American Fall Apart

Kevin Nguyen Professor Dulaney English 122 October 8, 2012 Will America Collapse? Did you ever stop to think though the richest country in the world, the United States, known to be the country where all dreams come true; it seems like over the generations it has fallen apart? I mean come on now we don’t even have to open the news to know that this world is falling apart, yet we sit in our own confusion as to why our own country is in despair.
Despite being one of the most successful countries in the world we struggle to be one of the best due to individual struggles and needs, as we strive for more individualistic freedoms, we limit our strive to become a better country as a whole. When we look at a country as a whole what better idea than to target the head of state, the government for all the problems that we face in the United States. Yes we can say that most of our problems has a correlation with the government but as a whole country, everyone contributes to this idea of a capitalist society just by being a part of it.
Because many of our United States citizens have learnt to work the capitalist system, we’ve as humans learnt how to be selfish not caring for others desires, and most other’s needs. We’ve somehow forgot what it means to be righteous, and have been influenced by society that feeding for ourselves is what will get you through. Through our actions, we have become a cold generation, and desirable one, like the economist just like author Anthony Burgess says, the United States, known to be the country where all dreams come true, seems like over the generations it has fallen apart.

When we look at a country as a whole, there is no better target to blame than the government and denunciate them straight away for our downfall. Yes we can say that most of it has to do with the government but as a whole country, everyone is at fault and they just look for ways to pass it off as, “How is it my fault? ” it’s the presidents fault for not fixing all our problems he’s the leader and he’s not doing a good job otherwise we would be become more successful as a country rather than decline.
Despite the fact that America is still one of the best places to live due to financial opportunities and freedom, if United States continues its course that it is going on America is doom to fall in the future due to our people not being united under the same cause. Individualism and freedoms will become the ultimate downfall to this glorious nation. “Is America Falling Apart? ” an essay by Anthony Burgess critiques the United States.
Burges, a British citizen lived in New Jersey a year in the 1970s while being a visiting professor at Princeton University and expressed his opinion of what is wrong with America. Anthony Burgess wrote “Is America Falling Apart? ” to highlight the faults of America with the hope that America would change rather than disintegrate. The central theme of his essay was that America was too individualistic and would benefit from giving up some of that individualism in order to be a healthier society. Where private ownership prevails, public amenities decay or are prevented from coming into being” (Burgess 287). His view of American individualism and how America needs to change is warped by his limited experience of large metropolitan areas and believing those experiences gave him an understanding of America. Burgess claims that Americans are finally realizing that obtaining goods is not the primary goal of life. I agree on his statement that America is focusing too much on individual needs and destroys others by striving to heights on their own.
I truly believe that if America gave up some freedom and sacrificed some of it for the whole country we can benefit a lot in our society and we can continue to be one of the most successful countries in the world. Burgess also states, “America, the world’s biggest consumer is the world’s biggest polluter,” using examples such as the Los Angeles smog and the tons of garbage Americans produce. Besides having terrible schools and government, Burgess wants the United States to have a more socialist view on our government just like Britain or Canada.
Although he is highly critical of America, he wants to return there because of its importance in the world’s future. Many may argue that Burgess’ analysis of the United States is mostly wrong, but is the trouble not being caused by our very own citizens? One may argue that Americans are not greedy but are the most generous people on Earth. Americans are known for charity and not just through government programs. But having these charity programs do not outweigh the poverty the other countries face. As an American, I believe we do have a problem with the consumerism and pollution to the extent that he claims.
Although, there is pollution in the United States, many people would compare it to China however despite China’s pollution problem, their population as a whole country more than doubles our United States population. The United States individual ecological footprint for individual citizens outweighs an individual that lives in China. Burgess has concluded with some solutions that may fix our problems here in the United States and although many of our citizens may not like it, it seems like a very viable option.
Burgess proposed more socialism as the solution for America (291). The dilemma is that when the government becomes involved in any area of life, freedoms are taken away. For example, Vietnam is perfect examples in which the choices we made were very much socialistic. Although the Vietnam War was a very controversial topic, the fact that our country united under the draft helped to fight for one cause, and again although it may not have been the best idea, nonetheless it did unite us and made us as a country stronger to fight in the war.
Many may argue that freedom is what made this country the great place that it is and the pursuit of one’s individual happiness is never a bad thing so why strip such great roots. Although I agree that I also love my freedoms to do what I want where I want very much, I do not like the idea of letting a thousand suffer just for my individual freedoms, if I had my freedoms striped away tomorrow in exchange for others people prospering so be it. As long as all those who suffer without anything that are living on the streets get proper living conditions.
For example, I was at the gas station the other day and this lady came up to me begging for help, begging for her life and I see all the suffering she has gone through with her cold eyes and her rotting teeth and bad hygiene. While I was standing there listening to her story all that came into my head was I have so much more in my life than this lady and why does she deserve to suffer so much and sleep on the street while I go home to a nice warm house. Was it just the matter of luck being born in the right place at the right time into the right family?
