Why US citizens are so passive ???

Why Are Americans Passive as Millions Lose Their Homes,
Jobs, Families and the American Dream?

Lost the job, lost the home. My parents lost their home. My brother and
his wife lost their home. My children lost their jobs. How will we eat?
What will we do when it rains? Snows? (sigh) Oh well….Law and Order
is on at eight.
An unnatural economic and psychological disaster has struck America.
Five contributors, each interacting with and shaping the others, have
devastated the American moral, economic, psychological, and social
landscape. Each is fed by related streams, but each contributes its own
force to the disaster. The American dream in which each generation
surpassed the previous generation in real wages has all but disappeared,
along with dreams of an intact family, a steady job, a home, and an
honest supportive community.

This article looks at each of five collaborators in the crisis in order
to answer the following questions:

How did this happen? What forces are responsible?
expWhy are Americans passive as millions lose their homes, their jobs, their
families, their hopes of justice, and the American dream?
Why do Americans remain disorganized at home while their European and
Asian counterparts flood into the streets and strike in militant,
organized protest? Why do others believe in their potential to reclaim
their lives while we do not?

What happened is a result of at least five major, interrelated forces.
One is a transformation of American morality, and with it the loss of
belief that the social and political realms could be shaped by morality,
ethics, and secular spirituality. Another is an economic depression. A
third is a transformation of the family, which has been the foundation
of American emotional life. A fourth is the decimation of Americans’
social participation in all areas, from bridge clubs and PTAs to
political parties. A fifth is the tranquilizing and numbing of the
American population with psychotropic medications.

1. The Crisis in Morality and Social Ethics
Let us begin with the first of our contributors: American ethics,
morality, and spirituality. The same forces that decimated our economic,
psychological, and social landscapes have transformed our sense of
morality and social ethics. The shared dream of an ethical, moral
society that dominated the United States until the 1970s has
systematically eroded. In the 1960s it was common to believe that
morality and spirituality include a concern for all human beings, rich
and poor alike. The biggest push against those social ethics began with
Reagan’s presidency in 1981. It continued in Reagan’s second term and
was reinforced by each president until its (we hope) final act in the
presidency of George W. Bush.

Reagan’s basic ideology was that people are poor because they lack
incentives. He claimed that poor people’s noble drive to get rich is
eroded by social programs that permit them to survive or, in his term,
"freeload." In this framework, income tax cuts increase the incentive to
work and get rich, so all are expected to benefit from them. In 1980 the
highest incomes were taxed at 73 percent. In 2009 those same high
incomes were taxed at half that rate, 35 percent. Of course the
percentage of tax on the highest incomes is actually even lower, since
the wealthiest Americans can hire tax accountants to help them evade
taxes. Reagan used his famous veto power to cut a huge range of social
programs from biomedical research, to social security for disabled
Americans, to clean water, to expanded Head Start. At the same time, he
increased the military budget while decrying big government.

That pattern has been repeated ever since, which is how, according to
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United
States went from being the most egalitarian western industrialized
society in 1970 to the least egalitarian in 2009.

In addition, the Soviet model of socialism failed. It did not provide
the kind and ethical societies that are part of a socialist vision. The
mass of people believed that the Soviet Union was communism. Left-wing
class analyses of the failure of Soviet Communism, such as Bettelheim’s
in the late 1970s or Resnick and Wolff’s in 2002, were not widely read
or embraced. Both of those analyses demonstrate that the USSR and its
satellites exemplified class societies in which a bureaucratic class
appropriated wealth and made crucial decisions affecting the lives of
the mass of people. They explain that the USSR failed because it was not
a communist society. It was not a society in which the people in each
workplace decided what to produce, and also collected their own profits
and decided together how to distribute those profits. Because these
left-wing class interpretations were few and largely unembraced, a
socialist or communist dream seemed doomed to end in rigid,
bureaucratic, and undemocratic societies that were rejected by their own
people. People lost faith in a secular dream.

