Will America And Americans Ever Grow Up?

by | Dec 7, 2010

We live in tumultuous times. The economy is shot, politics is shit and media is fractured into a million little pieces. Finding meaningful answers in the middle of this storm isn’t easy, but Charles Hugh Smith, author of Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation, has some.

Nobody expects the President or Ben Bernanke to speak honestly, as the truth would shatter an increasingly fragile status quo. But this reliance on artifice, half-truths and propaganda has a cost; people are losing faith in government, in all levels of authority, and in the Mainstream Media—and for good reason.

The marketing obsession with instant gratification and self-glorification has led to a culture of what I call permanent adolescence. Politicians who promise a pain-free continuation of the status quo are rewarded by re-election, and those who speak of sacrifice are punished. An unhealthy dependence on the State to organize and fund everything manifests in a peculiar split-personality disorder: people want their entitlement check and their corporate welfare, yet they rail against the State’s increasing power. You can’t have it both ways, but the adolescent response is to whine and cajole Mom and Dad (or the State) for more allowance and more “freedom.” But freedom without responsibility and accountability is not really freedom; it’s simply an extended childhood.

President Obama must be seeking re-election because here he is earlier today advocating for the continuation of the status quo:

I wish Obama wouldn’t concern himself with re-election and instead do the right thing for the country every day for two more years. But he won’t, because he’s stuck inside the two-party system, which is a prison of our own making. I’d like to think that one day we might break free of this prison, but to do so we will have to stop feeding the guards.