by Paul Rosenberg, FreemansPerspective.com
We Americans like our movie heroes: Tough, free thinking, adaptive, willing to defy authority to save the people. The problem is, no one ever acts like that in real life. Cheering Arnie or Chuck or Sly is a long, long way from doing something heroic yourself – and the current batch of Americans are not so big on that. (Nor are Europeans, or most others.)
One of the great Roman writers called the Romans a “royal, rebellious race.” Likewise Americans – especially in the West, had a real tradition of unflinching individualism. But, as in Rome, American virtue has been lost, while stories of the virtue remain.
21st Century Westerners obey. They do as they are told. They feel free to complain, but they never stop obeying.
You know the script that people try to follow: Do well in school, rebel a little, wear the new shoes/jeans/accessories, with the popular logos, get a university degree (take student loans to do so), get a job at a big firm with great benefits, buy a house, vote, send your kids to daycare, watch TV, and so on.
The problem is that the “Obedience Script” isn’t working out very well. Please consider these recent reports:
- Nearly one out of every four women in the United States are taking antidepressants.
- In 2010, the average teen in the U.S. was taking 1.2 central nervous system drugs. Those are the kinds of drugs which treat conditions such as ADHD and depression.
- Suicide has now actually surpassed car accidents as the number one cause of “injury death” in the United States.
- More U.S. soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat last year.
- One-third of American employees suffer chronic debilitating stress, and more than half of all ‘millennials’ (18 to 33 year olds) experience a level of stress that keeps them awake at night, including large numbers diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorder.
- 28 million Americans have a drinking problem and about 22 million Americans use illegal drugs.
- People in the US are tied with the UK for the highest average number of hours spent watching television: 28 hours per person per week.
- One out of every three children in America lives in a home without a father.
- For women under the age of 30 living in the United States, more than half of all babies are being born out of wedlock.
- The United States has the highest child abuse death rate in the developed world.
- In the United States today, it is estimated that one out of every four girls is sexually abused before they become adults.
- The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by a very wide margin.
- It is estimated that about one out of every six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes.
- One out of every four teen girls in the U.S. has at least one sexually transmitted disease.
- Americans spend more time sitting in traffic than anyone else in the world.
- America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the entire world by a very wide margin.
There are many more statistics I could add, including some pretty horrifying stats on obesity, huge percentages of people living on government checks (on both sides of the Atlantic), and astronomical government debts being laid upon generations yet unborn.
The script isn’t working out very well, no matter how much it is shown on TV. You have to wonder how much pain it will take before people will decide to give it up.
(A big hat tip to Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog for a great set of links.)
[Editor’s Note: Paul Rosenberg is the author of FreemansPerspective.com, a collection of insights on topics ranging from Internet privacy to economic freedom, the purpose of life to alternative currencies. Join our free e-letter list to receive other articles like this one… and immediately get a report that explains in a unique way how the US Government got into the mess it’s in, the dangers that creates for us, and how to protect ourselves from it.]