Slowly there has been a transformation of our morality and ethics. Where
our morality once required the United States to embody our ethics in the
world and empower all citizens, it has shifted so that our morality now
consists of requiring conservative personal and sexual behavior. Within
that morality Clinton committed an impeachable crime by lying about
having sex with an intern, while Bush and Cheney did not commit
impeachable crimes by lying about the threat from Iraq and thus causing
the deaths of over four thousand U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands
of Iraqi civilians, or by torturing prisoners. It is not considered
immoral to spend between six billion and twelve billion dollars a week
on the war in Iraq while cutting school and social programs for needy
families because "there is not enough money." The secular morality that
made America a proudly democratic and egalitarian nation has
deteriorated. We are experiencing a national moral, ethical, and
spiritual crisis.

2. The Dying of the Economic Dream
A second contributor to American passivity is the economic crisis from
which we are suffering. Let us look at our history in order to
understand what happened. From 1820-1970, the United States experienced
a unique period of ever-increasing prosperity. For 150 years, U.S.
salaries rose together with ever-increasing worker productivity. For 150
years, each generation was able to afford a better standard of living
than the generation that preceded it. That was the American dream.

Unlike their European counterparts, Americans did not enjoy
working-class solidarity with other workers whose families and social
organizations, unions and political parties were inflected by a history
of overt class struggle fought as proudly permanent members of the
working class. Europeans organized their working unions along political
lines. They fought for better conditions as part of the ideology of
long-term communist and socialist struggles for ownership and control of
their workplaces.

The U.S. labor movement is not informed by a struggle for worker
ownership of the businesses that produce U.S. goods and services.
Decisions about what to produce and the right to appropriate and
distribute profits are left to corporate boards of directors. Americans
accepted the capitalist system in which each generation had relatively
prospered. American labor fought for an increasing amount of income that
would permit workers to consume more goods and services, a system in
which each generation could move to jobs considered more prestigious and
lucrative within the capitalist hierarchy. Blue-collar workers’ children
could become white-collar, and white-collar children could become
professionals in the next generation (particularly if they were not just
white-collar but white, period). U.S. growth permitted ever-increasing
real wages and possibilities for consumption. Even in the Great
Depression from 1929-1939, real wages, the amount that one could buy
with one’s wages, were able to rise because prices fell even faster than

That ever-increasing prosperity stopped in 1970. By 1970 the
introduction of computers, better telecommunications, and more efficient
transportation enabled jobs to be outsourced to lower-paid workers
overseas. Competing factories in Europe and Japan, which had been
decimated by World War II, were now vying for U.S. markets. Then China
emerged as a manufacturing giant. Competition reduced the U.S. share of
both domestic and global markets. The outsourcing of American jobs to
cheaper labor markets was not stopped by militant unions, which were
unable to achieve the powerful "runaway shop" laws that were won in
other nations. Nor did militant unions force the creation of a tight
safety net to catch workers in financial distress.

For a long time, there was a relative scarcity of white male workers
available for the jobs reserved for white males in America’s racially
and sexually segregated job markets. White male workers, who were
accustomed to receiving increasing real wages and living a lifestyle of
ever-greater consumption, could no longer support their families on
their frozen wages. Americans’ sense of self worth was in large part
dependent on their net worth. They became increasingly depressed. Their
sense of personal value was cut with their salaries. This happened as
the advertising industry burgeoned. Advertising continuously and
relentlessly sells consumption as the path to happiness. Consumption was
undermined and with it stability, prosperity, and a sense of personal

3. What Produced the Crisis in Personal and Family Life?
Economic desperation pushed many more women into the labor force to
increase money for the household. Previous to the 1970s, most white,
nonimmigrant American women entered the labor force only in times of
particular and urgent family need: upon divorce, or if a husband died,
was ill, unemployed, or deserted his family. Women’s labor outside the
home provided some safety in times of emergency. In 1970, 40 percent of
U.S. women were in the labor force, mostly part time. By the year 2008,
75 percent of U.S. women were in the labor force, mostly full time. Many
women enjoyed the greater autonomy, variation, and creativity that jobs
could provide. Many others were forced by economic necessity to work
outside of their homes in routinized dead-end jobs with scarce
assistance from governmental supports for day care, after-school
programs, or elder care.

