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on war and empire.


To the editor ...

After reading the entire "Encounter with a Reader," I have one comment. Most people just can not tell the difference between America and the "government" that lords itself over it. They have it in their heads that the "government" created America, when in fact a certain element of Americans created the "government." When I try to explain this fact to people they instantly brand me as anti-American. Some people you may convince of this fact. The majority just can not see it or accept it.

Rob Sitler
May 1, 2003

Nicholas Strakon replies

I'm afraid Mr. Sitler is right. I hammer away at the issue, trying to think of new ways to make the distinction clear, but if I've ever had any influence whatsoever on budging a single "the state is the country" man so much as an inch, I am unaware of it. The idea is as resilient and deep-seated as the AIDS virus. I can only attribute its persistence and pervasiveness to the state-school system and the System's unofficial Minitrue, which have done so much with the perfectly subversive ideological material of "Democracy."

I wonder whether we might be able to sharpen our intellectual tools through introspection: How did we become failures of the state-schooling system? How did we become skeptics of Minitrue?

May 1, 2003