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The Irony of History: The NWO Revisited

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Only a month ago, I wrote a two-part piece on the New World Order – an intellectual exercise, or so I thought, a thought-experiment, a what-would-happen kind of thing if and only if. The events since, not to mention the hidden implications of fellow Blogcritic Ms. Reidhead’s article, have convinced me beyond a doubt that what I was entertaining then as a remote possibility was quickly assuming the dimensions of an impending reality.

“Welcome to Star Trek: The Next Generation; it’s sooner than you think,” was the line I used. A catchy phrase, I was congratulating myself. Well, I no longer think it’s either catchy or funny, or any of the above. Which just goes to show the difference a month can make.

Since the Eighties, the hidden theme of American politics has been the growth of corporate power. The political responses were many and varied. Some looked the other way, taking the path of least resistance. Others, of more questionable moral ilk, viewed this development as an opportunity to enrich themselves through shady deal-making and exchange of quid pro quos —  the practice of lobbying, an integral part of American political landscape, providing the excuse. Others yet, the most sensible of the bunch, waited on the sidelines anticipating a showdown.

And a showdown it was going to be, since you can’t serve two masters at once; for as the global conglomerate was gaining in power, enabled  by crooked politicians and public officials, the power of the government to control the abuses and set the tone for the nation was quickly on the wane. The culture of corruption permeating all levels of business and government and the resulting collusion between public and private interest couldn’t continue indefinitely. Sooner or later, a sense of decency and moral outrage were bound to prevail. The corporation and business interests had to be made subservient if the government — the idea of polity — was to recoup its rightful authority in all matters affecting national interests. It was only a matter of time, I was certain, and I looked forward to this showdown with great hope and expectations.

Well, it never came to that. The corporations overreached, rendering the whole scenario null and void. A perfect opportunity, you might say, for the government to take over the reins and re-establish itself as the rightful master. Which is why I viewed the present crisis as a godsend: it produced the requisite kind of result by bringing the business world to its knees without bloodshed or ugly confrontation. Now I have second thoughts.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, so we're told. And in that spirit, we’ve seen the new administration set itself about the business of correcting the abuses and bringing order out of chaos. We’ve seen bailouts and bankruptcies, the capping of the executive pay, the firing of GM's CEO, the fury over AIG bonuses, the quiet takeover of major U.S. banks, the stimulus package and the pork. In short, all the right moves with full support of the public. And yet…

What we’re seeing, in effect, is the culmination of the Imperial Presidency concept, articulated by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. in the Sixties. Heck, we’re seeing the beginnings of Imperial Government. And the scary thing is — there is no viable opposition as the public is all behind it. But that’s what you get when the opportunity knocks on the door. Since the corporate world has folded, the government took over. And given the absence of any foreseeable opposition — since the public sentiment is behind it — there’s no stopping it.

Either way, it doesn’t spell a rosy future. One way or another, we shall see the erosion of our freedoms and cherished way of life. And I don’t care whether it’s the U.S. or some other government in The Hague or Timbuktu that will be at the helm. Same difference to me. Sooner or later, mark my words, we’ll all be under the thumb.

It’s almost uncanny how our language foretells the future:

“Global problems demand global solutions.”

“What affects one, affects all.”

“We’re all in this together.”

Why, only a week ago, in the aftermath of the G20 meeting, Gordon Brown spoke openly of the NWO without any apology, as though it was the most natural order of things and, in a manner of speaking, preordained (see the video).

Uniform currency, uniform (international) law, uniform way of life — that’s what the future holds.

Enjoy while you can!

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About Roger Nowosielski

  • Doug Hunter

    It does feel almost inevitable, that the world has been continuously moving to consolidate power, and that it’s logical end is one world government. The tipping point will be when a world body gains the ability to tax, in the name of some grand cause, poverty or global warming perhaps. That tax money will buy power and influence which will not be able to be resisted in the absense of much bloodshed. In the same way the US federal government has eroded states, rights and found a way to exceed it’s mandate in almost every area, the world body will do the same thing to it’s nation-states.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, I’m afraid so, Doug. And tell you the truth, I don’t see how we can stop it.

  • pablo

    I cant help but see the irony to all you naysayers out there about the New World Order scenerios that I have been talking about for over a year. It is now coming to fruition unfortunately. It is not an accident, but a CONSPIRACY. By the way for all you doubters out there 9/11 was part and parcel of this whole globalist agenda, 9/11 being an inside job that is.

    For those of you that do have an open mind and are not afraid of looking at something that is uncomfortable, I suggest the following books”

    “Tragedy and Hope” by Carroll Quigley
    “The Ascendancy Of The Scientific Dictatrship”
    by
    Phillip Darrell Collins and Paul David Collins

    “Terrorism and the Illuminati – A Three Thousand Year History” by David Livingstone

    “The Anglo-American Establishment” by Carroll Quigley

    “Wall Street & the Rise of Hitler” by Anthony Sutton

    “Rule By Secrecy” by Jim Marrs

    “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group” by Daniel Estulin

    Enjoy!

  • Jordan Richardson

    Gosh. I wish I could be as paranoid and frightened as you guys, but I just have too much shit to do.

  • pablo

    Okay Jordan whatever you say buddy. :)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. A new world order is obviously needed – just look at the state of the world if you have any doubts about it – and it needn’t be a bad thing; it is a question of how things can be arranged for a better future, not something that should be automatically feared.

  • pablo

    Chris,

    I know you don’t understand what all the fuss is about, but I do.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Frankly, none of this rhetoric frightens me:

    “Global problems demand global solutions.”

    They do.

    “What affects one, affects all.”

    Absolutely.

    “We’re all in this together.”

    We are.

    Call me crazy, but maybe humanity’s old divisive ways of conducting itself has worn thin in a changing world. With technology, art, science, and so forth bringing us closer together, maybe it’s time we embraced the closeness instead of fearing The Other.

    See, Pablo has worked himself into a corner based on a line of loosely-threaded fiction. His worldview is based on the ideology of New World Orders, of secret societies, of boardroom meetings with cigar-chomping villains plotting how to rule humanity, and so forth. He cites authors that discuss global enslavement, global governments, and so forth. Nowhere in the scheme of things is the notion that a global system of accountability isn’t a bad idea in principle. That notion, after all, doesn’t sell many books.

    What does sell books and what does make for interesting reading is the notion of secret societies scrambling for power over the course of thousands of years, biding their time presumably for this moment (or maybe the next one), and revealing their “true” selves to a world of confused and unprepared people. We’ll all be taken by surprise and Pablo, from his computer no less, will be able to offer the proverbial “I told you so.”