So the idea of America being individualistic creates a big gap in society, the rich, the middle class, and poverty. This will make America as a whole crumble more as we get more homeless and poor people every day and help is out of their reach. Although at first the idea of socialism is completely denied by a lot of United States citizen’s, there are many cases in which Socialism works and does not interfere so much in one’s life. I wanted to experience what living conditions were like first hand by talking to someone who actually lived in one of the top communist countries today, China. Well, I grew up in China and I kind of had a really happy childhood. My family was alright with enough money for luxuries and stuff, and there are a lot of people so I was never bored and had so many friends to play with. It was a happy life. Though one thing was when you enter adulthood things start to get stressful especially from work, but otherwise it’s a good life (She Smiles) just cause there are many people to hang around and chat with yeah and not many racism issues since everyone is the same so there were less hatred, and don’t listen to other people about china being communist and bad, they’re idiots that have never been there”.
After talking to her I got the vibe that she favors the communist government and she thinks nothing wrong of it and judging by her tone of voice she loved life in China. After she tells me this I push on to ask her would you rather live in a free nation like the United States or would you rather return to Communist China? She replies again that it is not as bad as many people make it out to be and that understands that China does what it does to benefit the whole country so she wouldn’t mind, in the end she said she would rather live in China just because she is more comfortable there.
Analyzing our conversation, I realized that it just depends on the type of environment you are born in and in China everyone should be born as equals and therefore China there is less individual strive to be better and therefore no competition which ultimately leaves no pain and suffering anybody has to face. Political arguments about the justice of economic inequality in America do not challenge these basic assumptions. From the republican view the argument is that the race or pursuit of happiness is indeed fair; the poor have failed to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them and to everyone else and so deserve their poverty.
The argument from the democrats is the reverse; the playing field is not level, therefore those players who fail are not at fault and should be helped to achieve equality. In the article “How Capitalism differs from Socialism” the author Rosemary Peavler states that “Capitalist economies are money-driven without much regard for people unless they are owners or shareholders of business firms. In a capitalist economy, there is fierce competition and, perhaps, unfair competition”.
This so called fierce competition will make the rich become even richer while the poor become poorer and it will also create tension and dispute among people. Both sides accept without debate a cultural belief inherited from getting their views influenced by their peers as they are growing up, however ultimately many people believe that to seriously escape poverty they must really strive for it, if you are the lazy type that does not strive for a better tomorrow then many claim they do not deserve aid.
But eventually it all leads back to that idea of individualism and the needs that a person requires, it’s just a never ending struggle for individual dominance which will lead to then fall of America with this selfish mindset intact. Personally I support the democratic view in society and I very much agree that not everyone is granted the equal opportunity to life as some were born into poverty and they cannot do anything to prevent that.
The republican argument will probably use people that rose from rags to riches but what are the chances that majority of the people living in poverty rise to riches, it is highly unlikely. Therefore we I agree with the democratic view of more government interaction (Socialism) rather than more individualism to unite the country and strive for a better nation as a whole, “Through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves” (Abraham Lincoln). Many may argue that we fought so hard to achieve this level of freedom and opportunity why would you want to just throw it all away?
I believe that all the freedom and opportunities were bestowed on us to help the people live a better life and we did back then when the poverty line was relatively low, however nowadays the same freedom and opportunities are restricting a lot of the people therefore I believe it some of it should be stripped to help those in needs because I at the end of the day believe that America does not completely stand for freedom and opportunity but it stands for helping people in their time of need. There will always be a never ending debate about how do we reach the next level?
How do we strive for a better future? How do we prevent ourselves from repeating the horrible things in the past? How do we keep America from falling apart? Although there may not be one right answer, I truly believe that having more socialistic ideas implanted in America can truly give that wiggle room to achieve higher greatness then where we are now. In the end our nation will never truly prosper if we do not unite as a country as a whole and neglect our individual needs more and think about all those who are less fortunate than us. If we become more considerate and sacrifice our eeds for others we can truly become the great nation we were once again. A great president once said: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. * John F. Kennedy Note to Dulaney I decided to choose this topic because this particular subject always interested me and I myself believed that America isn’t what it used to be and it is falling apart. When I did some research I was amazed with what I found and it made me think deeply about the so what if America is a capitalist society and my views have changed drastically.
Although so people may call me a communist now, I truly believe that socialism works better than capitalism. Capitalism is a greedy form of government and I now see clearly why the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer. The gap is only getting bigger as the days go by and I often get scared of the thought of our society just collapsing one day into the Great Depression, Riots, War etc. All these are results of having capitalist society. By having a socialist government, they shall keep the peace and maintain everything and everyone but however I would still protest if the things they did were uncalled for.
But most choices they make should make sense as the make choices for the population as a whole. Bibliography Burgess, Anthony. “Is America Falling Apart. ” The Norton Reader. Ed. Linda Peterson, John Bereton, Joseph Bizup, Anne Fernald, & Melissa Goldthwaite. 13th ed. Ner York; W. W. Norton & company, 2012. 295-304. Print Pleaver, Rosemary. “How capitalism and Socialism Differ”. Website http://bizfinance. about. com/od/smallbusinessissues/qt/CapvsSoc. htm

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