Women’s work outside of the home helped to improve the standard of
living for most families, but it did not compensate families for lost
white male wages. Women’s wage work imposes not only the obvious
expenses of additional clothing and transportation, but also the costs
of purchasing some of the goods and services that women previously
produced at home free of charge, such as cooking, mending, cleaning,
shopping, and child care. Those goods and services are crucial. Once
they become commodified in the marketplace, they become expensive. The
latest figures from Salary.com indicate that if a stay-at-home mother in
the United States were replaced by paid domestic products and services,
the cost would be $122,732 a year. The domestic products produced and
services rendered by a mom who works outside of the home would cost
$76,184 per year.

Even with women flooding into the labor force, families were still
financially hurting. Working women had no time to perform full-time
household labor and child care, and there was still not enough money for
consumption. More money was accumulating at the top while the mass of
Americans suffered from frozen wages. The wealthy then promoted the
credit card to lend to Americans the money that they formerly would have
earned in growing wages. Families became dependent on credit card debt.
Since the interest rate on credit cards ranges from 15 percent to 25
percent, Americans descended into debt at record-breaking levels.

The living standard of Americans deteriorated psychologically as well.
In American culture, women provide most of the emotional labor to make
home a warm and comfortable place for men and children. It is women who
usually arrange children’s social lives and activities, from play dates
to dental appointments. Women are usually the directors of adult social
life as well. Indeed, women are usually in charge of emotional life for
the entire family. The more women work outside of the home without
social support in the form of child care programs and domestic help, the
more stressed, overworked, and emotionally unavailable they become.
Overwhelmed women have less energy for the roles of social director and
organizer, as well as emotional and physical caregiver. Households are
hurting emotionally. When Bush took office in 2000, he cut many of the
already hobbled social programs that allowed families to survive.
Families are in trouble.

Women are no longer willing to work outside of the home, do the lion’s
share of the domestic work, and simultaneously take care of their
children’s and husbands’ physical and emotional needs largely unaided
either by their husbands or by social programs. For the first time in
American history, the majority of women are abandoning marriage. Women
now initiate two-thirds of divorces. Half of first marriages and 60
percent of second marriages end in legal separation or divorce. These
impressive figures do not include the many people who end their
marriages outside of the legal system.

When men’s emotional relationships with women break down, they have
little intimate emotional support. Women usually count on other women to
emotionally sustain them. Women still manage to befriend and support
each other on a personal level in a way that few men can. These changes
in households and family life are a third tributary to America’s deluge
of disaster. Americans have lost both the financial dream of
ever-increasing prosperity and consumption, and also the emotional
family dream of a stable family connected by a present wife creating
emotional connection and domestic order. In short, Americans have lost
what was the comfort of home.

4. Americans’ Increasing Isolation from One Another
A fourth disaster is closely related. The freeze in U.S. real wages
coincided with the beginning of Americans’ increasing isolation from one
another. Beginning once again in the 1970s, nearly all social
connections between Americans declined. The decay in U.S. social life
was an almost total phenomenon. It extended from inviting friends to
dinner, to joining bridge clubs or bowling leagues, to volunteering for
noncontroversial activities such as the PTA or Red Cross blood drives,
to participating in more controversial activities such as working for a
cause or a political candidate.

There was growth in social participation in evangelical religious
groups; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) groups; internet
groups; and self-help groups. However, membership in self-help groups,
America’s greatest social participation growth area, was outnumbered two
to one by drop-outs from bowling leagues alone, according to Robert
Putnam’s 2000 book, Bowling Alone, which I have drawn on for statistics
throughout this section.

Several inconclusive theories have emerged as to why Americans have
dropped out of U.S. social life and civic life.

Women dropping out of social activities because of working full time
outside of the home accounts for only 10 percent of the overall dropout

One might attribute U.S. social desertion to the phenomenon of busyness,
but that too is an insufficient explanation. The average American
watches four hours of television a day, which would be difficult to
manage with an intensely busy schedule. The Internet may seem like a
replacement for social interaction, but the Internet isolates people as
well as connects them.