    Such is the fantasy.

    The reality is a bit different. The reality is that we ARE in a global mess. We are linked. And we need to be in this together if we expect to get out of this together. That doesn’t mean a “One World Government” in the sense that these fantasy writers propose. It doesn’t mean a system that is subsequently handed over to the Stonecutters of The Simpsons. As Chris said, it doesn’t have to mean ANY of those poorly-constructed fictions.

    Instead, things can be arranged for a better future. Isolating ourselves is not the answer anymore. We face nuclear threats and environmental catastrophe. We need large scale answers to our problems, no question about it. And we need to understand that we are all HUMAN BEINGS first, Americans (and so on) second.

    So go ahead, ladies and gentlemen. Have your fantasies, but know that they are couched in a deep, distorted fiction designed to enslave its victims in a cycle of fear, paranoia, selfishness, and cowardice. But at least, at the very least, have the courtesy to allow the rest of us to work out our own solutions should we choose to try work together as one species for a change.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Also:

    “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

    – Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Doug Hunter

    “But at least, at the very least, have the courtesy to allow the rest of us to work out our own solutions should we choose to try work together as one species for a change.”

    Perhaps you enjoy being an unelected bureacrats bitch and having every aspect of your life dictated to. You have the freedom to work together with the likeminded now on anything you want. Have at it, form foundations, charities, organizations to carry out your work. Oh wait, those don’t have the POWER to force people who don’t agree with you to participate. That is what you seek, control and power over others to force your ideology on them.

    Drop this bullshit that you aren’t allowed to work together, because last I checked you lived in a relatively free country as I do, and admit that it’s about controlling others and forcing them to work for you. Or maybe you have too much fear and cowardice to speak the truth out loud.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jordan,

    Never mind the past and U.S imperialistic history. It wasn’t right and we can all agree. The point rather is – all of us will suffer. Reread Orwell, for crying out load. Aspects of 1984 have already arrived but not the totality. It is going to be a totalitarian society – the totalitarian world, in fact.

    And that’s the irony, that’s the chain of events inexorably leads us in that (and no other direction), because fixing the world’s problems will take no less than that kind of solution.

    The way I see it, capitalism (unaided) had run out of steam: it had spent itself. While it was still functioning, it provided the necessary opposition to the powers of the government. But now the government has got the green light, and there’re hardly anything to stop it from amassing greater and greater powers. And power is always intent on adding unto itself: that’s the nature of things. Yes, corporate statism is the look of the future, and believe you me, you’re not going to like it.

    Try to think about this in terms of concepts, not as a Canadian or an Australian vis-a-vis the ugly American. All these differences between us, which I for one cherish, are going to come to naught. It’s going to one big blah – a whole mass of humanity undifferentiated and under one thumb.

    Is that your idea of a rosy future?

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    As much as I agree with Jordan that Pablo is quite the extremist & that he portrays everything as some sort of “cover-up” or conspiracy[Especially that 9/11 BULLSHIT]. I think Jordan is forgetting that there have been plenty of actions overseas that have taken place in the guise of National Security & Foreign Policy. Just like the supposed breakdown of the KGB in Russia. I guess, I just don’t see how forcing everyone to follow the ideas of a few will solve any problems!

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    And that’s the irony, that’s the chain of events inexorably leads us in that (and no other direction), because fixing the world’s problems will take no less than that kind of solution.

    Is it possible that you’re scaring yourself Roger?

    As far as leaders using the words ‘New World Order’, there are plenty of videos of people using the words–from George Bush (the elder) to Noam Chomsky. They’ve been using those words for years. This is not evidence that the cat’s out of the bag.

    For example, the particular speech you linked to where Brown discusses the new world order was uploaded to youtube a year ago, not last week.

    I think the speech you wanted was the one he made after the G20 summit. And even in using the words there, Brown isn’t saying anything new.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Brian the scary thing is you don’t have to believe in conspiracies. It would seem the chain of events is leading us in that direction – the law of unintended consequences, for lack of a better word.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s the circumstances that have changed, Cindy. The time is ripe. There is no viable opposition to the growth of the government – just try to understand the events in that light. And the present crisis is all the justification that there need be. No, I don’t think I’m scaring myself, just trying to see the world realistically.

    It won’t be the end of the world, just not very exciting, I’m afraid. We’re all going to be molded after the same pattern – well-behaved and sedated subjects with no distinct personality or individuality of our own. Somewhat of an exaggeration, I admit, but not by much.

    You should re-read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the foretaste of the future, or George Orwell.

  • pablo

    Hay Dave are you around bro? Alex Jones had on Michael Bednarik today, I thought you might want to catch the great interview man, infowars.com

    cheers
    pablo

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I agree with Pablo and Roger that if an overly controlled and controlling global tyranny took hold, that would be a very bad thing, although not as bad as the nightmare scenario of the excellent Terminator movies.

    However I profoundly disagree with them both in that I don’t see events as even close to heading that way, nor do I have any reason to think that they will.

    I don’t think either of them even has a case; all I see here is fear and pessimism.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    I’m not so sure I’ve seen you make a practical case for this NWO idea, Roger.

    The public has always inadvertently supported the problem, this isn’t a new thing. It works through patriotism, through blind acceptance, through failure to question, etc. etc. How much do people really question? I don’t see that people question all that much.

    Let me try out this idea. The public–JohnQ middle-class benefactor of Capitalism, worldwide–has always propped up the Capital elite. The culture inculcates us from birth to accept this state of affairs.

    This all works fine, as long as JohnQ’s needs are getting met. JohnQ has historically felt prosperous and cooperative and one with the Capitalist system as it helped promote the acquisition and collection of wealth.

    JohnQ was feeling prosperous, able to ‘advance’ in this system. But what if this changes?

    The powers that be will try, I think, to turn it around and make JohnQ happy again. It is imperative to do this, no matter what way I consider it.

    They way I’m thinking, it is the middle-class which holds everything in place. If the middle-class comes to feel unhappy and oppressed they can turn against the elite. They can join with the rest of the people who understand oppression. If this happens a change of organization can begin from with more bottom up control.

    So, this talk of new world order strikes me as governments acting together to try to save Capitalism, to not upset JohnQ. We outnumber them.

    Look at the Madagascar army. They turned against the government and joined the people.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    My point is, there is not just one single way things can resolve themselves as you suggest. It is by no means resolved.

    I have more of a problem if the middle-class is mollified. Because then the people on the bottom are still stuck. But never fear Rger, you aren’t one of them.

