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  1. #1
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Default ...American Dream?

    In another post the "American Dream" was mentioned...How would you define the American Dream? And can you and those you know, realistically achieve your definition of it? What has it meant to your family?

    At it's most basic it would seem to be the ownership of private property, an achievement of economic independence and self-sustainability earned through productive work and behaviour.

    Was this conceit ever a reality for the masses, or just a tool to keep their noses to the grindstone in furtherence of the "American Reality" enjoyed by a relatively lucky and powerful few?

    Is the American Dream just as alive and vital as it ever was, and those unable to achieve it simply lacking sufficient motivation?

    And to my friends in distant lands...what is your perception of this Ideal? Is there a similar concept in your Nation? Do you see our concept (such as it is) as a strong influence on our behaviour?
    Last edited by Hirsch63; 02-25-2008 at 03:13 AM. Reason: addition
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  2. #2
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    The idea that what you get is exactly proportional to what you put in.

    It's just an idea.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  3. #3
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    In another post the "American Dream" was mentioned...How would you define the American Dream?
    Money.
    we fukin won boys

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mr Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    The idea that what you get is exactly proportional to what you put in.

    It's just an idea.
    That's about right with an added component. It's usually thought of as somebody coming from humble roots and "making it big" in something through hard work and ingenuity.
    But sir, your opinion is wrong.
    TANSTAAFL!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Galt View Post
    That's about right with an added component. It's usually thought of as somebody coming from humble roots and "making it big" in something through hard work and ingenuity.
    So, do you think that the idea of the American Dream has evolved (or de-volved) since the concept was introduced? Once the yardstick of owning private property (if that was indeed the meaning) was met, an additional criteria was introduced; the idea of "making it big" or presumambly achieving excessive wealth or influence? Through education into a profession and/or politics?

    Was there a time when what you achieved/recieved in America was proportional to your investment of resources...presuming that all your actions were within the boundaries of law?
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  6. #6

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    I think the American Dream is basically a version of self-actualization. In addition to the economic independence and ownership of property that were mentioned already, I think it includes a component of personal fulfillment. That can come from family, work that is personally satisfying, or spirituality. After all, America was founded by people that were primarily dissatisfied personally, not economically (although the latter was certainly a component and to a degree they're inextricable.)

    I think the American Dream is as valid as it ever was, mostly because it was never a promise. It was an opportunity. The majority don't fully achieve it today, but they didn't then either.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  7. #7
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    And to my friends in distant lands...what is your perception of this Ideal? Is there a similar concept in your Nation? Do you see our concept (such as it is) as a strong influence on our behaviour?
    My perception is that it's the usual pie-in-the-sky to keep the workers wanting something more out of life, and that they are tricked into believing that working hard for someone else can actually get you there.
    Usually really wrong. Working at McD's or the local factory will almost never give them enough to not feel stressed about the financial situation.

    Most people over here in Sweden also thinks working for somebody can get you somewhere in life. Not always, but usually quite wrong. At least in my opinion.
    To earn big money and to achieve the "American dream", somebody more or less have to live off other peoples' work. Owning a company of some sort.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mr Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    To earn big money and to achieve the "American dream", somebody more or less have to live off other peoples' work. Owning a company of some sort.
    How is that making money off of somebody else's work?
    But sir, your opinion is wrong.
    TANSTAAFL!

  9. #9
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    If you own a company, you are the top of the pyramid. You don't actually produce anything yourself, except administrative tasks. Wich you can hire people to do after a while. Then, if you have people hired, you earn money off other peoples' productive work, and is a capitalist, as defined by Karl Marx

    Edit: This is not the issue of the thread though, this was not argumentative, it was to clarify my point of view. Nothing else. And nothing personal whatsoever.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mr Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Edit: This is not the issue of the thread though, this was not argumentative, it was to clarify my point of view. Nothing else. And nothing personal whatsoever.
    I was just trying to get a feel of where you're coming from. Don't worry. As much as I love a good argument, my desire for one can be satisfied elsewhere.
    But sir, your opinion is wrong.
    TANSTAAFL!

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