Ain’t American won’erful

July 31, 2008 12:18 PM

Lenin said that capitalists would sell the rope used to hang them, an amusing assessment that exaggerates to make the point but has an element of truth.

What is more true is that capitalism is a truly resilient system, because it co-ops its detractors and opponents, embracing them under its huge, money-making tent. The peace symbol, for example, was the emblem of a direct assault on the establishment and all it stood for, most especially capitalism.

But probably by the September following the Summer of Love, some entrepreneur was printing peace-symbol T-shirts in a basement shop in Haight-Ashbury and was making a killing. Maybe by July.

While there can be no small amount of humor and a little distaste at the avarice of the stereotypical capitalist, what’s missed is that capitalism is truly an all-encompassing system — more so than many religions and any other economic or social system. Especially in American, the bastion of capitalism, everyone is welcome. If they pay admission.

For example, Saturday was Muslim Day at Six Flags Great America. (You can’t make this stuff up). The suburban Chicago amusement park made special accommodations that day for Muslim religious restrictions.

Vendors made special foods, and the park transformed an amphitheater into a makeshift mosque, so visitors could keep their prayer schedules.

The day, which started at a Six Flags in New Jersey just days before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, has spread to other cities. The Chicago version started in 2004 with 345 attendees; by 2006, there were nearly 1,600 who apparently came from all over Chicagoland.

The Muslims who attend find they have a sense of community and can participate in the fun without having to bring their own food or find a corner to pray at the proper times.

The right wing blogosphere is undoubtedly in high hysteria over the day, propagating the too widely held, false assumption that all Muslims hate us for our freedoms and that no accommodation should ever be made for anyone who is different.

But in America, the wide, welcoming arms of capitalism embrace everyone.

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