    They either save Capitalism and therefore you or they don’t and therefore the people may gain direct control.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Well, Roger, in this case I would have to agree with Cindy. I think the actual outcome would be scarier than a conspiracy theory. Ultimately, I think it would come down to the people in this country revolting, in which case,if you go by events like the riot in LA, the war in Iraq would look dwarfed in comparison.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Oh and Roger, if you need a reference for some of what I’m saying, I’ll recommend the words of Alan Greenspan on the subject.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    Believe me, I don’t cherish the role of being the bearer of bad news, not do I suffer from fear or paranoia (because’s I’m not going to be around to witness this) but let’s look at it realistically. I’m going to present bullet points:

    1) History never stands still. And though some people speak of cycles, it’s kind of misleading. Yes, there are cycles, but the new forms are always evolving: forms of government, etc. So we can’t go back to the past, because whatever may have worked in the past, it was under different conditions; it ain’t gonna work today. And you do have to admit that the kind of situation we’re facing today is unprecedented in terms of globalization, interconnected, and a sense that we’re all more and more dependent on one another. The world has become a global village, and in response to that, the form of government and institutions will naturally have to change to deal with these new realities.

    2) You’re saying there may be other scenarios. Of course. But the West has been setting the tone for the world at large for at least two centuries or longer, since the Industrial Revolution. Even the Third World counties have tasted the fruits of the West and, for all the resistance on cultural and other grounds, it has become a pattern, a model. Heck, even China and Russia, socialistic regimes that they are, are pursuing the same goals as the West (although through different, socialistic means). So there’s no question in my mind that – barring any major confrontation between nation-states – the West shall remain the leader in the direction the world will be going and in shaping the future.

    3) You speak of the middle class. Well, the middle class is basically disappearing, because prosperity is no longer the condition we can take for granted (see my last article). So even in America, there has been, of late, a great deal of leveling in terms of income, education and culture. So it’s not exactly the case that the underdeveloped (Third World countries and their populations) are catching up with us; it is, rather, that even the populations of the West are slowly descending to less desirable levels – to approximate the Third World. Remember how everyone is indistinct in the Philippines. Poverty and/or lack of prosperity is the greatest leveler; and I believe that’s the direction of the future – not going up but descending downwards. Indeed, for all the advantages of the EU, there is something that’s being lost when people lose their national identity and become a part of a greater collective. (Remember, we should cherish multi-culturalism, not eliminate it.)

    4) A related point. The poor do not revolt; as long as their basic needs are met, they become sedate. (Again, think of the Philippines.)

    Most revolts were freedom-related movements, when one nationality felt oppressed by another (Scots or Irish, e.g., fighting for their independence from England.) But when the idea of nation-states is slowly becoming obsolete, the same will go for the “liberation movements”

    5) The elites you’re talking about will become invisible and benign (in a manner of speaking). Capitalism and the means of production will be a joint venture under the control of the State, and so will be the appearance of a nanny government. The bureaucracies will be in control, and you don’t rebel against bureaucracies; you can only be pissed at them and bitch.

    6) Don’t discount the thinkers who have been warning us against this form of oppressive and totalitarian government – like Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Jean-Francois Lyotard – depending on surveillance and bureaucratic structures as means of control. They’ll look benign, but they’ll be anything but.

    7) And lastly, no, I don’t have an idealistic streak. Throughout the history, people were oppressed one way or another, and there is no reason to think that this pattern will ever be broken. Forms change but not the basic relations between those who have power and those who have not. If you’re looking for the Kingdom of God on this here earth, you had better look to an afterlife.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Brian (#20),

    I don’t see where you getting that idea. I never argued for any conspiracy theory. I just see it as a natural consequence and the solution to our problems here and now.

  • http://screambucket.com/ Aetius Romulous

    Finance and economics are global, politics is not.

    Eventually, there will come a point where 150 separate national entities can no longer function correctly because of the power of global economic consolidation. Something will have to give. We either stick to our “guns and religion” and peel back global financial efficiencies, or bring our ideology in line with our technology.

    It is already a “New World Order” in as much as the die has been cast, and finance is already there – and we are all benefiting as we have for some time. The friction will come when old and tired dogmas have to be pulled along, kicking and screaming.

    For many extremists over on the American “right”, they will always have the words and concept of the NWO to shadow box, punching themselves out while the fact of the issue rolls out under their feet and into the future.

    I prefer to simply call a duck, a duck – and move on.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    There was a new world order after the invention of agriculture, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, after the Black Death, after the defeat of Napoleon, at the Industrial Revolution and at the end of both World Wars, as well as on countless other occasions in humanity’s long, turbulent history.

    Politicians who talk about the ‘New World Order’ aren’t referring to some dastardly plot to take over the Earth; they’re referring to the ages-old cycle of economic/political systems disappearing and being replaced by new ones. In most cases, it’s hyperbole.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Very good distinction, Aetius, but the West is already consolidated economically – politically too (the EU) and even the movement within the U.S. to adopt international law as the rule of the land. The same may happen in Asia and within the Russian sphere of influence; so there may very well be separate stages of the political coming together (and a matter of time).

    I don’t think the world could remain politically fractured – not for long, anyway, while the economic fabric is binding all of us. So I think the political form aiming at unification will follow suit (a good Marxist dictum that social/industrial relations determine politics rather than the other way around). Consequently, the technology will emerge and the decisive factor, bringing politics in unison with it; although there may be some interim infighting between different spheres of influence.

    Almost like in Star Trek – The United Federation of Planets (just substitute “nation-states”).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course it’s not a plot (in my mind) but a hyperbole. But the nation-states are on the way to extinction by the global government. And yes, life will be markedly different.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Yes, it will. My life is markedly different now to the way I lived it even ten years ago. A point to bear in mind, though, is that very few of these revolutionary changes happen overnight. The Roman Empire, for example, took hundreds of years to collapse – and there is a case to be made that it never did. Aetius points out that we’re already experiencing many of the fruits of the current revolution without recognizing it as such.

    I’m yet to be convinced that the current economic crisis is a signifier of wholesale upheaval on the scale you’re talking about. There is going to be a point (it may already have passed) where the capitalist model of continuous growth meets the planet’s finite capacity to sustain it; but not all of the effects will be either abrupt or catastrophic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Doc, what I believe was unprecedented about the present was the possibility of rule by global corporations. Never before did non-political interests have such powers so as to overshadow political authority and nation-states.

    Well, the present crisis foreclosed any such options. But it will serve, IMO as an object lesson for the future: Never again. And therefore, the global economy (economies) will be state-controlled to a far greater extent than before (to prevent the possibility from arising) – i.e., a form of statism. And with increasing globalization, it’ll only mean a more imperial form of government and erosion of certain freedoms we’ve all along been taking for granted.

