The world has been spinning out of control since the world started spinning.
All forms of government have been prone to corruption, and they’ve been prone to overreaching since there have been rulers, even those that are democratically elected. People have been greedy since there has been something worth hoarding.
Income inequality has existed since there has been income. Throughout much of history, income inequality has been more or less the same. Now, as few as five people possess half of all the wealth on earth. Surely there is something concerning about this fact. But was it better when that number was eight people? Does that number somehow signal the death of the American dream?
America is about equality under the law. At her best, she’s about equality of opportunity, even though that ideal hasn’t been realized. The dream is that one can be free from an oppressive government, and for the many faults American government can be accused of, oppression is a tough case to make (and I am a libertarian, small L).
The truth is that we live at the very beginning of the Information Age, with its accelerating, disruptive, and constant change. It must have felt something like this when the Agrarian Age fell to the Industrial Age, and when Foraging fell to the Agrarian Age. The old ways die, the new ways tear them apart and build something new, with forward progress—even with all the damage it leaves in its wake.
Capitalism is already becoming more conscious, even if it doesn’t progress at a speed that limits the damage that comes with living on the edge of a new age.
The American dream will only die when it dies in the hearts of men and women, but that flame has been burning bright for a lot longer than there has been an America, and it will continue to burn as long as there are human beings.
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Filed under: Values