Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 19, 2020

This Illusion Is Alive And Well

Forbes - May 15 2012 - Meghan Casserly

The American Dream Is Alive And Well... In New Jersey

American Express - November 6 2012 - Rieva Lesonsky

The American Dream is Alive and Well—and Transformed

The Telegraph - August 4 2014 - Jeremy Warner

The American Dream is alive and well, if you are trained for the jobs of the future

Forbes - September 30 2015 - John Tamny - FreedomWorks

Ignore The Left And Right, The American Dream Is Alive And Well

FOX Business - August 22 2016 - Steve Tobak

The American Dream Is Alive and Well

Forbes India - November 1 2016 - Monte Burke

The American dream is alive and well...

Washington Times - June 19 2017 - Ed Feulner - Heritage Foundation

The American Dream, alive and well

KEDM - July 4 2018 - Byron Moore, Argent Advisors, Inc.

The American Dream is Alive and Well

New York Times - February 2 2019 - Samuel J. Abrams - American Enterprise Institute

The American Dream Is Alive and Well

Daily Caller - February 6 2019 - Steve Sanetti - NSSF Firearm Industry Trade Association

The American Dream Is Alive And Well

FOX Business - September 30 2019 - Julia Limitone

Eric Trump: The American Dream is alive and well

Mail Online - October 2019 - Lauren Fruen

The American Dream is still alive! Children of poor immigrants still beat US-born kids up the ladder - just as they did 100 years ago - but now Chinese and Indian migrants have replaced Italian and Irish as the most successful

CNBC - November 14 2019

Billionaire Bob Parsons: The American Dream is alive and well

FOX News - November 26 2019 - Carol Ross

Carol Roth: The American Dream is alive and well -- Let's be thankful for it

Clarion Ledger - December 10 2019 - Lynn Evans

The American Dream is alive and well, but redefined

Wall Street Journal - January 31, 2020 - Michael R. Strain, American Enterprise Institute

The American Dream Is Alive and Well

Newsweek - February 27 2020 - Lee Habeeb

The American Dream Is Alive and Well. Just Ask District Taco's Osiris Hoil

The Independent Voice - May 7 2020 - Barbara Ball

The American Dream is alive and well

eKenyan - May 8 2020

Opinion | The American Dream Is Alive and Well

New York Times - May 18 2020 - Michael R. Strain - American Enterprise Institute

The American Dream Is Alive and Well

 

If it were true why would they need to repeat it again and again?

Posted by b on May 19, 2020 at 9:24 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

The american dream is alive..no doubts about it..neoliberist tiranny couldn't think otherwise..The main example is the "touching" story of the mexican guy who became a taco king.His pic with the workers in the background is the perfect manifesto of neoliberist dream.But there's little to be happy in a country where helthcare system is ridicolous, where equality is seen as enemy,where a lot of people defend the right to get rifles and kill eachother in the name of so called "freedom".If they like this dream it's what they deserve.

Posted by: LuBa | May 19 2020 10:09 utc | 1

The "American Dream" - as Marvel Comics' "Red Skull" once defined it - is the denial of everyone else's theirs.

Now the "American Dream" is the fantasy that there is one. Or that under present and likely future conditions that any dream is realizable in this country - except perhaps those of the one percent.

Except mine, of course. Because mine doesn't depend on anyone else doing anything more than they already are. As long as the rest of you remain stupid, ignorant, malicious and fearful, I will almost certainly succeed. Which will make me one of the one percent - if not in terms of money, at least in terms of success in my own terms.

As an aside, I'm perfectly happy with the availability of firearms in this country. And that's only going to get better. Every time some politician says they're going to restrict firearms, another X million people go out and buy more. Concealed carry in this country has increased from 16% a year or so ago to 18-19% now - and that's just the people who carry legally. Since the virus crisis started, FBI online background checks have reached greater monthly peaks than ever before. 80-100 million people own 400 million firearms in this country - and that ain't going away, no matter who is deluded otherwise.

So deal with it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 10:26 utc | 2

The American Dream is alive but it does not travel well.

Posted by: Now's the Time | May 19 2020 10:30 utc | 3

Is the American dream dead yet? Well, no. But after some 40 years of brain dead politics and economic idiocy the so-called American dream is on life support. Big time! So if it isn't quite dead yet, it's getting there. Hope springs eternal!

Posted by: GeorgeV | May 19 2020 10:42 utc | 4

Not only does the headline "The American Dream is Alive and Well" need to be repeated ad nauseam but also the narrative it promotes, of the immigrant family that succeeds through sheer hard work and dedication and nothing else - no help from government subsidies or relatives already in the country, no dependence on bank loans that help start a business or put teenagers through college, no discrimination whatsoever - has to be hammered constantly over and over, even when everyone can see that the story template no longer has any legs if it ever had any.

For all the sophisticated techniques and tools of propaganda that the likes of Edward Bernays and his followers in the PR industry bequeathed to the US, the elites and their mass media lackeys can't even get the repetition to look and sound more than banal and one-dimensional.

Posted by: Jen | May 19 2020 10:58 utc | 5

The global society of spectacle has a fairytale forest that was called "TV, radio and newspaper" 50 years ago. Today it is called "internet and multimedia" but has always been "the American way of dream life" in some regional dialects. Poisoned "fake news mushrooms" are found almost exclusively in this forest as basic food. These mushrooms can numb the hunger but they blinding the lust for life.

Posted by: marquessa theressa | May 19 2020 11:23 utc | 6


The American Dream was always someone else's nightmare from day one and today it is the planet's nightmare. It is the propaganda the rulers believe about themselves promoted as Universal Truth. And yes, it must be repeated ad nauseum, thin as tissue and dissipating in the face of reality like a vapor.

Posted by: blindpig | May 19 2020 11:24 utc | 7

If it were true why would they need to repeat it again and again?

That is a key question indeed. Anything the media feels it must repeat over and over reflects an uncertainty, and not the truth. The effect displayed in these articles is cognitive dissonance where a world view conflicts with reality, where reality is rejected in order to maintain the world view.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 19 2020 11:25 utc | 8

b,

It might be helpful to write a take down of Trump's threatening letter to the WHO. Trump makes many allegations of Chinese and WHO duplicity, etc.

We need ammunition against the US propaganda campaign.


Posted by: Richard | May 19 2020 11:29 utc | 9

Dreams are for people who are asleep.

Posted by: Wuff | May 19 2020 11:41 utc | 10

@11.

Whilst you wait on B to do that for you, which parts in that short letter do you yourself think Trump is lying about?

