The “American Dream” And Its Moral Delusions
To skip forward a generation, since the division of church and state, ‘modernization’ and the economic upsurge of rational-secularized bureaucracy, representative governments, the welfare state and a greater access to commodities have reduced the social need for that cosmic vending machine – God – supplementing the “vestiges of superstitious dogma” for philosophical rhetoric, political doctrine and material prosperity. In comparison to agrarian societies, postindustrial civilizations show that alarming decrease in religiosity. Such inference suggests with the rise of philosophical secularization paired with a greater resource of commodities, God subsequently converted into a theory amidst other theory. People trust social norms, state recognition and the status quo, so to speak, as a means to live life comfortably. And in this particular case, the American Dream is one of the most predominant undercurrents of the national embroidery.
The earliest defining characteristic of the American Dream was to provide equal opportunity for anyone and everyone to achieve happiness, success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative – a dream that has become scarcely recognizable from a nightmare. It ought to be said that the overarching idea by no means lacks respectable or responsible ethics, it is without a doubt honourable to earn what you work for. The fact of the matter is as we moved forward from wholesome family values to a sole-proprietorship minded society, such an ambition on the individual level, although appeared noble, neutral and free on the surface, was merely a marketing tactic away from being exploited – and that is exactly what happened – the pursuit of happiness became ‘manufacturable’ and what you earned was yours and yours alone. – How industrious!
Now I cannot blame the “Dream” for human conduct, in proper context that definition is not controversial. It is however an issue as a social initiative when that Dream is juxtaposed to the nature of what we believe to be real, true and virtuous because it means something very different. It is “success and prosperity” for what? – And for whom I might add? With the spike in moral relativism lured by the “love of money” and bolstered by the idea that material prosperity equals happiness, the means, motive and passion for living life quickly isolated normal intent to be about achieving goods and not being good all in the name of self-obsessed pleasure. This ethic is routinely countered in the Scriptures, most notably recorded in the book of Matthew.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [riches].
The excessive greed of Black Friday where hundreds of people are killed over toys, televisions or what not every year, the demanding expectation of holiday gifts, the gluttonous indulgence of food alongside the overabundant surplus of food wasted at supermarkets from non-purchased products. We don’t give – we expect others to earn. The American Dream has enterprised into a self-seeking circus of autonomous truth-makers. And mind you, it was never intended to mean that, it has only become to mean that because of the surrounding conditions and beliefs permeating in Western culture, specifically those waving the flag of materialism.
For a century plus, Western society has been steamrolling classical thought with what has become postmodern rhetoric. Insomuch as to remove metanarratives, overarching historical perspectives and the purpose for which underlies our cultural traditions. With the extraction of historical actuality and the ‘impossibility’ of authentic communication, the future seemingly became the only thing tangible for the next generation – and living for “right now” is the closest thing to it. That moment-by-moment appetite quickly monetized morality into a worthless commodity, one that distracts the immediacy of constant guilty pleasures, which inadvertently affects how we celebrate our traditions. As the traditional ways of thinking and tradition itself get removed from its purpose, the meaning of why swiftly falls into ambiguity.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
– 1 Timothy 6:6-10
Matlock Bobechko | December 15, 2016 – 3:39 PM EST
 The Jazz Singer, 1927. Directed by Alan Crosland, screenplay by Samson Raphaelson, adaptation by Alfred A. Cohn; based on the short story “The Day of Atonement” by Samson Raphaelson.
 Extracted from Garafraxa Film & Media Group’s Online Cinética Publication, Talkie Digital Journal: Modern Times and its Moral Pretensions, 1.
 Attend weekly religious services: 44% versus 20%; Pray daily: 52% versus 26%; Religion to be very important: 64% versus 20%; extracted from Conflicts and Tensions: Inglehart & Norris, Why Didn’t Religion Disappear? Re-Examining the Secularization Thesis, 256.
 Materialism refers to the material world, often associated as the ‘external’, perceptible to the senses, holds objective ‘true’ reality independent of the ‘internal’ mind or spirit; meaning mind or spirit is contingent upon material to exist necessarily. A materialist does not deny the existence of mental or spiritual processes but affirms that such ideals may emerge only as byproducts of material conditions moment rendering meaning, value, purpose and identity as monetary synthetic stimulants.
Matlock Bobechko is an eclectic Christian thinker and designer, award-winning short screenwriter and filmmaker. This is his on-going compilation of notes, poems, blogs and journals with additional written material under Extra. As a rule of thumb, a Journal entry will be longer with stronger academic appeal.