Category Archives: Orwell Inspired

America Your America, Finis

There was a time, not long ago, when the future of America This America seemed poised for a new golden era. The Berlin wall was gone, and with it the cold war hysteria; the tech boom was raising many boats as we all became proud members of the investor class; and the new millennium was promising to unfold in all its hope and splendor. And, despite some Y2K fears that the end was nigh, when the ball dropped on December 31st, 1999, the people of the world released a collective sigh of relief. We had made it. The future was ours.
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America Your America, Part 7

There is little doubt that the greatest casualty of the sustained assault on our democracy over the last thirty years or so has been the American middle class. Suffering through a sustained period of attrition as membership has been pushed both down and out by the relentless efficiency gains and rent seeking imposed by the owners of capital and production, to still find oneself situated between the poor and the rich has darkened from dream to nightmare. But this itself is a mere symptom of an even greater tragedy: the abject loss of faith in the social institutions and rule of law necessary for a healthy representative government.
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America Your America, Part 6

America is two nations on many fronts: The rich America and the poor America; the white America and the America of color; the America of the elite and the common America; the secular America and the America of the devout; and so on. But few parallels are as dangerous as the America of democracy, and the America of those who view representative government as a quaint, outdated concept.
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America Your America, Part 5

Certainly, the twisted knots into which the United States Supreme Court and the Florida electorate tied themselves in order to certify the 2000 election of George W. Bush were an important crossroads in the accelerating decay of America’s governing class. But even that was merely an inflection point in a process that has been unfolding for at least the last fifty years.
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America Your America, Part 4

As I noted before, it is a daunting task indeed to find commonality in a nation of over 300 million souls. After all, the northern, southern, eastern, and western regions all have their distinctive characteristics, and, beneath all that, the rich and the poor. For what can someone who earns $25,000 per year in Louisiana have in common with someone in New York making that sum in an hour? And yet, especially in times of national triumph and tragedy: E pluribus unum – out of many, one.
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America Your America, Part 3

All societies are defined by the two social orders under which their members live, and in this America is no different. One involves the culture, cravings, conspicuous consumption, and civic responsibility of the moneyed class. The other involves the daily trials, tribulations, triumphs, and tragedies of the common people – defined as those not fortunate to have been born into perpetual wealth.
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America Your America, Part 2

It is not easy to put one’s finger on the unique characteristics of a nation, especially one as large and diverse as America. It is, after all, the sum total of fifty officially “united states,” plus various territories, possessions, commonwealths, protectorates, influenced areas, and other classifications, covering the majority of races, creeds, and organized theologies on this tiny planet. And, yet, I believe there are a few generalizations that apply to what some would term to be distinctively “American.”
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