Posted by: Skeletor | May 19 2020 11:45 utc | 11

Propaganda: Saying the same thing over and over again and expecting people will believe it. Synonyms: indoctrination, brainwashing, hype, hogwash

Posted by: krypton | May 19 2020 11:54 utc | 12

As an aside that is nonetheless relevant, dealing as it does with issues of the responsibility that banks have for the mess in this world, I recommend watching the TV series, "Devils", described here on Wikipedia:

Devils (TV series)
https://tinyurl.com/yb8cbwsq


Plot

London, 2011. The Italian Massimo Ruggero is the head of trading at the banking giant American New York - London Bank (NYL). While the financial crisis is raging across Europe, Massimo is making hundreds of millions thanks to speculation. His mentor is Dominic Morgan, the American CEO of NYL and the closest thing to a father Massimo has ever had. He fully supports it, the talented trader seems to be the first choice in the run for vice-CEO. But when Massimo is unwillingly involved in a scandal that sees his ex-wife implicated as an escort, Dominic denies him the promotion, instead choosing the old school banker Edward Stuart.

Massimo is amazed: his father turns his back on him. Convinced that he has been set up, Massimo is determined to bring out the truth, but when Edward suddenly dies, Massimo realizes that something bigger is at stake. With the help of his team and a group of hackers, Massimo will discover the plot hidden behind apparently unrelated events such as the Strauss-Kahn scandal, the war in Libya and the PIIGS crisis. Finding himself in front of the Devils who pull the ropes of the world, Massimo will have to choose whether to fight them or join them.

The series is well-written and well-acted. If you have access to it (I get it off the Internet, but it does not appear to be available in the US market yet), it's well worth watching. It is in some ways better than "Deep State", the spy series that was on a season or two ago. It has already been renewed for a second season.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 12:02 utc | 13

"This game isn't totally rigged, you aren't winning only because you aren't betting hard enough!"

Posted by: JW | May 19 2020 12:08 utc | 14

I wonder what America would have become if sociopaths like Allen Dulles hadn't relocated to Nazi braintrust after WWII. maybe it was inevitable that we would become the 4th reich.

David Talbot's book The Devil's Chessboard should be required reading for all Americans.

Posted by: lizard | May 19 2020 12:56 utc | 15

Jen @6: "For all the sophisticated techniques and tools of propaganda that the likes of Edward Bernays and his followers in the PR industry bequeathed to the US, the elites and their mass media lackeys can't even get the repetition to look and sound more than banal and one-dimensional."

Nice observation that incompetence is pervasive even among the empire's most important servants. It must be asked, though, if better talent is really necessary? The propaganda and brainwashing may be ham fisted and blunt as a hammer, but it does seem to work nonetheless.

Anyway, the more sophisticated brainwashing is not in the infotainment field but rather in the supposedly pure entertainment domain. Redneck dynasties built upon the monster retail bonanza from selling duck lures, for example. Those implant "The American Dream" directly into the subconscious without the need for awkward capitalist ideological exposition, bypassing any potential bullshit filters that the typical media consumers might possess.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2020 12:58 utc | 16

We all know these main stream media outlets do little more than pump out propaganda to the ignorant masses who need someone to tell them what they want to hear.

Posted by: Linda Amick | May 19 2020 12:59 utc | 17

May 2020, seriously???

Wow, those guys were phoning it in. 1. Their dreamland pieces were identical to the ones in 2015, 2. the bottom 20% who they claim either don't have it so bad or can easily improve their lot, have been gutted like a fish and left out to dry. Did people write these opinion pieces or robots, robots could easily replace their jobs, pity their jobs won't be automated but I really don't see why they couldn't be. Actually Neocons could be replaced by automatons.

Recent contributions, burger flippers => code slingers

I heard some politician suggest that while many of the jobs will never come back that people can learn to code. We need drug testing for our politicians. I 'code' and I'm wetting my pants. It's not because I think that it's so easy I an be easily replaced but but we still need demand. If everyone is losing their jobs ... terrifies me.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | May 19 2020 13:01 utc | 18

The American Dream died in 1969 - the last year of the post-war miracle in the USA. For the following five years, the country continued to flourish, but at a clear slower pace. With the oil crisis of 1974-5, the American Dream definitely died, albeit some indicators (e.g. real wages) still showed some improvements.

1978 was the last year real wages showed significant growth in real terms in the USA. After that, came the great stagnation of the neoliberal era (1978-2008), 30 consecutive years of frozen earns for the American working classes. This era is not marked by a slow down in consumption, though. On the contrary: consumption continued to rise, but, this time, it was mainly debt-fueled. Americans wages stagnated, but they didn't want to give up their hyperconsumption privileges, so they contracted debt after debt.

As the timeline shows, it is a myth neoliberalism begun in the USA only with Reagan's election in 1980. Most neoliberal reforms begun during Jimmy Carter's second half of his lonely term (1978-1980). It was Jimmy Carter, for example, who hired (nominated) Paul Volcker to the Fed. Other essential Acts that paved the way to neoliberalism were also passed during Jimmy Carter's later part of the reign.

Posted by: vk | May 19 2020 13:22 utc | 19

Do not know this man´s name or which party he belongs, but it seems you really have the leaders and who represent you, but are you behind them, shouting in the streets?

https://twitter.com/antoniodjtone/status/1261446961909035011

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 13:26 utc | 20

Maybe they read that 'meowmeow' crack and decided to sing along...

Posted by: Joshua | May 19 2020 13:42 utc | 21

The official number is 5 Earths! Thats what it would take for everyone on the planet to live like the average american. 20 earths if they all lived like the average 1%er.

Since we only have the one you might now begin to understand why we have been "killing hope" for billions of people around the world and bombing whole countries back to the stone age.

War IS the answer, you all just keep asking the wrong question.

Posted by: jef | May 19 2020 13:46 utc | 22

"As the timeline shows, it is a myth neoliberalism begun in the USA only with Reagan's election in 1980. Most neoliberal reforms begun during Jimmy Carter's second half of his lonely term (1978-1980)..." vk @21
This is equally true of the UK and "Thatcherism" the foundations of which were established under the Labour Callaghan government.
Reagan and Thatcher simply capped a movement which had been gathering momentum during the seventies. Other early indications of the way that things were going were the Pinochet coup and the use of Chile as a test bed for neo-liberalism and the Tory manifesto of 1970 in the UK, which led to a provocation of Unions, characteristic of all these neo-liberal regimes.

Posted by: bevin | May 19 2020 13:47 utc | 23

As George Carlin said “It’s called the American Dream because you’ve gotta be asleep to believe it.”

Posted by: Daniel | May 19 2020 13:48 utc | 24

Christian J Chuba @20

Yep! We can all build personalized web portals for each other!

On that note, most Open Source developers know that the best motivation for software development is having an itch to scratch, or as Plato said "Necessity is the mother of invention." This is why Google doesn't want Huawei banned from using their products. The principals at Google know that their Android OS, for example, is really just a trivial graphical shell on top of Linux and that a few talented programmers could produce something better over a long weekend if they really wanted to. The only thing that keeps a competitor to Android OS from coming into being is that it is good enough and nobody has the need to replace it. Forcing Huawei to replace Android OS is the same as shooting Android OS in the head. Since Huawei has to create a replacement, why would they stop their development at "Just as good" when "Much better" is not so big an additional step? Or worse, what if Huawei goes so far as to make their replacement "The best we can"? That would not be good news for Google, and Google's principals know it.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2020 13:49 utc | 25

Well, yeah, it's a dream. Guess what happpens to dreams when you wake up?

