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26 October 2011

Occupying the Dream

occupy

On 20 August 2009 I wrote an essay that was a sort of call to arms about the history, myths and dreams of America. I deduced that America can be described in three words: Power. Fear. Money. 

Many of the 99% are awake now and taking to the streets. No more will we sleep and dream.

The American Dream

This country called America is NOT about freedom for everyone and it is certainly NOT an inclusive society. They will tell you it is, and that our forefathers fought for freedom, but that may not be entirely true. All history is open to interpretation, and this is mine.

Our forefathers did not like King George and did not want to keep paying taxes. They wanted to keep all the colonial profits they earned for themselves. They were put out by their perception of an aristocratic attitude on the part of the British government. All that stuff about freedom and liberty – some of them probably believed it, but I think most were spouting rhetoric much like the politicians of today. Take away the glorious language of the preamble, and the Declaration of Independence is a list of complaints about King George doing kingly things. Don’t let all that democracy stuff fool you though. John Adams attacked Thomas Paine’s work Common Sense for it’s absurd democratical notions. Let’s not take this liberty thing too far. Yet, we must be ever vigilant and watchful of a government that will take your property and liberty if afforded the opportunity. The anarco-capitalists were more influential over the thinking of Americans than even Americans realize. Power, fear and money.

From the beginning of this Country, power and prestige has been measured by how much stuff a person can accumulate. The more stuff they have the better off they are. At first, only those White men who owned land were permitted to vote in elections. Later, men who did not own property were allowed to vote in elections, but they had to pay a poll tax. Then only those who could read and write at a certain minimal level were permitted to vote. Power, fear and money.

It wasn’t until 1920 that women were permitted to vote. Their husbands often accompanied them into the voting booth and voted for them. As recent as the late 1960s, I watched my uncle accompany his wife into the voting booth and later boast about casting her vote for her.

The labor movement brought an end to most abuses of workers but not before much fighting and bloodshed. The industrialists and robber barons fought tooth and nail against labor reforms. Union organizers and union workers have been murdered. It was not until the Great Depression that child labor laws were enacted not because anyone cared about the welfare of children in America, but because unemployed adult men were competing with children for the same jobs. Power, fear and money.

We placed Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII out of fear that they would not be loyal to America – they were citizens! The world was in the darkest days of an economic depression. We needed that war with Japan, Germany and Italy and our factories made ships, tanks, bullets, guns, boots, all the tools of war. Ronald Regan signed legislation in 1988 which was an official apology for America’s disgraceful treatment of Japanese Americans that was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” A little investigation will prove out that the Japanese were put to work, indoctrinated in the American Dream, and required to enlist in the military. Power, fear and money.

This country was founded by slave owners who wanted freedom only for themselves. Slave owners wrote about freedom and liberty. How’s that for irony? Then the Civil Rights Movement which started in the 1950s and continues to this day brought greater equality for people of color, but not before many deaths by lynching and liberal use of the word nigger by our elected representatives and those running for office. In the 1967 the Supreme Court said it was OK for Blacks and Whites to marry each other. Thank you very much. The segregationists fought hard against integration. Power, fear and money.

Then the right to choose whether to have an abortion was granted to women, which everyone in the world knows the right wing will eventually take away from women. Women still, right now, today, earn less than 80 cents for ever dollar a man earns in this Country. Why does this disparity in income still exist? Power, fear and money.

There is still no equality for gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans. Our people do not want gays to benefit from tax credits and other benefits that married people enjoy. Power, fear and money.

The people of this country have been raised on a generous portion of fear of foreigners and the arrogant belief that this country is God’s favorite country. God loves only America. God loves only Americans. God wants Americans to be wealthy. God made America wealthy because He loves America. God will protect Americans from all those foreigners who want to take what we have – foreigners will take our stuff if we are not diligent. God gave America to the White man who took it by force from the Native Americans. This is the Great White Melting Pot of assimilation and equality of whiteness.

Horatio Alger wrote about the American Dream – the poor street kid (rags to riches) who made it to the top by his “pluck.” Pluck is a combination of perseverance and luck. Our children are taught in school, that in America (the luck of their birth) if you work hard (persevere) you can achieve anything you want to achieve (tell that to Emmett Till and the others who were lynched and murdered for no reason other than they were Black). What they don’t teach the children in school is Mr. Alger’s misconduct with teen age boys.

Those with power and money need a misinformed, ignorant, but supportive population of sheeple to work in their factories, clean their houses, fix their cars, take out their garbage, sit in their cubicles, and make money for them. Those with the power and the money throw a few dollars called wages at the sheeple who thank their owners and smile all the way to the Bank every payday, never questioning their pitiful $30,000 annual salary compared to the $10 million the CEO was paid last year.

The modern day Horatio Algers will point to specific examples of those Americans who came from nothing to millions as shining examples of what is possible in America. Well, if that were true there should be millions of millionaires in America because everyone I know works their fingers to the bone – and they are true blue believers in the American dream.

Today, those with power and money are mocking you and you don’t even realize it. When they proclaim that this has been a country built basically by white folks they spit in the face of every person of color who worked the fields, labored in the factories, dug the ditches, died in their wars, and raised their children to believe in the American Dream. We live in a land where the average White family has 10 times as much wealth as the average African-American family, and 21 times as much as the average Latino family. You tell me, who is living the American Dream?

The American Dream is just that – a dream. It is spoon fed to the masses who are intoxicated by it. Those with power and money will keep their power and money. How do they do that? They keep the masses stupid and drunk with dreams of power and money, fearful of foreigners and foreign influences. They will give you a taste of it by way of a paycheck and keep you scared of terrorists. They will show you what their lives look like on television with programs like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. They will make you want what they have and you will work until you die believing that you are going to make it – someday. All the while, they take your labor and keep the profits, while you work hard, grow older and trudge on daily down the road to your death.

Dream on my fellow Americans.

Fight bravely for that liberty that is wage slavery!

March on freely with your fellow sheep toward that death which you have been told is the free market!

Dream the American nightmare of false hope and work for the liberty of liars and thieves!

You are servants to the corporate masters who would not let you eat the crumbs from under their tables.

Carry your banners high! Fight against those who work to better your life.

Call us Socialists and Communists and Fascists! For such are those who care about your future as well as our own.

March to the beat of the greedy corporate drum that drowns out he cries of hungry children on your doorstep!

Lay your head on your knock-off designer pillow covers sewn in Asia by child laborers tonight and dream.

The American Dream.

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