The American Dream
By Larry Romanoff, July 26, 2022
The US has one of the most deeply-ingrained nationalistic ideologies of any nation. Accompanying the grand mass hysterias of patriotism and freedom, one of the most pervasive links in the ideological chain that creates the American sense of identity is a belief in "The American Dream", an imaginary ideal that offers a rags-to-riches path to prosperity. In this mythical universe, all opportunity is equally available to every citizen, in a land where even those with no credentials, education or experience can accumulate untold riches and even rise to become the president of the country. In this context, America is a fantastic utopian myth promoted by the propaganda machine as an idealistic Shangri-la concept of opportunity and hope, where even the most disadvantaged have a fair chance at wealth and fame.
Americans almost universally believe they are unique in this regard, the US virtually defining itself as the land of opportunity, but this has always been a delusion. While it may be true that the US has accumulated comparatively more wealthy individuals than other nations, and which status has been broadcast to the world as evidence of virtue, this is much more an indictment of the predatory and anti-social nature of American-style capitalism than of equity and opportunity. It is true that the uniquely predatory form of American capitalism will create some kinds of opportunities that do not exist in other countries, but we can develop a very strong argument that those kinds should not be permitted to exist. Let's not erase 2008 from our memories too soon. Moreover, there have been precious few large personal fortunes created in the US that were not accompanied by the commitment of even greater crimes, and the executives of a great many US multinationals from the Rockefeller's United Fruit Company and Standard Oil to Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart should have faced trial and been executed for crimes against humanity.