We must have forgotten it. What it was. Not the America Bush talks about or Cheney plots to create, but the Old School idea that was referred to as the American Dream. Do you remember it? How did it go?
Here’s what I remember.
The American Dream- the freedom/right to find someone you love to share your life with. Do a decent weeks work for a decent weeks pay. Raise a couple of children in a house you own. Get those kids a decent education in a safe environment that will allow them to pursue their dreams. Retire at a decent age and enjoy your golden years in peaceful pursuit of your hobbies and interests.
That was it. So simple, so easy and so out of reach at this point it’s unbelievable. The powers that be in this country would have you believe that those goals are why the terrorists hate us. Why we need to spend over $.50 of every dollar on weapons to protect those goals. Most importantly, why we need to sacrifice our privacy, freedom and personal will in order to even attempt to achieve those goals. Why would people living in caves dedicate their lives to stop you from having any of those things? Why would people blow themselves up to stop you. I’d be hard pressed to blow myself up to cure cancer. Think about it. What would you explode for? It had better be a damn bit more than keeping a decent education out of the hands of someone else’s children.
The terrorists don’t want you to fail in getting the American dream. They want it too. It isn’t an American Dream in the first place. It is the inalienable right of all humans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They want the same things we want, but on their terms. Our culture works for us, theirs for them. Bin Laden isn’t a terrorist because he hates the hours you work. He became who he is because in Saudi Arabia 1% of the population lives in unbelievable opulence while the remaining 99% suffer. Sure, the 99% could easily do what all other societies have done in the past and revolt. We did it 200 years ago. It’s the right thing to do in their situation. Unfortunately they can’t because the Saudi Royalty is protected by the full power of the US military. They can not go through the natural evolution their society desperately needs because our leaders use our money and our children to keep those people down. The military which we created in order to protect and defend freedom and democracy has been usurped. Who did this to us?
If the terrorists have the same goals we do, then who is the enemy? It’s hard to believe there even is an enemy to such inherently positive goals as ours. Who doesn’t want people to live out there lives in happiness and freedom?
If an individual operates without consideration of good or evil we call this individual a psychotic. We lock them up and drug them in order to protect society from them. If 10 individuals get together and operate without consideration of good or evil we give them tax breaks, subsidies and limited liability for their actions. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. At all!! How can this be true? Well, we call them corporations. They function solely for the benefit of themselves. They even use their psychotic nature to defend themselves in debate. Corporations will be the first to tell you that Right and Wrong have nothing to do with investment return, profit, and corporate expansion. A company which does not grow is considered a failure. Profit is the only goal of these people. What they have is never enough because they must always strive to create profit which only benefits their investors.
I can think of millions of examples of this behavior, but it was best summed up in the Movie Fight Club,
“We take the possible liability for the defective part, check it against the cost of a recall and if it is less, we don’t do a recall”
Doesn’t matter how many people die, have their families killed or lives destroyed. If it is not cost effective to save those lives, no corporation would decide to save them.
There you have it in a nutshell. We have gigantic ever thirsting psychotic entities prowling the earth with unlimited resources and no conscience. Tell me again who hates America, Freedom, the dream. It’s not the poor guys hiding in caves. It’s not the activists telling you stop animal testing. It’s not that guy down the street hugging the oak tree. It’s Corporate America.
Decent hours for decent wages translate into lessened profits for their investors.
Home ownership? You don’t own it till it’s paid off. Once it's paid off it becomes nonprofitable. An asset just sitting there without interest payments or resale until you die is an asset that doesn’t profit them. They must at all times profit. You are stopping them from feeding.
Decent public education? Means less money spent on higher education to a small extent, but more importantly it also makes for an educated, organized and hard to fool work force. That gets them where it hurts. How many countries with decent public education have sweatshops, human rights issues and workforces consisting mostly of children. By the way, that high percentage is due to there not being a large number of older workers. Toxic environments, long hours, these things shorten life spans considerably. Long life spans are arguably the greatest threat to corporate profits. Pensions, health care, and of course the wisdom of a population old enough to have seen that there is a better way to do things… Corporate power can not risk that.
There really are only three power bases on this planet. Corporate Power, Governmental Power and the Power of the People. 200 years ago our founding fathers did all they could to make sure the governmental power was firmly “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Their wishes are not open to debate. Unfortunately, 200 years of attrition and encroachment have put the power of government into the hands of the corporations. Deregulation, exemption, and the rest have cost us our primary defense against those who would turn the American dream into the nightmare of slavery. Just our primary defense though. Just the easy one. Don’t ever forget that in a world of people, only people have the power. We are the people and we are all in this together. They want us to see it differently. Racism, sexism, and intolerance are nothing more than weapons they use to divide and conquer us. It doesn’t matter whether you are sitting at home watching your favorite Rapper drink Crystal in his new Nikes while Rapping about Holiday Inn on BET or on your way to the Coca-Cola 500 of the Nextel Cup to watch your favorite Driver cross the finish line in his Budweiser #8 Car. You want your children to have the ability to achieve the American Dream. You want to work a decent job for a decent wage in a decent city with decent health care while you watch your children get a decent education in a safe environment and begin their decent lives with mostly the same goals you have. Well, my friend your desire for this makes you a dangerous extremist threat in the eyes of Corporate America. If you let them, they will nullify that threat. All you have to do is nothing at all.