Living the American Dream

Is the American Dream entirely a domestic product such that you would have to live in American in order for your idea of what the American Dream is to be fulfilled, or can the American Dream be exported?

I’m not talking about Pax Americana but the principles behind the American Dream, that is, the Jeffersonian principles of human unalienable rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, with the corollary principles of personal enterprise, equal opportunity for striving, free markets, and representative government. Are such principles simply “American” or “Western” only and therefore one cannot *expect* for such principles to take hold and flourish in countries where they have no history, no cultural basis, for such principles to exist, or are those principles really, as Jefferson claimed, universal?

Being libertarian in my political bent, I am biased, but I wonder whether strict meritocracy and personal individualism can really outweigh cultural tendencies towards tribalism, nepotism, and hard-line theocratic beliefs that go all the way down to the belief of what a family unit is?

Perhaps these are merely rhetorical questions, but in thinking about “the Great Game” (as one of my friends call it), I sense that, in the midst of rational-choice, there’s much loyalty and love towards irrationality that change, even towards something that will materially better a people, cannot happen without much pain and bloodshed, with a high cost in “collateral damage” that, even in Pax Americana, makes the most loyal American wince and wish there was a better way.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in History & Currents Events, LQ POV. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living the American Dream

  1. lizardqueen says:

    In reading this again, I can’t help but think of Myanmar’s government — the military junta ruling literally with an iron fist — and how its own survival seems to be more important that the survival of its own people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s