Posted by: pasha | May 19 2020 13:54 utc | 26

After assuring the head of the Federal Reserve that he will prevent the economy from falling (= he will inject money without limit into the pockets of big Capital), a wave of purchases is unleashed on Wall Street that reaches more than 90% of listed companies

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1262415794631303175

THE DELIGHTS OF NEOLIBERALISM: The polarization between a very rich minority and a rapidly impoverished majority prevents the economy from recovering through consumption

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1262414892683886597

THE WORSE, THE BETTER: As tens of millions of people lose their jobs (and health protection) in the US, speculation on Wall Street skyrockets to all-time highs

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1262413328095367170

Half of the US population is out of work

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1262308892287152129


Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 14:05 utc | 27

The 'American Dream', aka 'American bullshit Propaganda': it is amazing how many foreigners actually fall for this bullshit, and think USA is just like a 'Friends' episode, or the old soap 'Dallas'. I mean, look at all these articles desperately trying to reassure readers worldwide that America is still the place to be.....nevermind that Detroit looks like a 3rd world country...or that there are HUGE tent cities in East L.A./Portland OR/Seattle WA/San Diego CA, Vegas, etc. USA also has the world's largest prison population: guess the American Dream turned into American nightmare for all those mostly black peeps locked up for selling weed on the street corner. Another 'American nightmare': the debt peonage of millions of university graduates who end up with $20-$40-$80,000 USD of debt upon graduation. And they do this to their own children, WTF!? And there ain't nothing 'dreamy' about how fucking expensive the rents have got: 1 bdrm in SF $3,000/month....Chicago $2,500/month...Denver $2,500/month. The 'American Dream' has become an unlivable 'American Nightmare' for most Americans. Coronavirus is kicking in the door on this unsustainable, predatory clusterfuck. If there is one silver lining to this pandemic it will be that it crushes American neo-liberal capitalism, rendering it obsolete.

Posted by: deschutes | May 19 2020 14:06 utc | 28

"The American Dream Is Alive And Well..."

That sounds like a distorted echo.

Could it be that the same writers who came up with:
"This is extremely dangerous to our democracy ..."

Posted by: Cascadian | May 19 2020 14:14 utc | 29

He says Rafael Bengoa, former Health Counsellor of the Basque Government, former Obama advisor on Health issues, former Director of Health Systems at WHO, that there is a window of opportunity opened to claim for public policies with respect health and social security, as they have proven imprescindible through the pandemci for the survival of society...

But, he says that windows open...and then close....

We are late....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 14:33 utc | 30

Here are some links to charts showing how the upward mobility rates of countries around the world. I cannot vouch for their veracity, but upward mobility rate of the US is horrid.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-social-mobility-of-82-countries/
US is 27th right below Lithuania, but above Spain.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/these-are-the-10-countries-with-the-best-social-mobility/
This one a based on previous, but adds a graph on how many generations it would take a person born poor to reach the median income. In the US, takes five generations. Is a generation 20 or 30 years. Fundamentally it seems Americans will never leave the class they are born in.

Hmmm...too many links to post all of which indicate that US upward mobility is in the proverbial toilet.

Posted by: Erelis | May 19 2020 15:07 utc | 31

The American Dream today is to become an influencer, forget that building a business or Wall Street crap.
Work hard,forge your brand of ignorance/truth and you too can be President of the USA.

Posted by: Randy | May 19 2020 15:43 utc | 32

@ Christian J Chuba | May 19 2020 13:01 utc | 20

I heard some politician suggest that while many of the jobs will never come back that people can learn to code. We need drug testing for our politicians. I 'code' and I'm wetting my pants. It's not because I think that it's so easy I an be easily replaced but but we still need demand. If everyone is losing their jobs ... terrifies me.

Speaking as a software developer as well, it's also obvious that the attempts to train people to become "coders" (that word is always a sign someone is huffing Silicon Valley investor hype fumes) is, at its most malicious, a means to break the high salaries we enjoy as programmers, and at its least malicious, an attempt to fix economic outcomes for workers in a way that's ignorant of the fallacy of composition - what exactly do people think will happen to programmer salaries if every programmer has to compete with an influx of coal miners, fast food workers, and so on? Even assuming most people get filtered out and wash away, you still have more people competing for relatively fewer jobs. The "learn to code" initiatives of Google and Facebook and other tech giants are in the same vein. With remote work becoming a necessity, it wouldn't surprise me if tech companies just start to give the jobs to the lowest bidders - people in Vietnam, India, Pakistan, who have lower costs of living and are more used to getting fucked in the ass. They could phrase it as "disrupting" the labor market, making it more "flexible" and "efficient" by making us use "smart auctions" that give jobs to lowest bidders with adequate credentials.

Here, as usual, the only answer is more solidarity, and unfortunately, solidarity is hard to come by in the tech sector. But what's waiting for us is nothing compared to what's waiting for the workers who were already precariously employed and now just got thrown out on their ass by the system. How are the newly unemployed going to react to permanent job loss, in the absence of any kind of adequate safety net, and in the face of two right-wing political parties hellbent on taking away anything but the most paltry and minimal social safety net? Maybe we now have to deal with the fact that our relations of production - wage labor, the accumulation of capital through the exploitation of it - is at odds with our forces of production, which no longer need masses of workers to exploit to guarantee an adequate standard of living for all. Maybe what we need is to seize the forces of production, hold them in common, and ensure that no one goes hungry or homeless or without adequate medical care. Maybe the social system that has existed for the last two or three hundred years is decrepit and needs a revolution to topple it. I wouldn't know, but it's been looking that way for a while. We'll see how the labor market absorbs the newly unemployed and whether or not workers band together to fight for their collective interests. A lot of conditioning would need to be undone, but I seem to recall that in a flood, Pavlov's dogs dropped all theirs. Certainly, revolutions have been won under more dire circumstances.

Posted by: fnord | May 19 2020 15:49 utc | 33

The American Dream, however, is still alive and well in the form of a political doctrine.

The American Dream doctrine states that the American people, as the people of the most powerful nation on Earth, deserves to be material affluent and happy - before everybody else, in exclusion to everybody eles and/or at the expense of everybody else.

In this context, the American Dream nothing more, nothing less presents itself concretely as an "Imperialist Premium", that is, the intuitive connection the American working classes make between being the strongest nation with being the nation with the highest life quality.

Posted by: vk | May 19 2020 15:49 utc | 34

i liked the george carlin quote.. thanks @26 daniel...

somewhere along the line i realized if you aren't dreaming or imagining, you aren't living... people that stop dreaming of the possibilities in life, stop living... so dream on!

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 16:00 utc | 35

Clarion Ledger - December 10 2019 - Lynn Evans
The American Dream is alive and well, but redefined

If her headline is anything to go by, Lynn Evans wasn't fooled by the blather about the American Dream. If you have to redefine a shared vision then there was clearly something wrong with the original definition.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19 2020 16:01 utc | 36

@ 36 fnord.. nice response to christians post.. thanks.. he only way is towards some type of major revolution.. not sure if it is gonna happen though..