    No more the land of the free and the brave.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Doc, I’m not talking about capitalism and the system of production as having run out of steam in that sense, only that there will have to be a corresponding shift in the political realm so as to accommodate the reality of economic globalism. The good old concept of nation-states, IMO, has proven inadequate to the purpose.

  • bliffle

    Roger has a dumb idea:

    “The way I see it, capitalism (unaided) had run out of steam: it had spent itself. While it was still functioning, it provided the necessary opposition to the powers of the government.”

    Are you kidding? Capitalists have always favored overpoweringly strong central government, as long as they owned it. They NEED powerful government to raise the taxes for their self-enrichment schemes, whether it be a canal, a railroad, international shipping lanes, or even the fancier virtual systems of the modern financial fleecings that are now in favor, like AIG, etc.

    What they NEED is the modern Privatized Government that does their bidding, ON DEMAND. So that when Wall Street says they need a $3trillion ‘bailout’ the government jumps to attention and does it.

    Capitalism LOVES strong central government.

    There are some elements of ‘libertarianism’ that (say they) oppose strong government, but they are betrayed by their aversion to ‘liberals’ and form alliances with the capitalists that eventually destroys their liberty. Much as many ‘liberals’ and ‘leftists’ did in the 30s when they formed alliance with the commies, not thinking that the commies are strictly “rule or ruin” allies. And so are the uber-capitalists.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No differently, I suppose, from what transpired in the good old Rome. When the Republic was no longer functional, we see an Empire taking its place. When the Empire is found deficient, we see the split between the East and the West. And so on and so forth.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #31:

    You’re missing the whole point. It overreached and it folded. Of course it needs a strong, central government in order to thrive and prosper. The whole point, though, is that the government will no longer tolerate Big Business running amok. It can’t afford it. So you’re going to see a more imperial, socialistic kind of government controlling more and more aspects of everyone’s life – including the running of Big Business.

    It would help if you took things in context rather than latch on to whatever you want to harp on something I have never said nor claimed. The global corporations were operating under the impression they could do whatever they pleased.

    My whole argument is: the party is over.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Roger,

    Let me take some of the problems I have a few ideas at a time. To your numbers:

    2) But the West has been setting the tone for the world at large for at least two centuries or longer, since the Industrial Revolution.

    The first problem I have here is that basically I said the same thing and accounted for it. So, can we agree that this reinforces both our arguments then?

    The second problem I have is with this as it stands: …for all the resistance on cultural and other grounds, it has become a pattern, a model…

    I think this is right, historically. But we seem to be moving past that (for a number of years), both as far as some governments and moreso for many people. It’s people that are key to my argument. So, you can’t really come back with just what governments have done or might try to do. That would be equal to missing my whole point which is what people might do, from the bottom up.

    Here is a video. If you watch the first 3 minutes, it will go a long way toward understanding what I’m saying. If you understand what Greenspan is saying here, I think you’ll understand why I think you are wrong about what the people of the world think about the U.S. model. There are more people who experience the destructive side of Capitalism than the constructive side. I’ll let the point be made in the video.

    Note: I don’t really care what Greenspan says after the 3 minute mark. I’m not very interested in his ideas about solutions just his comments about Capitalism.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Wow. You guys should cover this for the sports section. You could call it the nut bowl.

    -Glen

  • bliffle

    Jordan hits the nail on the head!

    #9 — Jordan Richardson

    “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

    – Aung San Suu Kyi

    Exactly so! Almost every powerful person lives in fear of losing power. That’s why they keep grabbing after satisfying their immediate material greed.

    In ancient times they would even kill their own children out of fear of usurpation.

    It is fear that causes the CEO to imagine and angry mob approaching their compound with pitchforks and flaming torches.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    One other thing I don’t get. Just how are a bunch of washed up WCW wrestling guys supposed to rule anything?

    -Glen

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    I’ll watch the video, but a response first.

    I think you misunderstood the thrust of #2. When I talk about the leadership of the West, I’m talking about it’s unquestionable hegemony not just economically but also politically, technologically, culturally and intellectually. Of course I did mention the Industrial Revolution, but only as an event which had clinched that hegemony (because economic prosperity – I’m not talking about hardships now – generated thereby brought everything to a peak).

    And secondly, I am not advocating capitalism per so, and the most important reason is that it will no longer be the same but in a quite modified form – socialistic in mold, with much greater input from the government than ever before.

    Don’t you see the moves that Obama’s Administration is making: capping the salaries, taking over banks, revoking bonuses (or creating pressure enough to mobilize public opinion to that effect). You make think these are but temporary measures. Not so! It’s the style in the making, the foretaste of things to come. It’s not going to go away but be a regular feature of everyday life.

    How do you really propose that people will change things from the bottom? Most movements from the bottom are movements for liberty. And we’re not exactly in the kind of situation that would precipitate events like the French revolution – “Let them have cake.” So it ain’t gonna happen, because the state will “take care of you.” And as to the real, real poor, they’re too docile to rise. And don’t forget the police powers you’re so adamant about. They’re not gonna go away.

    I’m not certain I understood all of your counter-argument. So come again if I haven’t.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Roger,

    cont.

    3) You speak of the middle class. Well, the middle class is basically disappearing…

    This and most of the rest of this part that follows, again, is just another way of stating the same point I was trying to make. Am I not writing clearly or are you not reading clearly? Well, at least we are agreeing on some things.

    4) The poor do not revolt…

    Because they are powerless without the middle-class (or if you prefer–the eroded middle-class), meaning the bulk of the people who propped up the Capitalists of the free societies. Capitalism doesn’t work without the cooperation of these people. I think that you are forgetting that in your analysis.

    …as long as their basic needs are met…

    They are not being met and that, would you agree, will continue downhill.

    …they become sedate…

    I wouldn’t say sedate Roger. I think they become powerless. They can’t overcome if the rest of the population is happy. (the number sufficient to prop up the status quo, the ones I am calling the ‘middle-class’).

    Most revolts were freedom-related movements…

    Yes, and so would any new ones be.

    But when the idea of nation-states is slowly becoming obsolete, the same will go for the “liberation movements”…

    A presumption on your part. Think of it in terms of class war. That’s what it amounts to.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Think of it in terms of class war. That’s what it amounts to.”

    There is no class war. Outdated idea. Not in the West. Too many people bought into the idea of prosperity and middle class values. Bread and circuses, remember. In today’s terms, TV, games, Internet and other toys, a clunker to drive in, some food on the table – enough to keep the masses happy. Sorry if I’m disillusioning you. So yes, the needs of the masses are being met if you give them those things.