Extensive television viewing may be a culprit since more people relate
to their television sets than to each other, and the heaviest viewing
correlates to the least social participation. But surely this is a
symptom as much as a cause of the problems that isolate Americans. I say
this because extensive television viewing is reported by the viewers
themselves as so unsatisfying that it leaves them "not feeling so good."
Their descriptions portray it as an addiction that compels without
satisfying. An overwhelming number of viewers watch for the purpose of
distraction or entertainment. Television functions as an escape from
loneliness, changed gender expectations, and looming economic disaster.

Perhaps the greatest reason is that Americans are psychologically and
also physically exhausted. They have fewer vacations and longer
workweeks than any of their Western European counterparts. Activity in
society, including activity in politics, has become a luxury good for
those fortunate few who have extra time and energy. The Left’s natural
constituency, the mass of Americans, is exhausted, disillusioned, and in
despair. To add to their despair, the tremendous wealth at the top of
society has been used to fund right-wing media outlets like Fox News, to
name just one example. Right-wing media promote the idea that there is
no alternative to the status quo. At the same time, the skewed
distribution of wealth allows vast sums to be given to politicians who
advance the fortunes of those who pay their way. Immense wealth is
invested in weakening the regulations against enormous giving at the
top. These developments increase the conviction that ordinary people
make no difference in politics. They have no voice. The force of the
Left is further weakened.

5. The Drugging of America
The fifth tributary that helped to create our deluge of disaster is both
a cause and an effect of America’s social breakdown. This is the numbing
of Americans with psychotropic drugs. In 2006, Americans, who make up
approximately 6 percent of the world’s population, consumed 66 percent
of the world’s supply of antidepressants. In 2002, more than 13 percent
of Americans were taking Prozac alone. Prozac is one of thirty available
antidepressants. Anti-anxiety drugs, such as Zoloft, are so widely
prescribed that in the year 2005, the $3.1 billion sales of Zoloft
exceeded the sales for Tide detergent.

Many of these drugs, which are also called "cosmetic drugs" or
"life-enhancing drugs," are diagnosed for loneliness, sadness, life
transitions, or concentration on task performance. They have been
"normalized" through extensive direct-to-consumer advertising and
marketing to doctors who are financially rewarded for recommending them
to colleagues. Regulations that once restrained the widespread promotion
and sales of these powerful drugs have been relaxed to the point of near
nonexistence. The United States is the only Western nation that permits
direct-to-consumer drug advertising. We are also the only nation without
price controls on drugs. Psychiatric drugs are so ubiquitous that the
pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable industry in America, and
antidepressants are their most profitable products.

What Can We Do?
The current disaster did not just happen with the recent burst of the
stock market and housing bubbles. Americans somewhere knew for a long
time that we could not pay our credit card bills or our mortgages.
Somewhere, unconsciously, we had to know that disaster was approaching.
We responded with denial, withdrawal, depression, and dissociation
accomplished with the aid of extensive television viewing and
preoccupation with scandals and celebrities.

Each of the five tributaries flowed together to drown the mass of
Americans in debt, family dissolution, isolation, and drug-induced
apathy. In response to the original questions that inspired this
article, we now need to ask another question: what can we do about it?
Americans may now be looking for change. They elected a president who
promised change. That change has not happened. Where else can we look?

Capitalism needs and breeds consumerism. We are surrounded by
advertisements for products. Ubiquitous advertising has a blighting side
effect. The presentation of all human connection now carries a price tag
for a branded product. Scenes of connection with a group of friends
include, for example, Budweiser beer. The devoted mother is washing your
clothes with Tide. The sexy woman, whom men want and women want to be,
seems to come with the sleek Toyota. Ads appear whenever we turn on our
computers or read newspapers or magazines. Product placement is present
in almost every film. Television, America’s mass entertainment, embraces
product placement and explicit advertising directed to all ages.
Capitalist consumerism coveys the message that relationships happen with
and through products. There are too few scenes of people trying honestly
to connect and surmount their real economic, social, and emotional
problems through honest discussion and negotiation. We need more images
of people who enjoy their connection and work through the difficult
times involved in creating close, mutual, nurturing relationships. How
do we manage to effect change within this environment? Where are the
contradictions that create openings?

