Our mantra has been switched to buy, buy, buy, spend, spend in the past couple of decades and what has it gotten us? A near depression with 30 million Americans underemployed, unemployed or hopeless; an economy bankrupt with no manufacturing base; unending war; and the decimation of American creativity.
During the Second World War, thrift, ingenuity, and sacrifice were considered to be the main indicators of a Good American but those values have been tossed to the past, exported to other countries, and in mocked in popular culture.
As a country, we have been living the last decade as though we are not embroiled in at least two full-scale wars / invasions of other countries. With the battlefield positions relegated to such a small percentage of the country, many people don’t even notice that we’re at war — it’s not something that touches the lives of most of us.
But we are at war. Americans are still being converted from sons and fathers to “troops” and from mothers and daughters to “troops”, isolating them from the rest of us, the non-warring public who are unmoved by their sacrifice. To honor them, we don’t need more war, we need to bring them home and start healing communities now.
How can we “Support the Troops” if we don’t try to end the wars to bring them back to their families and communities intact?
Below are some posters from the WWII era extolling frugality, improvisation, and making do.
Because commercially canned goods were rationed, the Victory Garden became an indispensable source of food for the home front. The Victory Garden was a household activity during the war and one of the most well received of all home front chores. At its peak, it is estimated that nearly 20,000,000 gardens were grown and about 40 percent of all vegetables produced in the U.S. came from Victory Gardens. By the end of the war the Department of Agriculture estimated total home front production of over one million tons of vegetables valued at 85 million dollars.
The Victory Gardens of WWII remain a vivid memory for many Americans who experienced them. Across the nation, home canning and preserving of farm produce flourished so that more supplies would be made available for our troops. The idea was simple in conception and inexpensive for the individual American at home to carry out.
As FDR said: “Books are weapons” so brandish yours today and take control of your flow of information. It’s time to get informed and not all information is available on the internet. Join a library and check out a book today. “No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny”. Read one today!
And, as En Vogue said sometime in the 90s, “Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow”.