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Waking Up From the American Dream 
The American Dream vs. the American Nation

Jon McNaughton, "Mending the Nation"

Jon McNaughton, “Mending the Nation”

1,405 words

Part 1 of 5

The dénouement came with the election of Barack Hussein Obama. It changed nothing in the structure of real power. The same people controlled the American regime both before and after Election Day 2008. 

But the symbolic importance of a black man being inaugurated as head of state in a capitol city named after a white slaveholder had a power all its own. Blacks in America shrieked on social networking sites that they “owned” America. Liberal whites cried in delight and basked in their own self-satisfaction. And conservative whites finally had that vague sense of occupation that liberals felt when the White House was controlled by the likes of Nixon, Reagan, or George W. Bush.

Of course, it was business as usual in the national security deep state, the financial system, and the media. But under the Obama Administration, the civic creed of multiculturalism, anti-racism, and diversity took on an increasingly frantic, even unhinged tone. Every mild racial insult, expression of political incorrectness, or “coming out” of a worthless celebrity was cause for hysterical condemnation or celebration.

There was a hint of North Koreans’ forced grieving for Kim Jong Il in Americans’ reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela. Terms like “cisgender” and “white privilege” became part of the conversations of ostensibly normal people. American society increasingly resisted satire, as college students were animated – even outraged – by the existence of separate restrooms for men and women. And within the media, opposition to gay marriage was treated as all but equivalent to support for racial segregation.

There are no limits to this process. Nor should Americans be surprised. The tragedy of America is that ideas are eventually taken to their logical conclusion.

The American Dream

The American nation is being killed by the American Dream. As George Carlin once said: “They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!” Of course, this was at the end of a long rant about how “the owners” of the country, by which he meant the rich white males who tell us all to believe in God and want obedient workers, actually propagate this idea to defend their economic interests. The mostly liberal crowd therefore felt free to applaud.

As the saying goes, “If I tell you that there are powerful people who are oppressing you to defend their own interests, you’ll call me a progressive, a liberal, and a reformer. If I tell you who those people are, you’ll call me a Nazi.”

The American Dream defines what we are as a country. The concept has many meanings, but at its core, it’s the idea that this country gives a person, regardless of his background, the opportunity to break whatever bonds are holding him back, be it poverty, stultifying tradition, or government repression. In so doing, he can build the life of his dreams – the unhindered “pursuit of happiness.” Often, this centers on material progress – sometimes, something so literal as saying, “the American Dream is home ownership in the suburbs.” After all, in George Mason’s less poetic formulation, classical liberalism is about “life, liberty, and property.”

The Beltway Right insists that this Dream still exists for everyone. In this telling, on some glorious day we will all become job creators and small business owners. To use a slogan the Republicans deployed during the 2012 Presidential elections, we “built that” independent of society. To question this is to attack the core idea of the country, to be un-American. Indeed, one of the most common attacks of Republican presidential candidates against President Obama is the idea that he doesn’t believe enough in American Exceptionalism, the idea that America is unique, somehow more unique than every other country in the world.

The Left, of course, says that the Dream isn’t fair enough, since class divisions and racial differences exist. There is patriarchy, and white privilege, heteronormativity, cisgenders, and all the rest that are eternally “holding us back.” And new enemies of the people are always being created.

However, the core idea for the two groups is still the same: self-creation and the acquisition of wealth by everyone is the definition of the good. The Beltway American Right holds to the faith that this essential equality and economic opportunity exists and will always exist, all evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, the Left seizes the reformist mantle. They can never be satisfied because there will always be inequality, which the American Right concedes is bad. Thus, the Left has an eternal claim on the moral high ground.

Both sides agree with the profoundly anti-Traditionalist idea that America is nothing but a place to make money.

Yet despite this core ideological agreement, the political debate in America is driven by something primal under the surface. The Left insists that there must be government men with guns to ensure “everyone” (especially non-whites) gets an equal shot. At the same time, the Left permanently defines the existing capitalist system as a racist, patriarchal system that is run by white men. The Left simultaneously has a monopoly on an ideological defense of the current system and the language of revolution.

