From Part II Chapter 7 The Polity of Male Domination
By T.L. Dayen
Perhaps the most egregious polity image constructed by the destructive male ego is that of the “American Dream.” This national meme originally reflected the global perspective that America was the “land of [equal] opportunity.” Only in America was anything possible regardless of race, religion or income status of one’s parents. All one needed was the courage to follow your dream, and those resources would be available. The Statue of Liberty, as an extraordinary gift to the United States from France, aptly sits on the Eastern seaboard with a message to those who advance upon our shores;
“Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This was what the American Dream meant to the world when they looked at the United States of America. While we know that “equal” was a relative term at the dawn of our nation, it was none-the-less the least oppressive nation on Earth at the time. More than that, it was a nation of nationalities; an unprecedented notion to this day. For the first time, a nation was built from the ground up upon membership. Citizenry was the only requirement to call oneself an American. Opportunity was the chance for independence and self-determination divorced from oppressive Monarchies, religious regimes and income/class caste servitude. The opportunity to own one’s own home, property or business was a remarkable concept to most that came to America, but all Americans, born or immigrant, had the right to enjoy the benefits of their own hard work. The right to the rewards of one’s own hard work was the American Dream, and the value of hard work is what built this nation.
Opportunity > work = reward > produce/consume = Opportunity > work
America provided a unique structure of capitalism that allowed for a “negative feedback loop” (self-sustaining) cycle for the success of all Americans. Equal opportunity was the opportunity for everyone to apply one’s labor of mind or body and receive compensation (reward) for that labor. That compensation would then be used to produce, or consume the products of our collective rewards. This in turn stimulated more opportunities for work, and the cycle continued. This cycle begins and perseveres with “opportunity.” Over time our opportunities, work, products and consumption have taken different forms, but the one aspect of the American capitalistic cycle that has remained the same is the “reward;” money.
The pendulum of our history has seen the ugly head of male ego greed rise and fall. Focused only on the reward, the “animal mind” of male ego greed persistently sought to covet opportunity, exploit hard work, and retain for itself, as much of the reward as possible.
Work = reward > consume > Work = reward > consume > Work
Simply working to consume does not allow for the equal opportunity to produce. By coveting opportunity, male ego greed only allows for working to consume only that which itself produces, which only increases its own reward (i.e. “living check-to-check”). Without ‘equal’ opportunity, only a handful of Americans benefit; creating a “positive feedback loop” that will eventually lead to the dead zone of the American economy. The “human mind” of advanced civilization has time and again, seen that the cycle was in danger of self-destruction. The animal mind of male ego greed needed to be constrained through laws and regulations that did not allow male ego greed to exploit workers and covet equal opportunity. This pendulum swings back and forth in a perpetual state of checks and balances. This is evidenced in well over 100 years of laws and regulations required to hold self-serving greed, exploitation and monopoly in-check. From oppressive and deadly working, housing and environmental conditions, building codes and pollution controls, to the rights of exploited workers and tenants, to regulations on corrupt banking and finance and market manipulation, the human mind of civilization has been charged with the constant task of preventing the decedent greed of the male ego animal mind from ravenously seizing and devouring all available wealth and resources to the detriment of our nation. This has never been achieved willingly or without a fight as our history proves. The degree of our suffering and prosperity, sickness and health can be measured by the struggle between male ego animal mind greed and evolved human mind acumen over the vitality or malaise of our economic and environmental systems; between the opportunity for the American Dream for all of us and the inexorable American Nightmare for most of us.
