Requiem for the American Dream.
Requiem for the American Dream
The film Requiem for the American Dream is given a symbolic title to signify the true political realities in the United States of America. It is meant to indicate how Americans have strayed away from the dreams that the revolutionary fathers held for this nation. The revolutionary fathers dreamt of America that had the interests of its citizens at heart, focused on developing morality, patriotism, and issued-based politics. According to Chomsky, the American dream has been jeopardized by the current political realities in America. In the film, Chomsky argues that between the 1950s and 1960s there was an equal distribution of wealth among all Americans of different status and the economy was performing exemplary. Since then the concentration of wealth has shifted to about a tenth of the population. Those who control the wealth have a direct influence on the political future of America. According to the film, the wealthy manufacturers and merchants are dominant in the government. Their motive to dominate the government is not guided by genuine leadership desire but the need to influence decisions and protect their interests. They do not care how protecting their interests affects the majority in the society. The American politics are ruled by money rather than the desire to fulfill the national welfare. Average citizens cannot afford a decent home; job security is a problem for them and families cannot afford basic things. University and college students who could be national elites are bogged down by heavy education loans prompting them to look for desperate jobs in an attempt to repay their loans. The influential wealthy merchants have resulted into the accumulation of more wealth to counter the influence of political and human rights activists. Politics have shifted into politics of wealth rather than welfare killing the American dream.
One public issue discussed in the film based on C. Wright Mills is the influence of the power elite on the future of American citizens. Despite the American citizens being the majority and passive in politics, political decisions that directly influences them are confined in the hands of a few political elites. The political elites are the wealthy in the society, and they influence politics to meet their interests at the detriment of the citizens. Their influence on politics goes down to influence important life aspects of the majority of the citizens. The concentration of power in the hands of a few individuals is a major problem since the decisions they make can have far-reaching implication on the life of the citizens.
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