Quotes About The American Dream
1. Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
2. Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.
3. Nite Owl II: But the country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to America? What’s happened to the American dream?
4. If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.
5. And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.
6. And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.
7. You’re just another american who is willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick being shoved up your asshole every day… The owners of this country know the truth… it’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!
8. The assumption that you everyone else is like you. That you are the world. The disease of consumer capitalism. The complacent solipsism.
9. I’ve always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was if you were poor it was because you hadn’t worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed.
10. Many years ago I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.
But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts us absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many lifeless bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.
11. People are continually pointing out to me the wretchedness of white people in order to console me for the wretchedness of blacks. But an itemized account of the American failure does not console me and it should not console anyone else. That hundreds of thousands of white people are living, in effect, no better than the “niggers” is not a fact to be regarded with complacency. The social and moral bankruptcy suggested by this fact is of the bitterest, most terrifying kind.
12. Dat’s what they say of this cauntry back home, Kath: ‘America, the land of milk and honey.’ Bot they never tell you the milk’s gone sour and the honey’s stolen.
13. America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.
14. …all these things were part of the business of dreams. He had learned not to laugh at the advertisements offering to teach writing, cartooning, engineering, to add inches to the biceps and to develop the bust
15. I live in a house over there on the Island, and in that house there is a man waiting for me. When he drove up at the door I drove out of the dock because he says I’m his ideal.
16. I say, I can not identify that thing which is called happiness, that thing whose token is a laugh, or a smile, or a silent serenity on the lip. I may have been happy, but it is not in my conscious memory now. Nor do I feel a longing for it, as though I had never had it; my spirit seeks different food from happiness, for I think I have a suspicion of what it is. I have suffered wretchedness, but not because of the absence of happiness, and without praying for happiness. I pray for peace — for motionlessness — for the feeling of myself, as of some plant, absorbing life without seeking it, and existing without individual sensation. I feel that there can be no perfect peace in individualness. Therefore, I hope one day to feel myself drank up into the pervading spirit animating all things. I feel I am an exile here. I still go straying.
17. Harry had worked his way through the American Dream and come to the conclusion that is was composed of a good lunch and a deep red wine that could soar.
18. What I saw in Flint was a microcosm of the way the government treats the undocumented everywhere, making the conditions in this country as deadly and toxic and inhumane as possible so that we will self-deport. What I saw in Flint was what I had seen everywhere else, what I had felt in my own poisoned blood and bones. Being killed softly, silently, and with impunity.
19. The disruption of the anticipated American future that was simply to have unrolled out of the solid American past, out of each generation’s getting smartersmarter for knowing the inadequacies and limitations of the generations beforeout of each new generation’s breaking away from the parochialism a little further, out of the desire to go the limit in America with your rights, forming yourself as an ideal person who gets rid of the traditional Jewish habits and attitudes, who frees himself of the pre-America insecurities and the old, constraining obsessions so as to live unapologetically as an equal among equals.
20. The twisted inversion that many children of immigrants know is that, at some point, your parents become your children, and your own personal American dream becomes making sure they age and die with dignity in a country that has never wanted them.
21. In the twenty-seven years since the killing of President Kennedy, there has been a good deal of disturbance in the American dream. The cult of individualism, of a man’s (nos so often a woman’s ) ability and right to pull himself up by his own bootstraps and wit, which lies at the heart of that dream, has produced more Oswalds, more Sirhans, more Mansons and Jim Joneses, than Lincolns, of late. The representative figure of American individualism is no longer that log-cabin-to-White-House President, but rather a lone man with a gun, seeking vengeance against a world that will not conform to his own sense of what has worth.
