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American "exceptionalism" is really a great irritation to me.  I love all parts of the world, and if I had the money, I would travel.  Sadly, I cannot go to all of the places I would like. Jumping on a train and going to another country train (cheaply) would be awesome.

I get my exposure to the thoughts and culture of other countries by TV, and reading.  I love the BBS World News.  I also read the Guardian, Iindependent, and the Moscow Times.  BBC World News is great due to its break down of news by regions of the world; Africa, Mid-East, Asia, etc.

The US can and should learn a lot from the world, and we have.  Lets look at some of those things below the fold Y'all.

We learned how to enslave our fellow human beings from Europe.  Who taught us this? England, France, and Spain.  Slavery wasn't very wide spread in Europe, but once they came here, they sure thought that it was okay for the natives and for Africans.

England (UK), also taught us how to take over other countries and impose Its culture on others.  They had plenty of practice on Scotland and Ireland before taking it on the road to the Western Hemisphere.  Once here, they perfected it on the Native American population.  Ethnic cleansing in Europe is a long tradition, not something invented in the 20th Century.

Another of our "original sins" is guns.  We have a long tradition born of necessity.  You see, Parliament and the King loved having the colonies, but were not really interested in protecting them that much unless it was a direct threat from Europe, French and Indian War for example.  The people settling here needed to defend themselves as they were doing the will of the home country.  And speaking of Ethnic Cleansing (above), a lot of those Scots, Scotch-Irish, and Irish were forced to come here. You see, they were "cleared" from the land, and had no place to go so they came here to escape.

Scalping humans, that was a great one too.  This little activity wasn't very widely used by Natives Americans until they got caught up in the European conflicts.  This was a way of getting paid a bounty by one side to show they had killed the other.

Europe and the UK loved Empire.  Two continents, Africa and Asia, and the Indian subcontinent have still not recovered even 50 odd years after independence.  Part of the reason is that the old powers continued, and continue to this day, to meddle in the affairs of the old colonies.

There are things that Europe has figured out today that would be nice to have here like universal health care, stronger labor laws for example.

Europe, and I include the UK here, also has a lot of things they HAVE NOT figured out.

They haven't figured out how to stamp out poverty.  Europe has some pretty nasty slums.

Europe hasn't figured out how to stamp out racism.  Even the "liberals" there support racist policies or oppose policies that would reduce it.  Our immigration policies are screwed, but so are Europe's. Go to any slum in Europe and you will see a lot of brown faces from Asia, the Mid-East, and Africa.  You will also see people from poorer countries of Europe in those slums.  None of these people will ever make it out of those slums.

And with respect to poverty, the rich countries like Germany, France, and the UK are more than happy to FUCK over the people of other countries.  These countries force austerity on countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Besides the pain being forced on these countries, they are having national inequities forced upon them and institutionalized.

Europe hasn't figured out how to stamp out violence either.  Sure they don't have our gun violence.  Good, God bless them for it.  On the other hand, how many of us are killed while watching our football?  How many riots break out in the stadiums when our team is on the short end?  UK football fans are despised in particular by the rest of Europe because of their thuggery.  

Another thing Y'all haven't stamped out is a sense of cultural superiority.  I was received quite nicely by many, but I was treated quite badly for just being an American.  I have also seen how Y'all act when y"all come over here.  Maybe restraint is respected over there, but I have seen a lot of loud, drunken and totally inappropriate behavior even by our standards when you come over here.

You have a lot to teach us.  Much of it is good.  Much of it is useless.  But if Y'all want a good conversation, please don't start if off with condensation from the get go. Thanks

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa

    When you say it is "common sense" what you are really saying is "I don't have any evidence to back up my argument", because it is quite often neither common nor sense.

    by kaminpdx on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 11:41:24 AM PST

  •  bit out of date (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel

    Our football hooligans in the UK were appalling, yes, but much much improved....

    and poverty - yes, there is that everywhere.  We have a welfare state, so nobody need starve thank you and of course nobody goes bankrupt due to medical costs...

    and austerity in Greece and Spain and Portugal - isn't that a Eurozone problem?  WE do to ourselves alas...

    so, try to be more accurate before you criticise - and so sorry about the condensation problem... I think you may be meaning condescension?  

    Face it, every country has its good sides and its bad.  You may have met the wrong person and indeed been looked down on, solely because of your nationality.  Sorry.  Try to think of it as payback for Dubya?

    •  It was long before Dubya. (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for being my dictionary, realized I wrote the wrong word after publishing. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't pointing out something like the wrong use of a word in a public situation both arrogant and meant for the sole purpose of making yourself look superior?  I think you know the answer.  Or do you show your superiority in the all the diaries you comment in?