    Freedom-related movements: I’m only talking about liberation movements.

    Again, Cindy, it will not be capitalism as you know it but a hybrid – more or less a socialistic model. You should really experience living in socialistic regimes. People are under the thumb and happy just to be able to get their basic necessities – waiting hours in life if they need be. The Hungarian revolution, the uprising in Prague, the Walesa solidarity movement – they were not against socialism per se but against the Russian oppressor – again, liberation movements against foreign oppressor.

  • pablo

    Dave RE 16

    These were the first words that former Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik said to Alex Jones on infowars.com today:

    “I am so pleased to be here alex, and i want to congratulate you on the fact that they are making
    all of these attacks (on alex jones) means that you have been doing a fantastic job, that you
    really are a threat to the New World Order. I’m envious.”

    I guess you and Mr. Badnarak don’t agree on the New World Order, or for that matter on Alex Jones! hehehe :).

    Well I take sides with Badnarak and Jones over you politically any day o the week pal.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    322

    Roger,

    As for the rest 5-7:

    I’m merely presenting alternatives that could happen. Your presumption is that the plans of Obama, Brown etc, continue smoothly and will work to satisfy the population quickly. I have big doubts about that Roger.

    These people are like cavemen trying to steer a spaceship.

    As for idealism, there is nothing idealistic about evolution.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    that’s not 322, that’s #22

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So far they have, Cindy. And he needs public support to stay in the White House for the next eight years. Believe me, by the time those eight years are over – it’ll almost be a different country.

    Can you see the speed with which things are moving? You can almost see it in the future history books: BO and AO (before Obama and after Obama).

    And yes, I believe in evolution (of political and social forms). Which isn’t to say it’s always going to be for the better. When old forms outlive their usefulness, new ones come into being. History has always been so.

    We are living in epochal times, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Bliffle @ #31

    Pay close attention to that Roger. It’s a crucial point to understand.

    There is no class war. Outdated idea.

    That and what follows it: You can’t have it both ways Roger. Either what I am calling the middle-class is basically content or they aren’t. You can’t argue that they are dramatically both at the same time.

    You seem to be using the middle class of the past here. It’s changing. You acknowledged and even promoted that idea. So, which is it?

    And don’t forget the police powers you’re so adamant about. They’re not gonna go away.

    Actually, the idea that they will get even stronger exists perfectly well with my proposal. If anything, I see this as more fuel for rebellion.

    Sorry if I’m disillusioning you.

    lol, disillusioning me? You’d have to be convincing, I’d think, before you could be disillusioning.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    So far they have…

    So far, if you are paying attention, you will notice rebellion growing every day. You will notice unemployment figures rising and rising. etc. etc. etc.

    So far? It’s been 4 months. If you can please point out how things are going well, so far.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    One of the symptoms of American decline insofar as living standards are concerned is precisely the disappearance of the middle class. So you have the working poor (and presently, even many of those are in the unemployment lines) and the (relatively speaking) well to do. Which only reinforces what I’m been saying all along about great deal of leveling within the society – downwards, to approximate Third World standards. So I don’t think I’m contradicting myself here. And insofar as the working poor are concerned, they’ll be satisfied with little – again, the bread and circus idea.

    So how am I trying to have things both ways?

    I realize this scenario is not very enticing and palatable to you. Let me assure you – I feel the same way. But I do see it as the most plausible one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I am not saying, Cindy, that things are going well. Have I said that? And we’re definitely not out of it yet, not by any stretch. When the unemployment will run out, there’ll be another extension, and another – until things get back more or less to “normal.”

    All this is predicated of course on there being a recovery of sorts. If there isn’t, they all bets are of because how can the government keep on supporting the growing masses of the underclass (especially in ways to which they’re accustomed). Then, something’s got to give. But given some such recovery, I don’t seen the potential for any kind of revolution and bloodshed. Do you? Is that what you’re hoping for?

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Roger,

    Are you doing that thing where you don’t read the post completely?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    All right, Time out. On what do we disagree?

  • http://screambucket.com/ Aetius Romulous

    In the end, it is economics and finance that are the real government in a modern democracy – mortal politicians simply do their best to keep the dogmas in place while they ride the waves of boom and bust.

    Both capitalism and modern democracy were born at the same time and of the same parents. They co exist as one, each balancing the other. It was a beautiful system – for the single generation in which it was in balance.

    Since that time (late 1960’s), economics has had the advantages of technology, and has harnessed it to its limit…and perhaps beyond. Democracy is still chained to a bunch of dead old guys and a faded document under glass.

    Today, every time an advance in technology gives capitalism another edge, democracy quivers and shakes, coughs, and moves alongside as best it can. Economics and finance, under capitalism, are the true king makers of the planet.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    They’re the raw material, Aetius. But I’m not even talking about the form of the government, be it a democracy, or republic, or the totalitarian government. The point still is – and will always remain – you can’t forget the all-important distinction between politics and other life spheres, between political authority and any other kind of authority.

    I don’t care how political authority is going to be constituted, but you’ve got to have one, and one way or another, it’s has to override any other kind of authority in any society.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    lol Roger,

    As of your last post we are fine, I think. Sorry I hadn’t seen it there.

    But given some such recovery, I don’t seen the potential for any kind of revolution and bloodshed. Do you? Is that what you’re hoping for?

    I see it as very diminished, here in the U.S.

    Violent revolution and bloodshed is not my cup of te. Unless there was for example evidence of real fascist government.

    I am rather hoping for more along the lines of take over of factories by workers and empty government buildings by the homeless. Takeovers of schools by students, etc. And lots of visible direct protest. Strikes, occupations, interference with government through street protest.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m glad we agree. It’s just a scenario, Cindy, not the one to my liking (except that I see it as the most plausible one). It’d rather see multi-culturalism, and variety, and all kinds of life beaming about. Individuality and personality are important, what makes life interesting. But I see the general dummying down of people in general, loss of freedoms, and lowering of the living standards worldwide. The world is just getting too big for its own breeches.

    Sure, you’ll see some rebirth of cottage industries – people will do what they have to do, scratch and claw and whatever, but it ain’t gonna be pretty. And some kind of recovery is a necessary presupposition. Otherwise we’ll all going to go to hell in a handbasket.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Roger,

    I need help with my writing. Any chance you’d be willing? I hate writing.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    I am working on an important article and getting nowhere for days.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yep. I’d like to because I’ve just reached crossroads – kind of nowhere to go after my last one.

