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OfflineAsanteA
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Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe
    #4232494 - 05/29/05 05:53 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Most people on our boards either live in the USA or Europe. There is lively debate going on between them on for instance this forum.

Lets look at the mainstream cultural traits of Europe and the USA, and discuss perceived blindspots and weaknesses in each other's and our own cultures. As the dutch saying goes: "one tends to see the splinter in another's eye but not the beam in one's own" it will be easier to point out each others perceived cultural weaknesses then to admit their own, so there will be some intensity to this thread.

Let us TRY VERY HARD to NOT get personal or needlessly insulting. These are delicate topics with a high risk of trolling and derailing. Let's keep our lead pipes in the toolbox and lets discuss.
We get the rare opportunity to hear outsider views of our own cultures here which, with reflection and the willingness to listen without prejudice allows for transcending our own points of view in favor of more balanced ones.

Who wants to kick off the discussion?


PS: if you're for instance Japanese, Nigerian or an Iraqi feel free to point out the weakspots you perceive in either or both cultures.
It would help if we all started our posts by stating from which culture we're speaking. Me, I'm European/Dutch.


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Edited by Asante (05/29/05 05:57 AM)


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Asante]
    #4232603 - 05/29/05 08:08 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Wiccan_Seeker said:
As the dutch saying goes: "one tends to see the splinter in another's eye but not the beam in one's own"



:grin: it was jesus who said that, not a dutchman. anyway, i'll most definitely join the discussion - being half indian/half american, but having lived in europe for the past 3 years, it's a discussion i find very interesting. but right now i have to go clean up the house i was living in, because the owner wants to move back in next week...

i'll be back later today.

:rasta:


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OfflineAsanteA
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Krishna]
    #4232663 - 05/29/05 09:10 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

it was jesus who said that, not a dutchman.




That overturns the whole notion of where Jesus came from, doesn't it? :evil:
Nah seriously its a proverb here, but appearantly straight from the bible.

I bet the proverb "Who spreads their legs, spreads cosy-ness" isn't from the bible :grin:
Actually its also used throughout Germany and is based on the observation that relaxed people don't cross their legs in conversation and tend to be the light of the party.
It could also reflect an ingrained appreciation of hoes, but my granny used to say it so I guess it's the former.

Well if nobody kicks it off, allow me to start.

"I often notice that USA people tend to polarize topics when debating. When a debate for instance is about sexual orientation you can have 100 posts that use the words Gay and Straight, yet the word or concept Bisexual often doesnt even enter the picture. A certain tendency to polarize topics into black/white contrasts which you either strongly are for or against. I think this has something to do with the two-party system of politics that tends to polarize issues in a duality of "right" and "wrong".

In line with this i notice a tendency that Europeans in a discussion tend to be exchange-oriented wheras USA people tend to be solution-oriented. A european looks at the schedule and misses the bus, an American jumps on the bus and discovers it drives off in the wrong direction  :wink:

So to kick it off: I believe Europeans tend to be indecisive while Americans tend to jump to conclusions."


I know i'm broadly generalizing, but thats what this thread is about: discussing observed or assumed generalities in the mainstream cultures. That its not wrong to voice generalities is a given for this thread.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Asante]
    #4232796 - 05/29/05 10:47 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

I think I have a problem with Americans' idea of what liberty and security are.

To be free, for americans, is to be autonomous, not depending on anyone else but themselves, and not be vulnerable to anything thats beyond one's control. And being autonomous rhymes with having lots of material possessions and wealth. The more wealth you have, the more independent you are in the world, the more you are in control, and therefore the more you feel secure.

This idea of what freedom is seems to be based on materialist egotistical based notions, which only concerns the individual and not the people around him, when really freedom is a philosophical notion that requires one to acknowledge other people's freedom as well. But individualism is part of american culture, and i don't think there's nothing much we can do about that.

In Europe we have a different idea of what freedom and security are. Freedom lies not in autonomy, but in interdependentness, in embededdness. Here, we are free together, not individually. What brings us security is belonging - not belongings.



Also, the american way of life emphasizes economic growth (which IMO can only bring immediate satisfaction, but in the long run it will bring chaos, see my post:  Chaotic future of economical expansion  ), personal wealth, and independence.

But the european way focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and interdependence.




