Dream or Lie

The Stuff Dreams are made of
The Stuff Dreams are made of

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American Dream...

Or

American Lie









I was born in Philadelphia the birthplace of the American Dream. Not far from there, George Washington and his army of misfits spent a winter at Valley Forge, where even today replicas of the log cabins they erected remain. Their dream was what was called the “American Dream”. But is it still that dream?

But what is that dream? How is it defined?

Dreams, in the sense meant in this phrase, are something each of us want most in life; they are the idyllic fantasies we hope for. But most of us think of the dream in this phrase as the ability to achieve the freedom necessary to succeed in life; to be able to have what we want in life.

At first, this seems correct, but is it?

The founders of America, and here I mean the “little people” who fought the wars, and suffered the privations and hardships this entailed, saw freedom as something beyond merely getting what each of them wanted. It was a way for all of them to achieve an adequate life by working together and sacrificing together. Is that the freedom we now have in America?

What they, at that time, fought a war to extinguish, the preference of wealth, is what our current economic system has reinstated in America. Instead of one people, all equally free, capitalism has created a system of preference, of class hierarchy, of exactly the same type that Great Britain had at the time of the Revolution by the American Colonies.

At this time in America, the American dream means becoming rich. And, in being rich, you are in a class apart from everyone else. You are able to do what others cannot; your freedom is greater than everyone else’s, because wealth means privilege and favoritism. Yet these are all of the very same things those at Valley Forge fought to extinguish forever.

The American Dream has now become the American Lie!

This is the same lie that has caused many to condemn the establishment of all democracies. But it is not democracy that is the cause of this. It is not the democratic process that has created this fiasco, but the rise of a type of capitalism that allows a type of freedom to exist that is wholly founded on the opposite of the type of freedom that makes all equal and truly free.

This false freedom is founded on the concept of superiority, the belief that one person is better than another. And that wealth is the sole determiner of equality; and the sole determiner of freedom. It precludes social union, and actually preys on it.

Witness the outright extortion happening worldwide because of this “pirate’s” type of freedom; in oil and gasoline costs; in health care costs here in America! One citizen extorting another, just as the “black hand” and “cosa nostra” extorted and blackmailed their fellow citizens by forcing them to pay for protection; is there any difference? Vital resources and services are used as the leverage to make society pay whatever the greed of the owners asks; and as the resources dwindle (often artificially by purposely decreasing production) the prices rise. Is it no wonder that the crime syndicates no longer need to exist in America; they have gone “legit”, since there is more profit in these “rackets within the law”!

Just as when the old Roman entrepreneur, Marcus Licinius Crassus 1 , became the richest man in the world by starting the first fire department; a fire department that told its clients: “pay us and we will put out any fires you have; don’t pay us, and you will surely have a fire no one will put out.” Isn’t it nice when rackets become government sanctioned, and there is no longer a need for crime?

Is this the freedom that Washington’s army fought to attain?

Is this the equality that the American dream fosters?

Or is it just the very thing they opposed? A freedom bought and sold to the highest bidder. A society where you buy your way to the top, using other people’s innovations, talents; and even other people’s sweat and blood?

Yet today we have an entire “grassroots movement” that is trying to make this the new American Dream, by telling us that this was the intent of our founding fathers; and politicians and parties trying to sell extortion as the new American virtue!

But America has even gone beyond this extreme; it has even outdone the philosopher of selfishness herself, Ayn Rand 2 , by turning even war into a needed commodity to be sold for the people’s supposed benefit.

And, oh yes, even the definition of patriotism has changed! Patriots are no longer the people who fight and die for their ideals, and their country’s society; no… now, they are the people who hire illegal immigrants, and outsource American jobs, and send factories to foreign shores! This is the “new” patriotism that is sending unemployment soaring, and filling the country with homeless veterans. And the same kind of “patriotic” governmental officials are bringing thousands of visa workers into our country to take already scarce jobs away from more citizens. This is the new patriotism founded on the new American virtue of “only I count!”

That is why the American Dream has become the American lie!

It is the same lie that has created a class of Masters and a class of Slaves, right here in the land of the free. The same lie that created a third world, where human labor is worth more or less according to where you live; and corrupted the colleges and universities into being the handmaidens of “charities”, and their donors and benefactors, instead of the handmaidens of society and human ideals.

So where is our future; the future of the lie that has become our “new” American Dream? It is becoming reality right now to our South, in the country of Mexico, where thousands are being murdered every year; where trust and respect has disappeared; where crime and the law has become indistinguishable. Is this the dream we want?

Look to the future the new American Dream is bringing us; it is right around the corner; and even worse, this same lie is becoming the new dream for the world!



