TIME TO DUMP THE AMERICAN DREAM
Charles Hugh Smith
March 7, 2011
What passes for “Progressive” now is not in the least progressive.
The agendas of both so-called “Progressive” and “Conservative” ideologies are based on paradoxes that proponents conveniently ignore. Let’s start with the so-called “Progressive” agenda, so-called because beneath the ideologically “Left” bluster there is little actually progressive or forward-looking thinking.
A recent piece from The Nation entitled “Stockton Goes Bust” instructively communicates the monumental paradoxes implicit in the “Progressive” project.
Stripped down to its essence, the piece would have us feel sorry for a citizen who lost her $138,000 a year job (not including benefits) with a school district and as a result lost her suburban McMansion. Now, we are told, only her fancy clothing remains from her luxe lifestyle of international travel and all the other trappings of an upper-middle class lifestyle.
The implicit message is that this person somehow “deserves” a job that pays $138,000 and all the goodies that salary bought. That this person took in over $1 million in less than a decade and basically squandered that fortune on extravagances and fantasies is carefully left unsaid.
Implicit in this point of view is the basic “Progressive” assumption that all workers in America “deserve” a job which supports the “American Dream” of a suburban home, two cars in the driveway (the garage is filled with the other trappings of consumerist “success”), designer clothing, and international travel.
In other words, the “Progressive” view of what’s good and right is circa 1946, only the “good life” “deserved” by all American workers has been upgraded to higher levels of consumption.