Posted by: james | May 19 2020 16:05 utc | 37

"The American Dream is alive and well" = "Get back to work, plebs!"

Those decrying the lockdown for some supposed police state encroachment maybe might soon be able to see that ANY wrench thrown into the gears of our world economy that allowed for some intrusion of thoughtful pause to our mindless, consumer-based droning is indeed a good thing.

Now TPTB realize that too much of it is not sustainable if they want to keep the humming of machinery going and distraction to rule the day.

"Buy, buy, buy."

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | May 19 2020 16:30 utc | 38

What they are suggesting is, that people should keep on dreaming!

Posted by: padre | May 19 2020 16:31 utc | 39

"Illusion is a state of eternal childishness." --Chris Hedges

Posted by: Copeland | May 19 2020 16:37 utc | 40

What was known as the American Dream died several generations ago with the escalation of the Vietnam War which caused Nixon to abandon gold and begin the burial of America's Industrial Capitalism with the Financialization of the economy. The Macro process can easily be seen as it unfolded by once again looking at Shadowstats GDP Chart, which depicts the last great burst of energy for American Industry as it emerged from the Volker/Fed induced Recession only to be staggered by the first of many Wall Street/Money Power Fraud-induced crises, which by 1990 led to the continual contraction of the Outlaw US Empire's economy and the fundamental basis on which the American Dream was posited. That Dream was premised on the promise of continual upward mobility and long-term financial security, neither of which have existed during the 21st Century. The fundamental reason for the Dream's demise is as stated above--the Financialization of the economy and its Parasitism to engorge itself and itself alone. The Outlaw US Empire will continue to waste away as long as such Parasitism continues.

Longtime readers will know I've explored the various ways to alter the current paradigm. The Corruption's so deep and pervasive that only a mass upheaval resulting in the total reconstruction of the existing arrangements will solve the problems and allow for a renewed positive path forward. Currently, I see two relatively ignorant blocs seething at each other instead of the powers that oppress them both. Destroying that Machiavellian Divide must occur prior to any attempt to oust those in power. IMO, it will take a Hot War to do that.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 16:56 utc | 41

One obvious answer to b’s question is a memory of mine that informs my thinking to this day:

As a very young man I came across a statement that Coca-Cola was the most popular beverage in the world. About that same time I had noticed the pervasive extent of the advertising for that product. I asked my father if the statement was true, why did they need to advertise so much. His response (of course) was “That is why it’s so popular.”

Posted by: NotBob | May 19 2020 17:23 utc | 42

@ Richard Ong | May 19 2020 16:44 utc | 44

Mr. Ong --

You might want to test the waters over at Foxnews.com.

I'm sure you'd feel a lot more at home, and they would certainly welcome your expressions of hatred toward anyone who is not, well, you.

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 19 2020 17:26 utc | 43

Reminds me of a medieval-geek friend who used to say "Look, in the 12 and 13th centuries, the Church made edicts every couple of decades about how this sepcific stuff should be unlawful, was a sin, and people shouldn't do it. These were repeated very often. Does it mean that the Church was an overbearing obsessed control freak, or that the people just didn't give a damn about that inderdict and breached it on a regular basis, forcing the Church to repeat itself without having much success?"

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 19 2020 17:30 utc | 44

The American Dream and Interdimensional Portals: a love story:

The Warp Speed Push for Coronavirus Vaccines: A convergence of corrupt special interests are rushing to push untested and incredibly dangerous vaccines on the public before anyone has time to realize what is really happening or stop it

So, it seems the American Dream is alive and well - all it needs is a little push.

Posted by: vk | May 19 2020 17:43 utc | 45

Headlines like these, I have always avoided reading further. Always. Must be my digger mentality.

Posted by: juliania | May 19 2020 18:10 utc | 46

The Dream has long turned into a Nightmare for many Americans. Besides, even when it was indeed a dream, it came at the expense of a Nightmare for billions in the world.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | May 19 2020 18:11 utc | 47

b - You know the answer to the last question is that gaslighting has to be continuous, otherwise the sheeple might wake up to reality.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | May 19 2020 18:11 utc | 48

Some US people here, even those who want to change things for a better outcome, comtinue thinking in the old industrisl paradigm in which we have based the Western capitalist system during the last centuries.

You must understand that unlimited growing in not possible anymore, the people are losing its purchasing power, thus continue producing industrial goods has not sense with such panorama in view, whether they are produced in China or in the US.
The problem here is that most of the jobs are lost forever, and, without preadvice to reciclate, the people is being robed of whatever cash exist out there so as the rich people can purchase for the new business in the new technological paradigm. They always count with beforehand information from their lobbyist in government. We, on the contrary, realize only when one day go to the bank and find it closed and our savings evaporated, as happened in the USSR.
The money of the Russian people did not evaporate, it was stolen, along their public assets to form a new class of oligarchs.

This is the world that is being unleashed before our eyes while we are locked, count the number of industrial workers on terrain...and this is mining!

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 18:13 utc | 49

The "American Dream", like the zombie apocalypse, is all about your brain being eaten, then going through the motions of life appropriating from others the humanity you no longer can remember.

Stay wild, everyone.

Posted by: Vintage Red | May 19 2020 18:15 utc | 50

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 18:13 utc | 50

I am seeing that the link embeded above does not work properly, I will post it through the Twitter account I found it, to see if then...

https://twitter.com/EstulinDaniel/status/1262448662585782278

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 18:22 utc | 51

But, but the exceptional people have to remind themselves that if they dream long enough, their wishful thinking, er dream, might, just might become true.
This dream though has been a nightmare for the rest of the world. This dream needs a morning after pill.
Let’s forget this, along with alonetogether BS. What a contradiction in term that one is.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | May 19 2020 18:22 utc | 52

The assertion "The American Dream Is Alive and Well" is an illusory truth.

Posted by: bjd | May 19 2020 18:26 utc | 53

Some people are organizing looking for alternatives....Well, at least that it is not only the rich who organize themselves and have summits...Here we are playing our very existence:

At the gates of a First Progressive International? The Puebla Group's proposal to confront neoliberalism in times of pandemic

Posted by: H.Schmatz | May 19 2020 18:38 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | May 19 2020 17:43 utc | 45

So, it seems the American Dream is alive and well - all it needs is a little putsch. Fixed it for you.
-----
The American Dream is alive and well as all it's today's are yesterdays.

Want a house? After the sub-prime fiasco it's no.
Free education? Regular job? One worker per family earning enough to keep them all?
Being able to build a hot rod and do a burn-up down the road without cops' booking you for going over 70. Or them doing a bit of private business with civilian forfeiture?.
No visiting SWATs during the night?

Or even real justice for the real baddies.
When you could be sure that girls were girls and boys boys, and not something in between.
When the US was a beacon to the world, and not just a lamp held up by a rusty statue in front of NY.

It was "better" before - or at least it was when all the rough bits are brushed out by time. Memory is selective, and happiness is elective. We were all happier and had more real freedom in August of 1978. (Or so someone once calculated - but I don't know how!)

