Monthly Archives: December 2013

The American Dream, Culture, and Exceptionalism

Have you ever considered what the term “the American Dream” means?  Is there any such thing?  Do you believe in the American Dream?   Does this mean when we all sleep at night we have the same dream?  Does it mean we all want the same thing?  Precisely, what is this American Dream and what are the implications?

One version of the American Dream is home ownership.  The idea that every person’s desire is to own their own home.  Another version is success, fame, and wealth is realized through hard work and thrift.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the American Dream as an American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity.  There are many variations on these themes captured in literary works or used by politicians for political purposes.

The term is promoted and propagated as though every person in the U.S. has the same dream.  Of course this ideal promotes the concept that we are all one people and that people are essentially the same.  The ideal strips away individual identity and the diversity of ambitions, desires, interests, needs, wants, and talents.

Furthermore, the ideal of an American Dream is merely another arrow in the quiver of nationalism.  Cohabitating in the quiver with the American Dream are other nationalist arrows such as American Exceptionalism, American Culture, and Democracy.

The symbolism embodied by this rhetoric has one overarching goal; to bind the people to the ideal of one nation.  The idea that diverse people have the same American Dream or there is one American culture is abstract and foreign to founding principles.  Democracy is used to entrench these ideals in the minds of the people.   Democracy encapsulates of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Consequently, the notion of American Exceptionalism emerges as another unitary, abstract notion that the country – the nation – is somehow exceptional.  Stir in patriotic overtures such as the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem and the result is one consolidated nation, one mass Democracy where all people are the same, have the same American Dream with one American culture.

Politically this creates sentiments, movements, rhetoric, and messages around the themes like; Take Back our Country, Take Back our Culture, and We are a Christian Nation.  Unfortunately, these nationalistic goals promote and reinforce national symbolism dependent upon an all-powerful, centralized national government.   Naturally, this results in national policies on everything and anything.  Major policies such as health care to minutia such as light bulbs and toilets.  There isn’t a single thing in our daily lives untouched by the cabal of 545 people in Washington, DC.  Demonstrably, a small cabal of 545 people cannot rule over 310 million people with diverse interests, needs, wants, desires, ambitions, talents, and virtues.

What passes as constitutionally limited government is farcical.  Today’s governance is the antithesis of the founding principles, republicanism, and decentralized power.  Today’s governance is unlimited, centralized, authoritarian rule by a cabal of legislators, bureaucrats, and a president.  It is arbitrary and capricious.  It is legitimized by a smaller cabal of lawyers on the Supreme Court.  Our form of governance is unrecognizable by anyone that has studied and understands the founding principles and documents.

Whenever anyone has the audacity to question the leviathan or promote alternative solutions they are treated with mockery and contempt.  It is political heresy to question our leaders.  You are unpatriotic if you dare to question them or propose alternatives such as decentralization of power and republicanism.  You are branded a racist, terrorist, or extremist if you mention federalism or states powers under the tenth amendment.   For those thinkers that discuss constitutional solutions such as an Article V amendments convention or nullification you castigated as the lunatic fringe.

The establishment parties and media, and the ruling class demand acceptable political thought to be constrained between Hillary Clinton on one side and Mitch McConnell on the other side.  All pretend the differences between the two sides are vast expanses of political ideas battling in the arena of public opinion.  The fallacy is the differences are not vast.  The differences are merely window dressing meant to retain the status quo.

More importantly, the ruling class, and the establishment parties and media want the people to believe their only solution is through the electoral process.  As the establishment controls the electoral process only their candidates, policies, and solutions enter into the political debate.  They want us to believe our only recourse is voting.  This plays into their hands because they control the rules and the game.  Their hand-picked lawyers on the Supreme Court adjudicate the game in their favor.  Voting is the least political or patriotic thing a person does.  If all you do is vote and you do not advance alternative solutions you are part of the problem.  If you hope that voting in a handful of new freshmen Congressmen or Senators is the panacea then you are ignoring reality.   Vote, hope, and cope is a failed strategy.

The Declaration of Independence elucidates five truths;  that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that amongst these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted amongst men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, and That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The last two truths epitomize the right of self-determination and self-governance.  The only legitimate government is one instituted by people, exercising only those powers consented to by the people.  More importantly, the last two truths embody the principle that the people can not only create their government, but they can alter and reform their government, and they can abolish that government.

If we are one people, with one American Dream, one American Culture operating as a Democracy, and promulgating the idea of American Exceptionalism then the foundational principles elucidated in the Declaration of Independence conflict with the rhetoric we’ve heard all our lives.

We are not one people, we do not have one culture, and we are not a Democracy.  Nor are we exceptional as a nation or a country.  A nation or a country cannot be exceptional.  Only people are capable of being exceptional.   We embrace diversity.  Diverse people have diverse heritages, customs, traditions, languages, religions, beliefs, interests, food, music, etc.   The only solution to governance that embraces true diversity is federalism, republicanism, and the decentralization of power.  This is precisely how 310 million diverse people can live peacefully and harmoniously with one another without coercing and obliging others to live under a form of governance they do not consent to.

 

 

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Consequences of an Orgy: The Socialist Fascist State

The amalgamation of major industries and government has created an omnipotent, fascist, oligarchical regime that benefits the few and sacrifices the many.  A partnership was developed long ago, giving birth to and nurturing the confluence of power which affords exclusive benefits to business and government.  Every major industry in the United States is in bed with the government.  This orgy of political and business interests has cost us dearly.

