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The Quiet Killer at the Core of Patriotism

Below is continuation of Winston Wu’s essay:

Jeremy Rifkin, in his book, The European Dream elaborates on this in a scholarly manner:
(Pages 13 – 14)
"The American and European dreams are, at their core, about two diametrically opposed ideas of freedom and security. Americans hold a negative definition of what it means to be free and, thus, secure. For us, freedom has long been associated with autonomy. If one is autonomous, he or she is not dependent on others or vulnerable to circumstances outside of his or her control. To be autonomous, one needs to be propertied. The more wealth one amasses, the more independent one is in the world. One is free by becoming self-reliant and an island unto oneself. With wealth comes exclusivity, and with exclusivity comes security.

The new European Dream, however, is based on a different set of assumptions about what constitutes freedom and security. For Europeans, freedom is not found in autonomy but in embeddedness. To be free is to have access to a myriad of interdependent relationships with others. The more communities one has access to, the more options and choices one has for living a full and meaningful life. With relationships comes inclusivity, and with inclusivity comes security.

The American Dream puts an emphasis on economic growth, personal wealth, and independence. The new European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and interdependence
The European Dream is more cosmopolitan and less territorial
Americans tend to think locally while European’s loyalties are more divided and stretch from the local to the global. The American Dream is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The European Dream is more expansive and systemic, and therefore more bound to the welfare of the planet.”

Also, when I speak of “disconnectedness” I am not referring to geographic spacing between people or isolation in remote areas. No, I am speaking of something far deeper that has to do with a psychological attitude. If merely crowding people together created connectedness, then New York and Los Angeles would be the most wholesome and connected cities in America. Are they? I don’t think so. Or take a remote Russian village in Siberia. Though geographically isolated, one does not feel insecure, lonely and disconnected from others there. Life may be boring as hell, yeah, but people do not suffer from loneliness or sink into depression and insanity when confronted by problems. And every man is not a “psychological island” there. In fact, I challenge anyone to find a sincere travelogue of someone who went to a remote foreign village and felt lonely, disconnected and found the villagers to be anti-social and segregated. Furthermore, as mentioned before, you can feel all alone in America even around your friends or in crowded places, but in other countries with connectedness, you can be physically alone yet not really feel alone. Why do you think that is? Ponder it and you’ll see the real nature of what I’m talking about here, and that it’s not about geographic isolation.

In America, you are NOT taught to FEEL GOOD about yourself at all! You are NOT taught how to cultivate good mental health, self-acceptance, inner wholeness and well-being, or healthy social relationships and friendships. No way. Instead, you are conditioned and engineered by your schools, media, culture and peers to feel UNWORTHY, INSECURE and INADEQUATE deep down, and to fill that emptiness within by 1) becoming a workaholic slave to a corporate dictatorship (aka “getting a career”) so you can make money and 2) become a mass consumer junkie who tries to buy everything he/she can that’s on the market out there. In other words, you are programmed to try to fill your emptiness and insecurity by over-working and over-consuming (buying too much useless junk) perpetually without end, all under the doctrine that “material goods lead to happiness and well-being” and that “the more the better”. In short, your self-esteem is artificially based on your status in a corporate dictatorship and what you > can BUY to enhance your “image”.

(continued in next post)

It goes on but I think you get the idea…

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Thank you for sharing this wonderful essay, atelios. My own personal experience matches that of Mr. Wu.

Very good…and please add Rachel Madowe, Madeline Albright, and yes, Hillary Clinton (And I am no fan of Donald Trump)…by 51% , i was referring to the female gender of the human race, not sure why these gender outliers are so hateful, so greedy, so self-centered, so destructive…it is time on this planet to repair and restore…As I see it, it will take Gaia to restore and to repair this planet if she is to restore life into the future…this planet has a knack of protecting life, …though not good news for the human race, as we know it today… The human race certainly is adaptable, but this challenge now upon us, will dictate life moving forward, not human technology…

