Feb

27

 The most profound book on the evolution of American ideology for the last 50 years is The Adjusted American by Snell and Gail Putney. The revealing subtitle is 'Normal Neuroses in the Individual and Society'. An adjusted American is a citizen who has bought into a mass neurosis that the country declares normal, and so is adjusted. A more accurate adjective is misadjusted.

The author explains the neurotic tendencies of the average American that are considered normal with a nearly overpowering peer pressure. The theory, which I have found accurate in haunting every facet of all the states from the Alaskan frontiers to Manhattan streets to Florida swamp and Los Angeles megacity, is that the regular citizens are considered normal and even encouraged by the larger social structure. Most of the social and personal ills of society are based on this alienation of qualities from the true self onto others.

The implied goal for all of us trapped in the adjustment mentality is to seek other role models so that we can take control over our lives. It is difficult because the alienation is encouraged by social pressure to conform to a certain neurotic ideal image.

Slab City is the best example of a group who have broken free and offer themselves as the last free place to regain a true self, cheaply, easily, and overnight.

The fence between the adjusted American society and Slab City is our contrasting world views. Slab City holds a sharp edge of independence and self-sufficiency against the settled, sober and unadventurous outside. Either the town will prevail, or the country will smother them. Or, an apartheid – separation on grounds other than race – will carry us into the future. In that case, Slab City will grow by leaps and bounds.


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