The people have lost their freedoms, liberties, and rights.  Hard work and achievement is punished.  Individual behavior, choices, and responsibility are castigated.  Property is plundered.  Generational theft is revered.

Laziness and consumption is rewarded.  Debt, profligate spending, and currency debasement are now core principles of government and society.  Government limitations and dictates regarding preferences and choices are celebrated.  Property means government’s discretion over who owns what and how much.   Medicare and Social Security encourages older generations to steal from their children and grandchildren.

The Rule of Law and limited government has been decimated by arbitrary and capricious dictates.  The Constitution means whatever nine unaccountable, unelected, politically connected lawyers in black robes claim it means.  Judges treat the Constitution as political play-doh, molding it into something that conforms to their personal policy preferences rather than confining government to powers delegated by the Constitution.

The alliance of economic and political interests obfuscates the real issues.  Consequently, the people are confused about the current situation.  Is capitalism and business greed to blame?  Is government to blame?  Are the political parties to blame and, if so, which party?  The answers may appear complicated.

The telecommunications/media, financial/banking, energy (oil/gas/coal/nuclear/green), education, health care and pharmaceutical, and the military industrial complex illustrate how private business interests and government interests are essentially one in the same.

Private business uses the coercive nature of government for their own competitive advantage.  Instead of competing in free markets where failure and success is dependent upon others desire or need for a product, businesses use government to 1) eliminate/stifle competition 2) to subsidize costs 3) use the law to force products on consumers  4)  increase profits and/or guarantee sales/revenue.

Likewise, government enacts laws, policy, and regulations to manipulate the tax code, pick economic winners and losers, and control the money supply and the cost of money.  In exchange, businesses fund political campaigns and candidates.  This quid-pro-quo is rotten to the core.

Politicians are clever creatures.  They’ve learned from the failures of communism and realized there is no need to own the means of production when you can control business and industry through a system of privileges and emoluments, and one of coercion and punishment.  Indeed, this is advantageous to the seasoned political as they define the rules of the game and they officiate the game.  Moreover, if their policies result in negative political consequences they can point their bony fingers at greedy businesses.

Meanwhile, Wall Street and the banks are bailed out.  Automotive manufacturers are bailed out.   The rewards are privatized and the risks are socialized.  Government spies on the people aided and abetted by the telecommunications industry.  Healthcare insurers and pharmaceutical companies support the Affordable Care Act because the law creates a captive customer resulting in more profits due to higher prices.   We are witness to the largest orgy of government and business largesse in our lifetimes.  The few are enriched while the many are sacrificed at the altar of so-called government compassion and benevolence.

It is the confluence of business and government that concentrates wealth into the hands of the few.  The few are the winners hand-picked by their political prostitutes elected to pass and enforce laws.   Monopolies in the free market system are deemed as unfair as the free market itself.  These two culprits become the strawman argument for bigger government and more laws and regulations under the guise of leveling the playing field and helping the disadvantaged.

Today’s markets are a result of the amalgamation of business and government using coercion and limiting choices and opportunities.  Prices are fixed in some cases, manipulated in others, and influenced by government laws and regulations.  Capital is directed and controlled by the money supply and the cost of money (interest rates).  The value of the currency is debased by government to advance their interests at the expense of the people.  Innovation is discouraged or encouraged depending on the prevailing interests in Washington.  The new playing field is heavily mined by laws and regulations put into effect as a result of the government and business alliance.  Consequently, there is less competition and more monopolies (or near monopolies)  while those considered disadvantaged grows proportionally.  Successful navigation of the mine field requires your acquiescence to and partnership with government.

This is the modern day meaning of capitalism and politics.  By no means should you conflate this with free markets as those haven’t existed in decades.  Free markets are voluntary, private exchanges between two parties.   Today, capitalism means to use the power of government to ensure economic success and to boost the company’s stock price.  In return crony capitalists fund the political campaigns of politicians who are more than willing to prostitute themselves to gain and hold onto political power.

Naturally, none of this would be possible without substantial support of the electorate.  This is accomplished through the tax code, entitlement programs, and other government goodies to ensure the status quo is maintained.  Socialism is the mechanism to ensure the people are comfortable in their servitude to government.  The people are amused by and kept comfortable with their smartphones, sports, reality television, video games, music videos, big screen TVs, and their government programs.  Their mind-numbing servitude to their political masters all but ensures the status quo continues while sacrificing their children’s future for some comforts today.

Our political and economic system is a blend of fascism and socialism.  It’s fascist because it is a centralized autocratic government run by a small cabal of politicians, exalting nation over individuals, instituting severe economic and regulatory control, and suppressing any opposition to their dominion.  It is socialist because of the redistributionist nature of government taking property from those that earned and owned it, and giving to others something they have absolutely no rightful claim to.

For the politician plausible deniability is the chief concern.  If politicians can bail out Wall Street and the banks, receive political donations from those bailed out, and then blame Wall Street and the banks for the misfortunes of the middle class it is a win-win situation for them.  The politician is attempting to deceive, manipulate, and cajole you so you’ll vote for him next election cycle while blaming all your economic woes on capitalism and greed.

Meanwhile, the same politician is stealing from you to bail out his buddies on Wall Street, passing legislation assuring millions of new health insurance customers at higher rates, or providing a tax break to the telecommunications company while they work with the government to spy on you.  The same politician is running up debt to provide risk and tax free capital to his business allies across all these industries.

The economic and political system is broke and broken.  Both political parties are to blame.  The ruling class is to blame.   Most importantly, we have to blame ourselves as this behavior continues unabated while we are distracted by the bread and circuses of our time:  smartphones, video games, sports, and reality TV.

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