The United States – A People Losing its Identity

The United States of America is no longer united. It’s being divided by its own devices and it’s unknowingly dividing and infecting the rest of the world. 

Capitalism, the nature of the system, the nervous system of the U.S., is working to perfection. The American Dream is turning into a nightmare. While millions of people go without the white fence, many millions more aren’t satisfied with just a white fence. More, more, more…that’s the name of the game. Your success and identity is defined by not only what you own, but how much.

“The Business” dictates and is successfully segmenting and dividing people in order to market their brands and identity. The more they can segment and divide the people, the more opportunity they have to make money…selling to four individuals is certainly much more profitable than selling to one family. Four iPods will make Apple more money than one.

One of your biggest and most inherent needs is physical human contact and compassion. One business sells you products that divide and minimalize physical human interaction, while another tries to sell you exactly that.

They are transforming us into the Me Generation, the iGeneration, whatever you want to call it…you’re being segmented, bought, sold, and toyed with. You are losing your identity and it’s only becoming harder to find. As a generally compassionate and caring species, we are sacrificing ourselves for our distractions. Shiny colored balls are all around us and we’re constantly chasing after them.

If you were in an intimate relationship with The Businesses, you would be screaming rape. And rightfully so, because you are being fucked and don’t even know it.

Millions of businesses are aiming at you and firing with everything they have, and the people are too busy dodging bullets to fire back. Everywhere you go, you’re cornered and bombarded with advertisements that are designed to pull at the heartstrings of your innermost desires, your fears, and your insecurities.  And once they’ve got you in their grasp, even within reach, they can use and manipulate you to the point where they are replacing your desires with their own.

You’re too fat, too thin, unhealthy, lonely, depressed, insecure…There’s always something wrong with you. You need this, this, this, this, and that to help make you better. People you don’t even know are telling you what you should be. They’re buying your identity and then selling it right back to you.

You ever wonder what the meaning of life is? The meaning of life is really pretty simple. It’s what YOU want it to be. And it’s being confident and honest in your decisions and assessment of yourself. While everyone is trying to give you their version of what life is or should be and what they think you need, you’ve got to be increasingly more aware of their motive, their message, and most importantly, you need to be increasingly more aware of yourself and how these things affect you.


14 Responses to The United States – A People Losing its Identity

  1. r d lee says:

    Excellent! A superb article on the malaise of the United States. Short, crisp and thought provoking.

    Having read how much Messr’s Clinton and Obama are raising to become President it makes one wonder if democracy is nothing more than a bloated dollar.

    Thanks for a fascinating read. I shall now go and watch Easy Rider.


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  3. Meek says:

    yes, excellent!

    it’s funny that it seems many people are saying that only recently we’ve achieved the correct number of countries? evolution of human nature and politics have ostensibly made us desire governing a smaller, more representative piece of land than the last guy and this is simply going on and on and on…no reason for us to think our generation hit the jackpot and got it just right is there?

    the other thing is that this subdivision affect is exactly the american dream (well…american government dream anyway) – it’s called imperialism. this country isn’t satisfied with hegemony only; its leaders insist upon colonialism…at least it does in countries that have oil.

    i’m in advertising/marketing…i write a blog that maintains a cynical, critical, sarcastic and sardonic approach to the topic of exactly those messages about convincing you that you’re fat, miserable, have restless legs at night, it’s not your fault you’re fat despite the fact you eat shit every day and never get off the couch, etc, etc, etc.

    thumbs up!

  4. dan says:

    Really excellent!

    It’s the first very sincere and honest text that I read from an american* criticizing their way fo life, the American Dream.

    The last thing that I heard from an american* was: “I support the war, I support my president and I don’t care about people dying by the war…” and I can say that wasn’t a good impression. =/

    * read: north-americans, or better: people who borned in the US of A. I’m american. A south-american. [And sorry if I made some mistake writing in your language.]

  5. dan says:

    P.S. “The meaning of life is really pretty simple.” — great!

  6. Nigel says:

    I like your article — particularly the image of us chasing after shiny balls we can never seem to catch… that captures the feeling well. Reading your post reminded me of a book called The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain De Botton. You should get it from the library some time — in particular chapter two.

  7. […] 5th, 2007 in Politics According to Moment of Clarity, Americans are losing their identities. In today’s post are some interesting thoughts about what our country is really becoming. And this is a bit […]

  8. Marie says:

    I’m glad someone’s actually criticizing the US. We may be good, and for all I know we may be the best, but we’re still far from perfect. People now assume everything’s already laid out for us, but we gotta keep working to make things the way they need to be here.

    Have you read “feed” by M.T. Anderson? It’s kinda futuristic, but it also has the whole “They’re buying your identity and then selling it right back to you” theme, so you may enjoy it.

  9. bootslavewilliam says:

    Well written and observed, but that is the nature and essence of Capitalism! Nothing new in what you have analysed. It’s just that it’s all reached a crazier pitch than ever. Imagine what a pitch it will all be operating at in, say, 10 or 20 years. It will get worse, without a doubt, because for Capitalism to function, it cannot stay still, otherwise the economy is “stagnating” or is even in recession. There must be never -ending growth and insatiable demand. Morally, spiritually and physically, rich and poor, the human race is doomed and largely undeserving of this planet. Things can only get worse. There are just too many bastards in this World. That said, I would love few things more than to see human decency and compassion and humanity beginning a mighty enough fightback and attempting to prevail within my lifetime. It just really does not look too hopeful. Mind you, do always live by your principles, and stand up and be counted whenever possible, just to remind the fuckers who are trying to fuck all of us that they are up against opposition.