Let's not even mention the differences in the interpretation of Human Rights!  :smirk:


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Invisiblequestion_for_joo
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Asante]
    #4232872 - 05/29/05 11:24 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

there is a lot of extreme sexual perversion in Europe. for example in Germany especially there is a lot of guys who like to watch women pee in public.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: exclusive58]
    #4232885 - 05/29/05 11:28 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
To be free, for americans, is to be autonomous, not depending on anyone else but themselves, and not be vulnerable to anything thats beyond one's control.

In Europe we have a different idea of what freedom and security are. Freedom lies not in autonomy, but in interdependentness, in embededdness. Here, we are free together, not individually.




First of all, let me say that I am irked when I hear Europeans (not just on this board) seem to hold themselves and their nations up as beacons of what everybody should emulate and at the same time they seem to insinuate that us Americans are troglodytes.

And, let me say that America is home to about every political ideology imaginable. There are Leftist Anarchists, Leftist Socialists, Centrist Democrats, Rightist Religious people, and on and on...

However, I do agree that there is an underlying sense of rugged individualism that a lot of Americans seem to admire and aspire to. I have this feeling myself. I am an independent individual who revels in the idea of being able to say what I want to, go where I want to, and be the master of my own destiny (whatever that destiny may be).

Individualism can get lonely though. A sense of community can be lost when a person is focused on themselves. I do not "choose" my freedom over the rest of society in every instance in a selfish manner however. I think that forced altruism doesn't work in making the world better. It is just another form of slavery. Free individuals can be selfish, but they can also be caring. And when a free individual helps other people it is because they have decided to do it and the feeling is genuine instead of forced and fake.

http://fdncenter.org/learn/faqs/html/givingstats.html


The American Association of Fundraising Counsel (AAFRC) Trust for Philanthropy, publishers of "Giving USA," released their estimations of total charitable contributions in the U.S. for the year 2003. Total giving is estimated at nearly $241 billion for the year 2003


Quote:

exclusive58 said:
And being autonomous rhymes with having lots of material possessions and wealth. The more wealth you have, the more independent you are in the world, the more you are in control, and therefore the more you feel secure.

This idea of what freedom is seems to be based on materialist egotistical based notions





I view freedom as a lack of encumbrances to one's mental, social, political, and physical life. Ironically, possessions and wealth can become encumbrances.

And, I have to disagree with your basic idea here. I don't think the American notions of freedom and wealth are intertwined as much as you think. I view my economic life and my freedom as very seperate. Money can make things physically easier, but it does not grant freedom.

It is annoying to be automatically judged because you belong to a certain nation or group. It is very easy to apply stereotypes without giving a person a chance. Although, I tend to sometimes do that myself (such as thinking French people are rude because of my trip to Paris). When it starts to happen, I try to rectify it. However, engaging in absolute thinking (everybody from a certain group is a certain way) makes classification of the world easier. I have a feeling that Man has been engaging in stereotyping since the beginning of time.


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Offlinecb9fl
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4232919 - 05/29/05 11:44 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

However, I do agree that there is an underlying sense of rugged individualism that a lot of Americans seem to admire and aspire to.

In what way? Most people I know depend on the government for basic infrastructure.

Unfortunately most people in the States fail to understand what true individualism is. They fail to see the government monopolies. They fail to see the corporatism.

I see the US as much more socialist that capitalist.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: cb9fl]
    #4232965 - 05/29/05 12:06 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

cb9fl said:
However, I do agree that there is an underlying sense of rugged individualism that a lot of Americans seem to admire and aspire to.

In what way? Most people I know depend on the government for basic infrastructure.

Unfortunately most people in the States fail to understand what true individualism is. They fail to see the government monopolies. They fail to see the corporatism.

I see the US as much more socialist that capitalist.




Well, this rugged sense of individualism is not always adhered to and there are contradictions.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: exclusive58]
    #4233058 - 05/29/05 12:48 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
I think I have a problem with Americans' idea of what liberty and security are.

To be free, for americans, is to be autonomous, not depending on anyone else but themselves, and not be vulnerable to anything thats beyond one's control. And being autonomous rhymes with having lots of material possessions and wealth. The more wealth you have, the more independent you are in the world, the more you are in control, and therefore the more you feel secure.

