I’ve been busy with my non-writing work and with launching a new business, so for the first time in four years, I’m having difficulty finding time to write, which is unacceptable. For the past four years I’ve had nearly unlimited time to study the art and craft of writing and to put that study into practice, but now that my time is being sucked away by other responsibilities, I need to find a way to integrate writing study and practice back into my schedule.
The following article was originally published on NationofChange, on Friday April 4th, 2014, and can be read here.
“Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of brotherhood is neither in the thesis in communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but lies in a higher synthesis. […] The problem of racism, economic exploitation, and war, are all interrelated.” —Martin Luther King Jr. Where Do We Go From Here?
On this day while we recall the great Martin Luther King Jr., let us be careful not to treat him only as a historical caricature of the American Civil Rights Movement. We must remember such a grand man, not in the broad batter’s strokes, but with all the delicate attention to his brilliant nuance as the draughtsman’s outline. His passion extended to all people in the nation. And in the years before he was assassinated he made a passionate call for a theory of democratic synthesis, combining the necessities of American capitalism with the man’s natural desire for relationship, while not only maintaining our nation’s ideologies, but engendering, and empowering them to their full potential. This synthesis is what I will attempt to present for you today in what I call United Americanism.
Who am I and what is United Americanism?
I am not a socialist. At most my interests can be confused for desperate nationalism. I am an independently educated, independently wealthy entrepreneur, who for the past several years has dedicated my waking hours to the business of human nature, our psychology, and its consequences on our sociopolitical environments. Where my naiveté in treating such sensitive political topics trigger any anti-American sentiments, I apologize and humbly beg your pardon for my mistake.
Let me be clear and upfront: I am for Democratic regulation community owned production and distribution of a specified set of food, goods, and housing for every American, utilizing our superior technical and entrepreneurial achievements in delivery of specific information and goods to all citizens and powering our inter-national economic stability, while maintaining a free-market for intra-national markets; all in a democratic, inward-out flowing movement. The eventual dissolution of the 1% majority will mark the beginning of a true American Democracy with representation of the people, and adaptability to the ever-changing sociopolitical environment.
Through United Americanism we hope to increase production of American Culture—all the visual arts have suffered in America—increasing citizen loyalty and international worth; increase human relationships in America and so decrease violent conflict in our neighborhoods; repurpose health costs and costs associated with the homeless, to the focused efforts of the new strategies the people would contrive and submit for deliberation; increase creative ingenuity and output, all powered by American ingenuity and entrepreneurship, giving us an advantage over the other nations on on the world stage regarding profitable new inventions.
Why should You care about United Americanism?
Because your nation is in a state of democratic oppression, where 1% of Americans are abusing their wealth to maintain a majority rules—watching with great alacrity in their hearts, all disorganized initiatives fizzle out as soon as they’re are born—unable to stand against such a powerful majority. This capitalistic game—a game where we all are players, but nearly none are winners, where the 1% depends on the timidity and ignorance of the people—must change. And it necessarily starts with you.
If you are rich and doing what you want, then I’ll tell you a secret: take a deep breath, smell the fine furnished surroundings, or the exotic atmosphere, and feel the fine textures against your body, remember perhaps the string of sensations you experienced last night or last week, all brought by your wealth; let that breath out: this is as good a life as capitalism offers the very rich. That’s it. It’s no more than an accumulation of experiences.
But what we crave is not a lockbox full of memories. What we crave is relationship, to be indispensable to our groups. How do we get this sense of importance? Is it gained through money? Capitalism says so.
When I introduced my son into the family, my daughter, then two years old, feeling her position of importance in the family group being threatened, made frequent attempts at loud, showy expressions of ability, desperately urging my wife and I to watch. This is because in order to make up her missing time, she sought to recapture it by making herself more impressive, more involved, and so, more indispensable to the group.
So if you subscribe to capitalism, and you are not very rich, meaning most of us, then you will spend your life in the pursuit of riches, or reach a point where you throw up your hands and say, I don’t need to be very rich. In other words, I don’t matter in my national community.