[After this essay, I will begin a new series of Essays, and tackle the Solutions to the problems the "American Lie", we have characterized in this essay is causing. This new series, I will be calling: "Solutions".] 3






FOOTNOTES

1 Marcus Licinius Crassus – Probably one of the richest men alive at that time. He was a Sullan general who was also a financier and speculator extraordinary. He made most of his money from speculations on the properties of those deposed by Sulla, and by the "Fire Department" he created in Rome. His great desire was to be a great general. He finally got his chance, but it was to be his undoing. He was defeated and slain by the Parthians (Persians or modern Iranians see below). During his life he became one of Caesar’s friends and his most ardent supporter. He and Pompey and Caesar would form a political coalition to rule Rome called the first triumvirate. Caesar had planned a great campaign of conquest (to be his last) to destroy the tyrant that destroyed Crassus and his son; unfortunately Caesar was murdered before this.



2 Ayn Rand was a Russian writer who was born and raised in the Soviet Union under Communism. Her bad experiences under the Communists caused her to idolize the Capitalist way of life; especially since her immigration to the United States allowed her to become a screenwriter for the movie studios, and have one of her books ("The Fountainhead") made into an award winning movie starring Gary Cooper. She later created an Idividualist Philosophy of "Selfishness" she termed "objectivism" that gained her a following.

Any Rand’s “Philosophy of Selfishness” has become the supposed doctrine of modern Capitalism; yet Rand was totally against war, and the use of war for profit (the Military Industrial Complex; also she was totally against charity, which the "new" Capitalism has claimed as the universal cure all for all societies). See her book “For The New Intellectual”, The New American Library, New York, 1961.



3 I am adding this note because as I wrote this essay a new phenomenon was taking shape in America called the “March on Wall Street.”

Let me preface what I say below, by saying that what I have heard so far, is from what the news agencies are reporting. This may not be true, in the main (there seem to be many different groups there, each with their own agendas); maybe, and I sincerely hope it isn’t; but since it is all I have to go on I will mention how I feel if it is indeed true, in the main.

With the “March on Wall Street” I thought that America was finally coming to its senses; but then I realized when I heard who was getting involved with it (unions, leftist groups etc. in other words “special interests”), that it was nothing but the same old lies resurfacing; and the same old liars trying to twist the fruit of their lies into just one more grand deception.

A bunch of greedy people who were beginning to feel the hurt that so many others had felt for so long, were outraged that they were hurting. Again “only I count” had showed its ugly face. They weren’t protesting that there were poor; they were protesting that THEY were now poor. They weren’t protesting the disparity that this country of equals had produced, but they were protesting that THEIR jobs had been sent overseas. Again, everything was OK, as long as it doesn’t affect me! But when it does, then everything isn’t right anymore!

There were the same old “special interests” lining up because THEY were hurting, this time!

The ALL that America was founded on was again lost in the FEW; just like always, the same old partisan mentality was even trying to order the “coming revolution” that wasn’t a revolution at all, just the same old American Lie.

I felt the same contempt that Sabatini’s character in “Scaramouch”, Andre Moreau, had felt for his society, and it’s supposed revolution, that led to Napoleon and the Empire. Freedom was something not even contemplated; and only dollars and cents were the cause of all the supposed turmoil; just more of the same old hypocrisy; more revolutions that lead right back to where they started from in the beginning. Caesar was truly dead, and with him died the last hope for humanity.

I want to be wrong; I want to hope that there are still Americans who put ideals before personal hopes, but this movement is turning into another “Tea Party”, only on the left instead of on the right.

I hope that Americans of whatever side, will finally see that it isn’t about ideology or partisanship; what it is about, is whether America truly represents all its citizens equally, or whether it only represents the few who have enough to buy their representation.

If we lose the ALL that this country was founded on, then we have lost more than just our well being, we have lost our souls.

I would hope that these “marchers” will not only be concerned with why the rich are buying our government representatives, but protesting why we are being fleeced with outrageous gasoline and health care charges. Why extortion is allowed to take the place of commerce here in the land of the free. Instead of saying that “it is not about rich and poor”; they should be shouting to the skies that that is exactly what it is all about! There is no room for poor in a society that was created to fix that very problem! Again, remember what Lincoln said:



"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master – this expresses my idea of democracy – whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."



As the above phrase I quoted again and again shows, where Lincoln tells his idea of democracy, as long as there are either Masters or Slaves, there is no democracy. And the disparity we have had in this country for many, many years proves just that – we have no democracy – in the very land that is suppose to define that term in today’s world.

Marchers, march for SOMETHING, not just for show; not just for a cause you can’t even define; a hurt that affects only you; that is exactly what has turned the American dream into a Lie – this “only I count” mentality that can see no wrongs except those that are personal wrongs; that bias that has lost the ideal in favor of the concrete.

The word American is always plural and never singular; when we emphasize the singular we have lost the whole gist of America – the ALL that made us one – that “unum” that “e pluribus" made!









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The Stuff Dreams are made of
The Stuff Dreams are made of

Originally Published:

September 29, 2011

Revised:

June 23, 2014