The anti American Fashion.

I have been reading an excellent article from the Wall St Journal, “Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype,” By Foaud Ajami, who is a Bradley Prize recipient, and teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of “The Foreigner’s Gift” (Free Press, 2006).

This article reminds me of the time just after Labor gained office in Queensland for the first time in a generation and Wayne Goss was premier. One of his less memorable statements was to the effect that the southerners liked us now. I wasn’t aware until then that anyone cared whether they liked us or not, but of course lefties just have to be loved, (or at least approved of.)

 But of course I digress: –

 So America is unloved in Istanbul and Cairo and Karachi: It is an annual ritual, the June release of the Pew global attitudes survey and the laments over the erosion of America’s standing in foreign lands.

 We were once loved in Anatolia, but now a mere 12% of Turks have a “favorable view” of the U.S. Only 22% of Egyptians think well of us. Pakistan is crucial to the war on terror, but we can only count on the goodwill of 19% of Pakistanis.

American liberalism is heavily invested in this narrative of U.S. isolation. The Shiites have their annual ritual of 10 days of self-flagellation and penance, but this liberal narrative is ceaseless: The world once loved us, and all Parisians were Americans after 9/11, but thanks to President Bush we have squandered that sympathy.

It is an old trick, the use of foreign narrators and witnesses to speak of one’s home. ….

The deference of American liberal opinion to the coffeehouses of Istanbul and Amman and Karachi is nothing less than astounding. You would not know from these surveys, of course, that anti-Americanism runs deep in the French intellectual scene, and that French thought about the great power across the Atlantic has long been a jumble of envy and condescension.

I grew up in the Arab world in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and anti-Americanism was the standard political language – even for those pining for American visas and green cards. Precious few took this seriously. The attraction to the glamorous, distant society was too strong in the Beirut of my boyhood. …….

There is no need to roam distant lands in search of indictments of America’s ways. Tales of our demise appear every day in our media. Yes, it is not perfect, this republic of ours. But the possibilities for emancipation and self-improvement it affords are unmatched in other lands. …

It is one thing to rail against the Pax Americana. But after the pollsters are gone, the truth of our contemporary order of states endures. We live in a world held by American power – and benevolence. Nothing prettier, or more just, looms over the horizon.

 After the war of independence the US with its pioneering people dared to model a state based not on the old European model of freedom granted by the state, but one based on the entirely new idea of liberty, individual sovereignty, and limits on the power of the state itself, – consensual government. In doing so they unleashed an unprecedented burst of human energy and innovation, which advanced the nation to the point where they rapidly surpassed the moribund nations of the old world.

 ‘American’ became more a state of mind than a mere nationality; nothing was impossible. It should have remained this way but for the inevitable cultural cringe of the left towards those who look down on their nation from afar.

 To gain independence the American colonies had to defeat what was arguably the most powerful nation on Earth, Great Britain. After eight years of bloody conflict the British gave up. Fifteen years later they were again in a conflict with another of the great powers of the day, France in a naval war.

 In two wars in the early 1800s, America dealt the deathblow to the Barbary pirates who terrorized shipping in the Mediterranean. The great European nations had been forced to put up with, and pay tribute to them for years, despite their naval power. It was left up to the new kid on the block with their pride and backbone to destroy this threat.

 By the 20th century the US was pulling the nations of Europe and the rest of the world out of the shit. This situation was not reached by having a bigger and stronger government than the European nations, but because they had a smaller, constitutionally limited government which allowed the people the freedom to prosper and in the process build the greatest nation on earth.

The Pew survey tells us that some foreign precincts show a landslide victory for Barack Obama. France leads the pack; fully 84% of those following the American campaign are confident Mr. Obama will do the right thing in foreign policy, compared with 33% who say that about John McCain. There are similar results in Germany, and a closer margin in Britain.

Of course they think Obama will be better, he is a total big government statist and therefore their kind of guy, that’s why they have degenerated to second, third, and fourth rate powers.

Have a great 4th America, and reflect a little on what made you great, reject the ideas and ‘ideals’ that those condescending bastards in the old world would have you follow, and push to turn back the tide of statism.

64 thoughts on “The anti American Fashion.