      Glad to see you figured out the thugs and football thing.  

      Saying that "everyone" has poverty doesn't make it any better.  Preaching at someone's spots doesn't reduce your own.

      and austerity in Greece and Spain and Portugal - isn't that a Eurozone problem?
      Yes, it is a Eurozone issue, but also an IMF issue which the UK is a permanent member, and I haven't seen much coming from the PM in the UK that is preventing the EU from screwing these countries.

      Notice, there was nothing to address racism in Europe.  And I would venture to say there are a lot of illegal immigrants in Europe who don't get great health care.  BTW i freely admit that our health care sucks.

      When you say it is "common sense" what you are really saying is "I don't have any evidence to back up my argument", because it is quite often neither common nor sense.

      by kaminpdx on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:25:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  one thing in particular (0+ / 0-)

    remains to be re-learnt : at all sides of "the pond" ...

    There are things that Europe has figured out today that would be nice to have here like universal health care, stronger labor laws for example.
    it wasnt "Europe" that figured that out, it was the workers and the lower classes in general that forced Europe to adopt that. Through means up to and including violent revolution.

    Things of that type donĀ“t come about because of some genereous goodwill of the powers that be.

    Though I realize that that directly undercuts a website like DailyKos which seems to be founded on the expectation that arguing with the power-holding segment of society would lead to fundamental change.  

    •  This is a good point. The powers that be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marsanges

      were forced to accept these changes or face lost of their power.  

      What amazes me is that Europe is trying to become much more like us.  

      The govts of Europe want to reduce retirement benefits, labor guarantees, reduced work benefits such as vacation time, and even their health care is being challenged in some quarters.  So maybe their bankruptcy lawyers will be much more busy in the future.

      When you say it is "common sense" what you are really saying is "I don't have any evidence to back up my argument", because it is quite often neither common nor sense.

      by kaminpdx on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 12:44:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've lived in the UK for 17 years, and yes there (0+ / 0-)

    can be condescension towards Americans, but it comes no where near the ignorance or the arrogance of Americans I have seen demonstrated time and time again not only the U.K. but all over Europe. As an American its downright embarrassing.

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:47:00 PM PST

  •  Humor? (0+ / 0-)

    Is this some sort of weird American form of satire? Sort of a skit on Fox and Friends? Or a sort of "Europe and the UK history and politics off the back of a Cornflakes box"?

    Utter twaddle chummy. Just one long Gish Gallop of fallacious statements, false logic and nonsense. Here are a couple of examples:

    Notice, there was nothing to address racism in Europe.
    Such as the UK's Hate Crime and Hate Speech laws? Or Germany's anti-nazi laws? Or all the other anti hate laws across Europe?
    they were "cleared" from the land
    No. The ones that were had been the supporters of armed rebellion, and that was much better than the option two of my familial ancestors got - they were hung for treason at Tyburn with a stack of their fellow clansmen. Most Irish came to the US for economic reasons and as a result of the famines.
    Slavery wasn't very...blah blah
    which conveniently ignores the fact that slaves were used as agricultural labor, and European states already had enough workers to support the need so that is why slavery was not widespread. Not too sharp at this thinking things through are you?
    They had plenty of practice on Scotland
    actually chummy we started with Wales during Edward 1sts reign, and we didn't "conquer" Scotland till the mid 1700s, or Ireland till the Cromwellian Protectorate period in the 1600s. Scotland, for most of its history, has had its own royalty and government....Mary Queen of Scots ring a bell? James 1st of England - already the Scottish monarch James VI?

    Scalping and Genocide go back much further than European history, and were also commonly practiced by Meso American cultures. Read the Old Testament - start with Joshua. Then read Deuteronomy and learn what fighting war "by the Book" actually means and where the phrase comes from. Its the same book that inspired that "manifest destiny" your countrymen used to justify the First Nations genocides.

    Two continents...blah blah
    What have the Romans ever done for us? Their recovery or lack of it is also down to the fact that post Empire they spent large parts of their history in internal and external strife, and mired in corruption. Not our fault - theirs. Look at the joint histories of India and Pakistan for example. Two separate countries? Whose idea was that - theirs or ours? And dont blame Kashmir on us either. Azad Pakistan was not our idea. We didn't put Mugabe where he is now, or make him destroy Zimbabwe's agriculture. He did that all on his own.
    UK football fans are despised in particular
    Stop watching Green Street Hooligans and thinking that is real life mate. It aint. Hooligans are despised full stop.

    Now please, actually try to learn some history and politics eh?

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