As was said from b's link above: Clarion Ledger - December 10 2019 - Lynn Evans

What emerged from the results of this survey is that Americans rank freedom of choice in how to live one’s life as the most important element in the American Dream. Eighty-five percent believe this is an essential part of being an American.
-------
Going back a long way to keep you happy. Mugo Jerry in 1970. I doubt that many of you will think this is very good but it summed up the period. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUQcnfwUUM

Posted by: Stonebird | May 19 2020 18:48 utc | 55

H.Schmatz @50--

Your time here's been short, so perhaps you've missed the many times in the past when I've advocated for a transition to a Steady-State economy based on Socialist Principles. Yes, there're a multitude of problems needing solutions to arrive at such an arrangement the most prominent of which is grossly uneven human development whose existence certain nations want kept, primarily the Outlaw US Empire and its vassals. I should point-out that China recognizes this problem and speaks to it in its Development Goals White Paper.

IMO, we cannot look to the Parasitically Financialized West for leadership in this area as its system is about to implode. The ASEAN nations, Russia and China are the innovators as we move further into the 21st Century, and it is they who will be in the vanguard trying to solve the multitude of problems.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 18:58 utc | 56

The USA is dead. If the so called elites don't believe it then I invite them to witness the ramifications of their creation. This touches everyone.

Posted by: So | May 19 2020 19:15 utc | 57

"The American Dream is alive and well" - is of course only a domestic slogan destined for Americans, intended to convince the citizens of something which is not actually the case.

Fortunately it doesn't touch us in the rest of the world, and doesn't encourage the US to deliver more death and suffering on us.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 19 2020 19:23 utc | 58

The London Review of Books has a blog-Culling the Herd-A Modest Proposal- by Eli Zaretsky that deals with just this subject:

"...The large-scale slaughter now unfolding in America was not set in motion overnight. The herd had to be prepared. One place to start is with the response to the uprisings of the 1960s. Any herd has to have its rebellious instincts curbed. Most urgent was suppressing the African-American population, since they had been the spearhead of the revolt. Almost immediately, the leaders were murdered: Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and countless others. But state-sponsored murder is labour-intensive and unprofitable. A more effective means was mass incarceration. There are currently more than two million Americans in jail, and about 40 per cent of them are black.
"Also important in managing a herd is to destroy all forms of critical thinking, in particular anything that challenges the supremacy of private property. The multitude was taught to react with instinctive, even ferocious, negativity to any idea that could be described as ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’. Not only did this render the herd more submissive, it created a feeling of narcissistic superiority that helped its members accept the drastic loss of long-established rights. The master class, which had lived in fear of herd uprisings until it quelled the rebellions of the 1960s, was amazed at how easily the herd gave up the belief that it was entitled to jobs, housing and good schools. Also helpful, as with poultry and cattle, was the use of drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine). Most fundamental, however, was convincing the masses that they had little or no right to medical care..."

Posted by: bevin | May 19 2020 19:29 utc | 59

Zaretsky's Modest Proposal concludes thus

"..When the coronavirus presented them with a choice between letting people die and closing down ‘the economy’, there was no question which the masters would choose. A herd that had already had its most contentious and inquisitive members culled, and that had been rendered submissive, would easily become accustomed to the slaughter of two thousand or so per day. It was all a matter of keeping the rest of the herd healthy."
He might have added that what is true of the United States is just as true of its satellite-Tory ruled Britain.

Posted by: bevin | May 19 2020 19:33 utc | 60


I am from stingrays bikes and sissy bars
I am from the smell of fresh rain on fresh suburban streets
I am from Mayberry RFD and leaving it to beaver
I am from a country where everyone was a believer.
I am from duck and cover
I am from the death of John and Martin and Bobby
I am from the death of the dream
I am from riots and grief and the search for the dream thief
I am from a man on the moon and the world's moment of wonder
I am from Woodstock and choices and the sound of new voices
I am from 'nam
And Nixon
And the death of the dream
I am from wall street and all of their schemes
I am from consumption and greed and the rape of a planet
I am from zeros and ones
And the compression of life to a few random bits
I am from scared white men not seeming to fit
I am from 9/11 and the death of a dream
I am from oligarchs and all of there schemes
I am from endless wars and ended dreams
I am from the least best and brightest
I am from narcism, cronyism and a nation divided
I am from the turning point of man
I am from covid and climate and remote control death
an automatic world that knows of your every breath
I am from earth
I am from man
and I don't know what to do
I am from the death of the dream

Posted by: Joe Ryan | May 19 2020 19:39 utc | 61

Posted by: bevin | May 19 2020 19:29 utc | 60

Trump's racism, white superiority, is a losing game, bevin. That's why it is so strong. People on here tell me that the US is 70% white. It wasn't obvious to me in my time in California, where the whites seemed to be a minority.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 19 2020 19:48 utc | 62

Look at the history of the term.
James Truslow Adams has coined the word “American Dream” in his book The Epic of America in 1931. In the time of the great depression.
The time John Steinbeck described deep misery of mass population in his books: Grapes of Wrath, Mice & Men ( 1937 & 1939).
2020 is "the best of the time and worst the time" again. That is the dreaming time, really.

Posted by: arata | May 19 2020 19:57 utc | 63

The "American Dream" is alive and well, now go back to sleep.

Posted by: El Cid | May 19 2020 20:15 utc | 64

LOL, LOL.

b or someone should put the list side-by-side with the list on the "Coming collapse of China" news reports. That would be humorous.

Posted by: d dan | May 19 2020 20:16 utc | 65

@ Stonebird | May 19 2020 18:48 utc | 56

"Being able to build a hot rod and do a burn-up down the road without cops' booking you for going over 70," or saving you from slamming into that school bus when your upper control arm let go.

I don't know about you, but I stopped being a teenager quite a while ago.

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 19 2020 20:21 utc | 66

The crash of the "hard landing" vs the "well and alive" list:

source: comment #313 by Godfree Roberts
https://www.unz.com/article/objections-to-an-independent-investigation-of-china/

1990. China’s economy has come to a halt. The Economist
1996. China’s economy will face a hard landing. The Economist
1998. China’s economy’s dangerous period of sluggish growth. The Economist
1999. Likelihood of a hard landing for the Chinese economy. Bank of Canada
2000. China currency move nails hard landing risk coffin. Chicago Tribune
2001. A hard landing in China. Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas
2002. China Seeks a Soft Economic Landing. Westchester University
2003. Banking crisis imperils China. New York Times
2004. The great fall of China? The Economist
2005. The Risk of a Hard Landing in China. Nouriel Roubini
2006. Can China Achieve a Soft Landing? International Economy
2007. Can China avoid a hard landing? TIME
2008. Hard Landing In China? Forbes
2009. China’s hard landing. China must find a way to recover. Fortune
2010: Hard landing coming in China. Nouriel Roubini
2011: Chinese Hard Landing Closer Than You Think. Business Insider
2012: Economic News from China: Hard Landing. American Interest
2013: A Hard Landing In China. Zero Hedge
2014. A hard landing in China. CNBC
2015. Congratulations, You Got Yourself A Chinese Hard Landing. Forbes
2016. Hard landing looms for China. The Economist
2017. Is China’s Economy Going To Crash? National Interest
2018. China’s Coming Financial Meltdown. The Daily Reckoning.
2019 China’s Economic Slowdown: How worried should we be? BBC
2020. Coronavirus Could End China’s Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak. NY Times

