Based loosely in some quotes I have read from Jung about the importance of a cohesive cultural psyche (you can check my blog if you want more details on my speculation), it has come to my attention that Americans absolutely suffer this fractured psyche as a nation, because politically we are split by a false dichotomy (the people who want to be ruled by Wal Mart and Jerry Fallwell versus those who want to be ruled by a politically correct expanded government is typically the narrative I hear) that employs old tricks like propaganda and religion to distract the general public from the fact that they are ALREADY being controlled and robbed blind.
We may as well be two nations for that reason, in terms of a cultural outlook on most major issues.
This isn't even the result of the already culturally diverse population of immigrants that we all originally spring from.
This alone probably could account for the stunning amount depression and anxiety diagnosed in our ratherwealthy privileged country...except I think an even more insidious reason is at work here.
The corporatization of America began in earnest in the mid 20th century, I think not coincidentally, in the 1970s and 1980s teens began committing suicide in record numbers. Since that time, prescription of antidepressants for average people is pretty much off the charts.
I once thought that getting rid of the corporate mentality was the obvious easy answer. You know, kill your television, shop locally, be a conscious consumer. This is typical liberal and libertarian prattle.
But I was caught off guard by my own lingering susceptibility to advertising in the form of food nostalgia. This lead to a later realization that much of what I valued or used as a cultural measuring stick ultimately corresponds back to commercialization and mass media. It's such an intrinsic part of who I am as an individual and an American, it almost seems comical to me now that anyone who was born in the United States or who was raised here for a significant part of their childhood could ever be psychologically distanced from commercialism.
In fact it occurred to me that trying to completely eradicate it is a form of self loathing in an unconscious form, that being disconnected from it entirely could damage us equally or more as a nation psychicly than continuing to live with it.
We will be fractured either way. We will be destroyed by that which nourishes us if we continue to tolerate it, but shutting it off completely, as in some kind of revolutionary or simply abrupt scenario would leave us with really nothing to call a culture.
The commercials and mass media are our culture, or what passes for one. Without it we are a group of disjointed people with pervasive memories of symbols which will have lost their meaning.
Without a more traditional national culture, this is all we have by way of what people used to glean from tribal customs and religion.