  1. Oh yes, lefty southerners such as Four Corners journalists used to look very much down their noses, and roll their eyes, at Joh’s Qld in the 1970s.

    I guess the Rudd ascendency is our punishment for hubris.

  2. You make very good points about America having many virtues.

    But likewise, the critics of America make very good points about America also having worrying vices.

    Does it really have to be an either-or question? When talking about America I am fond of saying that “it has the best and the worst of most things in the world”.

    I also note that one of the great things about America is it’s ability to criticise itself and always search for improvement. There is a worrying trend of American apologists to see criticisms as “anti-Americanism”. It is not.

    I don’t like it when leftists begin a debate by assuming moral superiority in that only they care about the poor. Likewise, it is inappropriate for rightists to begin a debate by assuming that only they like the values of America.

    Undoubtably some people don’t care about the poor and some people are anti-American. But quite often the disagreement stems from more innocent causes — such as a belief that welfare doesn’t work, or that the world leader should not undermine civil liberties.

    P.S. If Britain had won the “terrorist war for independence” then America would have abolished slavery 100 years earlier… and they would have had lower taxes! 🙂

  3. The idea that the world hates us Americans is really forced down our throats here. Don’t go to Europe, they will treat you poorly, don’t go to Asia they will spit on you, don’t go to Australia they will pick fights with you, ect. Having met people from all over I came to the conclusion that its mostly a myth. They dislike the actions of our government to which I would reply I dislike the actions of just about every government in the world. On our glorious internet tubes I have observed that quiet a few people all around the world expressed their supposed Anti-Americanism by supporting Ron Paul. Watching those vids on Youtube was a huge morale booster for libertarians stateside.

    I can’t tell what is more troubling though. Anti-Americanism due to anti-liberty idealogs just disappointed we never became the USSA or rabid nationalism and blind obedience to the government by people who have a very limited understanding about the original philosophy of the founders and the philosophy of liberty. Today millions of people have been celebrating their works yet recent polls show less than 1 out of 1000 actually know all 5 rights outlined by the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. Perhaps what they celebrate isn’t the same America that I celebrate.

  4. To quote Wikipedia: Discussions on anti-Americanism have in most cases lacked a precise definition of what the sentiment entails, which has led to the term being used broadly and in a impressionistic manner, resulting in an incoherent nature in the many expressions described as anti-American.

    Incoherence applies not only to definitions, but also to those who can legitimately be described as anti-American.

    For example, I know people who regard America as the cause of globalisation and hate it as a result. Socialists cling to the anti-American label in the belief that America is the home of capitalism. In France, trade liberalisation is resisted on the grounds that it is an American idea. In the Middle East, democracy is resisted on similar grounds.

    Some people are anti-American because the country is consistently successful. It’s known as the tall poppy syndrome in Australia, but it occurs everywhere.

    Among libertarians, anti-Americanism is often a result of frustration that the country does not live up to their ideals. Imperfection is just not acceptable.

    All of these viewpoints are of course quite irrational. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that no country is totally bad or good.

    The thing is, a lot of people are genuinely irrational. Literally millions of people, when an idea, policy or concept is seen to originate in America, are inclined to dismiss or dislike it for that reason. That’s anti-American, and amounts to bigotry. But because they are irrational, the same people will continue to watch American movies and use American software.

    Anti-Americans come in many shapes and sizes. But they are all irrational bigots.

  5. I thought most people were simply anti-Texan. Which is kind of ironic on the Ron Paul issue. Surely all this would cease to be a concern if the Texans would learn to speak English properly. Heck if the Swedes can do it then why not the Texans.

  6. In Ireland they tell jokes about Kerrymen that are the same as Irish jokes except they substitute a Kerryman for an Irishman. Truth be known, most of the jokes about the Polish appear to originate in Ireland too.

    Maybe if the Americans became anti-Texan it would have the same effect. The Americans could be anti-Texan and the rest of the world could be anti-American.

    Except for the Danes, who everyone ridicules because they get emotional about statues of mermaids. And of course Norwegians, who are just naturally ridiculous.

