American Society Would Collapse If It Weren't For These 8 Myths

Authored by Lee Camp via,

Our society should’ve collapsed by now. You know that, right?

No society should function with this level of inequality (with the possible exception of one of those prison planets in a “Star Wars” movie). Sixty-three percent of Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency. Yet Amazon head Jeff Bezos is now worth a record $141 billion. He could literally end world hunger for multiple years and still have more money left over than he could ever spend on himself.

Worldwide, one in 10 people only make $2 a day. Do you know how long it would take one of those people to make the same amount as Jeff Bezos has? 193 million years. (If they only buy single-ply toilet paper.) Put simply, you cannot comprehend the level of inequality in our current world or even just our nation.

So … shouldn’t there be riots in the streets every day? Shouldn’t it all be collapsing? Look outside. The streets aren’t on fire. No one is running naked and screaming (usually). Does it look like everyone’s going to work at gunpoint? No. We’re all choosing to continue on like this.


Well, it comes down to the myths we’ve been sold. Myths that are ingrained in our social programming from birth, deeply entrenched, like an impacted wisdom tooth. These myths are accepted and basically never questioned.

I’m going to cover eight of them. There are more than eight. There are probably hundreds. But I’m going to cover eight because (A) no one reads a column titled “Hundreds of Myths of American Society,” (B) these are the most important ones and (C) we all have other shit to do.

Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.

If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.

Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.

Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!

What part of this sounds like a legitimate election system?

No, we have what a large Harvard study called the worst election system in the Western world. Have you ever seen where a parent has a toddler in a car seat, and the toddler has a tiny, brightly colored toy steering wheel so he can feel like he’s driving the car? That’s what our election system is—a toy steering wheel. Not connected to anything. We all sit here like infants, excitedly shouting, “I’m steeeeering!”

And I know it’s counterintuitive, but that’s why you have to vote. We have to vote in such numbers that we beat out what’s stolen through our ridiculous rigged system.

Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.

Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.

The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

If you’re not part of the monied class, you’re pressured into releasing what few rights you have left. According to The New York Times, “97 percent of federal cases and 94 percent of state cases end in plea bargains, with defendants pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence.”

That’s the name of the game. Pressure people of color and poor people to just take the plea deal because they don’t have a million dollars to spend on a lawyer. (At least not one who doesn’t advertise on beer coasters.)

Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.

That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)

The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.

We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.

Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.

This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).

If we’re lucky, we’ll make enough money during the week to afford enough beer on the weekend to help it all make sense. (I find it takes at least four beers for everything to add up.) But that doesn’t truly bring us fulfillment. So what now? Well, the ads say buying will do it. Try to smother the depression and desperation under a blanket of flat-screen TVs, purses and Jet Skis. Nowdoes your life have meaning? No? Well, maybe you have to drive that Jet Ski a little faster! Crank it up until your bathing suit flies off and you’ll feel alive!

The dark truth is that we have to believe the myth that consuming is the answer or else we won’t keep running around the wheel. And if we aren’t running around the wheel, then we start thinking, start asking questions. Those questions are not good for the ruling elite, who enjoy a society based on the daily exploitation of 99 percent of us.

Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.

According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.

Ask yourself what we’re working for. To make money? For what? Almost none of us are doing jobs for survival anymore. Once upon a time, jobs boiled down to:

I plant the food—>I eat the food—>If I don’t plant food = I die.

But nowadays, if you work at a café—will someone die if they don’t get their super-caf-mocha-frap-almond-piss-latte? I kinda doubt they’ll keel over from a blueberry scone deficiency.

If you work at Macy’s, will customers perish if they don’t get those boxer briefs with the sweat-absorbent-ass fabric? I doubt it. And if they do die from that, then their problems were far greater than you could’ve known. So that means we’re all working to make other people rich because we have a society in which we have to work. Technological advancements can do most everything that truly must get done.

So if we wanted to, we could get rid of most work and have tens of thousands of more hours to enjoy our lives. But we’re not doing that at all. And no one’s allowed to ask these questions—not on your mainstream airwaves at least. Even a half-step like universal basic income is barely discussed because it doesn’t compute with our cultural programming.

Scientists say it’s quite possible artificial intelligence will take away all human jobs in 120 years. I think they know that will happen because bots will take the jobs and then realize that 80 percent of them don’t need to be done! The bots will take over and then say, “Stop it. … Stop spending a seventh of your life folding shirts at Banana Republic.”

One day, we will build monuments to the bot that told us to enjoy our lives and … leave the shirts wrinkly.

And this leads me to the largest myth of our American society.

Myth No. 1—You are free.

And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.

I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.

Try building a fire in a parking lot to keep warm in the winter.

Try sleeping in your car for more than a few hours without being harassed by police.

Try maintaining your privacy for a week without a single email, web search or location data set collected by the NSA and the telecoms.

Try signing up for the military because you need college money and then one day just walking off the base, going, “Yeah, I was bored. Thought I would just not do this anymore.”

Try explaining to Kentucky Fried Chicken that while you don’t have the green pieces of paper they want in exchange for the mashed potatoes, you do have some pictures you’ve drawn on a napkin to give them instead.

