August 10, 2012

From Wisconsin to Aurora, Colorado: The American gun culture is a natural by-product of mindless capitalism

I had written this after the Virginia Tech shootout and I write again – capitalism is a great slave, but a pathetic master. This truth unfortunately gets lost in our chase for that elusive dream... especially in America, the land that has been marketed as the land of dreams – the Great American Dream. It’s the dream of being independent masters of our lives, the dream of making big bucks and the dream of being happy – even if that happiness is being bought by money, which all of them chase out there. No doubt, the US, on its part, has been fairly successful in creating material comfort aplenty. It has upped the living standard of its average citizen to an extent that it stands amongst the highest – even if that is a result of more than 200 years of unbridled growth and exploitation. Thus, the shop window of Americanism looks lucidly attractive; you’ve got all of them standing there – from Bill Gates to Michael Dell – in Tommy Hilfigers and Ralph Laurens! And that is what has made the rest of the world mindlessly chase Americanism, not necessarily happiness or an ideal form of society. All because the shop window looks very impressive and it has been marketed very well.

What goes unseen and almost unheard is that America also happens to be the land that is right amongst the top in terms of the number of divorces per thousand, the number of single-parent families per thousand, the number of old people in old-age homes, the number of rape cases per million, the number of suicides, homicides, and of course, the number of college/school shootouts... And why not! After all, in a society where ‘what you are’ is equal to ‘what you have’ plus ‘what you consume’, the only way to achieve more is to have and consume more (That’s why we call the US a consumerist society, and its culture, consumerism), and therefore, be constantly driven towards higher profits and materialism. Expectably, this materialism comes at a cost that the world is paying today. The interesting thing about material things is that they only give an illusion of happiness; and even such happiness always is momentary in nature. Ergo, at this juncture, after buying your new car or flat-screen TV, you feel you are the happiest person in the world; and just a few days later, these are the very possessions that cease to make you happy, because you are already thinking of a bigger car or a bigger TV. While you chase the bigger car to become larger than life in order to be happier, you sacrifice those that have the maximum power to make you happy – family, emotions and love. Prolonged abstinence in employing emotions finally destroys them; and you don’t even realise when you’ve become a dry-eyed moron (Yes! America also happens to be the land that has the maximum number of dry-eyed people). And then, while chasing never ending desires, one day you are left alone... probably divorced, without children, and in an old-age home (Even if not exactly that, the situation is often closer to what I have described, than not). And suddenly, you realise that there is emptiness all around... and you land up in a Deepak Chopra workshop to find out the ‘real meaning’ of life – or whatever he is capable of explaining. But by then, it’s really too late.

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16 comments:

Deepak Verma said...

Owning a gun nowadays has become more of a status symbol than a defense tool.

geet said...

Such incidents don't only occur in foreign countries......possession of arms have been misused in India as well......how can we forget the incident at Gurgaon toll plaza where the innocent cashier was shot to death!!

Atanu said...

In my opinion,possession of guns and other arms must be strictly prohibited.....with such people around,no one is safe.

Avinash Rawat said...

People do run after the kind of life that Americans lead but many time its just the outer happiness...i personally don't think US is among the happiest country in the world.

aaryan said...

I am really surprised that even after so many incidents of massacres and assassination, possession of guns is still legal.

santosh kumar said...

How can a nation that is among the top nation in terms of divorce rates be happy.....not only this,people in USA have many many such issues.

Pyush said...

There must be some strict law regarding possession of guns....don't think it is safe for a person to carry guns everywhere he goes.

Sumit said...

Possession of guns is not the biggest issue...i think rules and regulations must be made as to where the individual must not carry it and where he can carry.

Sumit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dipti Nayak said...

Why do such incidents of mass killing take place?How can someone even think of killing people whom they don't even know!

Maan said...

I agree with you sir,any country with so many single-parent families and divorces can neither bring up its children any better.

suman kumari said...

Its really surprising to know that not only grown ups but also teenagers carry guns with themselves. There are incidents in some of the countries where the teenagers have taken innocent lives.

Nisha said...

Its very true that possession of such arms like guns is more of power & status symbol rather than for defense.

Sudhir Kumar said...

Nothing else matters in today's time....it is only power that speaks and that is why people love to possess such tools.

Rajesh Sharma said...

Materialism has creeped into the mind of almost everyone in the world and not only in India.

roharan said...

Sir Jee .........

I dont know who fools gave you the title of "Management Guru" ? You can not manage your institute reputation. You even do not what the fuck situation in your institute. what I say to you........

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