Join Open University of the Left on Saturday April 15 at 2:30 pm at the Lincoln Park Public Library 1150 W. Fullerton Ave. (at Damen) Chicago, free parking, Wheelchair accessible, (Red Line: Fullerton)
Dr. Lauren Langman presents: God, Guns, Gold and Glory
Ever since De Toqueville, the first observer of American character, traveled across early America, the nations exceptional nature was evident. A ragtag group of religiously devout Puritans voyaged to a faraway place to freely practice their religion. However, a number of factors came together between their Protestant religion, natural resources, and their relative isolation from the political conflicts of Europe such that within a few generations the colonies became relatively affluent. When we look at American character we can observe four distinctive qualities, the persistence of religion, the value of guns and male toughness, the fervent pursuit of wealth and riches, and the belief that America is an exceptional nation. These qualities led the colonies to found a nation that would become the most prosperous and powerful nation in the history of the world. Today, these same qualities undermine it’s wealth and degrade it’s power. This decline has set the stage for the ascent of Donald Trump. Nevertheless, given the consequences of it’s economic stagnation if not decline, The country is riven with a growing inequality. However, a liberalization of it’s social values as well as a new social character has been emerging that portends the possibility of a socialist economy with democratic governance and American’s living in potential harmony with each other in nature.
Lauren Langman is a professor of sociology at Loyola University. He is concerned with the relationship between culture and character. That is the relationships of identity and political attitudes, practices, and values. His latest book is the basis of the current presentation.
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