Since Europeans landed in the United States, cultural suppression has played a key role in the rise of the American empire, said a UT journalism professor in a lecture Thursday.
Robert Jensen hosted a talk that focused on the struggling politics within the U.S. and its implications around the world. The lecture examined the demise of the American dream and his concern of the public’s inability to recognize its downfall.
Jensen said recognition is the first step toward eliminating international social injustices the United States imposes on the rest of the world, including U.S. domination over other countries’ resources. The suppression has kept America thriving for as long as it has, he said.
“The American dream is put forward as a dream for all the world to adopt, but it clearly can’t be so,” he said. “Some of the people of the world have had to be sacrificed for the dream, as has the living world. Dreams based on domination are, by definition, limited.”
But John Arrow, CEO of Mutual Mobile and former UT student, said that the American dream is alive today more than ever.
Arrow dropped out of college during his senior year at UT to start Mutual Mobile. After two years of operation, the company has expanded internationally and grown to be a multi-million dollar empire.
Jensen said by focusing on the Golden Rule, the public can promote the ethics of reciprocity and uphold social justice for the suppressed.
“I want us all to recognize the need to transcend the domination-subordination dynamic at the heart of the American dream,” he said. “If we could manage that, the dream would fade — as dreams do — when we awake and come into consciousness.”