Is America falling apart? Anthony Burgess
“People are underpaid but they go through an act of liking their work, the open markets are luscious when esculent color, the community is more important than the stat, the human condition is humorously accepted.” (297) “The quality of life has nothing to do with the quantity of brand names. What matters is talk, family, cheap wine in the open air, the wresting of minimal sweetness out of the long-known bitterness of living.” (297) “American individualism, on the face of it an admirable philosophy, whishes to manifest itself in independence of the community. You don’t share things in common; you have your own things. A family’s strength is signalized by its possessions. Herein lies a paradox. For the desire for possessions must eventually mea dependence on possessions. (298)” “New appetites are invented; what to the European are bizarre luxuries become, to the American, plain necessities. (298)” “It is not right that men and women should fear to go on the streets at nights, and that they should sometimes fear the police as much as criminals. Both of whom sometimes look like a mirror images of each other. (301)” “The wealth qualification for the aspiring politician is taken for granted; a governmental system dedicated to the promotion of personal wealth in a few selected areas will never act for the public good. The time has come, nevertheless, for citizens to demand, from their government, a measure of socialization—the provision of amenities for the many, of which adequate state pensions and sickness benefits, as well as nationalized transport, should be priorities. (302)” “I come to America as to a country more simulation than depressing.
The future of mankind is being worked out there on a scale typically American—vast, dramatic, almost apocalyptical. I brave the brutality and the guilt in order to be in on the scene. I shall be back. (302)”
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