American Samizdat

Sunday, October 08, 2006. *
The 12th Tradition of recovery programs states, "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities." It is a powerful statement, demanding humility and tolerance, while discouraging ego and "big shotism". Alcoholics Anonymous and its clones found out early on, in the 1930s and 1940s, that honoring the power of individual personality above the importance of the life and health of the whole organization, would threaten both the vitality of the fellowship and, therefore, the recovery of the individual.

A major symptom of the progressive and potentially fatal illness that I call "Americanism" is our reverence of the celebrity. It is a deadly and dynamic syndrome closely tied to the symptom of narcissism. Americanism is destroying America.

The system of checks and balances built into our constitution was in part designed to control the possibility of one shining star having too much power. We know that there were many Americans in the late 18th century who wanted to replace one King George with our own, but we narrowly dodged that bullet.

However, the President and the presidency has always been a cult of personality to some degree. With some presidents, like Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, the celebrity status has engendered a mythology which has clouded the essential realities of the principles and policies of their administrations. In Lincoln's case, the mythology of Lincoln "The Great Emancipator" masked the truth of his racism and tyranny. Teddy, in spite of his cover as a "Progressive", was the father of our brutal history of imperialism . . . [more at P!]
posted by total at 6:59 PM
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