Shames, "The More Factor”
In “The More Factor” Laurence Shames, attempts to make a connection between the perceived attitude of most Americans that “More is better” and “frontierism” in American history. He describes the “More Factor” as the acquisition of things such as more land and more money. He compares this attitude of acquisition to European countries that have an opposite view of the meaning of what a frontier is. He expresses his feelings that the American attitude of growth and expansion is unique to Americans and that it grew from the fact that land and wealth were so easily obtained. Shames points out how as land became sparse the concept of the American frontier evolved from the wide expanse of land to less tangible frontiers such as the exploration of space and the oceans which have each been referred to as the “Last Frontier”.
He comes to the conclusion that while the “More Factor” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is a wrong perception of the world. He feels that while getting richer every year is nice when it happens, but it is not normal. While Shame is correct in his theory of how modern day capitalism evolved, he didn’t take it far enough. While the expansion of America was a starting point for the evolution of the modern American economy, the American expansion didn’t start in America. It started with all of the settlers that migrated to the new world. Even the discovery of the new world was part of an overall attitude of exploration by men trying to expand their world. We can take this concept even further. When Man first rose up out of Africa he naturally expanded his horizons until he reached all of the shores and could expand no more. He then built ships and began exploring the oceans.
Shame’s opinion that the “More Factor” is unique to America is wrong. America exists because of Man’s natural tendency to better himself. The frontiers in America are growing smaller just as they did in the old world.
It was the...
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