Originally appeared http://laurent-courtines.com/blaming-the-victim-and-blaming-ourselves from http://laurent-courtines.com
Reading about the financial crisis around the world, how we're getting ready for a second dip and the apparent complete lack of middle class activism has got me thinking? Why?
Why aren't there more protests? (in the US at least)
Why aren't people fired up?
Where is our natural desire to right the wrongs?
Where is the classic American exceptionalism we've all had blasted into our heads?
Looks like it's no where to be found.
I have one thought on this:
– We blame ourselves
The prevailing ethos of American supermen conquering the frontier doesn't leave much room for failure to live up to that myth. If you aren't kicking ass and making your own luck, then it's your own damn fault. Americans on the whole think that their failings are there own doing.
That it's their fault that they are poor, that it's their fault they are failing in school and it's their fault that their behind on their mortgage. Some how some Randian philosophical myth has trickled down to the working classes to get them to believe it's their own fault they aren't what they thought they should be.
It's against the established America propaganda myth to think –
Maybe the deck was stacked against me the whole time?"
Maybe who I know, how I was educated, where I lived mattered in my success or failure?
Maybe their are class divisions in the United States.
Maybe the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer?
Maybe we do have a neo-american aristocracy that's grown on the back of our labor.
Maybe their has been a re-distribution of wealth from the poor to the rich?
Maybe I've been fucked this whole time and no one told me.
I am sure these questions will get me labeled a communist or unamerican. I am sure some one who had advantages (Like I did) will step up and toe the party line of Victorian era, individualism, blaming the poor. I am sure it will happen. The facts are the facts. As citizens we need to ask questions of our government and find out what is going on, who knows what, who is doing what, and why.
Government only has the power we give it. If we want it back, we need to demand it,