This idea of what freedom is seems to be based on materialist egotistical based notions, which only concerns the individual and not the people around him, when really freedom is a philosophical notion that requires one to acknowledge other people's freedom as well. But individualism is part of american culture, and i don't think there's nothing much we can do about that.

In Europe we have a different idea of what freedom and security are. Freedom lies not in autonomy, but in interdependentness, in embededdness. Here, we are free together, not individually. What brings us security is belonging - not belongings.



Similarly, I hate the European notion that you can be free without having the right to the wealth you earn through your own labor.  To forcibly take the fruits of one's labor is to steal the labor that made it, which is tantamount to slavery.  We're not perfect in this area either, but there is at least some recognition here that people should keep what they earn.

And we do have an intricate web of interdependence.  It's called the market, and it works better than any socialist redistribution scheme ever devised.

Quote:

Also, the american way of life emphasizes economic growth (which IMO can only bring immediate satisfaction, but in the long run it will bring chaos, see my post:  Chaotic future of economical expansion  ), personal wealth, and independence.

But the european way focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and interdependence.



I agree that we shouldn't be using the GDP as our main economic indicator.  But really, if you Europeans are soooo altruistic and not concerned with economic growth, then what's with the EU?


Quote:

Let's not even mention the differences in the interpretation of Human Rights!  :smirk:



Sure.  You guys had oil contracts with Saddam, whereas we got ours after overthrowing him.  Big whoop.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #4233555 - 05/29/05 03:46 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
First of all, let me say that I am irked when I hear Europeans (not just on this board) seem to hold themselves and their nations up as beacons of what everybody should emulate and at the same time they seem to insinuate that us Americans are troglodytes.
...
It is annoying to be automatically judged because you belong to a certain nation or group.  It is very easy to apply stereotypes without giving a person a chance.




Look, let's get over the "stereotype" arguing because i don't think that any of us are stupid enough to honestly classify ALL americans under one category, and I'm a bit disappointed that you thought that i did that. There will necessarily be things said that will seem like that, because here major aspects of american/european culture will be pointed out, but don't take these "stereotypes" litteraly. Its just easier to say things like that, even though im continously aware that things aren't that easy. If it seems that i make generalizations, i'm sorry, don't feel personally offended, because that's not what i mean to do.



Quote:

And, let me say that America is home to about every political ideology imaginable.  There are Leftist Anarchists, Leftist Socialists, Centrist Democrats, Rightist Religious people, and on and on...




Really? I thought ALL americans were either Democrats or Republicans  :smirk:
Not, but I'd rather have a minimum of 5 or 6 major political parties represented during elections, than only 2. And i think that the bipolarity of american political life is something that we can all agree to criticize and say it shouldn't be like that, no?


Quote:

However, I do agree that there is an underlying sense of rugged individualism that a lot of Americans seem to admire and aspire to.  I have this feeling myself.  I am an independent individual who revels in the idea of being able to say what I want to, go where I want to, and be the master of my own destiny (whatever that destiny may be).


 

ummm, do you think that only priviledged americans have these rights?..

Quote:

I think that forced altruism doesn't work in making the world better.  It is just another form of slavery.  Free individuals can be selfish, but they can also be caring.  And when a free individual helps other people it is because they have decided to do it and the feeling is genuine instead of forced and fake.




Yup, America has a big generous heart, the biggest in the world.  :thumbup:
But how much easier would it be to criticize it if it didn't?  :wink:


Quote:

I view freedom as a lack of encumbrances to one's mental, social, political, and physical life.  Ironically, possessions and wealth can become encumbrances.




You know what, according to your view of freedom, PEOPLE can become encumbrances to your freedom as well. So there we have it, the law of the strongest, the law of the jungle. If people get in your way to what you feel you are free to do, and if you have enough money/power, then you can find a way to get these encumbrances out of the way.

I don't really know what i'm suggesting here, maybe i'm trying to criticize unchained liberalism and its negative effects on society.
In france, extreme liberalism is viewed as something ill-fated, and it is almost automatically associated with america.

I guess i'm just saying that the american concept of freedom, is a concept of personal freedom that doesn't acknowledge other people's freedom, it is a totally individual notion. In europe, freedom goes more like this; "You are free as long as you don't step on someone else's freedom". And there are laws to make sure you don't do so, and this is the big aspect of socialist europe that is not seen in capitalist america.

The american way of life is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The european way is more expansive and systematic, and therefore more bound to the welfare of the planet.