  7. Why can’t you get emotional about statues of mermaids and still also hate America? 😉

    Personally I think the world would be a lot more peaceful if everybody hated foreigners equally. 😀

  8. I just realized that I don’t know any disparaging name to call the Swedes, can anyone enlighten me?

    i believe the main issue is, “Should we attempt to live according to the values of others?” I say “no,” though I will accept the possibility that out of courtesy we should perhaps try to give the impression that we care.

  9. I just realized that I don’t know any disparaging name to call the Swedes, can anyone enlighten me?

    There is no such name, Jim, because it’s never been needed. Swedes have a fondness for semi-socialist government, which is unfortunate, but otherwise are sweet natured and generous to a man. Unlike those dreadful Norwegians.

  10. Actually I’m an aussie. I was born in Gosford district hospital. Stralian is the only language I speak.

    If you insult Norwegians then you’re being rude about my mother. And if you insult the Danes then you’re being rude about my father. However the Norwegians and the Danes seem to be sufficiently rude about eachother for me to know that I should simply stay out of it.

    The Swedes seem to have a few disparaging things to say about the Fins. So maybe the Fins can help you out Jim if you want to be rude to Swedes. 😀

  11. You learn something every day. I had always thought the Leningrad Cowboys were Russian, and I even have one of their CDs. The background vocals are priceless.

    Terje, I haven’t met your mother or father so I take it back about Danes and Norwegians. They’re probably just as nice as Swedes. I’m now trying to think of a term for people born in Gosford 😉

  12. I recently saw a statistic (from a survey looking at the happiest nations in the world), saying that over 80% of US citizens think their country is “on the wrong path” (politically).

  13. David; Thats the best version of Sweet Home Alabama I have ever heard.

    What impresses me when watching it is the way the Red Army Choir are loving it and really getting into it.

    I sometimes think that the US should change their tactics in Iraq, by flooding the place with rock and roll in between the prayer sessions, to give the population a better idea of the alternatives. I reacon the population would wipe out all those militants and beg the Yanks to stay.

  14. I reacon the population would wipe out all those militants and beg the Yanks to stay.

    No question about it, especially if it was Deep Purple, Cream, Hendrix, Joplin and Led Zeppelin. Maybe not the Carpenters though.

  15. I chiefly dislike America for two reasons- the disparity between their ‘exceptional’ claims and their imperfect performance (to be fair, that is the same reason that they get so uptight about their own presidents- they want only a saint in the office), and Hollywood’s continued bashing of Brits, where I was born, and where most of my relatives still live. (For instance, there are two main villains in the latest Indiana Jones movie- whilst one of them is meant to be Ukrainian, the other is… can you guess?.. British.)

  16. Nicholas, the chief reason I dislike the UK is because they are just so obedient. The government could kill all their first born sons and they wouldn’t rebel.

    Americans are far more rebellious and tend to know their history including the war of independence. It was against the Brits, if you recall. Given the Brits subservience to the government and absurdly unjustified superiority complex, it’s understandable if they stick the boot in occasionally.

    Incidentally, the chief reason I dislike Australia is because of its appalling sporting hubris. If we won an international croquet competition on a quiet news day, it would be the lead story.

    Now who haven’t we bagged in this thread?

  17. “Americans know their history”, David? It’s the only history they do know! The ‘Founding of the Nation’ events were so traumatic that they can’t get over it. I say, move on!
    As for the Brits being subservient, i read the other day that knife murders were increasing, despite this being against the law! And Britons are the most obnoxious people you can meet! ‘Ladette to Lady’ shows it all! SBS Hot Docs last week had a show extolling the vices (rudeness, gluttony, foul language) as part of the freedom of the land, so enjoy! What are you talking about?

  18. As for the Brits being subservient, … What are you talking about?

    Abusing and assaulting each other does not the Brits non-subservient. If they abused and assaulted the government (ie public servants, politicians and Peelers) I’d be more persuaded.

    I say, move on! People in glass houses Nicholas. The Poms are still touchy about Henry VIII and the Catholic Church. No moving on there.