Is United Americanism destructive of initiative and responsibility?
“In our time economic status is the measure of ones abilities and talents. The absence of worldly goods indicates the want of industrious habits and moral fiber.” —Martin Luther King Jr.
We’ve come a long way in the understanding of human motivation and the workings of our ferocious, blind economy since Martin Luther King Jr.’s day. For one, it is now common knowledge that only 1% of America’s citizens control the vast majority of the nation’s wealth.
Also, it is not a new realization that discrimination, perceived or actual—which I will hitherto call stigmas—propels people into idleness and binds them into constant, frequent unemployment against their will.
I’m a father of three young children. I’ll tell you there’s no force more compelling than that of an infant’s cries of hunger pains with no baby food in the house. I can also tell you from experience that this compulsion is second only to the want for assurance of a safe place for that parent and that child to sleep through the night. There is not a law so compulsory given by a power so mighty that could keep a mother from that quest for baby food; nor is there a sight more shameful than a family going homeless in our own backyard; or a mother being stigmatized for stealing formula for her child—or even worse in my opinion—being so oppressed by that stigma that she does far worse.
Thankfully in America economic leaders in information and distribution like Walmart, Amazon, and Google could be utilized in relieving the American citizen from the pursuit of food, necessary goods, and shelter.
Once we engender an America willing to relieve its citizens from their base quest for food, water, clothing, and shelter, simply to sustain life and maintain good cheer, we have removed not just the citizen’s fears and doubt, but have replaced the old American stigmas of a man’s character being judged by his material possessions, with the understanding that: all material possessions are nonessentials by their nature, and that even the least endowed voice has an equal opportunity at Truth, greatness, and power in this new United Americanist Democracy. The poor will have more impetus than ever to stand up for their convictions and their passions, be heard and be valued for the content of their character. And when the poor begin to interact with the economy, they will accumulate capital, the proletariate and middle class will do the same. The time spent in the old America worrying over getting a job, for the job’s sake, and earning a living just to pay the bills and feed the kids, would no longer be the American norm, but the American past. Job dissatisfaction and discontent will necessarily decline; this relinquishing of fear straightens the back of the common citizen from the oppressive, divisive 1% majority that currently insists on riding it. But as Martin Luther King Jr. said so many times, “You can’t ride a man’s back, if his back ain’t bent.”
And when the citizens start to straighten their back, and the heavy yoke of the 1% starts to slide off, we will see the True beauty of United Americanism; the disillusionment of the American people, the further shedding of stigmas associated material wealth and moral goodness. This democratic mobility when a majority no longer rules, when the economics start to equalize, and mass media loses its edge.
Here is the ultimate vision: democratic flexibility through the dissolution of the 1% controlling capitalist majority, thus restoring power back to our democracy.
Martin Luther King Jr. called for the radical modification of our nation’s values. “These are days that demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness,” said King. We are living in an unchanged nation. We need to live a nation of change. It is not up to passing bills, or staging violent demonstrations, which are no less violent than any other act of violence.
It is up to you to make the change first in your heart—then to spread the message. Living the change first. If we can’t live the change, if we aren’t convinced of change in our heart, than revolution, demonstration, upheaval; all of it will prove very impressive, but wholly ineffective in making any lasting change in the government because all real change permeates from the inside out. The change starts with the people, and must grow and spread among the people outward to the government; deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.
And with liberty and property, what shall we strive for? What are our goals? What should they be? Should our duty be first to our fellow man, or to our state? To the self, or to the other? To the I, or to the thou?
This has been the question of not just political theory but western philosophy in general and the business of all science and wisdom for that matter since the dawn of human reason. But let us not be confused into believing the question is unanswerable, nor even unclear. Indeed, we established the ideology of our nation in its conception. The slogan of the American Revolution began as “Liberty and Property!”
As Lincoln eloquently stated, “A nation established Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” There you have it. We cannot ask what is best for our individual tastes, but what is best for the individual. As I dared to assume before, we all came from human parents, thus we must look after the needs of the parent. Parents all depend on their children to take care of them in this system, thus we must look after the needs of the child first.
