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The American Dream Went Global
"The end of the Cold War brought forth a ferocious new era of world capitalism that was America inspired." -Peter Jennings
It is hard to comprehend the power of this moment.
We are living through events that will change our world.
Today’s invasion of Ukraine makes it clear that the world crafted after the fall of the Berlin Wall is under threat. We spent roughly half a century reordering our society and expectations towards the defeat of the Soviet system and it had finally happened. Coverage of East Germans excitedly crossing over into the West was symbolic of the new world America could help build.
Countries were new markets that were now completely open to American entrepreneurship.
Former nations, that were once under Soviet influence, ideally became factories for democracy.
The American dream was global.
So, what could go wrong?
Krasnoyarsk, Russia - March 10, 2022: closed and empty restaurant McDonald's and McCafe. Courtesy of Shutterstock and Al.Geba.
Pride can be a harsh reminder that fatal flaws are ancient and deep-seated.
America has a hard time reckoning with the corrupting forces within our own democracy. This is despite the intrinsic beauty of our people and our nation.
The things that plague our high ideals include tribalism based on an evil color consciousness. It's forged from the original sin of African and skin color-based slavery.
The plague also comes with a pretension for cronyism and exploitation. We can portray a very human flaw when seeing boundless naturalistic beauty and assuming it is for a select few.
Those who make it to a certain status, fall prey to seeing themselves as gods in the midst of a metaphorical Mount Olympus.
But, there was a variety of people here before us and they were forcefully displaced.
Ultimately, these corrosive forces can bleed into American foreign policy.
People who don’t even see their own countrymen as equals also go abroad and spread the same attitudes.
So we get war, repression, and little accountability or sensitivity for the places those policies harm. (People who are in a doom loop that tells them to sell everything can also conduct such policy.)
We allow our own civics to cheapen under the auspices of reckless partisans, empty politicians, and outright bigots. In return, we also allow a violent dictator to commit war crimes using Republican talking points.
The American dream is a precious one.
It may not come to fruition the way some expect, but, it offers a framework to pursue one’s freedom and dignity.