The depravity of sentiment and meaning has encompassed American society to the extent that the pursuit of happiness in life has been defined by self-indulgence and societal expectations, homogenizing aspirations and the extinct concept of individualism; thus creating a society in which millions equate only one, in which an individual can be surrounded by his fellows yet go unseen, in which a gilded society has emerged to reflect the helplessness and hopelessness of its children who constitute its flawed foundation.
Seeking to illustrate an alternative interpretation then already expressed in the post “Capitalism: ‘Existential Crisis’“, this post seeks to concentrate more on societal corruption and its inherent influence on the American Dream, the manipulation of expectations and a constructed ideology of blissful conformity that has homogenized culture. To begin, there exists an unsustainable fiscal drive of greed and lustful indiscretion that has led to the exponential growth of corrupt multinational corporation that have undermined the chivalry and humanity of society. A bureaucratic hierarchy of manipulative puppet-masters has thus emerged, dictating the rise and fall of the public, and suggesting a perverse understanding that life is merely a game played by the elites at the expense of the working people. Directionless and purposeless, the puppets muster their numbers, singing the same tune and marching to the same beat, representing a growing truth that society is a cloned state tool. These puppets are surrounded by a cult of personality in which the justification for lies and deceit is a flawed sense of patriotism, a gleaming symbol of America’s greatness, whose bright lights are funded by corporations invested in neocolonialism and slavery in developing worlds. The luminous signs of Wall Street, Time Square, Hollywood and South Beach are aglow with the sweat, tears and sacrifices made around the world for the sole purpose of blinding American society to the truth of their existence, the reality that their freedoms and individualism have been sacrificed to their puppet-masters. So saying, the homogeneous state of society has illustrated that society is trained to pursue goals and standards defined by corporate belief in wealth and power, the founding stones of American politics and economics. The puppet-masters dictate social rules, suggesting the American notion of freedom does not truly exist, as their ambitions are regulated by this preconceived social theology.
“The schools that they send us to are prisons. The same can be said of their churches too. I don’t want my mind or my arms tied in bondage. I don’t want to be another cloned state tool.” – Anti-Flag, “We Want To Be Free”
So saying, the social pathway to the American future has no evident direction. Americans are solely living on a metaphorical conveyor belt that has a predetermined slot for each individual, each no different from the other except for stature in the social stratosphere of capitalist bureaucracy. This does not suggest that there is a form of socialism in America, in that each individual’s place in society is similar to another; rather, this implies that people are guided along similar pathways based upon their intellect and skills but these capabilities also determine at which level of the pyramid they are placed. These pathways for Americans are accompanied by a set of blinders, forcing the people to move forward and remain resolute on one pathway, never straying from the path. The people wave the flag and mindlessly salute, never straying from social acceptance and this conformity to a uniform lifestyle of American materialism. With a cult of personality defined by a propaganda campaign championed by media assets that talk it up daily, pull the wool over the eyes of the masses, stab the people in the back for the corporate choice and roll the propaganda out suing a manipulated perversion of the people’s voice, the conveyor belt can never falter. These media assets talk until their faces turn blue – red, white and blue.
“Life can lead you along on a leash, or you can break free and run your own. Don’t waste your life. Go and live your life like it’s the last day here on this earth.” – Anti-Flag, “Go West”
As the blinders keep society complacent and quiet, the country is brought to ruin by the polarization and disruption of progress in politics, most evidently influenced by capitalist values. The American political system is influenced by oaths to special interests groups, resulting in an ideological extremism that, by its very natures, opposes progress and the concept of the American Dream. The American Dream speaks of opportunity, safe haven, freedom and representation in a political system designed to speak and act for the people. Nevertheless, the current perpetuation of political dysfunction illustrates the flawed system of Washington, as well as the inability for people to change it. With a conveyor belt dictating that pathway forward for the American community, there seems to be no evident way in which these problems can be fixed. The immediacy of gratification and media content keeps Americans complacent and docile, firm in the belief that America’s problems will always fix themselves. Those beliefs have led to a $16 trillion debt, multiple government shutdowns, and an alienated Selectorate base. For many people, life is simpler without delving into its hidden crevices but some have seen this corruption and senseless injustice that is depriving people of their rights, and these few are acting out against it. In every society, revolutionaries are condemned as an enemy for speaking out about the accepted norms of life. The Middle East is evidence enough of the consequences of free expression, yet they remain resolute in their revolutions and liberal pathway.
“I don’t need you to tell me what to do and I don’t need you to tell me what to be. I don’t need you to tell me what to say and I don’t need you to tell me what to think.” – Anti-Flag, “Die For Your Government
The government keeps its people in line, tells them what to think and what to say. The American people are not free, they are bound head to toe in chains consisting of laws and regulations that the American people were not consulted about before implementation. With laws and rules from the founding of this nation still governing modern society, the inability for progress to emerge is not difficult to grasp. So saying, society is told what its future should entail and this is evident in the American education system in which thousands of dollars are invested in an ever-increasing tuition cost, which is reciprocated by the promise of employment for a corporation that will only abuse and smother its employees. An ever-increasing tuition, representing elements of corporate corruption, and yet millions of people starving around the world and the American people hardly spare a second glance unless reminded to by a television advertisement pleading for only a few cents for a starving child. Only so often are American aware of the savages of the world and yet despite the millions spent on materialist items, the few cents begged for by a short advertisement will go unheeded. So saying, the conveyor belt of society produces lawyer after lawyer, doctor after doctor, and banker after banker, but there is no sentiment of human emotion associated with these state tools that have been indoctrinated into the American cult of personality: strive for self-improvement and success at the expense of those weak and foolish. To what extent can America’s youth seek to pursue higher level of education with the knowledge that the conclusion is a Darwinian struggle for achievement at another’s expense? To what extent can the youth of American be coerced into pursuing careers their interests are not aligned with but must because of their intellectual capabilities?
“Everyone keeps asking, ‘Why’s he so pissed and so angry?’. When there’s killing this world, of men and women, boys and girls, for the sake of a dividend gain. These actions proclaimed in our name, turn Stars and Stripes to shades of shame.” – Anti-Flag, “Gifts from America: With Love, The USA”
In retrospect, the end of individualism has brought about a society of homogenized clones that pursue similar interests, careers and life choices because of the set standards that have been incorporated into conformist society because of the influence of capitalism and corporatism into this pathway. Propaganda and politics have dictated the way their constituency think, creating a hierarchy of puppet-masters each of which have their own strings and puppets. There is no truth behind the claims of freedom and liberty in American society; rather, they are mere slogans of interest that mimic those of consumer products like “Budweiser”, “Nike” and “McDonalds”. The American people have been indoctrinated into a cult of personality belonging to a democracy run by corporations, special interest groups and elitists.