Tuesday, February 06, 2007

preserving our American way of life

Each time I hear that phrase from the pen of a journalist, or the mouth of a politician I cringe.


Because as much as we might want it to mean preserving democracy and freedom I've come to believe that the "American way of life" is nothing but economic.

Yes, Capitalism, with a capital C.

Think about it.

The American way of life means buying things - cars and appliances that pollute and waste energy - homes that take up the space that used to be dedicated to farming - using the natural resources of this country and then when they run out making sweetheart deals to get "more" from other nations that are desperate for cash so they mortgage their future by allowing industrialized America to come in and squander their resources too.

The American way of life is not so much about how free we are or how much say we have in the process of governing ourselves, it's more "I've got mine and I'm going to keep it."

Is that an attitude I really want to preserve? Or do I want to change things so that we are not the ultimate user of the bounty of this planet - at the expense of others who also reside here?

Is that what I want to do? No.

Is that what YOU want to do? If the answer is yes, ask yourself why? What makes you so darned special that you deserve to eat while others starve? What makes you so special that you get an education while others are illerate? What makes you so special that you have fresh water and a descent shelter while others live in sub human conditions, without heat? Do you deserve it? Why? Because you are American?
Does being American justify everything that business does to get rich at the expense of other people in other lands?

As I said, is that an attitude I want to preserve? I don't think so.

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