Quote:

And, I have to disagree with your basic idea here.  I don't think the American notions of freedom and wealth are intertwined as much as you think.  I view my economic life and my freedom as very seperate.  Money can make things physically easier, but it does not grant freedom.




Well i'd be tempted to say that you are one very rare kind of american!


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Silversoul]
    #4233591 - 05/29/05 04:02 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Similarly, I hate the European notion that you can be free without having the right to the wealth you earn through your own labor. To forcibly take the fruits of one's labor is to steal the labor that made it, which is tantamount to slavery. We're not perfect in this area either, but there is at least some recognition here that people should keep what they earn.




as ususal..you have it all backwards...it is in america that..wealth is more or less forcibly taken from the hands that produce it and redistributed to a few feudalist robber-barons...the europen "socialist redistribution scheme" is meant to prevent this situation..or at least partially correct it...in europe..they steal from you and you steal from them...in america..they steal from you...


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Annapurna1]
    #4233608 - 05/29/05 04:10 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

America's system is not perfect. The "robber barons" gained land monopolies and special favors from the government that allowed them to exploit the labor of others involuntarily. However, European socialism does not correct this. Rather, it responds to injustice with injustice by arbitrarily taking wealth from one class and giving it to another, without any consideration for how that money is earned.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Silversoul]
    #4233629 - 05/29/05 04:19 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Paradigm said:
Similarly, I hate the European notion that you can be free without having the right to the wealth you earn through your own labor.  To forcibly take the fruits of one's labor is to steal the labor that made it, which is tantamount to slavery.  We're not perfect in this area either, but there is at least some recognition here that people should keep what they earn.




I don't know man, paying taxes is part of being a citizen..and you're far from being a slave if you pay them.


Quote:

And we do have an intricate web of interdependence.  It's called the market, and it works better than any socialist redistribution scheme ever devised.




Damn, you guys are so lucky to have a market  :smirk:



Quote:

I agree that we shouldn't be using the GDP as our main economic indicator.  But really, if you Europeans are soooo altruistic and not concerned with economic growth, then what's with the EU?




I'm not saying we aren't concerned with economical growth, that would not be true, but the EU is supposed to make it easier for Europe to develop and evolve TOGETHER, which obviously requires economical growth. That means that all these poor eastern european countries, we want them to reach our level. Like what happened with Spain and Portugal when they entered the EU, and the results are amazing. And when all countries are sufficiently developped, THATS where we need to reach a harmonious balance and stop economical growth.

The EU is in everyone's interest in europe and it is altruistic because the wellfare of all the countries' people is what is aimed, and this while respecting the environment.



Quote:

Quote:

Let's not even mention the differences in the interpretation of Human Rights!  :smirk:



Sure.  You guys had oil contracts with Saddam, whereas we got ours after overthrowing him.  Big whoop.




Ya, going to war for oil is soo much more respectful in regards to human rights than having diplomatic negociations for it.. :rolleyes:


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: exclusive58]
    #4233650 - 05/29/05 04:28 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
Quote:

Paradigm said:
Similarly, I hate the European notion that you can be free without having the right to the wealth you earn through your own labor.  To forcibly take the fruits of one's labor is to steal the labor that made it, which is tantamount to slavery.  We're not perfect in this area either, but there is at least some recognition here that people should keep what they earn.




I don't know man, paying taxes is part of being a citizen..and you're far from being a slave if you pay them.



Prove your case, sir.


Quote:

Quote:

And we do have an intricate web of interdependence.  It's called the market, and it works better than any socialist redistribution scheme ever devised.




Damn, you guys are so lucky to have a market  :smirk:



Indeed, it's great to have a market.  It would be much nicer if it were a free market, but a bunch of socialist and corporatist assholes keep ruining our chances of that.

Quote:

Quote:

I agree that we shouldn't be using the GDP as our main economic indicator.  But really, if you Europeans are soooo altruistic and not concerned with economic growth, then what's with the EU?




I'm not saying we aren't concerned with economical growth, that would not be true, but the EU is supposed to make it easier for Europe to develop and evolve TOGETHER, which obviously requires economical growth. That means that all these poor eastern european countries, we want them to reach our level. Like what happened with Spain and Portugal when they entered the EU, and the results are amazing. And when all countries are sufficiently developped, THATS where we need to reach a harmonious balance and stop economical growth.