What this means, again, is that our duty is first to the people, then to the state, and this is in line with our American ideology. All of us must consider this Truth, must absorb this Truth, must believe this Truth. Because this answers the great unanswerable in political philosophy: to which does humanity owe their duty? To Man, or to State?
The question is undoubtedly to Man, and in America, the State follows the Man, and this is the Art of America. Give us Liberty and give us Property; in other words, give us breathing room, and the key to the room we do it in, and the power of free-speech and democracy; then we have a system to withstand the test of time. A system not doomed to the rigid fluctuations of the rise and falls of great empires that our history would subject our consciousness to.
We must all be concerned with these matters right now. Not tomorrow, not when you grow up, but right now. We cannot expect the protection that the international sovereignty of our state provides all of us, then speak against that sovereignty blindly without realizing that the problem is not external but needs begin with how we think. This way, great nations lie in ruins, and people adrift in confusion.
To rant and rave against our flag and government is as much to despise your parent openly to your neighbors, such as Americans have done since the birth of this young nation. We have always held the concept that if there is something wrong in the house, there is something wrong with the occupant, when the damage is clearly in the foundation. This shortsightedness is not uniquely American, but it is uniquely ours in its pervasive use as a tool of our own oppression.
The capitalist philosophy of duty toward the state over all else is necessarily self-defeating. A prisoners dilemma. Capitalism is the cancer of our free-market Democracy; a tiny minority, 1%, controls the majority of the influence, and so is in effect an oligarchy hidden behind a thin guise of democracy.
Yet participating in their game seems to be our best and only option to compete in the inter- and intra-national economic markets. After all, we need to buy the products and go to the schools the media promotes if we hope to ever have any brains at all. We need what they have to sell in order to be successful. Or so we think. But how can we change the game? Change it while not only maintaining our shared American Ideology that was the impetus of this great Nation’s birth, but even further realizing it.
How does United Americanism work?
We split up a superpower like Walmart and Amazon into a community owned, or government owned entity. We use our free-speech and democracy to decide on regulations and modifications each election cycle. It will take a significant amount of support and vigilance to bring United Americanism even to this point, since this would require a radical modification of current social values held by American culture; mainly that of wealth equating importance.
Those that have money retain their money and can look forward to spending it in a free market. As they spend it, it will go into life-style and relationship improvements, and that money will generate more creative enterprise, which will promote more creative enterprise. The common citizen will have no suffocating stigma that says money is impressiveness, importance, because impressiveness comes from ingenuity of being impressive, and ingenuity is achievable by everyone in a United Americanist government; and there will no longer be a separation from the 1% and the common citizen.
It’s only 1% of the people, so what’s the problem? It turns out to be a big one. That one percent controls the mass media, who dictates the intelligentsia’s deviations, and the stigmas controlling opposition to established systems. It is a Truth that majority is the enemy of democracy, and the 1% has the power and the will to keep and hold onto the majority through controlling mass media, by controlling what we think we want, and so ensuring their position on top.
But if United Americanism is realized and there is a 40- or 50%, what then? There is not a majority. The ones who hold the money are the people, not the corporations. The government handles only the massive production and distribution of basic food, goods, and shelter, and all else is earned by the courage and ingenuity of the American spirit.
There would then be real freedom in democracy because the majority, 1% of the nation, no longer speaks for all of the nation. Now, after the effects of United Americanism, we could look forward to a hyper mobile democratic government, capable like never before to adapt and change to any future circumstance in a nation-goal-oriented way. And for America, that means, people oriented. Once we equalize the economy through United Americanism economics, the government will truly represent the great, diverse peoples of America. Not only the very rich.
People will be impressive by virtue of being right or wrong, by the impressiveness of their arguments and abilities, and not their credentials. This is the great nightmare of Capitalism. If the common citizen realizes they can achieve great things all on their own, that the intelligentsia and the Talented One are boogeymen. Because when the common citizen believes this—not just intellectually, not conceptually—but really understands this Truth with their whole being, then the common American citizen is suddenly a very powerful person. Suddenly, that 1% that is held onto so tight-fistedly will begin to dribble out of the cracks of their fingers and a host of psychological changes will inevitably result.
