Not really very original is it? My above hypothesis appears to be so universally accepted that it is now an integral component of the collective contemporary creative oeuvre: literature, song, film, polite and not so polite conversation and fine art. Which, unexpectedly, leads me to another theory: We are dumber than stinken sticks! When and why did we give over our personal power to Sam’s Club and The National Football League? Why do we refuse to take personal responsibility for shopping at Wal-Mart and building a McMansion? – Sophocles waxed prophetic on the subject: “It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it”.
The “American Dream” is a worldwide viral phenomenon - with many more potentially dire consequences than AIDS or Avian Flu. We have exported this thing from one end of the earth to the other – it’s like the gifted puppy that can never be housetrained, it grows up, still, so cute and familiar – your proud of your gift, it craps on the floor and tears down the curtains – it’s new owners overlook the crap; the dog is so cute – however, you can’t get over the crap and torn curtains when you visit.
This past weeks election was a referendum on the puppy. The rhetoric and the outcome were very predictable: The folks that are still very proud of the puppy were very persuasive and voted, most of us other folks – stayed home.
I’ve had this conversation with quite a few friends over the last couple of years. The general consensus on my thoughts and behavior is that I either have too much spare time on my hands or I’m a Communist. Well, I’m actually a workaholic and a congenital Capitalist – my first truly successful venture was a partnership at fourteen selling cigarettes, made in my partner’s parent’s attic, with a Do IT Yourself Laredo Rolling Machine. I actually started working at ten with my grandfather in his television rental business – however, I was just an employee - so why tell you all this? Because, although a bunch of people think I’m crazy – a bunch of folks also believe as I do. And, they also are "American Capitalists." How did we let the National Conversation, again, be defined in general anachronistic ideological terms? Ronald Reagan is dead, the wall is down, Cuba is building golf courses, Chinese entrepreneurs are living in composition shingled, suburban, tract homes – the Reactionary Right Wing Paranoid Lobbyist Mouthpiece Slanderers have got to be kidding! OR - Are they just truly fonder of the puppy than we are? I think so.
I don’t know this for a fact, but I bet whether: Rosa Parks, sitting in that bus, or Dr. Martin Luther King delivering his “I Have A Dream Speech”, or the long haired college student protesting the Viet Nam War - they were all consciously or subconsciously thinking of themselves as the “human” in “human Rights” – not the “Human American Capitalist”. This, in my opinion, is the fundamental difference between Right leaning Capitalists and We, Left leaning Liberal/Progressive Capitalists. The current Liberal and Progressive movements are peopled and or informed by the cultural changes of the 1960’s. I know that there are quite a few of us that want to talk only in either economic or libertarian terms – you are the minority. How do I know this – you voted.
It’s time for the “American” Liberal/Progressive Movement to make it’s own anachronistic stand and boycott corporations, things, and ideas that are inimical to a clear conscience. Our Capitalist Republican/Right Wing brothers and sisters are not the enemy, we are. Oh, and also, vote next time.*
*Previously posted at opednews.com
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