If Mobility Is the American Dream, Going Trans Is Its New Expression

Is not escaping the circumstances of our birth and remaking ourselves in our own self-styled image the very essence of the American Dream?

If you attended American schools or consumed its media you probably grew up believing that the greatness of this nation was that anybody could become anything they wanted to be if they were willing to make the effort. However it was almost always also implicitly implied that this opportunity for mobility could be measured in socio-economic status. The poor can become rich.

Today that kind of mobility seems far less achievable. It is not impossible, but for a variety of reasons it is not as easy to pull yourself up by the bootstraps as it was while we were still a developing, then dominant, nation. At the same time, that sort of tunnel vision towards wealth is less attractive than it once was. New values are arising which transcend consumer culture and capitalist virtues. However the pressing urge for mobility is still very much a part of our national identity.

Before moving on, I would like to make a few things clear. I am absolutely and without a doubt not in support of nation states. It is an obsolete concept that triggers humanity’s most destructive habitual impulses. However we cannot discount that there is a unique American culture or ideology that can be referred to without validating or promoting nation states.

Secondly, almost any critique of the trans phenomena is going to include an indictment against ‘identity politics’. The fact is, there is no politics without identity. Every political group is based on a shared identity. That is the core adhesive of any political structure, and thus there are no politics free of identity, leaving these criticisms empty of any meaning. What is really implied is a rejection of the evolution of that identity by traditionalists who are opposed to the one thing you cannot fight – change.

Now that I have relieved reactive types of some of their ammo, let’s move on…

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