The settlers have been caught as unaware as the natives were. Sure enough, family by family, the modern descendants of settlers have been lured by wads of wampum and shiny store goods to sign their names on the dotted line, to give away their traditional lands and the familiar lively rural culture that goes with it.
Manifest Destiny once again appears with a smile on its face, good news of a glorious new future spouting from its lips, and a reassuring pat on the back. Goodbye vibrant rural culture; hello industrial mega-ag! And if your rural town is especially worthy, a company store in a strip mall. Granted, modern Manifest Destiny cannot always lure a farmer to abandon his family's future with wealth. Sometimes Manifest Destiny has to use banks (debt) and justice (the law) to enforce their legal right to rural lands. Why fight it? It's Manifest Destiny! It's progress! It's meant to be! It's going to happen anyway, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Rural Americans are shuffled off their ancestral homes and forced onto reservations, usually bombed out small towns with a trading post (Wal-Mart) on the edge of town. They rely on government handouts to survive, or if they can, they hire themselves out, often for low pay and travel far away. Many cannot cope with the loss of their livelihood and their familiar culture, and turn to tv (or video games) and liquor (or crack or meth) to alleviate the suffering.
Many emigrate to big cities, assimilating into the quick pace of urban american culture and its relentless demands of the total work and consumption lifestyles. A few ex-pats "pass" and survive. Many alleviate their sufferings as do their compatriots back home--drug and screen addictions.
And so here we are, corporations of America holding the deed to the land, the heart and soul of the american way of life. Sure we don't have to choose to participate, as long as we don't mind homelessness and starvation. It is strange that we have been forced into economic slavery by corporations backed by linear feet of legal code and our own government that is supposedly by, for, and of, us. In fact our governments and corporations exist only because we believe they do, because our consensus reality rituals reinforce the ever-increasing literal concrete-ness of their presence on a daily basis. We drive the wheels of Manifest Destiny.
The call is out for a 10,000 Year Jubilee, one to match, undo, and heal the toil of civilization. Let us cast off the expectations of slavery and consumption, and replace these cultural memes with ones that make some sense. Let us rediscover our human roots and scout the trail back to the gardens. Let us replace corporate government bullony with community and the gift economy. Let us replace education with curiosity and learning, health care with good health, punishment-style tax-dollar justice with community care and forgiveness, fossil fuels and energy slaves with the sweat of our own brows, prozac with a life filled with love and purpose, moral obedience to authority with loyalty to self and tribe, reason with intuition, wealth and success with contentment, rational science with alchemy, toxic industrial food with blessings from the garden and the entire community of life. May we have the blessing of feeling filled with just enough.
Let us replace Manifest Destiny with usufruct. The land belongs to itself, and all that is on it belongs to itself (including humanity). We take for our needs, and provide a continuing future for our children, for humanity, as well as the rest of the community of life. We may well have plastic for the rest of human existence on this planet. Let it serve as a sign of (rich white) man's hubris, of a time when we thought we were gods, and we thought we had acquired the knowledge of good and evil. Let us search out the tree of life in the gardens, and remember.
Reservations for none, paradise for all. Emigrate to a culture of life.
"There is no wealth but life." --John Ruskin
"Justice... is the strength of love in making a world that is deserving of human beings." --Curtis White