  19. ‘Americans are more rebellious’? Excuse me! Didn’t the Supreme Court only just declare a hand-gun ban as unconstitutional? And haven’t the law-abiding Washingtonians been victims of a horrendous gun culture? If they were rebellious, it couldn’t have worked!
    And isn’t it true that the US invented INCOME Tax? No rebellion there!
    And whilst ALCOHOL prohibition didn’t work, the war on drugs has widespread support. And the PATRIOT ACT went through pretty quickly! A vast expansion of Federal Powers, and no rebellion.
    Can I have some of whatever you’re smoking? It’s potent stuff!

  20. If they were rebellious, it couldn’t have worked!

    But they did rebel, using the court system, and now it’s been overturned. In the UK, where handguns are totally banned, there’s no chance of that.

    And isn’t it true that the US invented INCOME Tax? No rebellion there!

    Actually no. The Poms were first, in 1798. The US did not introduce income tax until 1861.

    And whilst ALCOHOL prohibition didn’t work, the war on drugs has widespread support.

    Rebellion takes the form of ignoring the ban. Drugs are freely available in the US, war on drugs notwithstanding.

    And the PATRIOT ACT went through pretty quickly! A vast expansion of Federal Powers, and no rebellion.

    True, but the UK government has the same or greater powers. My view is they will lead to rebellion in the US long before the UK.

    Rebellion against the government is entrenched in American culture because of its revolutionary history. In the UK (and Australia), obedience to the government is entrenched.

    I believe your Pommy bias is showing, Nicholas.

  21. It’s not a rebellion if you work within the system.

    Even if the US did come late to the Income Tax party, why didn’t they rescind it after the Civil war?

    And politicians (excuse my french) keep wanting to win the war on drugs because the voting majority likes it, and would vote out anyone who proposed stopping the war- they want the state to interfere in other people’s lives, but not their own!

    Rebellion against evil rulers is entrenched in British history (Magna Carta, Peasants Revolt, Civil War, the Bill of Rights 1689). Who do you think the Americans were copying?

    Now, all lands are dens of creeping bureaucracy. We are all subservient to the State. Whilst there are legal challenges to Kelo in the US, nobody has seceded over it. If they did, or do, that would be a rebellious act!

  22. P.S. I think you’ve been watching too many American movies, David, and that is why you are anti-pom

  23. The Americans were asserting their rights as Englishmen.

    Britain only reformed after the war – although they did better perhaps with regards to slavery thanks to William Wilberforce.

    In Australia, we have entrenched culture of demanding laws we will not obey. It is both admirable and dreadful.

  24. Britain only reformed after the war – although they did better perhaps with regards to slavery thanks to William Wilberforce.

    It’s sometimes said that Britain opposed slavery, as distinct from America. In fact, Britain only opposed its introduction into Britain (“the air of England is too pure …”). It did nothing either legislatively or legally to disavow slavery in its colonies or elsewhere in the world until rather late in the day.

    During the American Civil War the Brits maintained strong links with the South to secure supplies of cotton.

  25. you’ve been watching too many American movies, David, and that is why you are anti-pom

    Because they had a pommy villain in an Indiana Jones movie? Spare me. If you want a movie to make you dislike Poms watch ‘Breaker Morant,’ one of ours (with a pommy in the lead role). Everyone who has ever watched it wanted to go out and find a Pom.

    Mate, seriously, I think your problem with the Yanks is that you owe them a debt of gratitude for saving your arse a couple of times after giving you a flogging.

  26. I’m not as anti-Pommy as you are anti-American, Nicholas.

    But the thing is, I’ve got good reasons for my attitude. Their weather is shit, their beer is shit, the bastards banned pistols, they can’t make decent cars any more, they still have this disdainful attitude towards “the colonies”. I mean, who wouldn’t be anti-Pommy with all that? And I lived and worked there for two years and met some nice women. Imagine how others must feel!

    Whereas you’re just carrying an inherited grievance about losing the American war of independence and being occasionally reminded of it in a movie. Jeez, what a complex.