Or, in the words of Rage Against the Machine, “For it’s the End of History, It’s Caged and Frozen Still, There is no other Pill to take, so swallow the one that made you ill.” In this view, radical, individualist capitalism is unjust precisely because it is rooted in racism – economic differences are simply a consequence of racial injustice. The band goes on to rant about the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and the noose and overseer and the never ending exploitation of the noble colored masses by the White Man. This is essentially the pattern of all contemporary American progressive activism. Justice will arrive when the white men hands back his ill-gotten gains.

In response, simple reactionaries that they are, the Beltway Right defends the system against these attacks. To some extent, they accept the Leftist critique that the existing capitalist system is the property of whites – they simply deny that this is unfair and claim that everyone, of every race, can gain admission to the American Dream and the goodies it contains. They even do this as the economic elite of the country grows explicitly anti-white, both funding and executing anti-white affirmative action policies, agitating for unlimited Third World immigration, and eagerly promoting an ever more destructive cultural agenda. The conservative response is generally to call for more tax cuts. It is an opposition doomed to fail – perhaps even designed to fail.

But even though this political struggle is nothing but shadowboxing, the rhetoric and emotions raised seem to grow more savage each election cycle. This is because there remains a residual American patriotism recognized by both sides in the culture war. The Beltway Right has claimed it; the American Left is suspicious of it. Even though the Beltway Right defends America largely on economic grounds, the emotional motivation underlying it is rooted in deeper cultural and implicitly racial beliefs about what constitutes the authentic American identity. The flag, the military, and certain motifs of what Peter Brimelow calls the historic American nation still resonate as either a positive example or something to be feared.

The conquest of the West. The Marine Corps. The Founding Fathers. All of these are mythologized by conservatives and demonized by liberals. And if anything, this kind of implicitly white patriotism is increasing among European-Americans.

Glenn Beck has built a hugely profitable internet and radio media empire that positively fetishizes the Founding Fathers. The American Revolution is undergoing a dramatic spike in interest in the publishing industry. A huge implicitly white political movement borrows the symbolism of the Boston Tea Party.

And yet while all this is going on, no one on the mainstream Right would ever recognize – let alone defend – a distinct European-American identity and collective interest. At the same time, even as the Left is ever more eager to call the American Right “racist,” its policy prescriptions are still grounded in the traditional American rhetoric of “freedom” and “equality.”

Both sides are discussing trivia in the tax code, debt, and health care, both sides are motivated by primal racial and cultural motivations that neither dares recognize, and yet both are arguing within a broadly shared context of values of “freedom,” “equality,” and material prosperity.

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9 Comments

  1. John
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Experience teaches that once any area becomes dominated by dark skins then said area becomes a filthy, criminal, and dangerous place. But before that domination by dark skins takes place experience also teaches us that there must a total withdraw of White skinned peoples. Its my opinion that modern Detroit became the hell hole it is not so much because of black rule but because of the absence of Whites. We Whites don’t need America but America definitely needs White people. We Whites have great power to build or destroy simply by being and We need to recognize that power and act on it.

  2. Arindam
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    ‘There was a hint of North Koreans’ forced grieving for Kim Jong Il in Americans’ reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela.’

    I’m inclined to think that the grieving in Pyongyang was much more genuine than the politically-correct reactions to Mandela’s demise; certainly, no North Korean official would dream of taking a ‘selfie’ at Kim Jong Il’s funeral.

    Another point that I felt should have been mentioned when discussing the economic élite is deindustrialization: the promotion of free trade and the neglect of the manufacturing base goes a long way towards explaining many of the ills that assail not just the United States, but many European nations as well. The belief in free trade and free markets is a central canon of the globalist/Atlanticist world-view – so much so, that the degree of adherence to these doctrines serves as a reliable indicator of how far a country is under their control.