  10. pet says:

    Amazing Article. I’m Brazilian and I would like to translate it to portuguese, and put in my just made blog, called orkutcidio (orkutcide, tha act of deleting an orkut account, a very famous relationship network in brazil, although it’s american…). So, send me a message if I can.

  11. Wanderluster says:

    I can see where you’re coming from here, but I disagree with you a little bit. In this image you are putting forth of America, it isn’t that the businesses are raping American capitalists; its actually a very loving relationship that many Americans have with “The Business.” Now, that’s the sad part. The image of America today is that we all fall in love not with other human beings, but rather with corporations. That image is wrong, however. Plenty of people in America still love each other, more so than not.

    Certainly, in the last decade, American foriegn policy had some serious problems, and the USA did some bad things, but that was all based on rational choice analysis. The false image of America wasn’t so much a problem until 9/12/2001 when Americans suddenly realized that an outside world existed beyond that which is served up to tourists. Then, suddenly, American citizens, whose ability to think about the outside world had atrophied through tourism and the lack of a literary education turned to entertainers for insight and were given illusion instead.

    You can’t blame the entertainers for that, illusion is what they do and illusion is the only way we, as human beings, can portray something outside our own direct experience. In my opinion, the problem is in our education system and which brings me to a point on which I agree with you: We are losing our identity. This, in my opinion, is because we are engaged in an attempt to be everything at once while, in fact, becoming nothing at all through multicultural education.

    Everyone reads a bit from this tradition, a bit from that tradition, a bit from this place, a bit from that place, and the result, stemming from the fact that the world is just too large and time is too short, is that everyone comes away from multicultural education horribly and disoriented and finds watching television more satisfying than understanding a literary tradition. Because of this, we have lost our ability to think critically about illusion. I’m not saying books delve more deeply into the affairs of human beings than television, but from books, you can learn to think critically about illusion in that you can go back and reread. From television, it flows by quickly and you only get to watch it in a given form once, though TiVo is changing that.

    I don’t know exactly what the problem is nor what the solution should be, but it does seem to me that American life today is different from the image portrayed by the media.

    I saw an image of school students in Afghanistan and it changed my opinion of what life is like in Afghanistan. I had thought, in my visual memory, that it was all bombs exploding because that was the last image of Afghanistan I had seen in the media.

    People watch American news all over the world because American news puts on a good show, its exciting and scary and looks real despite it being ultimately illusion. I often wonder what people in the world outside America think American life is like based on the images of that life portrayed by our media.

    Life is good in America. People struggle, sure, and there are bad parts, but it is a difficult process to understand why they struggle and which parts of their lives are bad and which are good. The meaning of life may be simple, I agree with you there, but life itself is rather complicated for many people. The media makes it seem simple.

    Don’t get me wrong, even here, it isn’t the media’s fault. They just show whatever people want to watch.

  12. JF says:

    Just wanted to take a minute to respond to those that have commented so far. I’ll start by saying thanks!

    I’ve been thinking about how much money Obama and Hillary have raised as well…Haven’t quite formulated an opinion about that yet…regardless, it’s astonishing how much they’ve raised in such a short period of time. In one sense, it speaks to how much people do care about politics and support the candidates. In another, well, it’s just a lot of fucking money that will probably be used against each other.

    Great addition to the post…i’ll check out your blog as well!

    I know the perception of the US and its people is very poor these days. While it’s true we have a lot of people here that fit the stereotype you were talking about, we also have many people that disagree with our government just as much as other nations. Sad, but true. Anyhow, thanks for your comments, and I’d say you did an excellent job of writing english! I can relate, since I am trying to teach myself another language at the moment. Your english is great!

    I will definitely check out the book you mentioned…thanks!

    More reading material…thanks! and thanks for the comments!

    Very true, thanks for the comments…great addition to the post!

  13. Good job.

    You write so it is easy and fast to read and you can work the wordpress thing and somehow you have the patience to deal with all this.

    Thank you.

    I think the big companies would just love it if more peope got together and served the customers.

    A business manager is limited, they like to manage their department or section ,but they really don’t like getting surprised by people who also want them to manage a suburb or a small region along with their company duties.

    I think if the business manager is awake, they will simply mirror the image the people earned back at them.

    They are not robbng you of your identity they are showing you your real identity.

    This is from parents dolling their cute sons up like managers so they can get a great job afte rhigh school and then the kids real identity is totally fake, when it all comes from a credit card, not his real integrity.

    They “decorate” the kid, to “look” like a Leader.

    I have been building some of the nastiest blgsites you could imagine to tell a story of mine that is wicked

    The way you put this place together is correct,. you are so much nicer than I am, and thre is a cool newness to it.

    I still like the idea of peope building and making a lot of their own stuff at home and then not needing so many other people involved with the data and statistics.

    I sort of think that is what is going on here, good luck.


  14. JF says:

    Go Brazil! One day I’m going to make it there. My ladyfriend has been, and I am very much jealous. Feel free to translate it into any language you like…I wish I could help you, but I don’t know much Portuguese!

    Winner for longest response! You bring up a lot of good points and ideas. I’ll probably use it as fodder for another post, so I’ll keep this reply short. I definitely agree with you about the education in the US and that we need to teach people how to think critically at a younger age. Many good ideas introduced here…I’ll expand in a post. Thanks!

    Thanks for the comments! I’d say a lot of parents put their kids on a set of tracks and essentially guide them in a certain direction. Not all, but some. You need to go to college right out of high school, then get a job doing this…A lot of decorating and pretending for sure. But, assuming the parents are doing the best they can with what they have and what they know…can we really blame them? Depends I guess…

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