How's this different than NAFTA?  Both of them are simply "free trade" agreements between various different nations to prosper together.  But why stop there?  Why not have global free trade to help other countries become more prosperous?

Quote:

The EU is in everyone's interest in europe and it is altruistic because the wellfare of all the countries' people is what is aimed, and this while respecting the environment.



What environment?  Last I checked, Europe was a bunch of centuries-old buildings, and very young trees.  Here in America, we've got very old trees and very young buildings.

Quote:

Quote:

Let's not even mention the differences in the interpretation of Human Rights!  :smirk:



Sure.  You guys had oil contracts with Saddam, whereas we got ours after overthrowing him.  Big whoop.




Ya, going to war for oil is soo much more respectful in regards to human rights than having diplomatic negociations for it.. :rolleyes:



We're talking about diplomatic relationships with a genocidal dictator here.


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Invisiblelooner2
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Silversoul]
    #4233783 - 05/29/05 05:25 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

USA

Weakness: Inability to embrace nationalism. Cowering to liberal idealogy of world peace and other hogwash that has proven to be illogical and unrealistic. Inability for us to view the history of the world as a power struggle between nations, and hence only focusing on the immediate threats. Failure to maintain our dominance in years, and hopefully centuries to come on a global scale.

Strengths: Our patriotism and our embracement of rugged individualism.

Europe

I can't give weakness and strengths because I wish doom to their entire continent therefore I can't rationally decide whats best for them because frankly, I wish the worst. But...

Mentally weak, which is a good thing for the U.S. The majority is blinded by thoughts of world peace and "progressive" dogma, but at the same time they let their leaders guide them into a modern nation-state thats sole purpose is to consolidate power in an effort to match the U.S.


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: looner2]
    #4233851 - 05/29/05 05:46 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I can't give weakness and strengths because I wish doom to their entire continent therefore I can't rationally decide whats best for them because frankly, I wish the worst. But...

Mentally weak, which is a good thing for the U.S. The majority is blinded by thoughts of world peace and "progressive" dogma, but at the same time they let their leaders guide them into a modern nation-state thats sole purpose is to consolidate power in an effort to match the U.S.




:thumbup:

Europe is indeed weak and socialist. Many of the countries there are socialist and are for strong gun control, or even want to rid guns. Economically and socially, they do not seem very individualistic, and support welfare, high taxes in exchange for government programs, and other failed notions.

People don't realize the world and its nations are just examples of the will to power and natural selection, but indeed they are, and if the U.S. doesn't act soon we'll be at the mercy to Asia and socialist Europe.

Assume an isolationist policy when we must, but when our survival is threatened in the long-term, take action and make sure we're the victor in the end. Americans don't realize that now is a time of change, and if we don't do something soon we won't be the victor.


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OfflinePsiloman
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Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Ravus]
    #4234215 - 05/29/05 08:10 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Ermmm...Why cant we be friends?

No need for Victors,i think that whole "survival of the ruthless" notion was usefull when we were jumping all (Europeans and..Now-Americans Europeans) from tree to tree ,but now its getting pretty outdated.

Im European so let me giveyou my view

USA
Positives : Multicultural influence and quite good intergration so far of different races living there.A civilisation at its upheaval,just be carefull of the "Fall" (As a Greek ,we suffered that Centuries ago).I also happen to like your accents

Negatives: Sometimes i think that Americans dont think for themselves as much as they should do.Not enough really reactive elements to give a shock to those governing the place...I dont think the educational system is what it should be + there seem to be many overzealous christians (bordelining on fanatism that is).Overperscription of opioids and benzos :laugh:

Europe

Positives: Generally people can think for themselves,you tend to see more Culture in Europe.It might be my idea but people seem friendlier..Stronger currency :P

Negatives :Still politicians run this place...Not enough balls to stand up to them.Usually Europeans look at Americans as if they are "stupid" (In Greece American tourists are considered gullible,sorry) and this disrespect agravvates relationships + doesnt let the American people be truely evaluated and not stereotypically labeled.Europeans (especially politicians) sometimes give me the impresion of living in the shade of America and wasting too much energy to be...lemme use Ravus's words "Victors".

Well thats all ,i couldnt formulate it well and i got a bit entangled on their inbetween relationship taking into account politics as well...

