While reading an excellent piece of fiction about America around the first world war, I was reminded of two things. The first is a realization that things never change: “… the war won’t ever be over … too damn profitable …” and the second is a sign that this country actually has changed: “Help the Food Administration By Reporting War Profiteers.” Nowadays we reward what back then was considered war profiteering. But in the end, isn’t it greed that fuels the American dream?
Have you ever stopped to consider that this country was founded by a foreign corporation seeking new markets, new resources, and new profits? Did you think it was all about religious freedom? … that came much later. Go back and read about the Virginia settlements centered around the James River. America was initially the Virginia Company of London to the south and the Virginia Company of Plymouth to the north: self-governing colonies based on profits. It has been said that the notion of democracy grew out of the self-governing nature of the original company charters but do you also see the seeds of what would grow into our current struggle of a fading promise of democracy against the conquering strength of fascism in America?
Take a weakened democracy, add money, Citizens United, and capitalists like the Koch brothers; fold in corruption and mendacity; and in no time at all we’ll have a hot steaming plate of classic fascism. Are you looking forward to a freedom free diet? What are you going to do about it?
[The fiction was John Dos Passos highly recommended trilogy, U. S. A.]