I beg to differ with all who think America is going to Hell in a handbasket. It isn’t. It’s going to Hell in digital handcuffs. It’s invading Hades in a dollar straight jacket. It’s claiming a love for Jesus while embracing a metaphorical Satan.
In our time Kurt Vonnegut said it better than anyone else. He knew that once the ink was dry on the founding documents, America began to persistently create a culture dedicated to the feeblest possible philosophical perspective.
With all the potential advantages built into our founders’ enthusiastically articulated ideals, Americans soon embraced physical wealth as the purpose of their lives. Alleging religion as motive, we eventually latched onto every known confidence game, and proceeded to perfect them.
We are now experiencing the result. We have become the world’s gaudiest alleged savior, doing everything we do part-way, professing exceptionalism while appearing to navigate our national trajectory toward mediocracy.
Friends of mine believe we are approaching Fascism. I think not. We waver too well. We vacillate with aplomb, thinking this way one moment, that way the next. We are for the poor, then send them to jail for being poor. Then we regroup.
Our Federal government owns one quarter of our land as millions suffer for lack of affordable housing. Our for-profit medical system denies many people adequate life-supporting help. An immensely wealthy Oligarchy has secured its grip on our society. Fascism? Hardly. “Greedism” better says it.
Powerful telescopes pierce millions of years into the deep Universe. Despite numerous prayers, however, no promised Heaven has appeared. Nonetheless, to our credit, the freedom to allow that philosophical belief remains intact – a tribute to our slippery democracy. Slippery, yes. Doomed, no.
We Americans have a hard time observing ourselves with any historic perspective. We want it all. Right now. When times get tough and we (literally, it seems) fight it out among ourselves, it stills sticks together. But the glue is tacky. We are held together by a tenuous something that resists description.
Our predicted Fascism is defended against by the something that simply seems to be Americanism. This is mysterious in its persistence. With all its naked faults, Americanism insists on being the opposite of Fascism.
We commonly near a state of Anarchy. But not exactly so, because we are guided by a contradictory set of rules we all voicelessly grasp. Agreeably, we consistently disagree and go on. It is a form of chaos, but it is our chaos and thereby acceptable to us.
Is ours an attitude the entire world must inevitably incorporate? Is ours an eventual Humanism wherein the planet’s people finally learn that we are all indeed solely responsible for any probability that we may be around many more years upon the Earth?