Thursday, March 16, 2017

Socialism and the New American Dream


All of these require a level of personal responsibility.  You are responsible for your own health.  You are responsible to take action when there are opportunities in wealth advancement.  You are responsible for not abusing the freedom you have.

When this country was founded, it was on the ideal of opportunity.  Individuals came here with the idea that they could own something, improve it, and grow wealth and stability out of it.  These ideals were not available to the poor in Europe.  The opportunity for expansion and innovation had been mostly spent, certainly at the level of land and property.

Those individuals did not come to this country expecting to be handed a pile of wealth.  The attitude of many Americans today is that individuals should not have to be responsible for acting on their opportunities.  That, instead of working hard, choosing to educate themselves, and gaining responsibility to a point where they are well-rewarded, they should be given what others given, regardless of their own effort.

This is the American Dream today: that a citizen can spend 33 hours a week watching television and still be given the resources that individuals who are working more than 18 of those 33 hours receive.
Activists in our society are selling the myth that individuals are not rewarded for their effort, but are instead rewarded for their sexual anatomy, their skin color, or their parentage.  What these activists fail to divulge is that there are 10.4 million millionaires in the US.  In 2015, 300,000 Americans became millionaires.    The average millionaire is worth $1.6 million, not hundreds of millions.  These individuals – the average wealthy – have become wealthy through diligent saving, consistent hard work, and careful spending.

But the dream that has created 10.4 millionaires in the United States – that of hard work and frugality being rewarded with wealth – has been replaced with a new dream.  That dream is not democratic, which sociologists mistakenly call our government, or even republican, which is the true nature of our government organization.  Rather, it is socialist.

The millennial American Dream is socialism: that all individuals, regardless of gender or race, be given equal distribution of all wealth, regardless of their own actions.  And Socialism truly is what many activist Americans are asking for, though many mistakenly believe they are marching for the true definition of communism. does an excellent job of defining thedifferences between socialism and communism.  The difference is based on a single detail:

Communism means everyone owns everything, and it is all distributed equally.  By definition, Communism has no class system.

Socialism means the state owns everything, and distributes it all equally to the working class.  By definition, Socialism is a class system.

Truthfully, most Americans don’t want to run the country.  They want to continue watching TV on average of 33 hours a week, and go to their job and get a paycheck that is more.  More than what?  More than whatever they are making at the moment you ask them.  Their preference is for a government to provide them with money, health care, and entertainment outlets.

The question is, should this be our goal?

The Numbers

We don’t have to run a social experiment to answer this question.  It has already been performed, and is currently being performed in other countries. Currently, self-identifying Marxist socialist states include China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam.  The following numbers are all from 2016.

Average Income - Household
Cost of Living Index
~44 (slightly higher than Thailand)

If the implication of these numbers makes sense to you, you clearly aren’t marching for socialist equality.  If, however, you were educated in the US school system, and the implications of these numbers are not clear to you, you’re in good company.  I’ll spell it out.

If the ratio of income to cost in a country is an indication of its wealth, then the higher the number on the left and the lower the number on the right, the more margin the average citizen should have (margin is how much money you get to choose how to spend).  The control for the Cost of Living Index (CLI) is the average cost of living in New York City.  That means that, on average, Americans pay 75.42% of the cost of living  in New York.  China’s citizens pay, on average, 44.76% of the cost of living in New York.

Many Americans would argue, “Well, it’s cheaper to live in China, so of course they make less.”  But the control isn’t variable.  So if CLI is 100 in New York City, then it is 75.42 in the US, and 44.76 in China.  The total of US CLI divided by China CLI should be the same total as US average income divided by China income.

It isn’t.

China’s citizens average 16% in US income, but pay 59% in US living expenses.

Not only does this stand as a profound travesty against China’s citizens, but also argues dramatically against socialist practices.


Another failure of the US education system is to differentiate between Socialist and Social practices. 
Socialist responsibility is state-mandated “equality.”  That is, the socialist is required by the state to give and receive equally.

Social responsibility is ethical personal action.  That is, the social activist feels that it is “right” or “required” of them to give to others in need, and they do so by choice.  The peaceful marches in early 2017 are an example of social action.

Unfortunately, socialism and social structures are now confused in our citizens’ psyche.  Many individuals believe that it is the state’s (government’s) responsibility to collect unequal distribution of wealth and redistribute it to themselves.

In most societies, this is called theft.  In the US, we call it Social Security.

In the documentary, Requiem of the American Dream, Noam Chomsky discusses the control of the American population through the use of advertising and PR.  He postulates that the government – who he calls the rich and powerful – “fabricated consumers” as a way to control the population.  He isn’t far off.

Noam Chomsky said, “Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.”
US citizens today are blatantly controlled by their exposure to the media, marketing, and pop culture.  We are presented a fabricated ideal of what our lives are “supposed” to look like, with expensive gadgetry, panic media, and the increasing use of subjective reporting.  The ability to lead the citizens in a particular direction of panic – such as with the recent presidential elections – has reached fever pitch.  Individuals are told to ignore the fact that the country is functionally unchanged in favor of sex-based protests, and fed out-of-context quotes to stoke their irrational fear.

The promoted fear is simple: “Someone else is getting more than I am.”

The goal is simple: create so much fear that individuals feel incapable of managing their own lives, and permit the government to replace personal choice with government-mandated uniformity. 

A New Identity

Uniformity is the enemy of greatness.  It is the enemy of creativity.  It is the enemy of intelligence, of invention, and of change.  Uniformity is the enemy of freedom.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the greatest proponents of freedom and personal responsibility, said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.”  We are being led in a direction of "foolish consistency," where every individual should get his "fair" share, regardless of integrity or action.

Today, citizens of the US fear the opinion of other countries.  We fear their own inability to provide for ourselves.  We fear that we won’t fit in, that we won’t make enough, that we can’t buy enough, and that all those deficits added together will prevent happiness.  We fear that, if the government won’t care for us, and if the wealthy won’t care for us, and if our employer won’t care for us, we will disintegrate and fail to find joy.  We aren't even sure we deserve joy.

Our cultural identity is the guilty bad guy.  We are encouraged to protest against anything that serves self-interest, even if it is a logical and proper action.  The fallacy of sacrifice to the extent of self-destruction has been idealized.  But any anthropologist or economist will tell you this is not a sustainable attitude.

Our search for joy is in the glass of a television, in a bottom of a glass of alcohol, and in the unattainable commodity of “more,” which we see every day in advertisements.  Our search for joy leads us  to the belief that to be same, to be equal, to be understood is the only way to be fulfilled.

The American Dream was once to break free of the constraints imposed by government, and to use self-reliance and ingenuity to create a life of unlimited possibility.

Today, the American Dream is to crawl under the grate of government protection, to be given equally much or little – so long as it is never less than my neighbor’s.

It is time to recreate the American Dream.  It is time to reclaim our identity as capable, intelligent, responsible humans.  It is time to stop comparing ourselves to our neighbors - both the real neighbors that live next door to us, and the utterly fictional neighbors that live in the fantasy of our televisions.  It is time to believe that, once again, we can be self-reliant, work hard, and make for ourselves a life wherein we can reach new dimensions in the unlimited universe of potential.

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