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    A great Roger. Thanks. I’ll e-mail you.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Aetius, re your your #51: looking forwards rather than back, whilst it may be true that economics and finance have had an unusually high profile in the last 50 years or so, that is already beginning to change, which can only be progress.

    Vast wealth has been created by those who know/knew how to organize production and distribution channels on a large scale, as that was the most efficient way to do it. Nowadays though, that too is already starting to change.

    I have more computing power here in my little laptop than the computers that took humans to the moon and can do things with it that would have taken lots of people to do previously. That’s power.

    Then there are advances in production techniques. It is already possible to print something as complex as a mobile phone and it won’t be that long until that kind of technology becomes as common as inkjets.

    By the time we’ve got used to that, who knows where nano technology will have got to by then? The prospect of being able to pour dirt into a machine and have whatever the heck you want come out the other end is almost certainly going to be science fact before kids of today get old and die.

    Those kinds of changes alone will completely re-order societies quite radically, to say nothing of the largely unimaginable social and cultural changes that will accompany such a shift.

    The net result will be the continued transfer of power towards individuals and a strengthening of individual freedom and democracy, which is a process that has already been going on for some time now.

    Technology isn’t giving capitalism an edge, it is giving all of us the edge back. As for economics and finance, they are going to be returned to the back office where they belong, their time in the limelight as over as a stale celebrity.

    It is for these kinds of reasons that I can’t endorse the pessimism evoked by yourself, Pablo and Roger

    Oh, and did one of us miss something? I was distinctly of the impression that capitalism had been around an awful lot longer than modern democracy?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris,

    I’m not arguing against that kind of progress and my pessimism doesn’t address that. In fact, I’m all but convinced that we will be advancing technologically at the exponential rate. I’m only talking about the form of futuristic government. It’s going to be, I believe, much more “hands on” than before.

    As to those with power, money and resources, I have no doubt they’ll do well.

  • http://screambucket.com/ Aetius Romulous

    Christopher;

    Capitalism grew out of mercantilism at the turn of the 18th century.

    Virtually anything we will have in the way of technology, we will have because it is profitable for someone, somewhere to develop, build, and sell. If nano technology grows, the finance behind it will grow exponentially – and globally.

    An ipod toting, wrist watch printing, wifi enabled citizen of Canada can still not vote in an election in the US that matters to him greatly. No technology will change that. The economic consequences of American elections wash across a planet where only 1% of the population has a vote. That ain’t democracy that works well with economics.

    Global financial regulation will be a result of this meltdown. It will be slow and almost invisible – a statute here, a ruling there. But it will come.

    That is the real New World Order, and not one we should be happy about, because national governments will be completely subservient to it. And no one votes for the regulators, and if they did, the world is so fractured into idiotic nation states there never would be a quorum as a check and balance mechanism.

    Patriots will fight to the death no doubt, but as they do the power will have already left the building. “He who controls the cash box, controls the world”.

    It is essential that democracy keep pace, and the only way democracy can keep pace is to go global.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “It is essential that democracy keep pace, and the only way democracy can keep pace is to go global.”

    Except that I don’t see how it can, because centralization of power on that scale is antithetical.

  • STM

    THE WHOLE THING’S A PLOT!

  • http://www.picturethehomeless.org/index.php Cindy

    Aetius,

    Virtually anything we will have in the way of technology, we will have because it is profitable for someone, somewhere to develop, build, and sell.

    Why? People never invented things before Capitalist competition or profit? You don’t think the same model that applies to open source software can apply to technology in general?

    You don’t think that there are plenty of people whose interests will propel them, given the resources?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    STM,

    Explain #63, please. Do you really mean it with a straight face. I never took you for a conspiracy theorist, not from your comments on BC. Have I missed something.

    I don’t think what’s happening is a plot (which isn’t to say that some people have not been plotting). I just think we’ve come to crossroads where the political form will have to adjust to the fact of globalism in order to be pertinent.

    This piece was one of the most difficult for me to write because of the subtlety of the implications. Let me give you just one example.

    If it’s true, for example (as some commenters suggest) that for the past hundred years or so there had been a marriage of sorts – I call it unholy alliance – between Big Business and government – then it what sense can I claim that a change is taking place at this very point.

    Well, this economic crisis had nearly brought the world to its knees. So whatever the causes or whomever can we blame, somebody fell asleep at the switch. One thing however is certain. The powers that be cannot afford another such fiasco, because as the saying goes, perception is everything.

    So whether it is in fact the case that the government and business have all along been in cahoots or not, the fact remains than another failure of the sort we’re experiencing today is not acceptable and is not going to be allowed.
    Hence a pro-active stance on the part of world governments “taking over” the failed industries and business enterprises (smacking of socialism to a point) not only as part of the solution but also to create the impression that the governments are going to be “in charge” from now on.

    So even if there were “in charge” in the past – more or less unofficially and in a manner of speaking – that relationship between business and government is being formalized now – again everything else being equal, because public perception matters.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • pablo

    #65 Roger

    No STM is not a conspiracy theorist, as far as I know there is only one resident conspiracy theorist that is a regular commenter on this site, and that would be moi. He like the rest of the gaggle of geese on here far prefer to make fun of that which they have not taken the time to investigate, AND in my opinion, the implications of certain conspiracies have them in a state of fear; hence not rational.

    Thus they lash out with indignation and occasionally slur. As most of the time when debating political issues of the day with my contemporaries in person, I do not suffer the impliteness. On here (online) however it is a different story.

    As an example, if I was to meet say Mr. Nalle in person, in either a formal or a casual setting for the purposes of discussion, he would not do so well calling me a tinfoil hat, nazi, paranoid guy, if you know what I mean. :)

    That is true as surely as I am sitting in front of my laptop composing this comment. So I just want to say to the group here, I am sorry if occasionally I have gone over the top in returning disparagement.

    I am also setting a personal standard here, and this comment is being noted by me, for possible future reference.

    I hereby will NOT cast the first stone of personal attack (slander, ridicule, dipsaragement, character assassination, or belittlement) until such time as one is sent my way FIRST. If this happens, and I have no doubt that it will, I will copy the text of this notation as offering proof.

    To the editorial staff:

    Please take note of this comment as I will offer it up in the event that I return barb for a barb as it were.

    In the meantime I will be POLITE, occasionally sarcastic, NEVER mean, and attempt the impossible, to argue my insights and opinions to others, in the hopes of fruitful, engaginge discussion online.

    ps

    I know the first paragraph was sarcastic concerning geese and meant to be.

  • A Duck

    Geese are overrated.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Hi Pablo, nice to see you back again – I thought the shock of getting an email from me had left you stunned! :-)

    I applaud most of what you have to say about online conduct, but please take on board this one little tweak, which goes for all of us.

