“Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them. Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.”

                                                                            Friedrich Nietzsche

Calls for “national unity” are nothing new.

Yet, whenever I hear the latest political chorus of Kumbaya reverberating around the country, I can’t help but snicker. I know the bad faith of the modern American ruling class too well to take their calls for unity, love, and respect seriously.

I have nothing against unity, love, and respect, but I simply do not believe the ruling class when they use the poetry of peace to advance their ambitions for political control. As Orwell once remarked, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind,” and although each of us may personally rely on poetic lies to help us face the difficult truths of our lives, the ruling class uses their poetry to hide the truth of their ambitions.

No doubt, how we speak to one another as fellow human beings is important. Yet, political invective, per se, is not the root of the problem here. The drive for national solutions is. Even when the Washingtonians soften their rhetoric to poetic flourishes, they only engender more division.

For instance, how often do we see that rhetorical game whereby “uniters” criticize anyone who may disagree with their political projects as “dividers” to be typecast as villains to the cause of the day?

Contrary to conventional opinion, “national unity” is not synonymous with basic human decency and peace among men. Quite the opposite. And, as long as America’s political leaders continue to conflate the two, a cruel irony will be at work here — the more America’s ruling class tries to unite the nation through centralized political power at the federal level, the more divided, distrusting, and resentful the nation will become.

The United States is too diverse to be treated as one big happy family ready to march in lockstep. The ruling class’ appeals to American ‘family’ and ‘unity’ are merely a means to obscure what’s really on the agenda — an agenda that goes far beyond the purview of our actual families, villages, townships, cities, and states.

The political establishment continues to falsely believe a diverse nation of 300 million-plus people, a nation of nearly 20,000 actual cities, as well as countless families and cultures, can be managed like a singular political body without negative consequences.

“If only the people surrender more liberties to Washington D.C. in exchange for a sword and a hundred cravings,” says the ruling class, “the people of the United States can be prodded into unity.”

Yet, immense political power has a way of rendering men suspicious and jealous of one another no matter their appeals to love and unity. Once politics comes to define a people through the power of a central state, all that is left is an impending battle over whose culture will be imposed through the power of that state. In such a world dominated by the sword of political power, it is no surprise that politicos — whether elected officials or disgruntled campaign volunteers — will see anyone who opposes their national plans with an evil eye.

But, as I’ve said it before and will say again and again, the tyrant in you is the tyrant in me, and if we are not careful — if we keep offering the American people the power to command and control their fellows — even our reactions against tyranny and violence will tend to mutate into movements to destroy one another for power’s sake.

If we truly wish to unite the American people, we would decentralize political power away from Washington D.C. and embrace the diversity of the American populace. We would reduce the political power we have over one another so that tolerance for those we disagree with may flourish in peace absent the threat of political coercion.

Let California be California. Let Texas be Texas. Let Vermont go their own way, and let Alabama go another way, and so on.

Furthermore, we could go beyond the idea of states altogether. Local governments can be just as tyrannical as national governments despite their limited geography.

Rather than first saying, “We are all Americans,” “We are all Alabamians,” or “We are all Californians,” suppose we instead say:

We are all sovereign individuals, children under God touched with a spark of the divine, each of us with our own unique tastes and talents, each of us possessing the flame of our innate freedom, and we can do as we please as long as we respect one another as free individuals.”

If one day that does become our motto, dare I say, what a statement of human solidarity it would be.

Joey Clark is a native Alabamian and currently, the host of the radio program News and Views on News Talk 93.1 FM WACV out of Montgomery, AL M-F 9 am-12 noon. His column appears every Tuesday in 1819 News. To contact Joey for media or speaking appearances as well as any feedback please email newsandviews931@gmail.comThe views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819news.com