Is the American Dream toxic? We know that the American Dream has toxic side-effects. We are living through them now. But is the American Dream, at its root, toxic?
A lot depends upon how one defines 'the American Dream' I guess. If it becomes a kind of manifest destiny of greedy individuals looking to establish an economic empire, williing to pay any cost, break any law, to gain the desired result: then, yes, it is toxic.
Defining life one-dimensionally as a quest for money, for material riches, for the wealth of power and fame and domination of other potential competitors...yes, this is a toxic world-view. Divorcing the spiritual side of life from the material is toxic, and has a toxic effect.
The spread of a toxic life-force over the globe is a dangerous thing. How many gated communities with high-priced condos and surrounding golf-courses do we need? Is this the upper limit of our imaginations and humans in terms of what life can become? When God enjoined us to build the city of God, do you think he envisioned a world run by Developers (what a toxic euphemism) gobbling up farmland to produce more sterile harbors for wealthy golden-years consumers? Bad taste and lack of culture drives the world today because we are being led by people who are not balanced in terms of understanding of material AND spiritual needs and virtues.
"Greed is good," Gordon Gecko said in the iconic movie Wall Street. "Greed is right. Greed works." This was 1987. And Gecko was the spirit of the Day-Cycle expansion (a kind of updated creed of Ayn Rand) that, in fact, took over America and pushed the economic expansion all the way up the mountain of 2001. ("The Empire Strikes Back" was another symbol of the Day-Cycle striking down the 1965-1983 Deflation Cycle of the Darkness.)
It looks like Greed is good during an expansion. But then the garden is suddenly littered with the excess that greed brings to the world, the excess of debt, the excess of price inflation, the excess of white color crime; the excess also of failure.
Psychologically, and spiritually, the toxic effect of the American Dream is the result of the concept of 'being Number One'. "There is only room for one at the top." This means, in effect, that of 100 men, 99 are failures and 1 is a success. Very heroic. In effect, that 1 on top is not really a very heroic figure since he spends every second of his life schemic to stay on top, killing those who challenge him, perverting the laws and the governmental system to tip the playing field in his direction.
Our toxic life-style -- keeping up with the neighbors, trying not to get left behind -- chasing dreams we can't afford -- taking out debt to try to look successful, to try to keep up with Gordon Gecko, makes us live a very empty life. We are lonely people; our prisons, our hospitals, and our mental institutions are filled; we end up alone, dying alone in factories for old people whom the society no longer wants or needs. Is that not a picture of a toxic life-style?
What are we running from? Failure? Of what are we so frightened? Death? Is this because we have chosen the moral evil, worshipping money and only the material side of the equation? The spiritual side of the equation teaches us about death. The material side of the equation teaches us that we MUST DEFEAT Death, through science, through knowledge, through technology...we will be able to live forever if we can only build a better body than God/Nature has built for us.
Death is a sudden, profound end of everything in the material view. Death is the disappearance of identity for ever, the complete loss of our frail, fragile heroic nature that has been trying to get to the top of the mountain in order to...to be remembered?
America is very good at selling its life-style to the rest of the world. Americans are born salesmen. And, its also nice to have a huge dangerous military presence, to push our life-style down the mouths of those countries and people who don't quite believe that having more electronic gadgets in a bigger and bigger house, driving a bigger and faster car, will make our lives ultimately more meaningful.
We need to reflect on the supposed truth of our moral leadership. Is the American Dream really for everyone, for every culture; or is it, in fact, a toxic dream, a plastic, glistening dream with a very large shadow?
We Americans need to try to find a true spiritual component to our materialistic American Dream -- and the spiritual component IS NOT, I believe, 'when God loves you he makes you rich". Jesus Christ refuted this doctrine -- the doctrine of spiritual pragmatism -- by throwing the moneychangers out of the temple. In fact, the Bible seems to say quite clearly that it is the Devil who makes one rich and powerful in the world, not God. To see God, to be with God, one must be small enough to fit through the eye of a needle. Big men with money and power are too big to even see the eye of the needle.
