Page Undergoing Revision – 7/30/2020

Delusion – fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Our delusions come in two forms: value statements and concepts of how our society works. The former heavily influence how we understand the workings of our society and thinking about how to improve it.

Every society creates delusions, myths and stories to explain where it came from and how it works. These are so ingrained in the culture that they form a central base for how members interpret their relationship to the environment and to family, neighbors, and society at large. These delusions are taught to us by our parents, extended families, schools, religions, government, and corporations. Mass media reinforce them continuously. The rich and corporations understand this quite well and seek to exploit our need to understand our place in society and how that society works. They support and, as required create, delusions that shield or justify their activities and the gains from those activities.

American Values – how we perceive the world and our place in it

  • Democracy – people choose those who govern, every person has a vote and equal weight. Access to the political process is open.
  • Exceptionalism – we are the beacon of hope for a democratic just world
  • Freedom – the US is the freest and best country in the world. Everyone is created equal. We have free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal opportunity. separation of church and state
  • Free Market Capitalism – markets provide us with the best living standard in the world, markets make rational decisions about what get produced not government, markets give everyone a chance to make themselves better
  • Individualism
  • Meritocracy – hard work, brains, skills, these are the keys to the top of the pile in America. Study hard, work hard and you will get ahead.
  • Mobility – geographic – we can choose to live anywhere in this huge country.
  • Mobility – social – being born poor, working class or middle class does not mean that you cannot rise to the top. Our children will do better than us.
  • Pragmatism – practical working solutions to problems are preferred over abstract thought and complex designs.
  • Progress
  • Small Government
  • Volunteerism
  • White Supremacy

This list of values is extracted from personal experience living in America for over 70 years and a survey of literature about American values. It is not definitive and you are encouraged to think about your own experiences and do further research. I specifically left out values such as practicality and efficiency, timeliness, informality, directness and openness and others. Here are some resources that I found useful:

Social-Political-Economic Structures – the machinery of our society

Here are the systems that are the subjects of our investigations:

  • American Empire
  • Environment
  • Family
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Inequality
  • Infrastructure
  • Justice, Police, Prisons
  • Political System
  • Security State
  • White supremacist system
  • Women

This series, American Delusions, describes important delusions, contrasts them with the facts surrounding them and explores how these delusions fit into a pattern that sustains the organization of our society in its present form.

Free-market ideology (neoliberalism) is at the center of our delusions

Free-market (neoliberal) ideology has dominated every aspect of American life for the past 40 years and more. It is a truly global ideology that is supported by global corporate and financial interests, implemented by many governments, some at the direction of local government and in many other cases driven by World Bank and other financial institutions’ policies.The mass media and education system reinforce free-market thinking in a comprehensive manner. Our culture is interpenetrated by the underlying concepts and rhetoric.

Therefore we start with this topic and recommend it to you.

 

The Delusions

Included are discussions of the following topics:

A Work in Progress

I have been working on American Delusions for more than three years. You will see that there are posts dating back far earlier. I imagine that I will be still be working on these topics many years into the future.