Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:01 PM
MrScorpio (59,411 posts)
If all you can live for is the American dream, then perhaps you should wake up for a change [View all]
Of course, I have my own "American Dream", but since I, myself, am awake and I have to face the reality of our American nightmare.
When you look at the typical definition of that dream, you see deep down in it a persistent belief that it is only the individual who bares the responsibility for personally compensating for the lack of our society meeting the basic needs of all. That somehow the means of meeting those needs are required to be commercialized and commoditized, restricted with conditions and made shameful if they're provided for in a fair and equal way. I'm talking about unequal distribution of wealth, as you know.
Something that's happing worse and worse all the time, and all you have to do is just look out of your own window to see the effect. Walk down any the streets of ungated neighborhoods, drive down own pothole pocked streets. Look at the closed and boarded businesses and buildings… And try to associate all of these things with the fact that America is still the richest, most powerful nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth.
But WHERE is that wealth and why is it not being used to build an excellent level of education for all, or provide for the health needs for all, or is applied in such a way to demonstrate that we all have a stake in building a society that betters the lives of each of us?
Instead, the people who control the means and access to that vast wealth offer nothing accept a cynical carrot-and-stick approach to meeting those many basic needs that other, less affluent societies take for granted.
They claim that they worked hard to get that access and control of wealth, through telling everyone else that your part in its creation was either insignificant or that you're not entitled to it, without regard to your own labor. They are really telling you that you are nothing more than slaves, who have to fend for yourselves out in barren fields after you've harvested the bounty and trucked it the market to be sold.
When you see a bridge collapse in this country, or watch the public infrastructure wither away, you're looking at the lack of faith in the betterment of our society as a whole. That it's not supposed to be all of our fault that things are falling apart. And how can we reconcile that, if our share of the accumulated wealth goes to people who are building sports arenas and are excused from paying taxes on the profits from something that we have all constructed for them?
You're somehow expected to create a bubble to compensate for the joke of our general welfare. The idea of fairly investing in and evenly distributing the means of our own civilization is considered a dangerous and foreign idea in this country, even among people who believe that our society can and should be much better than what it is.
The gaps and holes that most people are apt to fall into; the poorly applied public education, the restricting of higher education by tying its access to accumulated wealth and debt, the inadequate unemployment compensation, commercialized and commoditized access to health care, diminished workers rights, the crumbling of and auctioning off of our public sector… I could go on.
The game has been rigged for you to foot the bill, while others reap the reward. You're not meant to get ahead by osmosis, or even by that old meme of working by the sweat of your brow.
But on the other hand, if you want to see that the game is being fairly played, you must change both the rules and the umpires calling the shots. You must, for all intents and purposes, OWN the league.
That's going to be a really hard thing to do, because you have to face don too many people who are stuck in the mindset that only they are entitled to reaping some meager reward, crowding out others, yet have absolutely nothing to show for their fealty to the real controllers of access to wealth and privilege. The undereducated, greedy, selfish, bigoted and angry people who the controllers depend upon every single day to work against their own, and everyone else's, best interests.
If you can break that cycle and create the strength of numbers required in like minded people, then you can create the means of improved change.
That would require that we redefine what an "American Dream" should actually look like and combine our labor to make a more just and equitable American Reality.
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