Unbecoming American: The Fourth Dimension

Stories, Histories, Fantasies and Desire

Essentially there are three standard scripts for the history of the United States of America. They partly overlap, exposing or concealing contradictions. They are taught or staged in schools, in homes, at work, on the playground and in the workplace. They are taught all over the world, too.

The USA originates as part of British North America, especially after the French were all but driven out of the continent with British ascendency and the capture of Quebec. A UDI followed by an insurgency, aided by the vindictive French, leaves 13 colonies to themselves while Upper and Lower Canada remain British. Some of the departed French are replaced by loyalist who flee the victorious settler-colonialists south of the St. Lawrence. These colonies become America about the same time the taunting French allies are busy overthrowing the Bourbon monarchy. France‘s new regime eventually cedes its claim to a third of the North American continental massif central- Louisiana and the Mississippi valley. America doubles in size. The Anglo-Americans fail to absorb or conquer Canada but reach the Pacific Ocean by colonizing Nueuva España/ Mexico and in turn seizing the northern provinces from its southern rulers. America becomes the dominion from “sea to shining sea“.

Of course that story would be incomplete without the script that tells of all the heroism and adventure as the coastal merchants and latifundistas pushed their servants West to occupy lands inhabited and exploited by “Injuns”. America became bountiful as its settlers collected bounties for removal of “useless eaters”. Subsequently, albeit barely mentioned, was the Asian bonded labor (aka known as “contract labor”) abused to connect the coastal regimes in San Francisco and New York. They were barred from becoming American until after the lands of their birth and descent had been ravaged in the Second World War.

Then there is the script known and best loved. This is the story of all those “huddled masses yearning to be free”. In the fine print, freedom included to be free of history, language, love and loyalty as part of “becoming American”. Traditionally “becoming American” has been a process analogous to accepting all the Latin sacraments, from infant baptism to extreme unction. There could be no greater blessing on Earth. Even vicarious consumption could bring the willing to conversion. Becoming American was possible with clothes, food, cinema, music, and political-cultural habits. The world could and should become American even if the iron and razor wire gates to that North American heaven were opened only very selectively. Any indifference or independence of life was simply unbecoming.

While a private soldier, seaman or airman from the other ranks is punished like a criminal for misconduct and possibly less than honorably discharged from the service, the commissioned ranks are treated differently. Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice – UCMJ provides for serious violations of military discipline by those holding a warrant or commission to be punished by dismissal “for conduct unbecoming an officer (and a gentleman) ”. Ordinary crime is expected among the enlisted. The commissioned class is subject to different standards, even if the UCMJ applies to all members of the US Forces. An officer expelled from his class is also disgraced.

There is a fourth script that is rarely if ever staged and in many ways remains unfinished. Individuals have been punished and disgraced for charges of disloyalty to the US. In fact even entire populations have been subjected to the terrible swift sword wielded by the Grand Republic. Conduct unbecoming an American is easily a capital offense. However in a world in which America, i.e. the United States of America, is one out of many rather than “the one from many” (e pluribus unum) only Americans should owe loyalty to Columbia. It should be natural that those citizens of other nations live and love in their own homes and not those portrayed in Hollywood films and TV series. But to do so, without betrayal, it must be possible to unbecome American, to escape the abusive parentalism of those who churn on the great Wurlitzer or the other machines of Oz.

By turning most of the world into cultural captives (also huddled masses) the US has advertised itself with propaganda, both unarmed and armed, as the only source of freedom, the one true church outside of which salvation is impossible. Unfortunately the Protestant Reformation did not end papal and clerical power. It forced its reorganization. The ostensible decline of Rome on the Potomac will not end the power of its corporate clerical caste. More fundamental change is necessary. We must dare unbecoming in conduct and faith. Give to god what is god’s and give to caesar what is caesar’s. Give America to the Americans and keep one’s own country for oneself.

Unbecoming American: A War Memoir is a compilation of articles, many of which were first published in Global Research, Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, and in some cases were presented as papers at scholarly conferences. The essays are the product of some forty years reflection on what makes the US Empire so irresistable even as it demonstrates its incapacity to win on the battlefield or in the marketplace. The author, who emigrated from the US more than 40 years ago also renouncing his citizenship, has dedicated years of observation during travels to South America, Africa, East Asia and throughout the western peninsula of Eurasia trying to understand why nearly everyone he met was becoming American– and no one could understand that he had surrendered his locker room keys. As a witness to interruptions in Brazil (1986), Germany (1989), South Africa (1991) and numerous less visible caesures at the fin de siecle, the discrepancy between the apparent opportunities and the vivid realities could not be ignored. These essays are the product of those experiences and reflection on them.



Fruit of the Vine: Volume 1: An Intelligent Family,

Author’s book interview:

Dr. T.P. Wilkinson, aka Wei Santang discusses his two new books, “In Solar Terms” and “Fruit of the Vine”. China Rising Radio Sinoland 231215

Poems and articles on Dissident Voice:


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