It is a truth universally acknowledged that predatory bankers in possession of great fortunes are in want of media lackeys, especially after savaging the American Dream. Actually not, considering the corporate media outlets reinforcing the clownish social gospel from Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs: conglomerates do good, indeed “God’s work.”How would any CEO richer than Midas know God’s mind or presume entry to heaven, according to a more reliable source, any more likely than a camel through the eye of a needle?
Propaganda aside, hear the hosannas this Great Recession isn’t so bad, no national tragedy, no generational plague, barely involving predatory lending. When viewed correctly this healthy downturn “will improve all of our lives by bringing us back to the original vision of the American Dream.” In the meantime, hard times cleanse debtors and clear books: thus, mystical free markets self-balance, punishing those lovers of excess and betrayers of contracts. Verdict; blame consumer spendthrifts for toppling our shining city on the hill. Rich people, not so much.
The media loves tough love that regains more than lost affluence but transcendent virtues: self-control, family togetherness, even, brace yourself, Yankee introspection. This Sunday CNN blessed us with its Pollyanna sermonette, profiling a perky Bernie Madoff survivor happier than ever. She’s not bitter towards this thug, so outlandish he dared capture, awash instead in wise acronyms, like SNT – Stop Negative Thinking. Unfortunately, no empty platitudes wash away unarguable research testifying joblessness and foreclosure can kill, with an array of anxiety disorders sharpened by depression, addictive and abusive behavior, divorce, even suicide – no endorsement for positive thinking. Note, those justifying pain always have jobs.
“They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job. They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?” (Yip Harburg, lyrics, “Brother Can You Spare A Dime”)hat tip: huffingtonpost.com, from this entry, Mar 2010
The changes we must make to avoid ultimate collapse are identical to the changes we must make to create the world of our common dream.
The story of purple America is part of a yet larger human story. For all the cultural differences reflected in our richly varied customs, languages, religions, and political ideologies, psychologically healthy humans share a number of core values and aspirations. Although we may differ in our idea of the “how,” we want healthy, happy children, loving families, and a caring community with a beautiful, healthy natural environment. We want a world of cooperation, justice, and peace, and a say in the decisions that affect our lives. The shared values of purple America manifest this shared human dream. It is the true American dream undistorted by corporate media, advertisers, and political demagogues-the dream we must now actualize if there is to be a human future.
For the past 5,000 years, we humans have devoted much creative energy to perfecting our capacity for greed and violence–a practice that has been enormously costly for our children, families, communities, and nature. Now, on the verge of environmental and social collapse, we face an imperative to bring the world of our dreams into being by cultivating our long-suppressed, even denied, capacity for sharing and compassion.