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Rubin Farr

How does the World view America these days?

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On a more serious note I think this is a good quote:

 

America to me feels like the logical conclusion for rampant capitalism.

 

The thing is Europeans can be pretty ignorant about the underlying economics of things, it's like they assume a welfare state can just exist, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of cohesion in society. Europeans aren't very sensitive to the diverse nature of an immigrant nation like the USA. It's not as easy to pass laws like this when you have such diverse groups of people. I like the USA because they are so extreme about the ideals. In the US, you can take an opponent of your ideology, and use it to strengthen your own opposition and ideals which leads to a kind of pure form of those ideals. I think to really succeed in a debate over there, you generally need to be very technical and have fully comprehended the underlying structures, while in Europe it's more about emotions and "common sense" type of thinking. It seems like the US has big problems with cohesion to the point where you wonder if they can even have a functioning federal government, but there is something to be admired about the technicality and purity of a lot of that.

Bottom line is I just can't muster respect for europeans in general because I think their criticisms of the US are flawed and lacking in substance, and being from europe myself I see it in people I talk to all the time. So yeah to the ops question, there is still a lot of usa hate, but it doesn't seem to be as public as it was a few years ago. I still hear it in conversation, hating the rich, the inequality, the war machine, the greed especially, and that they are "crazy" and extreme etc.

 

I partly disagree. The US has proven in the past that it actually can get things done to improve social security. Passing laws is never easy. And I doubt it should be more difficult in the US than it is in any European country. Or rather, the EU as a whole. Because that would be a more obvious comparison.

 

The current difficulties of "getting things done" in the US have almost nothing to do with diversity. There are a couple examples where 90% of the people would like to see certain policies (gun controls/background checks?), but somehow laws never get done. This has nothing to do with cohesion, and much to do with how politics are currently working in the US. Or rather, not working.

 

Say "Hi!" to Piketty for me.... hint hint

 

I suspect the ignorance you're referring to, is mostly ignorance with respect to the difference of governing a (European) country and governing a republic like the US (which is more similar to governing the EU). But that ignorance is hardly related to any of the "US hate" you're referring to, I believe.

 

The "US hate", if there's such a thing, would be about foreign policies and/or US dominance in international politics. And this is an entirely different story. I don't believe people in the EU hate the US because "they don't have gun controls" or "a social system like those in the EU". So I wonder to what extent you'd think people in the EU, who'd hate the foreign policies of the US, are ignorant wrt those policies?

 

O, and what does "hating the rich" have to do with "hating the US"?

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Pretty much like how an adult views a drunken teenager that's pissing into a bin.

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Pretty much like how an adult views a drunken teenager that's pissing into a bin.

not sure if you meant this in the same way that I understood but generally speaking a lot of the justified disdain I've seen comes from the fact that Americans are the babies of the planet, and empire babies at that. It is pretty insane to even think of how many americans believe in exceptionalism given how short of a time this country has been around. For a country with a 'culture' only spanning back 300 years its quite shocking the way americans have such superiority over other countries, especially ones that we view as morally inferior who have rich cultural histories spanning back millenia.

 

one of the biggest wakeup moments about how fucked up our view is of ourselves is when i went to the Hiroshima museum for the first time. The bomb of course in and of itself was a horrible massacre, but in some ways the way intelligent americans still justify it to this day is even more disturbing to me. Its almost as crazy as if Nazi germany was never conquered and most modern germans were going around still defending the holocaust. We have an extreme lack of self-awareness here in this country and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Edited by John Ehrlichman

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Yeah you pretty much completely nailed what I meant, albeit expressed in far less a crude fashion than I !

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Guest potabo

I've got a lot of friends from the US that I'd really like to visit one day, but I'm not a fan of visiting places where murder is legal.

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How does the world view all the major world powers? I don't understand this obsession with the neurotic over-analysis of the perception of America from other countries. It's like that question stems from some assumed notion that the U.S. is somehow comparable to Germany right after WW2.

How does the world view England? Saudi Arabia?

Questions more fascinating to me: how does the east currently view the west and vice versa? What do 3rd world countries think of world powers?

America's not the only country full of obesity drowning in money with dark pasts...

