Looking for a metaphor for the futility and propagandizing of the State? Budweiser is providing an apropos branding change this summer, changing the label on their cans to ‘America,’ to coincide with this year’s presidential elections. Like Budweiser, the US will undergo its ritualistic branding change by way of the voting booth this November. Sure, citizens will get a new face and different packaging, but the ingredients of government will not change. We’ll still be left with that “Same Great Distaste” of thuggery, thievery, monopoly on force, wars abroad, police state at home, and freedom crushing dictates known as legislation.
This is not a critique of the beer itself. Nor am I going to elaborate on the parallels of a “foreign” conglomerate owning the American beverage. Those are subjective arguments and difficult to prove to most pedestrian voters. Something more substantial, more real, more intuitive needs to be conveyed if we are to pry the elixir of nationalism out of the minds of people who clamor to vote for their new master. In other words, don’t get caught up in discussing the packaging, marketing, mudslinging, character defamation, and infintium ad hominem that accompanies politics. Instead, have a discourse about the anti-liberty results that ALL state sponsored government necessarily begets.
A possible entry point to get individuals thinking about the ideas of self-governance is by asking, “Suppose your candidate loses this November, would you rather be ruled by the winner, or if you could, would you choose to simply govern yourself?”
At this point, the conversation turns! It’s no longer their savior candidate against the evil opponent, but the evil opponent against them. Of course they can govern themselves better than someone who stands in direct opposition to everything they value and hold dear. Cheer them on as they make the case for dismantling their mental shackles and lay the groundwork for realizing themselves as a free human, capable of directing their own destiny. When true liberty is discovered, the seeds germinate and take root, and a world with no masters and no slaves can be illustrated; it can be obtained.
Indeed, changing the person occupying a political office accomplishes no more than changing the label of this summer’s Budweiser beer can. The ingredients and results remain the same. Help others recognize that they are their own best brand, their own best voice, their own best representative. Casting a vote for “Me, Myself, and I” harms no one, and invites cooperation rather than creating the utter divisive spitefulness that “As Seen on TV” politics produces. Perhaps then, we can move beyond labels and liars and begin living as completely unfettered inhabitants of an earth without labels.
This article “The Branding of ‘America’” is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Matthew Cornforth and emancipatedhuman.com.