Posted by: d dan | May 19 2020 20:27 utc | 67

Posted by: AntiSpin | May 19 2020 20:21 utc | 67

Ahh memories. I was with a group building the first dragsters in the UK, which actually we only used on tracks. But the garage was along the Watling street (a long straight road, ex-Roman) where pure race cars from nearby Silverstone (race track UK) used to "test" themselves a bit for pleasure. (Jaguar, Lister Jaguars, Porsches etc. biggish stuff). You could hear them coming from Towcester, miles away, go past, turn and then come back down. The Northamptonshire police chief was a "fan" so he put formula one engines in "standard" police cars. He also booked anyone he caught twice - once for speeding and the second time because they had not looked in the mirror.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 19 2020 20:40 utc | 68

the american dream is taking hydroxychloroquine, but purely as a prophylactic measure. the american dream wants to assure you that it is doing justfine, never better in fact.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 19 2020 21:08 utc | 69

Joe Ryan #62

Thank you,good one.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2020 21:08 utc | 70

The American dream is more alive and well than the Russian, Chinese, French, etc, it's still more magnetic, energetic and true, still attracting new devotees and converts, still extending throughout the world's consciousness, meanwhile...Russia and China supporting 'alternative' media comments on 'mainstream' (isn't it just professional?) media, oh how cynical.

Posted by: Ukie | May 19 2020 21:41 utc | 71

The "American Dream" is alive and well, now go back to sleep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ4SSvVbhLw

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 19 2020 22:14 utc | 72

"The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | May 19 2020 22:19 utc | 73

@#62

Bravo, Joe Ryan.

Posted by: urblintz | May 19 2020 22:26 utc | 74

Walden Bello puts the dying American Dream into the global perspective as he surveys the political potentialities as we emerge from COVID-19 crisis. What direction from the crisis the Politics of Emergence takes will be key. IMO, the possibilities for change within the EU are far riper than within the Outlaw US Empire since at present it appears nobody wants to try and lead the Movement Sanders initiated.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 22:40 utc | 75

The "dream" maybe alive, but like all dreams it's not reality.

Posted by: cdvision | May 19 2020 22:42 utc | 76

karlof1 #41

Longtime readers will know I've explored the various ways to alter the current paradigm. The Corruption's so deep and pervasive that only a mass upheaval resulting in the total reconstruction of the existing arrangements will solve the problems and allow for a renewed positive path forward. Currently, I see two relatively ignorant blocs seething at each other instead of the powers that oppress them both. Destroying that Machiavellian Divide must occur prior to any attempt to oust those in power. IMO, it will take a Hot War to do that.

Thank you karlof1, can I meekly suggest that we follow the Chinese system of redistribution as implemented in the 1940's. See Ten Mile Inn: Mass movement in a Chinese village by Isabel Crook and David Crook. I recall it was first published in 1962 and later editions etc.

This is part of my concept of restoring the American Dream and social sustainability to the people of that fair land. Of course it will have contemporary adaptations but the wheel has been invented in China.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2020 22:49 utc | 77

Eh. It can mean widespread achievement of... whatever you want it to mean.

A house, a car, and a color TV? yep

Health care, education, dignified employment, and retirement? perhaps a trend, but it's just one category

Safety from violence, plentiful food, and new
techno toys at Walmart each year? still there, good enough

chance to climb the ladder? chance to risk it all to win a million bucks or be a celebrity? better life for the kids? plausible enough. well maybe not for everyone, but if you're feeling lucky...

but id not, we also get online dating, reality TV politics, every movie ever, internet porn, facebook. Better than ever!

family, God, and flag? always!

place in the world? winning sports team? being better than the neighbors? why not, all in one's mind

