Recently many mourned the passing of Muhammad Ali. With his incredible speed, footwork, and coordination Ali cut through his opponents like butter and won the world's heavyweight title. He defended it many times brilliantly and was, in the early days of his reign, the personification of the great American (hence capitalist) dream. One thing about dreams is eventually one has to awake from them. Ali got hooked up with the Black Muslims who leeched off of him and made him fight for at least six years past his best. After the "Thrilla in Manilla" against Joe Frazier in 1975, it would have been time to retire, however, he was good propaganda material for the emerging black capitalists and had about 100 people living off him.
At the end Ali was a pathetic shadow of what he had been; too many blows to the head had taken their toll. Near the end, he couldn't speak and his fortune was gone. Muhammad Ali was a man who lived first the dream and then the nightmare – in that sense perhaps he was the most single representative American in recent history.