Dreams Mirroring Reality?

10 Feb

What research would suggest is that as the Chinese dream surfaces in many citizens lives the American dream, or rather its original roots, seem to be withering in the face of economic and state instability. Their base aims differ, with the original American dream of the 1930s sourcing as the want for financial independence and home ownership whilst the Chinese dream takes a much more collective stance, the dream of the continued prosperity of the Chinese state which in turn allows for the citizens dreams to become a reality.

The piece by Time magazines Dan Kadlec about the changing nature of the American dream highlights how the wants of younger generations are changing as the ‘attainable’ wants of the American dream become unobtainable to more and more generations. The generation he aptly names ‘the millennials’ now puts emphasis on wanting to be able to travel and not find themselves working for ‘the man’. ‘In a new poll, 38% of Millennials say travel is part of the American Dream, exceeding the 28% who name secure retirement…Meanwhile, 26% of Millennials cite self-employment as part of the dream.’ (Kadlec, 2014) However, in contrast, having discovered a blog by a young Chinese citizen expressing what the Chinese dream is and how it has become a reality for him we see more emphasis on ideals that mirror a younger American dream, ‘I began to dream the same things as other peers: a comfortable home, my own car and a spacious apartment.’ (ALittleBoat, 2013)

As American citizens remove themselves from the state approved wants for a happy life, the Chinese seem to be seeking them. These actions of increased and decreased reliability on the average dream prescriptions by the state can be seen to mirror the economic turns of both states individually. As America has seen stagnation and decline throughout the past decade seeing high unemployment and home foreclosures, China has seen a thriving economy which is allowing for social reforms where societal dreams no longer seem unobtainable much as what happened in 1930s America.

Interpreting this rise and decline in state dreams and what they reference can show a trust or mistrust in the state which can be further analysed in the context of the current ‘Rise of China’ and the nature global politics is taking on in light of ‘America’s decline’. Kadlec (2014) suggests the change in the American dream ‘points up how different the landscape is for young adults today, and the growing level of frustration that has emerged since the recession. A true American Dream has to feel attainable, and many Millennials aren’t feeling they can attain much more than a day-to-day lifestyle that suits them.’ Contrast this to the complete faith the young Chinese man shows in China’s prosperity  and his linking of it to his happiness and we see perhaps an integral, if not small part, of why we may be seeing such a power transition take place in global politics, ‘whatever I believe, most of my dreams will come true sooner or later only if my motherland keep advancing with current pace.’

-Taler Kelly

Read more: Millennials Put Their Surprising Stamp on the American Dream | TIME.com http://business.time.com/2014/02/06/millennials-put-their-surprising-stamp-on-the-american-dream/#ixzz2suauiRl6

Read more: http://blog.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-728189-8558.html

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