social cohesion? haha was never a factor

freedom in its countless forms? why not. hop on the Harley, its an open road

~~~

don't let the common displays of angst fool you. iseologically we are on solid ground.

Posted by: ptb | May 19 2020 23:04 utc | 78

[clearly hood spelling did not make the list]

Posted by: ptb | May 19 2020 23:06 utc | 79

uncle tungsten @78--

Thanks for your reply and suggestions! IMO, there needs to be a big shift in what's perceived to be a success within the entire Western World, that striving together en mass to arrive at a sustainable level of comfort must replace the drive to be on top, be #1, be King of the Hill--the Alpha Dog must become a team player, thus no more one-ups-man-ship. What Max Weber called the Protestant Ethic must cease to exist and be replaced by the Community Collective, a construct once shared by all cultures. There's a vision Dr. Bush relates at the end of the video interview I linked that reminds me of the 1960s with its eco-spiritualism that combines with his message that Humanity's become Anti-Nature, so Nature's doing what it does best to regenerate biodiversity starting with the Microcosmos. What's needed is a new Dream/Vision that's not limited to one nation but encompasses both Humanity and Nature--a small flower emerging from the Wall that will spread and eventually cause it to crumble. An upgrade to the 1960s mantra that now says Neoliberalism isn't healthy for children and other living things.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 23:22 utc | 80

Posted by: fnord | May 19 2020 15:49 utc | 33 attempts to train people to become "coders" is...malicious, a means to break the high salaries we enjoy as programmers, and at its least malicious

Not to mention that trying to turn people who aren't "engineer-minded" in the first place will produce a bunch of "coders" who suck rocks are software.

When I attended Lane Community College back in the '70's to learn computers and programming, most of the class I was in consisted of divorcees who wanted to get a higher paying job than whatever their previous education permitted (so did I except 1) I wasn't a divorcee and 2) I long had an interest in computers.) Most of them struggled with the mental discipline that programming requires.

Today I view the software industry as a disaster, with software that is inefficient, unreliable and insecure. I remember Ted Nelson, a tech guru back in the '80's, saying at the West Coast Computer Faire that there was no acceptable software on the market. That hasn't changed in the last thirty-five years.

So imagine what happens when companies start hiring people even more brain-dead at software design than the idiots at Microsoft. Civilization will probably collapse.

"Here, as usual, the only answer is more solidarity, and unfortunately, solidarity is hard to come by in the tech sector."

It's hard to come by anywhere. This isn't the late 1800's when labor movements had to be gunned down by corporate mercenaries in pitched battles. Everyone thinks their lives are "good enough" or are afraid of getting buried any deeper than they already are. Rocking the boat is no longer an American predilection.

"Maybe what we need is to seize the forces of production, hold them in common"

Are you familiar with the Situationist International and the Paris uprising in 1968? Look them up. I think that was the last attempt to achieve those goals in history. Replicating that today is highly improbable, at least in this country.

"Certainly, revolutions have been won under more dire circumstances."

I'd need a citation on that. Very few "revolutions" have ever been won in history - most have been crushed - and those that did win turned into oppressive nightmares within a generation.

What's the answer? Well, I've suggested that before here.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 23:23 utc | 81

I figured it would be worthwhile to check in with Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos on how the world/campaign is going and voila! they are giving a dream reading of the USA nightmare here.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2020 23:28 utc | 82

Posted by: karlof1 | May 19 2020 16:56 utc | 41 The Corruption's so deep and pervasive that only a mass upheaval resulting in the total reconstruction of the existing arrangements will solve the problems and allow for a renewed positive path forward. Currently, I see two relatively ignorant blocs seething at each other instead of the powers that oppress them both. Destroying that Machiavellian Divide must occur prior to any attempt to oust those in power. IMO, it will take a Hot War to do that.

Agreed.

As I've said in the past, the US Empire will only fall when one or both of two things occurs: 1) a massive economic collapse (maybe that's what's happening now, but it's not certain - yet); and/or 2) a major defeat in a war - and by "defeat", I don't mean the US just pulls out and quits, I mean a defeat where the US loses a significant portion of its military assets. The problem with the latter scenario is that it probably means nuclear war, which would mean 100-200 million dead Americans and the loss of most of the 50 Major Metropolitan Areas.

But then there's the problem of exactly who is going to structure the new system. History is not kind to those who have tried. Maybe the notion of doing so is the actual problem. Maybe allowing a new system to "evolve" is the better approach - however costly it might be in the interim, or "Interregnum".

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 19 2020 23:31 utc | 83

RSH #82

Very few "revolutions" have ever been won in history - most have been crushed - and those that did win turned into oppressive nightmares within a generation.

What's the answer? Well, Learn from history. Humans who learn from history and refine their structures and ambitions can often achieve excellent community outcomes. Ask Cubans how they were lifted from usury and poverty and oppression before the successful revolution that they embraced and supported. Ask the millions of Chinese lifted from extreme poverty and virtual slave conditions under oligarchs and 'royal families' and gross neglect. The people of China enthusiastically embraced their revolution and refined it and improved the governance structures that gave them a better life.

We continue to learn from history and develop methods to render a better revolution: see Medicare for all, free public education, public funded pharmaceutical research, fair tax collections that are based on progressive formulae, limits to wealth accumulation and progressive taxation on cash activity. If cash works then tax it and return that proportion to the common wealth.

Keep off the coolaid RSH and drink the clear waters of change and potential for the people. The commons is a fine place to meet and live within - for those that have the will and the patience to embrace humanity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2020 23:42 utc | 84

Most Americans are asleep and certainly many are dreaming.

I suppose this is a bit of damage control. Many are awakening and are not happy about the reality they see. Coordinated messages like this are intended to lull them back to sleep.
No doubt it works.

RSH@82

Revolutions that succeed are driven by the more powerful elite. Revolutions that are crushed are those driven from the bottom or a less powerful competing elite .

Posted by: Kay Fabe | May 20 2020 0:27 utc | 85

Well b .. if that roster of sycophantic MSM stenographis shills doesn't spell 'BORG', then I don't know what does.

We're ALL LOCUTUS NOW, or so it seems ..

Posted by: polecat | May 20 2020 0:39 utc | 86

The American Dream - You have to be asleep to believe it. _ Carlin.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | May 20 2020 1:05 utc | 87

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 19 2020 23:42 utc | 85 Keep off the coolaid RSH and drink the clear waters of change and potential for the people.

One hopes you're right. I still have large doubts. The way China lives *now* appears to be the result of an evolution away from pure socialism and an adoption of partial socialism with a (relatively) free market. I note that even in North Korea now, according to what I have read, nearly 40% of the population engages in private business.

But would I want to live in the China of the 1950's and '60's? I think not. And since the China of today is not that China, I suspect that many in the West are romanticizing a "revolution" based on today that started out very differently. Whether that was a "necessary" element of the times I don't know.

I've recently read a history of how anarchism did and did not influence the Chinese revolution, from its early beginnings up to the '80's or so. Anarchism was a significant aspect of the Chinese revolution, although in the end it did not win out over Communism. Although suppressed, it continued to have its adherents or partial adherents throughout the ensuing decades.

I personally tend to view more favorably a system similar to what the Situationist International recommended in 1968 during the Paris uprisings - at least in comparison with the sort of "socialism" practiced in some nations in the 20th Century. As an individualist anarchist, I tend to prefer something even more radical.

On the other hand, I remember reading a book by David Friedman (son of Milton Friedman, the Chicago School economist). David Friedman was a free market anarchist. He recounted how he spoke to some economics students from an Eastern European country. These students concluded that the primary goods of a society - food, etc. - should be produced by the free market rather than state-run organizations. He was surprised that they called this "socialism." So he said, "Fine! Long live socialism!" Which leads me to believe that what people are touting as "socialism" today is not the classical "socialism" of its proponents in the 19th and early to mid-20th Century.

The story and his comment are here (Long Live the Internet!): https://tinyurl.com/y8euskdf It comes from his book, "The Machinery of Freedom."

Posted by: Kay Fabe | May 20 2020 0:27 utc | 86 Revolutions that succeed are driven by the more powerful elite. Revolutions that are crushed are those driven from the bottom or a less powerful competing elite .

Indeed. And that's the problem - they require an "elite". And "elites" always work for themselves. This is something the Situationist International railed about in 1968. The advocated "workers councils" as the only social organization allowed in their preferred system.

For those unfamiliar with the Situationist International, Wikipedia has a reasonable exposition:
Situationist International