    Other than that, this was certainly one of the most thought-provoking and insightful articles I’ve read on counter-currents. Mr. Hood has a way of driving home his point with exceptional clarity – as exemplified by the following sentence:

    ‘Both sides agree with the profoundly anti-Traditionalist idea that America is nothing but a place to make money.’

    Indeed, paraphrasing that, one can sum up the globalist creed: ‘the world is nothing but a place to make money’.

    • Harry in PA
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      “…a place to make money.”

      Seems not quite accurate. Isn’t the elite’s vision one of feudalism/socialism?

      Therefore the creed would be more pithily stated: “WE are in control.”

      • Arindam
        Posted April 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        ‘Isn’t the elite’s vision one of feudalism/socialism?’

        No, the élite’s vision is most definitely capitalist, since the élite is a plutocratic one. If there’s one article that clearly indicates what it’s all about, it’s probably:

        Ezra Pound’s ‘America, Roosevelt and the Causes of the Present War’.
        http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/10/america-roosevelt-the-causes-of-the-present-war/

        [Of course, the word ‘capitalism’ has very positive connotations for many – perhaps most, Americans, bringing to their minds visions of eager, earnest entrepreneurs and homely local markets, as well as being associated with technical progress and economic prosperity. Propagandists have gone as far as to portray it as ‘the natural order’, as if all men are born to be merchants. For those willing to disabuse themselves of this view, I’d recommend William Joyce’s Twilight Over England for an alternative vision of what ‘capitalism’ entails:

        http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres8/twilight.pdf

        For a rigorous academic analysis, Thorstein Veblen’s ‘The Theory of Business Enterprise’ and ‘The Vested Interests and the Common Man’ would be recommended – but they are rather demanding reads.]

        However, your comment brings to mind something Jack London wrote:

        The Question of the Maximum
        http://www.online-literature.com/london/war-of-the-classes/4/

        ‘This change of direction must be either toward industrial oligarchies or socialism. Either the functions of private corporations will increase till they absorb the central government, or the functions of government will increase till it absorbs the corporations. ‘

  3. Justin Huber
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Both sides are essentially worthless in my opinion.

  4. Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    And the EU is the same, or almost the same. The EU, by the way, is clearly an attempt to recreate Europe in the image of the US. And the EU has its eyes not only on expansion into central and eastern Europe, but on into North Africa, the Levant and Asia Minor as well. Perhaps even the entire Dar al islam.

    Uniting the world into a global “West”, the empire of tolerance, human rights, freedom and opportunity.

    A giant with clay feet, begging to be smashed.

  5. Gregory Hood
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    A fair point, and something I should address in here.

    However, I do think most liberals really do believe their own propaganda, at least white liberals. I used to be a liberal, most of the people I know from school are liberals, and many family members are liberals. None are particularly passionate leftists, none could be called self-hating, all have good jobs and live in nice (read: white) communities.

    But all of them really believe that white identity is dangerous, something associated with extremists, terrorists, and losers. I think you average Clinton or Obama voter still considers themselves a patriotic American and believes that nonwhite identity is just a natural response to white “racism.” This doesn’t mean they support reparations or even affirmative action — at least, not yet. But it does mean they fear and despise white racists as profoundly immoral, and still hold to a kind of Civil Rights Act 1960s mindset that eventually we will all “get over race” and everything will be ok.

    None of this applies to your average campus leftist of course, or your average left wing blogger or activist. But there are tens of millions of normal whites who support the Left — and as remarkable as it seems, I think they really do believe what they say.

    • Harry in PA
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      “…they really do believe what they say.”

      So did I as a youth. It was, of course, purely the result of my civil-rights drenched Boomer indoctrination.

  6. IBM
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    “… both sides are motivated by primal racial and cultural motivations that neither dares recognize …”

    This applies to the right but not the left. The left wants to lift up nonwhites over whites, and they are very clear about this.

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