Edited by Lane Visitor

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Guest Pennywise

America is like a dream that turned into a nightmare. It showed me how amazing it was when I was young but now i can see that it's all fake, broken and quite terrifying.

 

but Im sure there's a lot of lovely people there,its just everything else about it.

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A bit like we see you Rubin :^)

Huh?

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On a more serious note I think this is a good quote:

 

 

I partly disagree. The US has proven in the past that it actually can get things done to improve social security. Passing laws is never easy. And I doubt it should be more difficult in the US than it is in any European country. Or rather, the EU as a whole. Because that would be a more obvious comparison.

 

The current difficulties of "getting things done" in the US have almost nothing to do with diversity. There are a couple examples where 90% of the people would like to see certain policies (gun controls/background checks?), but somehow laws never get done. This has nothing to do with cohesion, and much to do with how politics are currently working in the US. Or rather, not working.

 

Say "Hi!" to Piketty for me.... hint hint

 

I suspect the ignorance you're referring to, is mostly ignorance with respect to the difference of governing a (European) country and governing a republic like the US (which is more similar to governing the EU). But that ignorance is hardly related to any of the "US hate" you're referring to, I believe.

 

The "US hate", if there's such a thing, would be about foreign policies and/or US dominance in international politics. And this is an entirely different story. I don't believe people in the EU hate the US because "they don't have gun controls" or "a social system like those in the EU". So I wonder to what extent you'd think people in the EU, who'd hate the foreign policies of the US, are ignorant wrt those policies?

 

O, and what does "hating the rich" have to do with "hating the US"?

 

 

OK a few things. When I said diversity I also meant ideological diversity, and class differences. There's basically a bunch of different strings pulling at congress, in all directions, for a variety of motives, and there's also a big portion who are not engaged in democracy - their opinions have zero effect on policy. Not being engaged in democracy also affects the democratic process because you then give a lot more power to the remaining participants. There's also a number of complex law structures that a lot of people don't have the time to understand, and this also shapes society in a way that is difficult to comprehend but will shift power to certain people and groups (like how increasing police and executive branch power is a result of lack of congress oversight, and how the people have to push their representatives harder for oversight or vote in people who are more adept at it). In european countries, common sense thinking and not being as hyperactive in ideology has shaped certain european countries to accept things like welfare or gun control or surveillance things. From what I've seen, most europeans are not as gung-ho about their government as americans are. The interesting thing about Americans is that their fights and ideologies go directly to basic principles of any modern democratic country. Privacy vs security, freedom of the individual vs the collective good and I think both the political system is set up to reflect this, and the economy, much more than in european countries. The problem is that these fundamental struggles shift the debate away from systemic thinking, and onto individual needs, and when you get a "diverse" range of opinions you lose the ability to see what is technically lawful and not. European countries are even further removed from systemic thinking, and their debates are in a different set of problem areas.

 

The US hate is several things. It's about supporting Israel and the horrible things they do to palestinians. It's about a general distaste for how the rich in their minds have so much power and how class is so important. Scandinavian countries are often a little arrogant about the welfare state they have and so forth. I've heard people say the US is a shit country basically, I don't think "hate" was the right word sorry, it's too strong, but it's certainly not a country that some europeans feel is great and that it is below them somehow.

 

The ignorance I'm referring to is the same ignorance that is a lot of places. It's an understanding of economic principles and even more important an understanding of the state and the democratic process. It's about understanding how the state views how society is progressing, and how they got there. It's a problem not just in the US, but a lot of places, and I see it here in my country directly. I can't really go into all of it without typing some kind of essay, but I wrote another thread a little while back that has some of those thoughts if you want to read http://forum.watmm.com/topic/85715-about-gutting-the-middle-class-and-financial-sector-globalization-etc/

Edited by coax

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Pretty much like how an adult views a drunken teenager that's pissing into a bin.

:cisfor:

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in the broadest, offensive stereotypical fashion, as fat, arrogant and incredibly well armed idiots.

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America's not the only country full of obesity drowning in money with dark pasts...

true but its not really up for dispute that among countries full of obesity, drowned in money with dark pasts America is the youngest, best armed and most aggressive towards the rest of the world. Not a good combo by any stretch of the imagination.

