The American Dream is a term that has been used to encompass the founding ideas that have existed since the birth of the United States. Its definition is broad and has been open to many interpretations, which have adapted and changed over the course of American history. Liberal philosophers such as John Locke, albeit an English 17th century philosopher, had a major influence on the US from the time of the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the present day modern liberalism agenda, which remains significant in the White House.
Individuality is the key to the liberal ideology and this is a major facet of the American Dream. The focus is on the individual's right to pursue their own interests unfettered so long as they do not interfere with another individual's right to freedom. Locke believed that society should revert to a state of nature' whereby people are left to their own devices, however that freedom can only exist if people are prohibited from intervening in other's freedoms.
[...] Many say Obama is a living symbol of the American Dream and that this would not have happened without the hope that was embodied in Martin Luther King's monumental speech in 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (King, M.L. 1963) The word ‘dream' has taken on a universal meaning in the United States, (which might explain why it was the most used word in Reverend King's speech) but it is one that is difficult to attach a specific meaning to. [...]
[...] (2004) The USA Patriot Act of 2001: a reference handbook. Oxford: ABC-CLIO Baudrillard, J. (2000) America. 10th ed. London: Verso Baudrillard, J. (1996) Cool Memories II. Oxford: Blackwell Baudrillard, J (2000) The Gulf War did not take place. 2nd ed. Sydney: Power Bentham, J. (1907) An introduction to the princples of morals and legislation. Oxford: Clarendon Carroll, R. (2009) Barack Obama offers olive brand to Chavez, Ortega and Latin America. Guardian Available from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/19/obama-latin-america [Accessed 19 April 2009] Coates, T.P. [...]
[...] (Matt Frei, BBC World News - online) If the suspicions are true then this might be a case against Obama being a symbol for the American Dream. Surely the anniversary of the death of arguably the Civil Rights Movements' most important figure is an event that should not be avoided by any politician, let alone one who has nearly his whole political career to thank him for? Alas, in the first instance, this kind of compromise in exchange for votes is the kind of action, which demonstrates there being no such thing as the American Dream. [...]
[...] In an article on the ‘stark reality of the American Dream' by BBC News, Humphrey Hawksley visited Seattle to find out what the Dream is and if still existed. In Europe or just across the border in Canada, they [Americans] would be more likely to get social security, but this was America, where society is starkly divided into winners and losers. Strangely, though, there seemed to be little resentment or blame of government. American culture is about self-reliance and the individual fighting a way through. [...]
[...] Ultimately though, when the media speaks of Barrack Obama and the American Dream, they are either referring to a black man becoming President, a hard headed yet cognisant leader, a politician who is prepared to show his human side or all of the above. This, for most Americans who are suffering from the recession, and those who were already living below the poverty line, will not help them. Hope in a good politician will not fix the problems that, in due course, cannot be fixed by the people alone. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee