What’s Holding Americans Back?

What had happened to that rebellious Yankee spirit and the American mind? Could it have been the food that overstuffed and immobilized them?

The Pop-Tarts® and Egg McMuffins® washed down with Coke® for breakfast?  The Baconator® Triple, The Whoppers®, The Big Macs®, the $5 Foot-Long Subs, the bucket-of-chicken and 32oz. Big Gulp®? Too many trips to the All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet or The Never Ending Pasta Bowl®? Or was it the Slurpees, tubs of ice cream, or boxes of donuts grabbed at the convenience store?

Could it have been the factory-farmed, battery-raised, hormone implanted, antibiotic-laced, pesticide sprayed, genetically modified beef, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, vegetables, grains that were used in the highly processed, synthetic, ultra pasteurized, artificially sweetened, colored and flavored “product” passed off as food?

What drove a nation with a relatively well-off and well-educated population to inflict such suicidal behavior upon itself? It was easy to point to the poor for buying cheap and eating stupid. But what excused the smartest of the smart and the richest of the rich from buying cheap and eating stupid?

A case in point: celebrated for “powering his way through the day with a punishing Diet Coke regimen,” even Obama’s chief economic advisor – the always “brilliant” Larry Summers (who brilliantly jumped the sinking ship of state when his “brilliant” economic strategy to rescue America failed brilliantly) – was too stupid to eat smart.

A look around the cabinet, survey of Capital Hill, AMA, ABA, PTA or pow wow of American Indian chiefs proved he was not alone.  America had become one big “Mike & Molly” sitcom. Yet, even though just about everybody knew better, just about everybody made the same excuse for abusing the body and deadening the mind: it was cheap and/or it was convenient.

Sure, money was tight and time was precious, but plenty of people were still going to the malls and spending big on hi-tech, high-end running shoes, taking vacations, eating out and buying new cars. Even low-end shoppers at Dollar Stores – while saving a buck – were filling their carts with junk snacks, junk soft drinks and junk “Made in China” bric-a-brac.

Or was it something in the polluted air and fluoride-treated water that deadened individual pride, courage, passion and self respect? Could it have been the quadzillions of tons of chemical mix poisoning the planet that made everyone susceptible?

Or could it have been the medicine chests full of Lipitor®, Oxycontin®, Xanax®, Celebrex®, Paxil® … or the Ritalin® force-fed to kids and gobbled down like M&Ms® that deadened heir minds or whacked them out?  Whether prescribed indiscriminately as quick fix, symptom-relief solutions by legal “pushers” (a.k.a. doctors) or unwittingly washed down with a glass of municipally doctored “pharma-water,” voluntarily or involuntarily, a large segment of the populace was doing drugs.

Drugs Found in Drinking Water

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones  — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows. (AP, 10 March 2008)

Or was it the “food for thought”? Could it have been the mind-numbing news served 24/7 by networks, cable and radio? All those know-it-alls — anchors, big mouths, blow-hards, clowns, pundits, experts, strategists, think tank wankers — telling audiences what to think, how to think and what to believe?

Food, pharmaceuticals, movies, music, TV, literature, art, fashion — down the line, across the board, from top to bottom, every sector was monopolized by the unholy trinity of Big Government, Big Business and Big Media.

The “American Century” — an age of opportunity characterized by the entrepreneur — had passed into history. America had been corporatized, homogenized, dumbed down and chained to the chains … and by the chains … restaurant chains, retail chains, movie chains, funeral home chains, auto-parts chains. They had cornered the market on everything they could get their hands on: tires, eye glasses, mufflers, dental care, banks, brokerages, drug stores, hardware, pet supplies.

Even in the mad rush of the monopolistic, oligopolistic, mega-maniacals to control the market place, there was room for the individual entrepreneur to flourish. In certain sectors, particularly retail and food, the quality conscious “Davids” — providing gourmet/unique products, tasteful ambience, impeccable service — could operate among the Goliaths.

If you were chained to a chain, you were chained. Working for a chain or patronizing a chain, there would be no real freedom until the chains were boycotted and finally broken. It would take a mass awakening; a quality revolution across the socioeconomic spectrum to bring down the gluttonous Goliaths.

Yet, in 2010, it was still neither welcome nor “politically correct” (itself an oxymoron since nothing “political” is “correct”) to tell Americans to look in the mirror to see what they had become; overweight, overstressed, overmedicated, under-motivated, slovenly dressed. A trip to Wal-Mart spoke a thousand words. The American psyche was reflected in the American physique.

Of all the Renaissance-related trends forecast by Gerald Celente and The Trends Research Institute, few could play a more powerful role in the creation of a new society than the upcoming Agrarian Revolution. From titillating the taste buds and nourishing the body, to providing the satisfaction of getting fit by working the land and living with — and from — nature, the trend would revivify Americans.

Besides providing millions of jobs and new entrepreneurial opportunities (especially for the young unemployed and the many unemployables) the Agrarian Revolution was a unique feature of the “American Renaissance.”

“Renaissance”! The word conjures up an image of the artistic and cultural ferment that began in 14th and 15th century Italy and subsequently spread across Europe. When asked what to do with his excesses of wealth, Cosimo de Medici’s answer was “create beauty.”

The “American Renaissance” that begins in the 21st century will not be initiated by excess wealth, but rather by pressing need. And it will have different distinguishing features, among them: the rebirth of food. For, finally, both the man in the street and the man in the ghetto would realize the life and death consequences of eating well; that, yes, “you are what you eat.”

Already in 2010, the seeds of change could be seen in the farmers’ markets, “buy local” movements, urban gardens and roof gardens that were sprouting up around the nation. Backyards and lawns that once grew nothing but grass were now growing food.


Gerald Celente
for The Daily Reckoning

[Editor’s Note: The above essay is excerpted from The Trends Journal, which is published by Gerald Celente. The Trends Journal distills the ongoing research of The Trends Research Institute into a concise, readily accessible form. Click here to learn more about and subscribe to The Trends Journal.]

The Daily Reckoning