So...Why cant we be friends?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: exclusive58]
    #4234358 - 05/29/05 09:13 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
I'd rather have a minimum of 5 or 6 major political parties represented during elections, than only 2. And i think that the bipolarity of american political life is something that we can all agree to criticize and say it shouldn't be like that, no?




There are't just two candidates in every election. I remember when I went to vote in the recent presidential election and I saw 6 candidates running for president. I voted Libertarian. However, the media does seem to pay too much attention to the Republicans and the Democrats and not enough to the other parties.

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
However, I do agree that there is an underlying sense of rugged individualism that a lot of Americans seem to admire and aspire to.

exclusive58 said:
ummm, do you think that only priviledged americans have these rights?..




No. Everybody should have access to these rights.


Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
I view freedom as a lack of encumbrances to one's mental, social, political, and physical life. Ironically, possessions and wealth can become encumbrances.

exclusive58 said:
You know what, according to your view of freedom, PEOPLE can become encumbrances to your freedom as well. So there we have it, the law of the strongest, the law of the jungle. If people get in your way to what you feel you are free to do, and if you have enough money/power, then you can find a way to get these encumbrances out of the way.




Huh? Just because one likes individualism and the ability to be free does not mean they don't give a shit about their fellow man.

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
I don't really know what i'm suggesting here, maybe i'm trying to criticize unchained liberalism and its negative effects on society.
In france, extreme liberalism is viewed as something ill-fated, and it is almost automatically associated with america.




We must have different views on the word "liberalism". I have gathered that France is much more liberal than America.

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
I guess i'm just saying that the american concept of freedom, is a concept of personal freedom that doesn't acknowledge other people's freedom, it is a totally individual notion.




I can see where you would get that idea. I see freedom as the ability to do what you want to do. And I also see this type of individual based society as being more natural and less stifling than a forced communal feeling. Not that anything is wrong with a communal feeling though.

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
In europe, freedom goes more like this; "You are free as long as you don't step on someone else's freedom". And there are laws to make sure you don't do so, and this is the big aspect of socialist europe that is not seen in capitalist america.




Most American laws follow that premise. Some don't(American marijuana law being the most obvious example).

And America is pretty socialist as it is (not as much as France though I'm sure). If you are poor or old you get all kinds of free stuff in America. Of the 2.5 trillion dollar American federal government budget, at least a trillion of that was given to poor and old people in the form of services and goods.

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
The american way of life is deeply personal and little concerned with the rest of humanity. The european way is more expansive and systematic, and therefore more bound to the welfare of the planet.




If the American way of life is deeply personal and not concerned with the rest of hmanity, why do Americans and American businesses give so much to charity?


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OfflineMushmonkey
shiftlesslayabout
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Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 10,378
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: exclusive58]
    #4234578 - 05/29/05 10:54 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

I guess i'm just saying that the american concept of freedom, is a concept of personal freedom that doesn't acknowledge other people's freedom, it is a totally individual notion. In europe, freedom goes more like this; "You are free as long as you don't step on someone else's freedom". And there are laws to make sure you don't do so, and this is the big aspect of socialist europe that is not seen in capitalist america.





I don't follow this line of thought one bit.
Freedom means being able to act as one wishes so long as one does not interfere with the freedom of another.

Whereas France is under their version of martial law, with random traffic stops and ID checks, last I heard?  That's not freedom -- that's security at the expense of freedom.  That's the sort of thing many people in America get up-in-arms about.  We want true freedom, not freedom under a parental government, not the freedom of a child.
Of course, there's plenty of Americans who are all in favor of such a beast...  but.. meh.  I don't like those guys :wink:

Quote:

In Greece American tourists are considered gullible,sorry




That's fine..  in America, ALL tourists are considered gullible :wink:


--------------------
i finally got around to making a sig
revel in its glory and quake in fear at its might
grar.


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Offlinecb9fl
Senior ChildMolestationExpert
Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3,104
Loc: florida
Last seen: 7 years, 3 months
Re: Exploring our cultural weaknesses and blindspots: USA vs Europe [Re: Mushmonkey]
    #4234718 - 05/29/05 11:43 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)

That's fine.. in America, ALL tourists are considered gullible

In America EVERYONE is gullible. Might be the same in other countries but I can only speak for what I know.


--------------------
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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