Tales Of A New America
In Tales of a New America by Robert Reich, the American society is broken down into four myths. The four myths are The Mob at the Gates, The Triumphant Individual, The Benevolent Community, and The Rot at the Top. The myths can be used to help us understand our past and help us predict our future. They also show us how our lives are controlled by politics. These myths break us down as individuals, our community, our leaders, and America as a whole. There are three different views to interpret each of these myths generic, liberal, and conservative.
The Mob at the Gates depicts America as the greatest society in the world. It states that we are surrounded by evil and that there is no better than us. It points out the problems with other countries and civilizations around the world and then compares them to us. It is stated in the book that The Mob at the Gates ?depicts America as a beacon of light and virtue in a world of darkness, a small island of freedom and democracy in a perilous sea?. This states we are the only good in the world and we are surrounded by bad.
The Triumphant Individual shows that anyone can accomplish anything if they put their mind too it. This is an example of a self made man. This shows that someone that starts from nothing can make something out of himself or herself just as long as they are not afraid to work hard take the risks required. This method should lead a person to
wealth, fame, and honor. It states that most of the honorable people from our past followed this route using Benjamin Franklin and Abe Lincoln as examples can prove that you are only what you make of yourself.
The Benevolent Community is a representation of the people of America working together for one common cause. ?It is about Americans? essential generosity and compassion toward those in need?. Without working together there would be now America today. The early settlers would have never survived if it was not for teamwork. In a past were this was not a problem then why do we have so many conflicts today? Martin Luther King stated that ?I have a dream that every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low?. This basically states that all barriers must be removed and we need to become one.
The Rot at the Top is about the distrust of the higher authorities and the leaders of our nation. This states that how can we look up upon, or trust someone that can?t even take care of himself or herself. This is basically an abuse of power that lets them believe that they are untouchable. When our leaders are immoral what does that show the rest of the world about America in general, it lets other countries believe that we are an immoral nation. The book states that ?It is, rather, a tale of corruption, decadence, and irresponsibility among the powerful, of conspiracy against the broader public.
Looking at the Mob at the Gates from a conservative view states that we are the greatest nation and that everyone else is a step below us. There is an understanding that there is no hope for other nations to compare to us and that they are pushed away by us.
Other nations around the world are disoriented and they can never be as perfect as we are. The liberal view of The Mob at the Gates states that we may be the greatest nation but what can we do to help others? Everyone has impurities in their systems including us, just some are worse than others. If they are not as good as us then what can we do to improve their society. From a liberals view we should help others to make our nation stronger. This is why we help third world nations to get back on their feet. A conservative believes that we should not help them unless they can directly help us in some way. This shows that they believe there is no chance for anyone to be as perfect as we are so why should we bother with helping them.
In The Triumphant Individual through a conservative view states that everyone has the equal opportunity to make the most of them self and become only as successful or honorable as they wish. The book states in a conservative view that ?its entrepreneurs have been held back by slack and sloth elsewhere in the economy.? This shows that a conservative believes that entrepreneurs are destroyed by the people who haven?t take life to its full advantage. They didn?t go the extra mile to make their life better, when the opportunity was right in front of them. A liberal view would see that everyone doesn?t have an equal opportunity. There has to be exceptions made for people to become successful that is why there is different systems set up for women, and minorities. Without aid from the government many people lose their opportunity to have their chance at success. There are many systems to help the less fortunate get into college or find jobs. A conservative believes that everyone has an equal opportunity, where a liberal would see that there are acceptations and some people need help to be successful.
The myth of The Benevolent Community from a liberal view states that everyone is not equal and everyone cannot work together since everyone is not equal. Liberals are the reason for government assistance toward welfare, single mothers and minorities. They believe that by helping the weak it brings our communities to a more even level where it is easier for people to work together toward a common goal. By helping our weak it gives our strong a chance to become stronger. When everyone is equal it becomes easier to accomplish a better society. Conservatives believe that this only makes us weaker as a whole by using government funds to assist those who cannot take care of themselves. They believe that there should not be this situation to begin with. Everyone should work together without any problems. There should not be anyone that needs help there should be one level that everyone falls into, which makes everyone equal. Conservatives are the reason that our society seems to break off into groups where the poor live with the poor and the rich live with the rich.
In the case of The Rot at the Top the conservative view would be that our leaders are a large cause for our problems, if they cannot be honest and lawful than what can you expect from the people they abide over. In a conservative view Ronald Reagan said ?Government is not the solution to our problems.? ?Government is the problem.? If our leaders cannot be perfect then what can be expected from the society that they abide over. Where a liberal view would look at the problems of our leaders beginning in the society they have been raised in and learned to understand. Where some of their actions may be no worse than the actions we make on a daily basis. If we cannot live perfect and
honest lives than what can we expect our leaders to do? Liberals don?t point fingers at individuals but rather at the society as a whole.
The book breaks down the conservative and liberal views stating that ?both project similar ideals of the perfect society? and ?both feature a division of the world into ?us? and ?them?. The conservative version sees ?them? as unruly and exploitative, yielding only to discipline. The liberal version sees ?them? as misguided and needy, deserving of and open to accommodation and charity?. I believe that our nation is a better place with two points of view. Conservatives are there to show us the black and white where the liberals are pointing out that there are gray areas. The four myths show that our nation works by individual, community, government, and our nation as a whole. Without any of these divisions we would be nothing.