Montag, Februar 12, 2007

The American Dream

This is an interesting, albeit brief, note from Samir Al Mukrin in the Al Yuam newspaper from Saudia Arabia.

He has his point down pat: what is the American Dream?

Let me quote him:

For those now living in America or those who wish to do so, when you arrive in America and start facing life there, you can accomplish "the American dream," which means that in terms of life's goals and personal ambition, you can achieve your heart's desire. If you wish to achieve stability, start a family and live a quiet life, you can.  

If you want to have fun and enjoy a meaningless, aimless life, you can. If you want to be a criminal and establish that sort of lifestyle, you can. If you want to become rich and live an upscale lifestyle, you can. If you want to enter politics and aspire to a position of influence, you can. All options are open, and all you have to do is decide and put in the necessary effort and be committed to it.  

Moreover, you'll have no difficulty and need feel no shame in justifying any of this.

The man has understood what America is all about, something that those living there sometimes don't. Especially Democrats. The Anti-Americans are those who want the nanny state, who want government control of key businesses (Hi, Hillary), who want to make others live the way that they would then dictate because they know so much better (HAH!). For them the American Dream is a travesty, something to be rejected, to be fundamentally denied and made impossible.

The America Dream is exquisitely simple and can be summed up as this:

Being yourself and doing what you want to.

Nothing more, nothing less. But it also includes this corrolary:

But no one will give it to you: if you want it, you have to do it.

That's it.

This is why over more that 200 years that America has flourished: this is what is so subversive, so seductive, so damningly successful that even those abroad who publicly rant and rave about the evils of America almost invariably drop everything if they get a Green Card.

The real tragedy of the American Dream is that you can only do it in America. Everywhere else (almost) you can't live the American Dream: you have to live the dream of the Dear Leader, or the dream of the Imam, or the dream of the local warlord, or the dream of the tribal elders. All of these societal constraints, the pressures of societies desperately trying to hold together ancient value systems in a changing world, are detrimentall to the fundamental human striving to make things better for one's self and for one's children, with the hope that their lives will be better.

Only in America.

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