We are not only in the midst of a material global crisis -- we are in the midst of a global spiritual crisis. We are on a road leading into the Black Forest. In the Black Forest we will find God again. We have to understand that the Soul returns to the Wilderness in order to find God. God is not in the city, not in the material empire, not in the expansion of egoic enterprises.
We Americans need to find out who we really are, who we really want to become. Is it all just about money? That's what Satan/Saturn says: "Be practical. Be realistic. It's all about how much money you have." Is that true? Is the American Dream only a dream about bigger things to surround us, houses, families, cars, airplanes, empires?
What about quality? We know that Saturn/Satan cares about bigger and more; quantity. If we describe our successes in life by using quantities: bank account, number of children, number of house, number of cars, grandchildren...this suggests that we are worshipping Saturn.
How does the American Dream express itself in greater quality? Quality is how the Soul measures its life. Is our life gaining in quality,or in quantity only? Is the quality of our culture improving? Are our arts improving in quality? Is our treatment of our fellow humans, and of our environment, and of our own societies gaining in quality?
We have focussed on quantity; now it is time to give quality equal time. Do we care about Love; or do we only care about Power? The lifestyle that cares about Power instead of Love I would define as being toxic.
Our three market internal indicators all three took a sharp turn down.
|Date||SPX||CM ASP||T11D Sum||M4 21 Sm|
We had four trading systems shout at the same time: SHORTSELL FACEBOOK!
HOV is looking toppy. We have a shortsell signal on Hovanian Housing.
QRM is a short.
Threshold Pharmaceuticals is trying to make a trading top. We might not short either this stock or perhaps even HOV if we were not getting such a strong loss of momentum in our market internals.
We did get some buy signals today from our really short-term trading system -- M2F ALT New 2 -- which indicates we could get a bump up over the next few days, especially for oversold issues (EDU?). Here's how that system is calling the markets. Note the heavy short-sell signals for Friday and the heavy buy-signals for Monday.
|ASYS||4.22||Exit Long||AMTEC SYSTEMS|
|GE||19.87||Exit Long||General Electric Daily|
|ROP||97.03||Exit Long||Roper Industries|
|AHGP||43.61||Enter Long||Alliance Holdings Mining|
|AXP||55.81||Enter Long||American Express|
|BK||20.77||Enter Long||Bank of NY Mellon|
|CPF||13.43||Enter Long||Central Pacific Financial Corp|
|GBPJPY=X||122.613||Enter Long||British Pound/Japanese Yen|
|SHAW||25.75||Enter Long||The Shaw Group|
|CPHD||36.01||Enter Long||Exit Long||Cepheid|
|MZZ||31.28||Exit Short||Short Midcap Index ETF Daily|
|^HSI||19,640.80||Enter Short||HANG SENG INDEX HONG KONG|
|^N225||8,669.87||Enter Short||Nikei Japan Index|
|^TNX||1.46||Enter Short||10-Year CBOE Interest Rate|
|COL||49.28||Enter Short||Rockwell Collins Daily|
|DOV||53.42||Enter Short||Dover Corp|
|ELY||5.57||Enter Short||Calahan Golf|
|MGM||9.78||Enter Short||MGM Mirage|
|YNDX||18.97||Enter Short||Yandex NV|
|EDU||12.91||Enter Long||New Oriental Educations and Technology|
|^AORD||4,230.60||Exit Long||All Ordinaries Australian Index|
|AUDCAD=X||1.052||Exit Long||Australian Dollar/Canadian Dollar|
|CA||26.05||Exit Long||Computer Associates|
|KOL||23.42||Exit Long||Coal ETF|
|YHOO||15.915||Enter Short||Yahoo Inc.|
|GS||94.16||Exit Short||Goldman Sachs Daily|
|ICN||20.1||Exit Short||Indian Ruppee ETF|
|INRRUB=X||0.579||Exit Short||Indian Rupee/Russian Ruble|
|PG||64.73||Exit Short||Proctor and Gamble Daily|
|PNC||59.14||Exit Short||PNC Financial Svc Daily|
Because of the breakdown of market internals, we are ignoring these buy signals for the time being, except the Pound long against the Japanese Yen.
Michael Clark, Hanoi, Vietnam