Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The United States of King Midas...

In case you don't know the story, King Midas was granted one wish by Dionysus, and he wished that everything he touched be turned into Gold. He soon realized that he couldn't eat or drink, because everything he touched was turned into gold. Seeing his despair, his daughter hugged him, and she too turned into gold.

Starving and distraught, Midas begged Dionysus to take back his golden touch and to return everything to how it was. Dionysus made Midas wash his wish away in the river, and restored his daughter. King Midas then lived with less gold, but felt "richer" because he appreciated everything a lot more... He went back to being a regular King (!).

If you see The United States as King Midas, I think there are a few parallels we can see:

1- The U.S. has been king in many areas, but it hasn't been enough; our "golden touch" country has citizens who are homeless, starving, and sick. Our food industry poisons us because it creates more gold for the companies.

2- We reduce our citizens to assets or liabilities depending on whether they are producing or consuming- many of our citizens are virtual slaves, whose sole purpose is to work to pay off debts.

3- We are turning our children into golden statues, teaching them to get money-producing jobs over expanding their minds and finding happiness through their contribution to our kingdom.

The United States has had this "Golden Touch" for many generations now, as the sole purpose for doing anything in our culture is to create money. Just about everything we do has the "does it make money?" question attached, and it justifies products that kill like cigarettes, services that let people die, like health insurance, and entire industries that destroy our planet like logging.

I'm far from being one of these lefty-pinko-commie guys- I thoroughly believe in the profit motive- but I don't believe that the profit motive should be the ONLY question.

I think this generation can be the one that washes the wish for the golden touch from our bodies, and instead go back to the wish of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

If you like this post, you may also like "The Bottom Line Vs. Humanity"