Edited by John Ehrlichman

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in the broadest, offensive stereotypical fashion, as fat, arrogant and incredibly well armed idiots.

Ya know its funny, i love how people go outta their way to make sure neeever to criticize or demean the "people" of other countries when talking negatively about the country due to their reputation, government actions etc (even in cases when certain countries citizens elect murderous regimes)... Yet, when it comes to the evil U.S., it's perfectly okay to call American people and society as a whole ugly, ignorant, arrogant, fat , lazy, etc. nice, really nice.

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it's perfectly okay to call American people and society as a whole ugly, ignorant, arrogant, fat , lazy, etc. nice, really nice.

 

i wouldn't take personal offense to that, we've frankly earned the ire. You think even people in other countries like France who hate muslims like we do think that the US isn't insane? We're seriously fucked up dude. Besides maybe Israel, I can't think of another country whose citizenry endorses our behavior and the way we treat other sovereign nations

Edited by John Ehrlichman

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Pretty much like how an adult views a drunken teenager that's pissing into a bin.

not sure if you meant this in the same way that I understood but generally speaking a lot of the justified disdain I've seen comes from the fact that Americans are the babies of the planet, and empire babies at that. It is pretty insane to even think of how many americans believe in exceptionalism given how short of a time this country has been around. For a country with a 'culture' only spanning back 300 years its quite shocking the way americans have such superiority over other countries, especially ones that we view as morally inferior who have rich cultural histories spanning back millenia.

 

one of the biggest wakeup moments about how fucked up our view is of ourselves is when i went to the Hiroshima museum for the first time. The bomb of course in and of itself was a horrible massacre, but in some ways the way intelligent americans still justify it to this day is even more disturbing to me. Its almost as crazy as if Nazi germany was never conquered and most modern germans were going around still defending the holocaust. We have an extreme lack of self-awareness here in this country and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

 

 

I had the opportunity to go to Japan when I was 19 and that museum totally challenged my views. The wax sculpture of someone melting while alive stuck in my head for a long time. Especially since it's pretty much the first thing you see upon entering.

 

It was just really sobering to be standing there and realizing that I'd been indoctrinated.

Edited by Braintree

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It was just really sobering to be standing there and realizing that I'd been indoctrinated.

 

yeah, it's truly an incredible feeling, especially after visiting Pearl Harbor as a kid and hearing about how big of a deal that was all my life. Im sorry but Pearl Harbor was a fucking military base, the Japanese did not bomb into oblivion Honolulu. There is no excuse in the world that justifies what we did in World War II, the only reason it's seen as 'ok' today by a lot o people is because we 'won'. Had we lost we would have been put on trial just like the Japanese and Germans.

Edited by John Ehrlichman

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America's not the only country full of obesity drowning in money with dark pasts...

true but its not really up for dispute that among countries full of obesity, drowned in money with dark pasts America is the youngest, best armed and most aggressive towards the rest of the world. Not a good combo by any stretch of the imagination.
Touche, but isnt it really less simple than that? It's the syndrome of criticizing authority for the sole reason that theyre in power. Its also not up for dispute that the U.S. Is the most powerful nation on Earth.. Which also by default puts it into a position where its the actor with the most judgement received. This is not to say that the U.S.'s unique position of power automatically makes all judgement irrelevant, just that it's automatically held to a higher standard than any other nation. Example.. Russia's blatant anti-gay attitude in their infrastructure got about 30 seconds of negative media attention, and then the camera immediately turned to westboro baptist church or our privacy being violated in the u.s or whatever it was at the moment... Something, any imperfection about american leadership/society. On the world stage, because our imperfections, abuses and negative actions are so transparent and demanding of attention, of course its gonna get more press by its own nature. Like ppl think kim kardashians the most vane person on Earth, whereas in reality, i may have a neighbor who is just as vane. Media affect. Edited by Lane Visitor

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I never generalize folk.

 

A lot of people in the United Kingdom look at Americans down their nose, and consider them to be slightly ignorant, way too fucking loud and quite ridiculous. And there's a lot of people who live here who are very much the same! Though your retarded attitude towards guns are the decider imo.