    If someone is reckless enough to overstep the mark of common civility, don’t shoot back. I will delete any comments, either in part or totally, which I feel have gone too far and, if you respond, the only effect is to double my work. If I let it stand, then I must have felt it was legitimate. You can always contact me directly if you reckon I’ve got it wrong. Thanks for your co-operation.

    With regard to your hypothetical face to face encounter, I find it discouraging that you think the appropriate response to someone saying what they think of your opinions is a cause for violence. How is that any less repressive of personal freeedom?

    As to your political point, I still don’t think you’ve made your case. Sure, there may be well be circumstantial evidence that, if spun in a particular way, could theoretically imply a conspiracy to control and repress humanity on a global basis.

    I think it is rather a leap from there to determinedly believing that is what is actually happening, in part for some of the reasons I touched on in #59 above.

    Aetius, re your #61, I guess it depends how capitalism is defined. I’ve done some reading and it seems there are several ways of defining both the concept and the origin. I was thinking of it in the broad sense of any trading system, which has certainly existed at least as long as humanity.

    I still think it far more likely that the importance of new technology is working to undermine, although not, of course eliminate, capitalism and its chums, economics and finance.

    If almost anything, subject to limitations of size, can be printed, its economic value, though not its utility is reduced.

    When nano production comes online, which will almost certainly be before the end of this century, it could produce anything, including more nano machines, so everything will be, quite literally, dirt cheap, so no role for finance or profit there.

    We already have “global financial regulation” and, if anything, the most this “meltdown” (it isn’t, by the way) will achieve is to change some aspects of that regulation. Why wouldn’t we want that kind of regulation?

    If you are opposed to subservience by national governments, may I assume that you advocate the dissolution of the USA, the UK, the EU and every other authority bigger than a hamlet?

    There is nothing to fear about a potential new world order, indeed, as someone else pointed out above, there already is one and has been for centuries. The trick of it is to make sure that it is always configured to serving humanity, not managing it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris,

    Since you don’t live in the U.S. you are rather unaffected. But suppose you were. Do you really believe that for the vast majority of Americans life would be better under some kind of global government than at present (never mind that we bitch about it all the time)? Mind you now, I haven’t disputed none of your faith in technological innovation. We have been making that kind of progress throughout history, and in that sense, there is no argument as to the betterment of humankind as regards their material conditions. But I’m talking most about freedom and liberty, and the kinds of things that the Americans, the Brits, and most of the inhabitants of the West have been able to take for granted.

    Again, I am not restricting my argument to the well-to-do, relatively independent people such as yourself (the rich have always done and always will do well) but the masses – the common man. Sure, there will be some advantages to abandoning the nation-state concept – not that we’ll have any choice in the matter – but there will be some disadvantages too. So the idea of progress in history, to which you’re committed to, is not always such a straightforward proposition. And you can’t define it strictly in material terms and leave it at that. There are other values besides, you know it, and they matter.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The nation-state is a fairly recent invention – less than a century old in the case of parts of Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

    There’s no particular reason to think it’s any better than other forms of social macroorganization (ouch!), or that it is or should be more durable.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, in Europe it goes back at least three hundred years, Italy and Germany being the laggards. In fact, the one reason often cited by historians in support of German aggression (the two World Wars, e.g.) is their relatively late unification of the many kingdoms and coalescing around the concept of nationality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You surely don’t want to argue that the Brits don’t value being part of the same culture and traditions; and the same with the Irish to the Scots. So even if the concept is “new,” the sentiment approaching something we call nationality has been around for ages. All the liberation movements (like Mike Wallace in Scotland) had no stronger underpinnings than a sense of belonging to the same people and of identification that comes with it.

  • pablo

    Chris 69

    You said: “With regard to your hypothetical face to face encounter, I find it discouraging that you think the appropriate response to someone saying what they think of your opinions is a cause for violence.”

    Huh? I do not recall saying that I would resort to violence at all, nor did I imply it. Indeed in my whole half century plus life, I have not had one instance of a political discussion/argument end in violence or the threat of it. Nor have I for that matter ever had one person in person call me a tin foil hat, or nazi, or paranoid out to lunch kind of guy either.

    What I was referring to is that the environments are fundamentally different visa vi online or in person. It is amazing as you yourself concluded that I was referring to violence, just how easy it is to misinterpret and/or mischaractarize another’s writings.

    As to my political points, I am not on here to prove anything to you, but simply to offer my opinions and writing. If however you were interested in a world view different than your own, perhaps sometime you could open your mind and read some of the literature that I have suggested, if for nothing else, but to familiarize yourself a bit more with the subject matter. The fact is that men have been conspiring against others since our origins, and will continue to do so.

    Why is it so difficult for someone such as yourself to believe Chris, that those that are at the top, economically occasionally conspire with like walleted to further their more than obvious objective. That objective being power and the centralization of it. After all, money dont mean shit to them, they print the stuff outta thin air, power has always been the name of the game.

    I point you to Roger’s above questions about the average common person in this New World Order. Let us take for instance an average Filipino making 6 bucks a day for ten hours work. Or the case of a guy in Bangladesh working for a buck a day on a rickshaw. Fact is Chris, very few other humans give a shit about others, and that is even more true at the top of the food chain. Indeed much of the wealth that has been created from those at the top, was not so much from innovation, and invention, but from opressing others by paying slave wages, exploitation, sexploitation, and treating other humans as dirt.

    Once they have centralized this power, those at the very top, what makes you think that now they will suddenly start behaving like civilized sentient beings? Virtually all indications is that they would act otherwise, and cull the herd.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Mike Wallace???!??

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m sorry, not Mike. What’s his goddamn first name? It’s William. Great movie, though. The historical record to the best of my knowledge is rather sparse.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger,

    Nationality, yes. The concept that nationhood had anything to do with statehood is more recent. Pre-unification Wales and Scotland – and even Ireland – were, while the people did consider themselves Welsh or Scottish or Irish, basically a collection of feuding baronies – each petty leader commanding the loyalty only of those living on his land.

    Owing to the King of England generally having far more muscle than any of them or indeed all of them put together, they were usually expected to pay homage to him, but this was in practical terms little more than an acknowledgment that he was bigger and stronger than they were, with a tacit agreement to mind their own mutual business until such time as the King needed to raise an army, in which case they’d better soldier up if they knew what was good for them.