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situationist_International

The "flavor" of their thoughts can be experienced through this document:
Address to All Workers
Enragés-Situationist International Committee, Council for Maintaining the Occupations
Paris, 30 May 1968
https://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/address.html

Somehow I really don't see this sort of thing succeeding in the US. In France, even today, maybe... Here...doubtful.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 20 2020 1:17 utc | 88

Joe Ryan @ 62

Thanks for this.

Posted by: suzan | May 20 2020 1:39 utc | 89

Since our host put this together, I did a quick read-through.

Several writers on the list credit James Truslow Adams with coining the phrase “The American Dream”. They then ignore most of what James Truslow Adams wrote, picking and choosing a focus to suit their purposes. I suppose it sounds semi-scholarly to mention him? Edited out in all the mentions I came across was the issue of class, specifically upper classes and their difficulty understanding what the dream is all about. (Adams came from a wealthy background.) By conveniently editing out this sticky wicket, the elephant in the dream, “a dream of a social order,” is rendered nearly invisible. Instead other words are employed: “rugged individualism,” libertarianism, entrepreneurialism, boot strapism, etc. to shape their arguments.


Here’s the original quote from the 1931 book, The Epic of America:

“[T]hat dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

The “dream” of 1931 is all but ignored by these spinmeisters. It is not about climbing fcking ladders or trampling over other people to get there. It’s about the joint creation of a social order and getting there together.

Posted by: suzan | May 20 2020 1:41 utc | 90

d dan @ 66

Yes I remember reading Gordon Chang's The Coming Collapse of China in.....................2001

Fools,puppets, predictions, broken clocks yadda yadda yadda. I'm sure Chang was appreciated in certain exclusive circles.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | May 20 2020 1:48 utc | 91

For me somewhere along the way the American dream became this all encompassing chicken that spat out eggs which we all needed to survive so you could never rid yourself of it. God, those glorious eggs!

I’m like a Pirate always taking and never giving back; running while never really going anywhere in the larger sense, wallowing in chicken shit making up for an incomplete life.

Posted by: George | May 20 2020 2:24 utc | 92

This is click-bait stuff.
While I am no fan of Trump I find the discussion of the corruption being laid bare pretty intresting:
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/phone-calls-between-quid-pro-joe-biden-and-ukraines-poroshenko-leak-explicitly-details

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/04/02/doj-says-fbi-not-trustworthy/

Posted by: jared | May 20 2020 2:42 utc | 93

suzan #91

“[T]hat dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position."

Great quotation thank you. Today the "opportunity for each according to ability and achievement" is utterly obstructed by debt penury. No young person is free to aspire to achievement in academy without it being accompanied by debt and a ball and chain for their life of work. No parent can dream to "attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable" without precarious health related debts or the the debts of educational experience.

The dream has been p!ssed on by the capital accumulators, the private finance gougers, the law and order prohibitionists, the judiciary that has failed to comprehend the constitution while it debates and upholds the black and white purity of text scattered on a page. The congress that can only achieve intercourse with oligarcical pricks.

This excellent dream you have kindly quoted here awaits a champion (yet again) to breath the spirit of authenticity and motivation to make the change again. The movement inspired by Sanders and Turner and every local chapter is raring to go in my view. Steal the moment, make the day.

I see that the boiling point to draft Jesse Ventura has taken a sound step and there must certainly be a chance for such a run. But I am not immersed in the USA culture so all I see is a moment of opportunity. I am not sure what to make of Ventura but 'authenticity' seems about his words and his deeds and I am sure he is uniquely an American (read USA) Gladiator for these times. We shall see.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 20 2020 2:42 utc | 94

All the talk of peace & love during the 60's aborted cultural revolution was a sure indication of a lack of peace & love. Same is true for talk of the "American dream". This is no longer the "new world". Reagan's "shining city on a hill" was just Hollywood fantasy. This pandemic has laid bare the lie of traditional self-reliance dogma and the rags-to-riches myth. Our survival depends on deep structural change that is vigorously resisted by the elite class. The aristocracy was not defeated by the American Revolution. It has returned with a vengeance as predicted by de Toqueville in the 1840's, and it is more powerful than it ever was. It is also frightened because the numbers of the peasantry are so much larger than ever in history. The aristocrats have to compromise with the masses, they can't be enslaved. The peasantry is armed and dangerous and the potential for social conflict increases. The people are dissatisfied and restive precisely because the American dream no longer works and there is no leadership.

Posted by: jadan | May 20 2020 2:47 utc | 95

I was reading a short post refering to even Lebanon is honoring US sanctions against Iran as is Europe and I and thinking that there is no way that US with 15% of global gnp has that kind of pull. Then it dawns on me that is not the US that has the pull - US is merely a front for those that have the pull.

Posted by: jared | May 20 2020 2:51 utc | 96

Thanks for the Walden Bello article, karlof1, and for letting us in on the end of the virus video - you are to be applauded for your energy expended finding us these positive alternatives to business as usual. This from Mr. Bello is clearly true:


...the subjective element, the psychological critical mass, is there. It is a whirlwind that is waiting to be captured by contending political forces. The question is who will succeed in harnessing it...

I'd like to suggest that please, it has to be somebody young - not just for star appeal but because the old have really failed to step up with the sincerity the situation demands. And I say this as an oldie myself. There's enormous potential out there, and I will just say that it even doesn't have to be outside of either of the geriatric parties that such leadership comes - take New Zealand as an example. The chief asset of their current Prime Minister is that she is young, was even pregnant with her first child when she ran for the office. And with that asset she provides a compassionate nature - showed most definitely when the tragedy in Christchurch occurred - the mindless slaughter of so many ordinary people who happened to be moslem. And she showed herself able to connect with folk during this pandemic as well. These are important attrtibutes for someone in leadership, along with, I'd say flexibility - a willingness to work with other young leaders and take counsel from older ones (but not be led by them).

It doesn't take a superman or superwoman to fill this role. In fact it's better to have somebody who needs a good team around them. That's why I thought a Native American would be good as they do have community and community values already. Gosh, we don't have to expect wonders given what options are currently presented!

Posted by: juliania | May 20 2020 3:18 utc | 97

suzan @ 91, with respect, I don't think we can use those past historic verities, much as I would agree they are important. Each achieving full potential, etc. What we need is a set of aspirations that focus on the world we face today, and perhaps our own individual priorities or 'rights' have to be held in abeyance as we address the real emerging dangers to our existence as human beings on a very fragile planet that is right now out of whack.

This means that parties don't really matter. Who is 'in charge' doesn't really matter. It is only important that the one giving orders is obeyed because the orders make sense and will help all of us, nation on nation, remedy the situation. So, that person in each country has to be working not only for the entire population of his/her country but also in concert with the rest of the world.

When 9/11 happened, the opportunity was there, and it was squandered. It didn't have to be! Other nations were offering to help - the situation could have been handled as an international crime by the efforts of criminal organizations and courts, with the UN as overseer. Many voices supported this. Millions marched.

We may have to march again. I would.

Posted by: juliania | May 20 2020 3:47 utc | 98

Posted by: jared | May 20 2020 2:51 utc | 97 even Lebanon is honoring US sanctions against Iran

I wouldn't make too much of that. "Lebanon" is nothing without Hezbollah (or more precisely the 40% of the population which is Shia), and Hezbollah isn't going to honor any sanctions on Iran. Iran's exports to Lebanon in 2017 were a paltry $89 million. They're 33 down on the list. From another article from this month:


According to Iran’s trade data for the previous year, among the mentioned countries, the UAE ranked second among Iran's top trade partners and Iraq was the fourth while Oman was ranked 18th, Qatar 34th, Kuwait 39th, Syria 41st, and Lebanon 62nd, Jordan 63rd and Bahrain 88th.

Iran did $22 billion in trade with the Arab countries, with Iraq accounting for $9 billion.

So I doubt Iran cares what the Lebanese government does in that regard. Lebanon is caught between the US and Israel on one side, and Iran and Syria on the other. So given the precariousness of their situation, they obviously hedge their bets by kowtowing to US policies that are irrelevant to them. They complain about Israeli overflights, but do nothing about it. Without Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, they would be an Israeli kibbutz and they know it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 20 2020 4:39 utc | 99

Posted by: d dan | May 19 2020 20:27 utc | 68
(List of China's Collapse predictions)

Thanks bigly! I watch CGTN regularly and the Chinese are LOVING, as in thoroughly enjoying, the many opportunities to swap insults with the Great Satan's childish, self-obsessed dorks & dingbats.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 20 2020 5:41 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.