And we will see that time that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of, that time when a man or woman is not judged and rewarded by their external properties, but by virtue of their courage and vigilance, in other words, by their character.
We ask them how to be impressive, indispensable in our relationships; they tell us we need their products. We ask them how to succeed in business; they tell us we need their products. Whether the products affect us or not, it is never by virtue of the person, an Alex or Zuri, it is by virtue of the product. Even the creator of the product is either an amalgamation of old products repackaged, or of the author of all ingenuity—or so the intelligentsia would love for you to believe—Talented One.
Talented One, and how it threatens United Americanism.
Talented One may be a stratagem of the intelligentsia and the elite capitalist 1%, but whether he is a natural phenomenon, or a device contrived by ingenious capitalist minds, it remains constant that the Talented One is a concept that permeates American culture, and strangles its initiative and responsibility like a barrel chested Gestapo officer in the night.
Talented One is a concept that many great works are contributed to in modern American Culture by the common citizen. Talented One is the idea that some people are born with musical talent, or social talent, and that others are not, and even those who devote their entire lives to the study of a skill may never be able to achieve what a savant might no matter what they do.
Talented One is not a real person, but he is a very real force in our everyday lives. Talented One is a huge contributor to idleness because it tells us that we can never be as good as born talent, so why try at anything that we’re not born great at?
But while Talented One has been an obstacle to sociopolitical change in America, he is only a symptom of the real problem.
Where does United Americanism stand on poverty?
Why are there more than 46 million poor people in America? When you begin to ask yourself that question, you must begin to question the capitalistic economy. “An edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring,” said Martin Luther King Jr. Jesus said there will always be poor and homeless, but what if that is not so? A man rich with human relationship, is never truly poor; a man with a safe place to lay his head and a friendly face to greet him in the morning with food and water; is never truly homeless. America could be the first nation in the history of the world to effectively abolish homelessness and hunger by offering shelter and food to all Americans who require it. United Americanism pays these issues intense and deliberate focus and I believe that answers will make themselves more readily accessible as the minds of the people start to change.
United Americanism: Where do we go from here?
Through this system, we will create a democratic nation built around self determination, justice, and decency. We will remain independent because we will be self-governed. We are our own parent and child. We make our rules and restrictions because we know they will improve our lives, and though the child can be angry, impulsive, vulnerable, it is the parents job to keep them on track, and kindly remind them of their common interests. All these modes are in line with the American Ideology.
The first step is elective participation; something akin to a showing of hands of supporters in the comments section or in written responses. What’s needed now is cooperation and expansion. The core synthesis has been presented, and we have the capability of spreading the message; this being the second and most important step in mobilizing United Americanism.
If you are tired of waiting for change; if you understand that external revolutions are futile; if you have the creative mind to see the Truth in this democratic synthesis, please lend me your voice. I call it United Americanism, and we can all be a part of it starting right now.
But I’ll need your help.
This morning, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the people who really illuminated the writing craft for me, at the first Southern California Writers Association meeting of 2014. The meeting was a huge success; Nancy gave a powerful presentation, and I am glad to have been there. A big Thank You to Nancy and everyone at the SCWA!
Nancy Ellen Dodd’s essential book on the craft of writing, The Writer’s Compass is available here:
Happy New Year! Let 2013 be your year.
Elephants and Lambs, a short story by Caleb Jacobo, is now available for digital download!
In the short story, “Elephants and Lambs,” a wealthy young Czech man, Kazimir, is desperately in love with Dominika, the daughter of a senator, in a Soviet occupied Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia during the 1940’s. Igorek, the occupying Russian general, has taken Dominika as his lover, but Dimitri, a Russian private who sustained injuries serving under Igorek, takes interest in Kazimir’s plight as well as his wallet, and vows to help him win his beloved Dominika. “Elephants and Lambs” is a story of love, jealousy, class separation, prejudices, and above all, the exploration of character that asks important questions about the human condition.