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The Big Answer

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Literacies of Power: What Americans Are Not Allowed to Know

a book by Donaldo Macedo

(our site's book review)

After a boring lecture on political correctness, left-wing politics, the hypocrisy in the Pledge of Allegiance, the oppression of minorities, and bilingualism and racism, he complains about Reagan’s partial dismantling of the social safety nets, which he claims support family values.

Highly motivated Americans can strive for and achieve much of the American dream, and get their share of the American pie—but these are smaller shares than in the last century due to rich people's greed
Highly motivated Americans can strive for and achieve much of the American dream, and get their share of the American pie—but these are smaller shares than in the last century due to rich people's greed

All reasonably intelligent, motivated Americans can strive for and achieve much of the American dream, and get their share of the American pie, although it's more difficult since the 2008 economic nosedive. All those that work hard and think smart can get school money and decent Social Security checks someday . The fact that some people don’t make much of an effort to take advantage of these opportunities doesn’t mean they don’t exist, and those that don’t even try aren’t automatically to be considered oppressed masses, even though Marx would have us believe otherwise (but recall that Marx has been thoroughly discredited). One caveat here is that the 1% are getting greedier by the year, taking bigger slices and leaving less for the rest of us (99%ers).

Since the young will not find jobs waiting for them once they begin their job searches—even with a college degree in hand—there is starting to be a realization among parents that their offspring will either be hanging around their house playing loud music and eating lots of expensive junk food they cannot pay for, or they'll be off to the military. Parents don't want their offspring in danger, but at least they'll learn a "trade" and get some money for college. Typically, service-members who have received an honorable discharge are eligible for up to 36 months of education benefits, or roughly $37,000, or $11,000 for reservists.

Are those that don’t even try automatically to be considered oppressed masses, or just pathetic slackers?
Are those that don’t even try automatically to be considered oppressed masses, or just pathetic slackers?

There's a widening income gap between rich and poor
There's a widening income gap between rich and poor

And this leads us to this familiar set of basic liberal myths: those that have not are victims, those that have are oppressors, those that have owe not just money but apologies to the Have-nots, Have-nots are victims—especially minorities, it’s the responsibility of big government to right the terrible wrongs the Haves are perpetrating on the Have-nots, social engineering is a viable way for society to make life equitable for all, social engineering works, social engineering is a reputable and effective means for righting social wrongs, whenever entrepreneurs get and less motivated or lazy people don’t get it proves that someone has done wrong to someone, it is helpful that the Hollywood liberal elites keep pushing the “injustices” and inequalities of our system in our face so we’ll keep caring for our oppressed (“oppressed” people—defined as anyone with less than anyone else), who should protest and complain and not be so naïve as to buy into the corrupt system by getting a lower paying job—which is all they’re qualified for . . . ad nauseam. All liberal myths.

Not only Hollywood and media in general perpetuate this hogwash, but the countries of the world that have not done as well as the U.S. also spread this dogma at every opportunity, making the U.S.’s experience at the U.N. quite unpleasant much of the time. Their strategy is to have their sheer numbers (most people in the world are poor) shift world opinion in the direction of the idea that they have less and we have more so we are oppressors and they are oppressed and we planned to make them poor and we do everything we can to keep them that way and we should share the wealth we worked for with those that have less. This argument’s self-serving transparency is an embarrassment to the world community; but, in spite of its naïveté, it is quite popular in foreign or liberal circles worldwide. Al-Qaeda loves to bellyache about us in such terms.

It reminds one of the fairy tale (The Little Red Hen) in which everyone wanted to eat the bread but none would help with the work it took to get the bread made, so the one that did all the work—once the bread was baked—was the one who ate it, while those that sat on their tails complaining that they were too tired or busy to help with the bread got none. In bleeding-heart liberal theory, those that got none are oppressed victims of the oppressor who did all the work. Obviously, such dogma is never going to be a constructive force in helping to get the world working, people cooperating, people understanding one another, or equality and justice spreading. It will merely polarize, stigmatize, and turn up the volume on whining and the frequency of acting out.

The Little Red Hen
The Little Red Hen

The author may be right about the ineffectiveness of bureaucracies, the hopelessness of the cause of the conservative nostalgics who want to take us all back to the fifties, the ugliness of racism and sexism, and the hopelessness of the Vietnam War, but his pushing of political correctness, bilingualism, and victimhood for nearly everyone not white is not constructive nor is it well thought out. He makes out America to be a villian and a monster that has oppressed everything and everyone throughout history (only partially true)—see The Concise Untold History of the United States. What about Native Americans? The author says they were victims. But see Political Killings—Genocide. The victim thing went both ways.

He needs to go back and reread his history and realize that the only reason the world isn’t a Nazi superstate right now is because America saved it. He needs to realize that even though he is half right and America has often been—and is still being—a villian and a monster, it is also true that Americans are helping the people of the world all the time, and in many ways (charities, Doctors without Borders, micro-loans, Peace Corps, food surplus donations, entrepreneurialism training, immunization programs, medicine, etc.). And he needs to understand that the reason that all Americans need to learn to speak English and appreciate and understand the significance of our democracy and heritage is that democracy is a delicate institution that needs support, participation, nurturing and understanding, and that freedom will prevail only if we’re vigilant.


In the 20th century, some relatively benign governments were supplanted by totalitarianism, fascism, state socialism and oppressive oligarchy when those enjoying the benign government’s fruits spent all their time undermining and slandering it (unfortunately, the U.S. was part of this undermining). Granted, this complainer has some good points, but, nevertheless, if this Boston liberal dislikes this country so much, why doesn’t he go somewhere he does like? After all, we wouldn’t want to oppress the poor fellow! He's a Cape Verdean immigrant from West Africa, so his attitudes are predictable—no one from Africa seems to like the U.S.! (However, sadly see The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)

It’s not just 'love it or leave it,' after all. It’s 'love it or lose it.'
It’s not just 'love it or leave it,' after all. It’s 'love it or lose it.'

It is true—like he says—that nation-states are becoming more obsolete every day in our global world, and irrational nationalism or hypernationalism merely serves to generate xenophobia, trade barriers and we-them mentality, and such forces only stall the acceptance of the needed forces of the Third Wave and the new, ecological-holistic paradigm. Global worldviews are not, however, incompatible with strong patriotic sentiments. In fact, strong patriotic sentiments toward one’s national democracy are an insurance policy against the less benign political systems waiting in the wings to dominate not just America but the world. It’s not just “love it or leave it,” after all. It’s “love it or lose it.” And patriotism is not intrinsically win-lose. One needn’t hate other nations in order to love one’s own.

However, if he'd written the book in the last year, he'd admittedly have much to bitch about: see the Obama part of Health Care Costs in the second half of the page. But since people like Donaldo Macedo are the type that get ass clowns like Obama elected in the first place, he'd probably wax poetic, not bitch. You can't win!