From Issue: 529 [Read full issue]

Liberation from the American Dream 

[Today,] America, the great liberator, is in desperate need of being liberated from itself – from its own excesses and arrogance. And the world needs to be liberated from American values and culture, spreading across the planet as if by divine providence. 

Yet the American dream is so seductive that most of us willingly keep on dreaming. We continue to drive our cars to the supermarket each week and idly wander the aisles, continue carelessly to throw out our weight in trash every few weeks, continue to assume that the additives in our foods are harmless shelf-life extenders, continue to play Visa against MasterCard, continue to buy sneakers made in offshore sweatshops, and continue to sit sphinx like in front of the tube most nights absorbing another dose of consumer-culture spectacle. 

The images beckon us to a future in which maximum pleasure and minimum pain are not only possible but inevitable. We yearn to realize the dream more fully. We work and strive for the promised payoff. We try to catch the river in a bucket. But we never will. 

Our culture has evolved into a consumer culture and we have evolved from citizens to consumers. Gratitude for what we have has been replaced by a sharpening hunger for what we don’t have. ‘How much is enough?’ has been replaced by ‘How much is possible?’ 

We have learned what it means to live full-on, to fly and fornicate…, and now we refuse to let that lifestyle go. So we keep consuming. Our bodies, minds, families, communities, the environment – all are consumed.  

Compiled From:
"Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge - And Why We Must" - Kalle Lasn, pp. 61-63