22. Looking out over all that land, it amazed me not that America had fallen but that it had ever existed at all.
23. something they call the american dream sure
we still believe in it i guess an earth man
in the tavern said irregardless of the some
times night mare facts we always try to double
talk our way around and its okay the dreams
okay and means whats good could be a damn sight
better means every body in the good old u s a
should have the chance to get ahead or at least
should have three squares a day as for myself
i do okay
24. As with Forrest Gump, my parents always did care about my education.
25. In the twenty-seven years since the killing of President Kennedy, there has been a good deal of disturbance in the American dream. The cult of individualism, of a man’s (not so often a woman’s) ability and right to pull himself up by his own bootstraps and wit, which lies at the heart of that dream, has produced more Oswalds, more Sirhans, more Mansons and Jim Joneses, than Lincolns, of late. The representative figure of American individualism is no longer that log-cabin-to-White-House President, but rather a lone man with a gun, seeking vengeance against a world that will not conform to his own sense of what has worth.
26. In the twenty-seven years since the killing of President Kennedy, there has been a good deal of disturbance in the American dream. The cult of individualism, of a man’s (not so often a woman’s) ability and right to pull himself up by his own bootstraps and wit, which lies at the heart of that dream, has produced more Oswalds, more Sirhans, more Mansons and Jim Joneses, than Lincolns, of late. The representative figure of American individualism is no longer that log-cabin-to-White-House President, but rather a lone man with a gun, seeking vengeance against a world that will not conform to his own sense of what has worth.
27. They all sat still, all bemused by the beauty of the thing, each mind was popped into the future when this lovely thing should come about.
28. The “American Dream” is grounded in the promise of the transcendence of social class boundaries, as in the opportunity to enable one’s children to climb the social ladder through educational and financial achievement. The mythology of upward mobility encourages Americans (including many in the academy) to pathologize poverty and disregard the influence of privilege
29. [Willis is] asking to be treated like an American. A real American. Because, honestly, when you think American, what color do you see? White? Black? We’ve been here two hundred years. Why doesn’t this face register as American?
30. Well, the vast majority of people don’t steal to get ahead. A lot of people work their way up from nothing without stealing.
31. I don’t think a lot of people work their way up from nothing, ever. People like you want to believe it happens all the time. But it really doesn’t.
32. We believe in the American Dream, not in the socialist nightmare.
33. Sorry to tell you, but that’s a very old chestnut. My mother used to say when God slams a door on you, he opens a window.
34. I’m taking a fresh look at the American Dream and who gets to live it and who doesn’t.
35. Our economic policies are undermining our future. The promise of the American dream was that if you worked hard, you could make it into the middle class. If we don’t raise the minimum wage, provide affordable daycare and universal pre-K, and mandate paid family medical leave and equal pay for equal work, we are allowing that dream to fade away.
36. He was going to get the American Dream that even Americans dream about.
37. We also know how dangerous it is to simplify society by the use of examples in nature. However, many Americans still value the honey bee as a symbol of thrift and industry. This value seems to be one of the lingering philosophies from seventeenth-century England, in which the royal authorities and clergy dictated that the lower classes and unemployed should be “busy as bees” so they would not rebel. When the English began to label their own members of society as “drones,” they privileged a new set of values based on work, thrift, and efficiency. The American Dream still seems to be based on these very values. And if somehow people do not attain the American Dream, we tend to think that they have not worked hard enough or did not save their money—in short, they are too much like drones. It could be argued that many American social policies—so conscious of work, labor, and time—are still based on the beehive model first adopted during the seventeenth century in England. For all its rhetoric of new opportunities, America still sees poverty as a sin, as if somehow the poor aren’t thrifty or busy as bees.
38. Americans need a fresh reminder of the amazing nation they have and the power of liberties I see so often taken for granted.
39. I only want to repeat what you already know. There is no limit to how far a person can fall in America.
40. Perhaps that was what the war was really about. Twas an entire nation of runaways, America in 1861, and your place in society depended on what you had run from and when. Perhaps General McClellan was right that the war was not really about slavery. Perhaps it was a struggle between the dreams of men who would run no more.
41. The story of America is the story of an adventure that began with deep faith, big dreams and humble beginnings.
42. America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers. When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth they prayed. When the Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times, because in America we don’t worship government, we worship God.
43. Freedom and bravery—there’s a reason we sing of them in our national anthem. We are free because we are brave.
44. Duhamel calls the movie “a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.
45. Born into a world, beautiful. Landing in a terra firma of mud. A mind, innocent. A mind, free. That innocence corrupted. A life, having not taken a thousand breaths, torn asunder by the hardened teeth guiding this nation. Stand? For what?
