Society

Michael Zweig — The American Dream

Today, the American Dream is the battle flag of our political life.

Michael Zweig — The American Dream

Back in 2009 at Bill Moyers Journal we asked all our guests to share with us their vision of the future of the American Dream. We’ve followed up with some of those guests and they’ve shared their thoughts with us on where the American Dream stands today. Tell us what is your vision for the American Dream on Facebook, Twitter, email or at (347) 974-4181.

Now

We pledge allegiance to the flag, visible in the smoke of battle, and say it represents freedom and justice for all. Today, the American Dream is the battle flag of our political life. We see it still visible in the aspirations of the immigrant movement, the Black Lives Matter, environmental justice and peace movements, in the Jan. 21, 2017 Women’s Marches, in the struggle for democracy to defeat American oligarchs. We see it in the desperation of the opioid-addicted, suffering the betrayals of economic ruin. The American Dream is still there, waving in the tumult of the justice battles raging around us. Today’s patriots are those who salute and fight relentlessly for it.

 
Then

I think that the American Dream is going to be something that we are all going to have to fight for. The idea that there is a bright future ahead of us in the country is only to the degree that we can organize and fight for and make things happen against the opposition of a corporate elite and of a free-market mentality that says, “You’re on your own and just do it on your own.” And that is a recipe of disaster for most American people.

I think the American Dream is going to have to be based and fulfilled as it always has been in the past: collective action for real democracy and economic justice. That’s what we’re going to have to do, and it’s going to be one hell of a fight.

 
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Michael Zweig

Michael Zweig is the former director of The Center for Working Class Life at The State University of New York at Stonybrook. He is the author of several books, including What’s Class Got to Do with It? American Society in the Twenty-first Century, (editor) and The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret.

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