The stakes are too great-
an America gone mad with materialism,
a police-state America,
a sexless and soulless America
prepared to battle the world
in defense of a false image of its authority.
Not the wild and beautiful America
of the comrades of Walt Whitman,
not the historic America
of William Blake and Henry David Thoreau
where the spiritual independence of each individual was an America,
more huge and awesome than
all the abstract bureaucracies and authoritative officialdoms
of the world combined.
Only those who have entered the world of spirit
know what a vast laugh there is
in the illusory appearance of worldly authority.
And all men at one time or other enter that Spirit,
whether in life or death.
How many hypocrites are there in America?
How many trembling lambs, fearful of discovery?
What authority have we set up over ourselves,
that we are not as we are?
Who shall prohibit an art from being published to the world?
What conspirators have power to determine our mode of consciousness,
our sexual enjoyments, our different labors and our loves?
What fiends determine our wars?
When will we discover an America
that will not deny its own God?
Who takes up
arms, money, police, and a million hands
to murder the consciousness of God?
Who spits in the beautiful face of poetry
which sings of the glory of God
and weeps in the dust of the world?
Alan Ginsberg, 2000