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The birth of a notion: The American Dream

Friday, March 23, 2012 | 12:49 p.m. CDT; updated 4:59 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 2, 2012

During the depths of the Great Depression historian James Truslow Adams released a book titled “Epic of America.” In it, he coined a term that has become a mainstay in our culture: “the American Dream.”

As Adams imagined it, the American Dream sprang from meritocracy. He peppered readers with the idea that advancement was possible for anyone willing to work for it. Adams wrote some 80 years ago, from times of despair but on the eve of America's coming greatness. Yet even then, he lamented a culture in decline, one that placed less emphasis on education than on material goods, one with higher crime rates.

In a review of the book, Carl Becker, president of the American Historical Association in 1931, wrote:

“For Mr. Adams the frontier is, in great part at least, the explanation for the ‘rawness’ of American civilization as well as for its strength and promise. ... the deprecatory note gives way to a strain of enthusiasm, and in many an aside he assures us that ‘there has also been the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should become fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.' It is as if Mr. Adams wrote the book to remind us of something that is in danger of being lost in the shuffle — to remind us of the ‘dream’ we once cherished but have forgotten.”

Adams' words ring fresh today, as America adjusts to the worst economy since the Great Depression, faces disturbing threats to harmony at home and abroad, and struggles to hold onto the dream.

 
 
 

 


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Comments

Richard Saunders March 23, 2012 | 2:21 p.m.

The American Dream (as evidenced both today and during the Great Depression) is wholly under attack from the unconstitutional, NOT Federal, NOT Reserve System. In other words, as always, it is Wall St. vs. Main St.

Now ask yourself, just why would a "government of the people, by the people, for the people" use borrowed bank notes created from "thin air" (as they are just IOUs from the issuing bank) from a private banking system as a form of national currency, when the US Constitution gave the US Treasury the right to coin money, and specifically outlaws the use of anything other than gold and silver in payment of all public debts? The very idea turns common sense on its head.

JP Morgan, et al. assumed full control of the US Government with the Coup of 1913, the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Without this Act, WWI would've been a far different story (war is very expensive when you have to use real money as opposed to unlimited IOUs). Meanwhile, WWII wouldn't have even happened, as there would've been nothing for Hitler to react to, and he'd have gotten nowhere if he tried.

And people wonder why politics is always decided by money. The American Dream will only return once the central banks of the world have their stranglehold on humanity removed.

Problem is, they will likely plunge us all into a world war first (just like they did in the 30's), so that we're distracted from the true source of evil in our society.

Where's Ole Hickory when you need him?

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