Updated: May 26
We always think of a race, nation, religion, tribe or society all populated by people who think and act uniformly. We call this stereotyping.
This occurs because, we have become intellectually and emotionally lazy. We experience a couple of waves and we quickly conclude that, we know the ocean.
America is the most powerful nation on earth today. However the average American like the average citizen in any other democracy has little influence on what, their business, political, economic, social leaders and bureaucrats do or how they act.
All of us we human animals have more or less the same desires. To survive, find security, thrive, reproduce, and ensure survival of our offspring, etc. The path we choose to attain these material goals differ before of culture, language, history, geography, resources etc.
Just as a complete herd of buffalos may be led by one dominant male. Human societies are led by a group of individuals and families. Once they attain a particular level of power, and influence they become impossible to dislodge.
World War II made certain groups within America very powerful, the Military, big industry, banks and financiers, pharmaceutical, oil, gas and coal producers and suppliers. These are broadly called the Military Industrial complex. This danger was pointed out by no less than the American President Dwight D. Eisenhower who famously warned U.S. citizens about the "military–industrial complex" in his farewell address (Jan 1961).
Due to the unique nature of American politics, the people at the helm of America remain the same group, comprising the top 1% of America's most powerful and wealthy. They move through the Revolving doors of Business, Government, regulators, judiciary and legislators.
Tightly integrated, their main objective is the enhancement of their own power, and wealth. The remaining 99% are just tools and pawns of varying utility. These 1% cannot function nor survive, unless the 99% are divided and support the actions of this 1%. The only way this can be obtained is if the majority feel threatened at all times.
No doubt there are genuine threats which must be contained, and acting as the self appointed guarantor of global security, America needs to be strong, militarily, and economically. The American defence forces are more powerful than the next 13 most powerful nations combined.
Yet here is this prevailing sense of insecurity. Why is this so?
One may complain about this 1: 99 disparity, but we have to ask the question is, has this type of leadership has brought Americans material prosperity, emotional and physical well being, and a nobler people?
The answer is that it was true, but not anymore. The military-Industrial complex in conjunction with powerful elements within the government bureaucracy and their insatiable need for more, have hollowed out much of America.
Who knows in this time of crisis, there may emerge an opportunity for America to reform and recreate itself and become what the founding fathers of America had struggled so hard to create.
In this lies the well being not only of America but the whole world.
A somewhat dysfunctional free and democratic America still deserves to be the world leader, rather than the communist totalitarian regime of China.
ps: This malaise is not only prevalent in America but in every society. where between 1% to 10% control the remaining people by a variety of means.
I highlight the American example only because of America's preeminent position as the most powerful nation and the most extreme example of what is good and not so good in the world today.