46. America was an orchard of peachy dreams behind a gauzed fence and a sign that said ‘No Tresspassing’. This land was his land as much as the next man’s. Like the folk songs he sang, it belonged to everyone, so it belonged to no one. The ungodly sin was the fence, not the crossing of it.
47. What we need are true statesmen, not politicians. We need to elect people who love American more than they love their own political party and the power they seem to enjoy.
48. And still I urge you to struggle. Struggle for the memory of your ancestors. Struggle for wisdom. Struggle for the warmth of The Mecca. Struggle for your grandmother and grandfather, for your name. But do not struggle for the Dreamers. Hope for them. Pray for them, if you are so moved. But do not pin your struggle on their conversion. The Dreamers will have to learn to struggle themselves, to understand that the field for their Dream, the stage where they have painted themselves white, is the deathbed of us all.
49. The American Dream was just then beginning to be defined by wealth at the expense of exploitable natural resources
50. If you want to do something today to radically improve the United States of America, walk on the right.
51. Mostly, we swaddle ourselves in the sacrilege of self-justification and kowtow to a God we have silently rechristened ego. All things are acceptable in the all-seeing eyes of self-interest. Within the walls of our flimsy Jericho, we court ruin.
52. You cling to culture like an orphan drags her rag doll from foster home to foster home. It is your last soiled reminder of what you think you were. You’d rather die at the stake than adapt or evolve because change is scary. So you guard the same tired shit as if it’s a precious, sacrosanct relic from the holy crusades of your ancestors when, in fact, it is a withered turn wrapped in butcher paper.
53. Now personally I stand for the National Anthem. But that a man refusing to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner is a greater affront to your sense of American honor than a stacked roster of flag-waving hypocrites using Old Glory as a symbolic excuse to commit untold atrocities at home and abroad is probably a good sign that you’ve lost all reference.
54. We can’t fix society until we fix the schools. We can’t fix the schools until we fix the neighborhoods. We can’t fix the neighborhoods until we fix the economy. We can’t fix the economy until we fix politics. We can’t fix politics until we fix the pernicious effect of basic human insecurities. We can’t fix the pernicious effect of basic human insecurities until we fix society. We can’t fix society until we fix the schools.
55. On dit de moi que je suis bleue, que parfois je vire au mauve, au violet. Je suis de la couleur du ciel du Michigan.
56. Frankly, there’s almost no country on Earth where the American Dream is less likely to come true than in the U.S. of A. Anybody eager to work their way up from rags to riches is better off trying their luck in Sweden, where people born into poverty can still hold out hope of a brighter future.
57. Ricorda che di solito, l’American Dream (il sogno americano) non riguarda gli Americani in se’, tende a realizzarsi piuttosto per coloro che vengono da altrove, da fuori – “from the outside” – appunto. Un giorno come gli altri, qualcuno arriva e fa qualcosa di imprevisto, di statisticamente impossibile, fuori dagli schemi “out of the box”. Qualcuno in cui nessuno aveva creduto, una persona in mezzo a tante che nessuno aveva visto arrivare…Ecco, un “Outsider
58. Abe Fields, in spite of his fever, felt pride in being a realistic American with the highest national income per head of population in the world, and the most comfortable standard of living since the beginning of evolution; the reptiles of the primeval sea could be proud of America, and the ancestor who had first crawled of his native mud, in a desperate effort
to become a man, might now sleep in peace— he had succeeded. His name should be venerated in every American school; he was the real pioneer, the father of free enterprise, of the spirit of initiative, of all those who dared, who risked, of all that had led to the stupendous material progress of the United States.
59. I’ve been wrapped up in trying to find something that feels like home instead of questioning why I even think that’s so important.
60. In much of urban and Western civilization today, with no proper tragic sense of life, we try to believe that it is all upward and onward–and by ourselves. It works for so few, and it cannot serve us well in the long run–because it is not true. It is an inherently win-lose game, and more and more people find themselves on the losing side.