  27. The weather is not in their control, David, the beer obviously suits the locals (where’s your cultural sensitivity?), our own Howard government cracked down on pistols here (so I hope you hate Aussies as well, to be fair), they still make Morgan Sports cars, and what they see of the colonies comes from Neighbours, and Kath And Kim. I’ll ignore the cheap shot that maybe they just disliked you, but liked other colonials.
    As for inherited grievance- my ancestors are scottish, so I should have a grievance against the Sassenachs, but I don’t. (The Steward Clan, before you ask.)
    And it’s more than occasional. I think I should reclassify it as a dislike of Hollywood, not America as such. It’s not just the constant self-promotion (as though no other country is a democracy), but the gratuitous messages thrown into stories, as though Hollywood is the American version of Agit-prop.

  28. I think I should reclassify it as a dislike of Hollywood, not America as such.

    From the irrational and indefensible to the eminently reasonable. Living proof of the benefits of blogging.

    By the way, Hollywood is hated by a lot of Americans too. They say it’s full of liberals, but what they is mean is socialists. Any sensible person hates them.

  29. And my views haven’t changed that much- my original post here was about Hollywood, after all.

  30. since Hollywood is in America, I stand by that comment. I still think Americans are too arrogant about the American structure of government, as though they’d invented democracy all by themselves; And I think Hollywood expresses it’s Pro-Americanism by making films with an anti-british slant, or by trying to ignore Britain- such as the submarine movie about a real event in WW2, where the hollywood movie had an American crew salvage the German Naval Enigma machine, though it was really the British who did that.

  31. Sometimes I think ‘I hate Hollywood’, other times I think ‘I hate America’.
    It’s a bit like Queensland when Joe was leading the place. Sometimes I wanted to deny being Australian, in case foreigners asked me about him, and what I thought. At other times I thought ‘Great Reefs- love the place!’
    To clarify for us all-
    1) I dislike the gratuitous patriotism of America, which seems to infest everything they do. (Bill Bryson, the American writer, commented on this when talking about how some Swedish woman was asked which country she preferred now that she had seen America- her American questioner was surprised that she still preferred Sweden!)
    2) I dislike Hollywood, which is in, and part of, America because of the slanting that it gives to all it produces.

    So, do you still hate Britain? Or has blogging broadened your biases?

  32. You mean you wouldn’t hate American or Australian or any other socialists?
    There is such a thing as being too broadminded!
    Let’s hate Socialism of any stripe and flag! If socialists don’t repent when listening to my well-reasoned arguments, then I’ll hate those socialists! (Maybe they just haven’t heard libertarian arguments before, after all. Their socialist convictions may be as soft as their hearts. Like them, I would also like to end poverty, but we differ on the means.)

  33. You mean you wouldn’t hate American or Australian or any other socialists?

    I’m quite undiscriminating about socialists – I hate them all. Including those they call liberals in the US and particularly those who infect Hollywood. But I don’t confuse them with Hollywood itself or America, neither of which I hate. It’s probably because I’m so broadminded.

  34. Strange debate. In the greater context of the cultural diversity of the world, the British & American & Australian cultures are remarkably similar.

    But like libertarians who agree on 95% will spend their time talking about the 5% they disagree about… so to do members of the anglo-sphere spend a lot of time concentrating on the 5% of difference. Unfortunately, sometimes people start to believe their own rhetoric and accidently conclude that they are vastly different to the other guys. Um. No. You’re not.

    In contrast to DavidL, I don’t think the English generally passively accept authority. I think the exact opposite… and I see it in all anglosphere countries. I think it is one of the two great virtues of our culture (the other being cricket).

  35. It’s a bit like Queensland when Joe was leading the place. Sometimes I wanted to deny being Australian,

    That was the time to celebrate being a Queenslander. I fought the Nationals tooth and nail, authoritarian bastards, but when interstate, I posed as a Joh fan just to piss those southerners off. They were so certain that Joh would stop at nothing, some would even bite at comments like “Joh has not signed the Nuclear non Proliferation Treaty, haven’t you heard of the Finch Hatton project”?

    Australians were from Qld, the NT, and WA, the rest were ‘Southern’, don’t you worry about that.

  36. Strange debate.

    Not at all. Nicholas now concedes he was grasping for reasons to dislike America but seriously only dislikes Hollywood. And even then, mainly the anti-British parts of it.