The new “Image” of the American Dream
Unfortunately, the male ego animal mind of greed in America has not just reached unparalleled proportions, but remarkably, the destructive greed of the male ego has constructed a new image that projects ‘greed itself’ as the image of the American Dream! Any effort (offset) to curtail the blind, lustful ambition for wealth in order to protect that which may suffer at the expense of that endeavor, has been legitimized as an affront to the American Dream image! The equal opportunity that was critically necessary to maintain “the land of opportunity” has been successfully squashed and re-branded as charity. Greed cannot allow for equal opportunity to exist if it is to have a monopoly on the reward – money! Male ego greed has procured opportunity as its own private possession, and as such, has sole discretion over where, when and from whom it can be accessed. Male ego greed will only allow opportunity to be purchased: “It takes money (reward) to make money (opportunity);” and “The more money you have (reward), the more money you make (opportunity).” It is no longer a respectable endeavor to work. Work is only rewarded with the ability to consume that which is produced by the opportunity successfully squandered by male ego greed – the job creators!
Wage earners are simply the minions of the job creators, who exploit their labor to increase their own wealth and own opportunities for “advancement” while allowing wage earners just enough reward to continue to consume the fruits of their own labor, but never having the opportunity to produce anything for themselves. In the male ego image of the American Dream, the value of money has replaced the value of hard work. If you are born without money, then you must have a blind, lustful ambition for wealth in order to attain the American Dream image, or else you are an unsuccessful “loser.” However, if you are born with money, then you are an inherently successful “job creator” and are afforded every opportunity to fully realize the American Dream image.
The animal mind of male ego greed has become so formidable a force that every single American thing, person, priority, value or concern is measured, judged and evaluated in terms of DOLLARS, and this image is so impenetrable that no amount of human suffering will even begin to eclipse the brilliant radiance of money. Genuine character and the enrichment of family and community experience will forever be trumped by male ego greed as the new American Dream.
Clearly, pure capitalism is fertile ground for unbridled greed; rewarding only those with the resources to participate, but to the detriment of all else. In the complete absence of socialist, negative (sustainable) feedback loop principals, the positive (unsustainable) feedback loop of pure capitalism will eventually consume all available resources. Greed does not account for sustainability, only that which provides immediate gratification and reward. The millennial Republican Party and the purely capitalistic policies they are bitterly fighting for in federal and state governments in the disguised image of the American Dream, are the manifestation of animal mind male ego greed. Animal mind Capitalism must be tempered by human mind socialism; specifically, compassion, cooperation, compromise and community if our country, let alone our species is to survive, and let alone evolve!
The Cold Civil War
While the top 2 percent of Americans are overwhelmingly Republican, the vast base of the Party is an overwhelmingly impoverished demographic. Some of the “reddest” states in our union have some of the highest levels of poverty and disease, highest rates of teenage pregnancy, highest rates of child neglect, abuse and mortality, and some of the lowest levels of formal education. Considering that Republican policies are designed to financially benefit the top 2 percent of income earners (naturally), why does their vast constituent base continue to vote against their own economic interests? Because those of lesser fortune within the Republican Party identify with their “socially conservative principles,” and the dominant male ego requires steadfast conformity to the image in order to maintain dominance! The base of the millennial Republican Party is the raw male ego, poignantly illustrated in Part I.
The truth is that today, all Republicans, rich or poor, identify “personally” with their Party as one might defend one’s country in a war. This requires Republicans to support Party principals over common sense policies that support all Americans. It is a well-known cliché in political circles that “Democrats fall in love [with their candidate], but Republicans fall in line [with their candidate].” With all due respect to those who serve our nation, Republicans are compelled by the male ego to cast a vote against their own interests for their Party, much like a valiant and courageous soldier will lay down his own life for his country. It has been noted by historians, that since 2008, the level of seditious hyperbole and rhetoric we are seeing in the Republican Party has not been seen since the years leading up to the Civil War. Then, it was war over an economic infrastructure based on slave labor. Today, it is a war over the very idea of what America stands for and what it means to be an American. Of course, there is no room for “compromise” with the [Democratic] enemy! This single-minded determination to “win” no matter what it costs, what is lost, or what is actually gained, is an inherently male characteristic. The political battle ground atmosphere created by this battle-mentality, is just one more reason why the new Republican Party is fertile ground for the destructive male ego politics of power, domination, and greed. We are in a cold war, not with Republicans, but with the male ego animal mind itself!