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on a social and cultural aspect, I find it crazy to see the influence America had and still have over Europe and the rest of the world (I can speak more for Europe though). In a way, you can see it as having been a huge laboratory for control of people through consumerism. A big majority of the mechanisms and tools of this control have been used in america before to be exported to the rest of the world and to Europe in the first place. That goes for technical things (infrastructures, laws, ...) but also a huge deal for collective uncounscious, ideals of the society, psychological ideals etc... Culture (notably cinema) helped a lot on that side btw

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People= seem cool enough, some awful accents

Government = powerful and paranoid as fuck.

 

I don't envy the job of government, we've about 5 million people over here and we still argue over everything, how the fuck could an American possibly ever feel represented by their government?

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The solar system views America as a safe haven where truth and justice will prevail. But they find their law enforcement dumb and heavy handed. We can't generalize America because every state has a different law, sometimes contradicting each other and looking dumb. Lot's of douches in suits coming up with ideas to improve and progress and falling on their face. But i guess that's the same for every government.

One thing i think America could do (and thought they would have done by now) is wipe out the cartels in Mexico. It's just across the border and with the intelligence they have on these punks and the resources, they could serve their ass to them on a plate. Border control can only do so much, it's time to eradicate all known (trafficking) threats

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it's perfectly okay to call American people and society as a whole ugly, ignorant, arrogant, fat , lazy, etc. nice, really nice.

 

i wouldn't take personal offense to that, we've frankly earned the ire. You think even people in other countries like France who hate muslims like we do think that the US isn't insane? We're seriously fucked up dude. Besides maybe Israel, I can't think of another country whose citizenry endorses our behavior and the way we treat other sovereign nations

 

No personal offense taken lol im not a ra ra im an american kinda person or anything.. Im just speaking from the perspective of fairness and respect for all "peoples" whether it's a small country of one tribe of people or a gargantuan melting pot country of cultures and races and religions. Regardless of their governments actions or the infrastucture, labeling and judging the common people is fucked up. And since you brought up the subject, many politically interested people on watmm seem to think that Israel and the US (in that order) are the most evil nations that ever existed upon Earth to the point where it actually warrants judging and namecalling their actual citizenry. It's like out of some 50's sci fi comic book. Those two counties have somehow transcended all ethics, morals and standards to where their people, society, identity and standing are immediately fair game to demean. It's absurd to me.

 

And as far as the U.S. and religious tolerance goes (I can't speak of France since I haven't been there and dont know many people there), I think you're way off there. Even here in Arizona, a republican-majority state, and a place most of the world thinks consists of a bunch of gun toting cowboys, I've not seen one instance of anti-Muslim bigotry or anything close to it in the entire 21 years I've lived here, and maybe only witnessed 1 or 2 instances of generalizing or talking in a negative light about Muslims or Arabs, and my network of friends/people/contacts is pretty vast. I have a number of friends who are Muslim or practice Islam and I've never heard discrimination stories that were any more frequent or serious than what my fellow Jews or myself as a Jew have experienced.. just for perspective. The amount of tolerance I witness on a daily basis is a beautiful thing, and I think it speaks to what we value as a nation. Of course, my view is my own tiny reality from Phoenix, Arizona, and sure there are a lot of racists in small towns down south, but they're also uncultured fucks who are using AOL dial-up if they have Internet at all, like in any small town in the world. This whole idea that the U.S. is anti-Muslim as a whole is just as preposterous as saying the U.S. is anti-semetic as a whole. Now since you wanted to bring it up, Europe I would say prob has more Anti-Muslim / Anti-semetic tendencies in their infrastructure dontchya think?

Edited by Lane Visitor

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I've never understood the ridiculous over-enthusiasm Americans have for their politicians. When the campaign trail is on and you see these hordes of young and old going insane, manically waving the flags for their Democrat or Republican and punching the air in jubilation. That's something which makes me wonder about the American psyche.

 

Over here politicians are met with a sneering derision. And massive dollop of well deserved cynicism shoved on top. All the yee-hahh for American politicians looks frankly gullible and stupid imo.

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One thing i think America could do (and thought they would have done by now) is wipe out the cartels in Mexico. It's just across the border and with the intelligence they have on these punks and the resources, they could serve their ass to them on a plate. Border control can only do so much, it's time to eradicate all known (trafficking) threats

 

Well who's the CIA gonna get their drugs from then?

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