything, and for much of my life America's material conditions were good. They had more stuff, they had more opportunities, whatever they were doing—however absurd it seemed—seemed to work. In Sri Lanka people asked why I left, I was an anomaly, having returned to sender. America was the future and, if parts of it didn't make sense, never mind, the getting was good. Indeed, the biggest manifestation of Opposites Day was the founding idea that greed was good, that pursuing self-interest was in the interest of the whole (or even the self). That everyone striving to be the worst person possible would produce the greatest good. This patently absurd proposition actually worked, in the sense that burning your house down will keep you warm. It works for a while, and then you're out in the cold forever. Which is where America is heading, inexorably now.

Opposites Day is a game children play, but it almost always ends in annoyance and fighting and then they stop. This is where America is now. Nobody believes that they're defending 'human rights' anymore, as they offend the human conscience every day in Gaza. No one believes that they're some bastion of democracy, as their politicians are openly bought and sold. And no one believes that war is peace anymore, because they're losing all over. War is just war, oligarchy is just oligarchy, and these massacres are just massacres. Opposites Day is over.