Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2011

The American Dream Today

Is America today closer to or farther away from „The Dream“ than it was in 1931? Or has it turned into a nightmare? Please write a comment!

America has always held a high mystery that caused a longing to go there for millions of people within centuries. The dream of this Promised Land called many people to its borders – but is the magic still there? Is America today closer to or father away from the fulfillment of its great “Dream” which James Truslow Adams first named a such in 1931?
Adams wanted his nation to care about its inhabitants, and the inhabitants to work hard together as well as with a lot of efforts in order to reach their goals.
The dream has turned out to be successful concerning the part of being a country with equal rights for everyone. While the equality back in 1931 was more a theoretical than a practical thing, looking at the differences between European- and Afro-Americans, the situation changed completely till today. The most significant case in point here should be the states’ current president, Barack Obama. With him the first Afro-American is in the highest position an American citizen can be in. 
Another important aspect of being closer to the dream is the social life practiced in many places, like in youth groups, where the people with a more valuable knowledge teach the younger ones with less knowledge in order to help them to rise on the scale of the Great Society.  Here also the communal spirit Adams wanted to achieve is established and supported.
On the other hand there are also a lot of aspects which indicate America’s current distance from the dream. A first one to be named here is the deployment of the US Army in the Middle East where they claim to want to establish peace. They may justify it with their high task of “Manifest Destiny” or just their desire to make the world a safer one, but peace was never established by war. And a peaceful world is what the Dream stands for.
Furthermore these conflicts with countries like Iraq or Afghanistan are nurtured by the American’s fear of terrorism, and Islamic terrorists in detail. Since 9/11 the peril seen by the US in the Islamic culture has grown enormously. Many people started to believe in prejudices and the Islam as an “evil” culture in general. Effected by that you cannot talk about the United States as a free country for entirely everybody, since immigrants with an Islamic background are not fully accepted as equal.
A last and important point in case to illustrate today’s distance from the magical Dream, is one which James Truslow Adams stressed over and over again; the point that the Dream should not stand for material abundance as well as quick and effortless success. Looking back now, on America’s recent history concerning the financial situation, it is easy to see that what Adams wanted the most to prevent turned out to come true: the employees working at the Stock-Exchange all want to make the most money in the shortest time, not caring about anything else. And also many private persons are only desiring to own a lot and compete with their neighbors.
From my point of view it was not an easy question to answer, but taking all aspects I named into consideration, I would say that the USA are definitely farther away from reaching the fulfillment of the “American Dream”. Though many aspects developed positively, still a lot went wrong in society. 


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