How I Learned Compulsive Hatred of American Nationalism is Immature
by I, AnCap
Since high school, for about 5 years now, I identified as an Anarcho-Capitalist. I even include the title in my pen-name. I believe the state is an institution based on theft, violence, and the destruction of private property. To this day, I’m often critical of the US government and everything it stands for. Nothing there has changed.
What has changed is my perception of the American nation(s).
I’m a firm believer that without a territorial monopoly on force, people would still form factions based on heritage, culture, and common values. This is a good example of what a post-state America might look like. However, until that point, it’s hard to deny there’s a biological extension of the American people in the form of a nation. I like to compare this to the way a bird forms a nest. You don’t have to support the organized use of force to recognize this.
There are ways this is measured. American traditions like the Fourth of July, Christmas, and even apple pie are all things we enjoy as Americans. We rally in the thousands to events like the Super Bowl, many millions tune in to boxing events and comedy TV networks. One way we as a nation show our extension is through the timeless extension of ourselves – the American flag.
A year ago, I used to think this was statist. I thought it stood for taxation, genocide, and enslavement. I still can see why some people see it that way.
Then one day, I was watching Freedomain Radio, as I often do, and Stefan Molyneux was talking about 19th century America. It was a caller who was asking how he could respond to how awful the time of the Robber Barons were to leftists.
Stefan’s response was simple: ask them “Compared to what?”
Compared to what indeed. What other country is there that can close to a market economy? What other countries saw drops in infant mortality, raises in GDP, defense of gun rights, property rights, etc like the United States?
I used to think that this flag stood for oppression. Now I hang it up in my dining room as a sign of low preference, anti-globalism, and capitalism. And if leftists don’t like it, all the better.