It’s no wonder that we have an “opioid crisis”, rampant alcoholism, eating disorders, mass shootings, and a suicide rate among middle aged esp. white males that has become so severe it has dropped our average life expectancy by 2 years. The solution to the above problems is really quite simple. First off stop the idiotic war on drugs. Legalize and regulate all currently illegal drugs in the same manner as alcohol. The government will never stop people from obtaining and using substances that some particular group of people does not approve of. They have no right to dictate what a person may or may not consume into their own body as long as they aren’t harming someone else. All they will do is create a violent criminal black market as proven by alcohol Prohibition a century ago and as is being repeated with the current drug cartels. Rugged individuality is something people may like to talk about but few actually want to live it and nobody wants it imposed on them. Polls consistently indicate strong support across the political spectrum for a national single payer health insurance plan, strong public education K- college, a modern and sound infrastructure, public banking, control over corporations and antitrust enforcement, economic opportunity/security, public political campaign financing, good global citizenship (in other words throw every fucking neocon currently serving themselves in our government out of government and into a prison cell), a fair judicial system, and security from disability and in retirement. The rich along with our corrupt politicians all say no way, too expensive. Bullshit!!! We could easily attain every one of these “wishes” by simply bringing back the progressive taxation of the Eisenhower Administration with perhaps a modest tax increase across the board. By ending the drug war hemp could once again be raised as a more efficient alternative to pulpwood for paper production and for ethanol to use as a fuel. Full implementation of AOC’s Green New Deal would replace a lot of the jobs lost to free trade pacts. No, the rich won’t be as rich. They may only have enough wealth to live a hundred pampered lifetimes but if they want more, fuck em. This can be done and we can create a society that doesn’t drive people to drugs, alcohol, depression and suicide. We just have to work together!

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I understand and agree w your msg. We definitely do need a different sensibility. And you do understand what I mean as well: that identity politics are rife w contradictions that blur the value of such modes of thought. It’s not that we need more skin color or gender participation per se. An ultraconservative chicano, black, asian, female, trans-gender individual is as unqualified to build a desirable future for America as is a white redneck, or a white hedge fund manager. What we need are more individuals w different values–which is extremely challenging to do, which I suppose is why we simply default to identity distinctions, regardless. The consolation when we do so is cosmetic: at least things LOOK different, though the old allegiances and indebtednesses endure.

Thank you, nighthawk, for taking the time to read this essay by Winston Wu! I really appreciate it (and thank you @aussidawg). But the thing this essay does for me is, it reignites in me this interesting idea. We know America is hazardous to your physical health: The air is filled with the waste products of American’s favorite toy, the automobile, as well as the waste from burning coal and natural gas to give us electrical power; we know our water is poisoned with poisons, pesticides, pathogens and carcinogens, the waste products of the way we are all super medicated, the radioactive wastes from countless atom bomb tests from the middle of the 20th century and now from Fukushima Daiichi, that plastic waste which our society has no problem throwing away in huge landfills, which then finds its way into our oceans; We know our foods contain herbicides and pesticides and GMOs and other additives to make our capitalistic system go. But how many people know, that this economic system has actually corrupted the very sociological and cultural soup that we all live in? How many people realize this? I’ve been to about 15 different psychologists and counselors, and never have I heard one of the them say, well, your problem is you live in the United States in which our economic system has corrupted our whole way of life to such an extent, that, you are unlikely to get better psychologically until you remove yourself from the whole mess that is the U.S. system. You just need to get out. How many times have I heard this suggested remedy? Never!

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Check out this web page:

https://phoenixprojectfoundation.us/

Scroll down a bit and you will see this paragraph:

Ironically, the least expensive method of making hydrogen is to use cannabis crops, which Henry Ford was doing in the 1920s and 1930s to make both ethanol that was half the cost of gasoline, as well as ultra-high quality plastic fenders, hoods and other body components that are 30% lighter and 10 times stronger than steel. Equally strong cannabis fibers were used to make interior carpets and upholstery in Ford’s cannabis cars, which he said one could simply bury when the car was worn out.

then 2 photos which are captioned with this:

Henry Ford is shown above repeatedly banging the rear deck of cannabis-derived plastic rear deck without any damage. Ford’s 2013 version of the cannabis based plastic car on the right is called the “Canabed.”

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Hey thanks for the article! I just finished reading it then shared it with a few of my friends. Really solving the climate change problem isn’t the biggest problem that has to be solved. Getting the greedy 1% to divest in petroleum products and stop molesting the earth by strip mining, mountain top mining, clearcutting rainforests, and start giving a damn about someone other than themselves is the challenge. I mean how do you get someone who is so greedy and selfish that they would sacrifice their own children and grandchildren in the name of acquiring more wealth when they already have more wealth than they could possibly use in a thousand lifetimes of pampering and luxury? They have so much power due to the corrupt nature of our so called leaders it seems impossible to pass laws that would bring them to heal. We have the masses to act but too many of them are too stupid or indifferent to care. What can we do besides revolt and simply remove the ultra rich from the equation?

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