    By assuming a bit of anti-Pomminess, I brought him to his senses and he has now seen the light. No more anti-Americanism for Nicholas, just good honest anti-socialism, a value we all share. It’s like saving a soul, or bringing a Queenslander to his senses. (Well, almost anyway.)

  37. Not quite right, David, I still dislike the entrenched super-patriotism of America. As I said, it’s as though they believe that they invented democracy and human rights, and still have the Patent rights!
    It should not be strange that we discuss the things we disagree over- there’s no need to talk about things you agree on! Most disputes happen within families, after all.

  38. I still dislike the entrenched super-patriotism of America. As I said, it’s as though they believe that they invented democracy and human rights, and still have the Patent rights!

    I quite agree that that aspect of America is not appealing. I also dislike American food, their utterly obnoxious border security, their attitude to foreigners (aliens) and their ‘not invented here’ mentality.

    The point I have been trying to make is that disliking specific things about America ought not be generalised into disliking America or Americans in general. We wouldn’t say we dislike Iceland simply because Bjork is an idiot who can’t sing, yet some will say they don’t like America because of something Hollywood says about Brits in movies. We need to be clear about our objections.

  39. If Bjork is typical, then I also don’t like Iceland! And most Americans that I meet seem super-patriots (and I have also been to America, and I know that some americans can be very nice people.)

  40. @50. Where did you visit when you were here in America? The patriotism comes in many flavors depending on where you go. I will testify though, it can be horribly annoying, especially when people actually have little clue to the origins of America. Although it is a lot calmer now than it was around the time of the Iraq invasion (4th of July 2003 was a riot). I have come to the conclusion that many people support America and feel it is the best because they are born and grew up here. Its a team America attitude. There are many other people who know the history, there are many people who give up everything thing have to come here, and to many of them and America means a much different thing to them.

    I have noticed (correct me if I am wrong here) that some trends that start up among American youth take hold in Australia a few years after they do in America. A friend of mine was telling me how her sister is emo and emo is getting big back in 2006 when here in SoCal emo was waning dramatically.

    If this is the case, there is something heading your way, something Awful. Bro Culture. Bro Culture was huge here in Southern California and is now waning. Look for very large Ford F350 trucks on suspensions lifted far beyond any off road specs would call for (I have seen ladders that pop down so people could get into their trucks and to where the opening of the hood was 2 meters up, overly aggressive attitudes. Urban Dictionary Link The two first definitions are pretty much spot on.

    If this takes hold in Australia then I want you all to know I am terribly sorry.

  41. nicholas — I can’t understand why anybody would like or dislike a country as a whole. I’m not even sure what that means. A country is made up of so many different parts that it seems sensible to me only to say that you like and dislike those various parts.

    Bundling everything together seems similar to the typical socialist mistake of talking about “society” as though it is an entity that can do things.

  42. Tem, superpatriotism is the glue that binds the US together! They are trying to bind themselves together! ‘We the people’ is their catch cry!
    Let’s not forget that their complaint to Britain was in not being represented. Taxation was not the issue- electorates were! I wonder if this means that the US, like France, accepts governments as legitimate, and taxes as legitimate, because of the birth of their nation?
    Riley, I visited LA and SanFran, Scranton, and Buffalo, and Hawai’i. All beautiful spots. And some nice people in them.
    And I remember, as a teenager, going to Fiji, where our family met an old American couple who were loud in their praise of all things American, the only home of good things, which we would know if we would just listen to them, all the time. I have never met Australians doing that abroad.

  43. Patriotism (and other -isms) hold many countries together. Yawn. There is no word in Japanese for a Japanese citizen of non-Japanese race, except “foreigner”. It’s illegal to have sex with a Laotian because it would dilute racial purity. Insulting the king in Thailand will get you into a fight. The French, Russians etc aren’t exactly shy about telling you how great they are too. Plenty of other countries/societies have strong bonds for various reasons.

    But so what?

    There are plenty of Americans who complain about American patriotism. Noam Chomsky is American. And there is plenty of diversity in America — the attitudes of the average SanFraner is a world apart from Nashville.

    I can’t see any value in putting everybody in one basket… pointing to a few annoying traits… and condemning the basket. Surely it would be more sensible (and more productive) to criticise vices and praise virtues, irrespective of which basket you find them in.

