The Cause of America's Obsession With Power, Wealth and Competition

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The Cause of America's Obsession With Power, Wealth and Competition American culture is one of the most diverse cultures in today’s society. America has been called the “melting pot” of nations, and thus has acquired a variety of cultures from many different countries. There are a number of different races, languages, and ethnic backgrounds that reside in this nation. However, as a nation, one of the most dominant symbolic systems is that of which no other country can match. Unlike any other nation, the American symbols of power, wealth, and competition preside over any other system of symbols. Here, it is more important to some people to possess material things than to have meaningful relationships. Here, some people are attracted to others not because of their most endearing qualities, but because of the power they possess. Here, some people spend millions of dollars on advertising so that their product will sell the most units. While some other nations cannot contemplate why we Americans are so obsessed with these symbols, it is in the history of our country where this obsession was born. America is a country born of war, a war we fought with our European ancestors, a war for freedom. To gain that freedom, America had to be strong enough to fight outnumbered against the forces that withheld our freedom. When that freedom was finally obtained, Americans relished it to the point of proclaiming a declaration of independence that is still revered by today’s society. We still have this freedom because of our outstanding power, militarily and governmentally. And now, after the September 11th terrorist attacks, more and more people are beginning to feel that power. We feel it so strongly, that even when these terrorists from other countries threaten us, we stand together and fight to keep that freedom alive. A key symbol in this particular system is the American flag. It functions as both a summarizing and elaborating symbol. The flag represents not only our country, but also our freedom, military force, democracy, independence, tolerance, and many other attributes of our country. The elements of the flag, the stars, stripes and colors, can also be elaborated on. The stars represent each state in the nation, and the stripes for each of the original thirteen colonies. One of the main reasons America was able to maintain its freedom over the years was its incredible wealth.

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