Try running for president as a third-party candidate. (Jill Stein was shackled and chained to a chair by police during one of the debates.)

Try using the restroom at Starbucks without buying something … while black.

We are less free than a dog on a leash. We live in one of the hardest-working, most unequal societies on the planet with more billionaires than ever.

Meanwhile, Americans supply 94 percent of the paid blood used worldwide. And it’s almost exclusively coming from very poor people. This abusive vampire system is literally sucking the blood from the poor. Does that sound like a free decision they made? Or does that sound like something people do after immense economic force crushes down around them? (One could argue that sperm donation takes a little less convincing.)

Point is, in order to enforce this illogical, immoral system, the corrupt rulers—most of the time—don’t need guns and tear gas to keep the exploitation mechanisms humming along. All they need are some good, solid bullshit myths for us all to buy into, hook, line and sinker. Some fairy tales for adults.

It’s time to wake up.


nope-1004 bfellow Fri, 07/27/2018 - 16:57 Permalink


So … shouldn’t there be riots in the streets every day? Shouldn’t it all be collapsing? Look outside. The streets aren’t on fire.  Why?

Simple.  One word:  CREDIT

The banking syndicate has created a financial system that you MUST use to get by, all the while it benefits themselves.  Every interaction, every transaction, every move enriches the elite at your own expense.  They designed the system to be that way, so......

End the FED and we end this inequality.



In reply to by bfellow

sheikurbootie nope-1004 Fri, 07/27/2018 - 17:03 Permalink

Some people just need their throat punched....the author is one of these people.

Add: the author is promoting lawlessness, utopia, socialism.

Freedom is not the ability to start a fire in SOMEONE else's parking lot.  Freedom is being able to OWN land/property and build a fire there. 

Don't be that guy that starts a fire to keep warm in MY parking lot.


In reply to by nope-1004

Pairadimes falconflight Fri, 07/27/2018 - 18:30 Permalink

Pretty much on track. although the author lumps the electoral college in with garden variety election manipulation, which shows a lack of understanding of its purpose, and of how far the system is from its original design. The other error was a reference to universal basic income, an idea which would actually make the problems the author is railing against only worse. UBI proponents usually say that automation will destroy jobs and leave people without incomes. If this were true, then the Industrial Revolution would have destroyed our economy a century ago. The jobs will change.

I would have added that property taxes have destroyed the concept of private property, and that government regulation has gotten so bad that studies show the average American unknowingly breaks laws several times a day. Now the government has volumes of data on everything we do. Think you are free? Commit a politically incorrect action of sufficient scale, and watch the deep state manufacture a case against you from everything at their disposal.

In reply to by falconflight

brushhog Pairadimes Fri, 07/27/2018 - 18:48 Permalink

What a dumb article. "Try explaining to kentucky fried chicken that you dont have the green pieces of paper to buy mashed potatoes" what are you fucking kidding me? Having a national currency means your not free? Show me a country where I can draw on a piece of paper and buy goods.

"Try starting a fire in a parking lot to keep warm" OK yeah your right, we are not free to start random fires. Oh what slaves we are. Cant light off dynamite sticks at rest stops either.... TYRANNY.

"Try using the rest room at starbuck without buying something while black" what a load of horseshit. Race baiting. Starbucks os a private business, you do not have the right to walk in off the street and use whatever facilities you want. You cant use the microwave at McDonalds either, dummy. What does that have to do with freedom? This author is a moron. Other people have freedom too, including the owners of private establishments.

In reply to by Pairadimes

chubbar brushhog Fri, 07/27/2018 - 18:56 Permalink

Yeah, the guy who grew the potatoes, the guy who bought them for his store and the guys who cooked and served them should take his napkin drawing as payment just because. I guess they should just start drawing shit on napkins instead of trying to produce something of value also.

I swear, the fucking retards that write some of this shit are completely clueless. This is the type of shit I expect to hear at the DNC convention coming up.

In reply to by brushhog

Trogdor chubbar Sat, 07/28/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

What always makes me shake my head is right along these same lines. I agree with some of what the author wrote, but his disconnect from reality became blatantly apparent when he somehow manages to NOT consider that SOMEONE (obviously not him) has to make the goods and provide the services that he so self-righteously thinks should be provided for free....

Shark fully jumped .... with a full 360 back-flip thrown in for style.

In reply to by chubbar

snblitz brushhog Fri, 07/27/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

dont have the green pieces of paper to buy mashed potatoes

You are aware that there was a time in America when you could write checks on napkins or watermelon rinds. (what we had then was trust)

Freedom is a pretty hard thing to produce.  Sadly it involves killing a lot of people.

There are those who will steal from the productive.  How do you convince them to stop?  Force. 

Generally the thieves will not stop stealing unless put to death.