A Time When Noncommercial Values Are Attractive
One opportunity for change has emerged due to the recent capitalist
collapse, which has intensified American suffering. People can no longer
afford the brand-name products seen on TV. Their economic woes reveal
the relentless hustling of now unaffordable consumer products. They try
generics, unknown brands, and less consumption, and often find them just
as good. This presents us with an opening to question. New,
noncommercial values can form.

Since Americans are hooked on the mass media, and the media loves
anything new, the Left can create media-attracting new actions. The
anarchist group that formed around a book called The Coming Insurrection
got full media attention when a well-publicized group jumped on stage at
Barnes & Noble in New York for a spontaneous reading that began,
"Everyone agrees it’s about to explode." The action was widely covered
for its novelty.

We can look to the four areas that have grown in the current social
drought. They are, in order of their growth, self-help groups, internet
groups, evangelical church groups, and GLBT groups.

Self-Help Groups
The largest self-help groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics
Anonymous. Alcohol and drugs have proved to be a personal and social
disaster for millions of Americans, who cannot function on the job and
suffer havoc in their personal lives due to these substances. Huge
alcohol and pharmaceutical lobbies push these substances on individuals
desperate for relief from their problems. The individual solution of
self-medicating with drugs and alcohol-promoted so efficiently by
capitalism-failed terribly. In the face of that failure, millions join
together in small groups where they share their pain and suffering
within a supportive, nonjudgmental collective that operates without
salaries, advertisements, or financial charges. These twelve-step groups
give the Left a window of possibility. We can add a thirteenth step to
their twelve-step programs. We can add a step to organize against big
pharmaceutical and liquor advertising, which profits on false promises.
The Left desperately needs to address people’s despair and give them
support. We can learn to incorporate nonjudgmental personal and
political support, as well as psychological and political dimensions, to
Left groups where both nonjudgmental attitudes and psychological support
have been sadly lacking. The Left has tried too hard to focus on being
correct and not enough effort on reaching people where they are hurting.
We need to listen to people without judgment as they do in twelve-step

The GLBT Movement
We can also study the contradictions that helped to produce GLBT
organizations. Advertising creates omnipresent images of happiness
accessed though products that relate to sexual attractiveness. The sexy
woman rides in the man’s sleek new car. The virile man drives a big
truck and smokes Marlboros. Multibillion-dollar industries such as the
diet, cosmetic, and fashion industries promote products to enhance
sexual attractiveness. Popular culture celebrates heterosexual coupling
and family as ultimate happiness while avoiding mention of collective
joys or homosexuality.

The GLBT movement works to include those in their identity group who are
excluded from the grand celebration of personal couple happiness built
around sexual pairing. The very pressure to channel complex desires into
heterosexual coupling helped lead GLBT people to, as a group, articulate
collective visions of resistance and envision new possibilities.

Since most families and relationships are breaking down, American people
desperately need connection. Organizing creates connection. Collective
dreams have a chance to replace the individualistic desires cultivated
in capitalist America.

What We Can Learn From Evangelicals’ Failures … and Successes
Conservative evangelical groups create a collective vision and
connection while celebrating capitalist success as God’s blessing. They
provide some of what people desperately need and the Left ignores, such
as strong verbal support for important work in the home and a focus on
the hard work of child rearing. Conservative evangelicals manage to
accomplish this while sex role stereotyping that labor, as well as
opposing every form of non-church-based material support that actually
allows families to stay afloat. They typically oppose single-payer
health plans, Head Start for all, sex education (unless
abstinence-based), family planning, maternity and paternity benefits,
minimum wage hikes, etc. In the end they cannot deliver the support that
families need. The savior they pray to has not saved them from financial
and personal desperation and divorce.

