‘America: How It Works’ by Heathcote Williams

The fierce dissidence of Williams’s polemical poetry is as radical as Shelley’s. “America: How It Works” bears witness to the monster within “the most dangerous country in world history.”

Words by Heathcote Williams. Narration and montage by Alan Cox.

The business of America is business,
And it’s number one business is war.
It uses Hollywood to peddle its values
To turn the world into its whore.

But few of its citizens have the guts to say boo.
Otherwise they’d be refusing to pay taxes.
So, like their own media, they back war after war,
And they’re turning the world into ashes.

Words by Heathcote Williams. Narration and montage by Alan Cox.

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  1. says

    The videos provide an effective summation of our one-sided views of genocide. Samantha Power has once again appeared in the news. I’m reminded of how her book about genocide is typical — a selective view that excludes all genocides in which America was involved. Here is a good summary of her blinkered perspective:


    I’m so often struck by how closely American intellectuals are involved in our crimes and/or rationalizing them.

    I solved the problem of not paying Federal taxes by leaving the country 35 years ago. I still haven’t solved the problem of how to relate to America’s intellectual climate. One longs to be around intelligent, educated people, but what do you do when so many are phony careerists who maintain a calculated silence in order to find a place in a system that is deeply corrupt and immoral. I think of Auden’s poem written in memory of Yeats:

    “Intellectual disgrace
    Stares from every human face,
    And the seas of pity lie
    Locked and frozen in each eye.”

    So it’s not just a question of not paying taxes, but also of learning to live in deep isolation.