In reply to by brushhog

brushhog snblitz Fri, 07/27/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

*sigh* this is sad and scary stuff. People have no idea what freedom or rights are. Look here's the basic idea; You are free to do whatever you want UNTIL your actions interfere with MY freedom to do what I want. Your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins. So, starting random fires...forcing people to accept scribble on a napkin as payment for goods....walking into private businesses and helping yourself to whatever is there....these behaviors arent "freedom" they would create dangerous oppressive environments where the freedom of one imposes on the freedom of another.

AND, you are absolutely free to pay for things with a written IOU. there is no law against that. Ive made deals on a handshake. The problem is you cannot FORCE a person to accept your IOU as payment. Refer to the above. If Im selling mashed potatoes I can accept your scribble for my goods if I choose. But because I have rights and freedoms to you cannot force me to accept your IOU for my potatoes. Is any of this getting through? Why are so many young people so confused about this?

In reply to by snblitz

Trogdor brushhog Sat, 07/28/2018 - 09:55 Permalink

Why are so many young people so confused about this?

I think it's because they've been indoctrinated (thanks (((Academia))) )with the idea that "I breathe, therefore I'm entitled to whatever (your) goods and services I desire ..."  They seem to have this mysterious idea that "stuff" just appears on a bench somewhere when it's needed - like somehow the world is the Basket of Loaves and Fishes and will just poop out goods and services on a whim - with zero effort .... but someone, somewhere, is keeping them from getting all those iPhones, Beyonce Tickets, and almond soy mocha lattes for free ....

In reply to by brushhog

Oldguy05 Oldguy05 Fri, 07/27/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

"Point is, in order to enforce this illogical, immoral system, the corrupt rulers—most of the time—don’t need guns and tear gas to keep the exploitation mechanisms humming along. All they need are some good, solid bullshit myths for us all to buy into, hook, line and sinker. Some fairy tales for adults. "


Seems like there's tear gas in the air and guns are going to be used soon. The myths are dying on the tongues of the liars. Molon Labe!....and I'm usually a pacifist.

In reply to by Oldguy05

PrivetHedge brushhog Sat, 07/28/2018 - 06:01 Permalink

Having a national currency means your not free?

He's not saying that, he's saying that renting a private currency from the FED has enslaved the nation. How can you be free and in debt? Everyone holding dollars is renting or causing someone else to rent them from the satanic FED.

When the FED lends money it only issues the amount of the loan, the currency for the interest they charge is never issued. To repay the FED someone womewhere needs to take out another FED loan or default - there is no other magic. 

Thus the comment merely means that the US public are enslaved by their currency not being an interest free treasury issued currency (as The Constitution mandates), and it debt enslaved America to the private satanic banking cartel that run the FED.

I.e. it is NOT a national currency, it's a private currency that the US rents from satanic bankers and that means you are not free. You (the US as a whole) is in a satanic (pharisee/jew) controlled debt spiral trap and over time all wealth flows to the pharisee banking cartel.

The side effect is that you also have bankers wars and corruption that often frees people of their lives and liberty too - not just their wealth.

In reply to by brushhog

Trogdor PrivetHedge Sat, 07/28/2018 - 10:07 Permalink

Exactly:  We don't have a national currency, we have a private currency (note: that is NOT money) that is created by an organization who's owners are secret.  They also have the ability to - overtly or covertly - attack any one who threatens that monopoly.  The Federal Reserve is a cancerous parasite.

You're also one of the few who have noted that when the Satanic Fed issues currency, it's actually creating debt out of thin air - and the currency to pay the interest (debt) is never created - therefore, the debt can never be paid off

And just who was it that saddled the world with this parasitic system? Hmmmm ....

In reply to by PrivetHedge

Socratic Dog brushhog Sat, 07/28/2018 - 12:13 Permalink

Author is trying to wake people up.  But he's a lefty, and it's lefties he's trying to wake up.  Thus "universal basic income", and "those poor niggers".

Of course, there's no mention of the Tribe.

This belongs on HuffPo, not the Hedge.  Trouble is, anyone who buys into it over there and does waken a little, will likely not remain a libtard for long.  They rely on their audience being asleep at the wheel.

In reply to by brushhog

PrivetHedge shovelhead Sat, 07/28/2018 - 06:04 Permalink

You like firemen when your neighbors house is burning, don't you? That what those taxes pay for.

Technically that's about what 5% or less what those taxes pay for.
Fancy a 95% tax cut?

That $21 Trillion lost by the DOD: if you assume the US has 100M working people that's $210,000 per taxpayer not going to your local firemen or your (Israeli militarised) police force.

In reply to by shovelhead

PrivetHedge dirty fingernails Sat, 07/28/2018 - 06:09 Permalink

Our entire culture and lifestyles are subsidized - today.

So how come it's cheaper to buy a townhouse in Europe than San Francisco?
Cheaper to have a coffee in Italy?
Cheaper to buy a TV in the UK?

The US is subsidizing the 0.1%, you may or may not benefit accidentally but European prices and healthcare prove that the US isn't cheaper to live in once you add up all the bills and insurances you need. 

About the only thing cheaper in the US is the petrol (ignoring fracking karma) and the disgusting GMO food our corrupt pharisee moron overlords poison us with.

In reply to by dirty fingernails