American Delusions

Keystone Essay

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

Every society creates delusions, myths and stories to explain where it came from and how it works. These are so engrained 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.

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. Understanding the claims of free-market capitalism and developing a critical point of view will arm you for many of the other topics.

Read the keystone essay, “What Is Capitalism and Why Do We Need to Understand It?

The Delusions

Included are discussions of the following topics:

  • Free Market (Neoliberal) Ideology
  • US Economy – structure and results
  • Education
  • American Empire
  • The Family
  • Healthcare
  • Inequality – wealth and social mobility
  • Infrastructure
  • Justice, Police, Prisons – Incarcerated America and the War on Drugs
  • Political System – big money – big dysfunction
  • Racism
  • Security State

Missing But Not

Two topics that do not appear in this list: the environment and the status of women in America. These are discussed within the other topics.

A Work in Progress

I have been working on American Delusions for more than two 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.