Evangelicalism’s reduction of morality to personal morality and
particularly sexual morality has an embarrassing side effect. Googling
"evangelical scandals" results in 3,729,000 hits in five seconds.
Evangelical scandals have resulted in reduced credibility. There is now
an opportunity for the wider ethical spiritual morality of the community
associated with Tikkun and left-leaning evangelicals connected to
Sojourners who develop their social, economic, personal, and political
morality, and who see political activity as an expression of morality
taken into the world. We on the Left have an opportunity to champion our
own moral, ethical, and spiritual vision to Americans who desperately
need both morality and hope for a better world. Evangelical promotion of
the centrality of personal connection and family gives the Left an
opening to advocate material and psychological support for all kinds of
families. The Left urgently needs a family program to address the mass
breakdown of U.S. homes and families.

The evangelical groups can, ironically show us what we are missing. The
failure of evangelical morality, which excludes social, economic, and
political morality, may create an opening for a much-needed left-wing
program of social, political, economic, and personal ethics and morality
for which many hunger.

Internet Organizing
There are explicitly political possibilities afforded by the net.
MoveOn.org and other political groups organize and mobilize through the
Web. In Iran, members of the opposition evaded censors, communicated
with each other, and aroused national and international support through
Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook account of Neda Soltani’s murder
focused Iran and the world on the violent repression of Mousavi’s
supporters. That possibility exists here.

The four social growth groups springing up in America’s desert of
political opposition point out possible avenues for a Left that
desperately needs direction. Let us return to our original questions:

Why are Americans passive as millions lose their homes, their jobs,
their families, and the American dream?

Why do Americans remain at home, disorganized, while their European
counterparts flood into the streets in militant, organized protests? How
did this happen? What forces are responsible? We can see that the cycles
of capitalism with its relentless need for consumer spending and capital
accumulation at the top have devastated America. We can also see that
unbridled capitalism has created mass suffering and then turned the rage
of those who suffer against all who need governmental assistance and
against additional scapegoats such as homosexuals, feminists, liberals,
socialists, and immigrants. We can create new roads to reclaim this
nation by organizing and activating the mass of Americans who know that
the ostensible "recovery" will never return what they have lost. We
dared to elect a president who championed change verbally, who
campaigned on unity and respect for all, and who preserves the
structures that destroyed our lives. En masse, we have turned to
self-help groups, evangelists, psycho-pharmaceutical drugs, and sexual
identity politics, which do not solve the multifaceted crisis in which
we are drowning. America needs another way. Perhaps we can provide it?

Harriet Fraad is a psychotherapist-hypnotherapist in practice in New
York City. She is a founding member of the feminist movement and the
journal Rethinking Marxism. For forty years, she has been a radical
committed to transforming U.S. personal and political life.

English Economic/Holistic Philosopher Philip Dawes adds to these points:
There are two basic problems in the U.S. that are the primary causes of the

sheeple subservient compliant mentality; both of these problems started around
the same time:
a.) The public school system of education where indoctrination, disinformation
and obedience to authority were the primary objectives in around the 1960’s,
which continues today.
b.) Fluoridation of the drinking water systems in most states starting around
the 1960’s. The medical reasons given for fluoridation are 100 percent false,
namely that fluorides helps prevent tooth decay; the reverse is the case! It
actually causes tooth decay. There are two reasons, or perhaps three, why
fluoride was added to drinking water:

(i.) The effect of fluoride on the brain creates a damping down of the
aspirational functions, thereby producing a subservient compliant outlook and
acceptance of authority and control.
(ii.) Fluoride, which is a number one high toxin, is a byproduct of the aluminium

smelting and related industries, and is difficult and expensive to process and
make safe; therefore the population is used as the release or discharge
mechanism for its end use.
(iii.) The diversion of fluoride to the water and toothpaste industries created a

substantial new business in its own right, where the profits from its waste
product origin became enormous.
Thus the system of subjugation and control of the population by the criminal

elite has been a long time in preparation.



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