    I don’t believe in collective “punishment”.

    What would you lose by replacing the sentence “I don’t like America” with “I don’t like excessive patriotism, as I see in many Americans” and “American culture has some traits that I don’t like”.

    Personally, I find Americans to be a very mixed bag. Some Americans seem to go out of their way to fill every negative stereotype… but others are modest, have a great sense of humour, have a huge variety of views, hobbies, attitudes, styles etc. It is a country that often defies accurate stereotypes.

  44. Spot on Temujin; I tend to find that a lot of Kiwis really irritate me with their small country syndrome, but if I had allowed that to make me hate Kiwis I would never have got along with a couple of the best mates I have. When one of them went back it was the first time I was ever sorry to see someone go back to NZ.

  45. I agree Jim. I thought Nicholas could see the silliness in his earlier remarks. Sadly it appears not to be the case.

    superpatriotism is the glue that binds the US together

    You call it ‘super’ only because you don’t share it(since you’re not American) What’s the glue that binds Australians together? Anzac Day? Winning the ashes? The government?

    ‘We the people’ is their catch cry!

    And well chosen too. It’s based on the notion of the social contract. The important thing for a libertarian is that it draws a sharp distinction between the people and the government.

    I have never met Australians doing that abroad.

    Travel more. Go to somewhere like Bali or Phuket, for example. Many Australians abroad are excruciating.

    From experience I know that Americans are as diverse as Australians. Some of them are the most intelligent, charming people you could meet. Others wouldn’t know the difference between a sound argument and an echo in the dunny. How does that make them any different?

  46. David and others, have you thought that the chief difference between us is that we have met different Americans? The Americans I have met were a diverse bunch, but quite a few seemed to be what I have termed super-patriots. Perhaps I will meet some more of your kinder type of American (and I have met some cousins of mine, from Scranton, in Pennsylvania, who are nice people.) But each of us can only judge by the people we have met. your attempts to argue me out of my position didn’t take into account that it is based on my own experiences.

  47. Nicholas, You really need to get out a bit more. Out here in the real world I meet Americans quite a lot, and really they are a whole lot different to the ones you see in the movies.

    The ones I tend to meet are not scripted by leftist Hollywood writers.

  48. I also hate the French, though that is probably genetic. Not only for when they exploded atom bombs, but because they try to claim that the French Revolution was the greatest event in world history (a lot like the americans in their super-patriotism). I did NOT celebrate Bastialle Day, I never have, and I think I never will. (And has anyone else noticed that ever since the French Revolution, French power has been declining? Or was that always inevitable, if the Germans ever united?)

  49. There are various types of superpatriotism, positive (fuck yeah we’ve got the bill of rights), negative (fuck yeah let’s invade Iranistan and take out Sadam and his al Qaida network and help our Saudi “allies”)) and dissent to the negative aspects (I support the troops but I’m against FISA and secret courts and indefinite imprisonment).

    I quite like any patriotism if people know their history.

  50. So that’s how you spell “Bastille”! Thanks, Jim!
    Two Revoltings, two differing outcomes! I can certainly say that I prefer the system of government in America to that in France. I just don’t like the attitudes that go with either system.
    I have heard that there are nice French people, but I have never met any myself. If they visit Australia, it must be in small numbers.

  51. I think you have to be a little more understanding of the French and allow for the problem they have in that they only ever see the rest of the world from between two fingers at arms length.

  52. I have heard that there are nice French people, but I have never met any myself.

    Nicholas, if you apply the same criteria to the French as you apply to the Americans, you will certainly hate them.

    They are super patriotic and resent America mainly because it is not a French speaking country (given France’s involvement in US independence). They are de facto colonisers (see Francophone Africa) and have a full time mercenary army (French Foreign Legion). They promote the speaking of French like evangelists promote religion (see Alliance Francaise). Unlike most Americans, they are not capable of seeing their own faults.

    None of that bothers me. The reason I am no fan of France is they are locked in a semi-socialist time warp and pretend it’s some kind of virtue.

    As individuals, you’ll find most frogs are quite nice though. Just like Americans.

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