    If you look more closely at some of the nationalist rebellions, you find them to have been somewhat more political than idealistic, at least from the point of view of their leaders. Wallace’s began as a difference of opinion as to who the rightful King of Scotland was. In Wales, Llywelyn the Great united virtually all the Welsh barons under his leadership, but recognized that he could not challenge the English militarily and was careful never to claim the title of Prince of Wales. (His grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was less pragmatic, allied himself with the wrong side in an English power struggle, did take the title of Prince, lost thereby the support of many Welsh chieftains, and ended up losing both his country and his life to King Edward’s marauding army.)

    The English did have an earlier concept of the nation state, owing to the relative isolation brought on by being bounded by the sea on two sides and by mountains separating them from the rowdy Celts on the other two.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good account, Doc. Of course the feudal ties and relationships obfuscated the issue with lordships and vassalage transcending and all too often blurring the boundaries. Of course, don’t forget Louis XIV – L’État c’est Moi. So you’re right, the connection of nationalistic feelings and sentiments with the concept of the nation-state is a relatively speaking a later development (in modern history, I should say, because the Greeks may have had the concept, the city-state, connected with the cities as centers).

    As a matter of fact, it comes to me that Hobbes (and Bodin perhaps) was one of the first modern theorists to have a more or less clear conception of a state (eventually a nation-state) as a political entity. Even Machiavelli, who preceded him, didn’t have that clear of an idea.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which goes to show, BTW, how such natural to us concepts weren’t as natural to our predecessors: it took some thinking and connection-making.

  • STM

    There’s already a global ruling clique that might also function like a de facto global government.

    It’s called the Anglosphere.

    Think it doesn’t call the shots?

    Do your homework …

  • STM

    Doc asks: “Mike Wallace???!??”

    Actually, there’s some truth in this.

    Roger’s obviously thinking of Mick Wallace, William’s brother, who was actually the black sheep of the Wallace family.

    While all the rest of them were off fighting the Poms, Mick became a plumber.

    He is credited with being the first tradesman in the British Isles to utter the immortal line: “Eee, mate, it’s blocked – this wooon’t be cheap. Ah can’t do it for under 200 quid”.

    He also became the wealthiest of the Wallace family, eventually moving from Glasgow to a nice house in Edinburgh.

    William (known in the family as Bill), while a great warrior in the tradition of his Dad, James (“Jimmy” Wallace), was also a constant source of disappointment as a son, particularly in regard to his insistence on cross-dressing, wearing makeup and keeping his hair long (“Ye look like a girl!”).

    His mother, Hilda Mary Wallace, meanwhile, lived to regret Bill’s defiance in regard to her urgings that he always wear clean undies “in case ye get hit by a wagon”. (And she was never able to look the neighbours in the eye after Bill chucked a brown-eye at the army of Edward – “Ted” Longshanks – during the Battle of Stirling Bridge. She died of shame a few years years later, thus missing out on what should have been her proudest moment: seeing Bill hung, drawn and quartered.)

    Bill, of course, preferred to wear none, ever, and was an avid practitioner of freeballing, which at the time was quite rare.

    When asked by the English after his capture whether anything was worn under the kilt, he replied: “Nae … it’s all in perfect working order”.

    His final words ” … ye’ll never take my freedom”, actually referred to attempts to stop him freeballing, rather than to any notions of Scottish independence.

    It’s time the myth was dispelled, once and for all.

  • STM

    This is the true irony of history

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now, that’s quite a yarn, STM. And you accuse me of propagating a myth whereas you’re a myth-maker par excellence.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, why would not living in the USA mean I was unaffected? We already have more freedom in Europe than you lot anyway, so any further increases in the over-Government we already have will affect me more.

    No idea why you assume I’m well to do, unless you’re comparing me to the majority of the global poor, nor is it relevant either way.

    I believe life could be better for all humans under conditions of a more co-ordinated management of global affairs and, as events seem to be trending that way, we should be making sure it is as benign as possible, rather than letting it get out of control.

    Larger scale government does not lead to a weakening of identity, but re-inforces it, so you are again worrying about something needlessly.

    I didn’t define anything in purely economic terms, I was responding to someone who did.

    Oh, there is no such thing as Brits, we’re English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish, plus quite a lot of Poles and other significant minorities who all live in a superstate called Britain, itself a member of a larger superstate. And the Doc and me, we’re northerners, which is totally different to being dodgy southerners. He’s a bit odd anyway, coming from the east coast over the mountains, not like us westerners.

    Pablo, if this

    As an example, if I was to meet say Mr. Nalle in person, in either a formal or a casual setting for the purposes of discussion, he would not do so well calling me a tinfoil hat, nazi, paranoid guy, if you know what I mean. :)

    doesn’t imply a violent reaction, I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    I think if people are going to come on here and offer differing political perspectives then it is indeed helpful if they will support, or prove, their position.

    I am interested in all perspectives, political or cultural, up to such point as they show a lack of conviction or substance.

    So far, you’ve made a case for a potential scenario but not much for it being what is actually occurring. If it were, I too would oppose it and, whilst it is an outcome we should guard against, there are more pressing matters in need of attention.

    I haven’t read much recent literature on these subjects but plenty in the past and so far it just seems to be a case of same song with different singers so I don’t really feel the need to return to the subject, yet.

    Sure, there are folk who have been “conspiring against others since our origins” but as power is being decentralised NOT concentrated, the odds are improving in our favour.

    I totally believe that rich and successful people meet with like minded people and make plans, indeed I take it for granted and always have. Why wouldn’t they? That happens at all levels of society though and, despite over 10,000 years of practice since we stopped being a largely nomadic species, nobody has managed to stay “king of the castle” for long.

    I don’t understand your point about poor Filipinos or Bangladeshis. They are less poor than they were a thousand years ago, a hundred years ago and a generation ago and that is a trend that is going to continue unless something catastrophic happens.

    I also reject your point about the majority of humans not caring, I think many do and do what they can, whilst recognising that these things take time.

    Just because there are some bad capitalists doesn’t mean that all are and the bad ones tend not to get to stick around that long as the market doesn’t like that kind of unpredictability.

    Power is being both centralized and decentralized at the same time, which may sound kind of odd, but actually makes sense if you think about it. I have more power to control my own life now, and to affect the lives of others, than I had in the past, as do you.

    You are living the life you have chosen in the place you’ve chosen to be, right? And have free access to powerful technology like computers and the internet, tools with which you can do almost anything, right? Compare that to life just 50 or 100 years ago. No contest.

    If people are going to have such power, there obviously needs to be a powerful counterbalancing force to stop it all getting out of control. We wouldn’t want someone like Ruvy figuring out how to hack into missile control would we?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fair enough, Chris. I’m still doubtful, however, to what extent this greater control we do have over our own lives – because of the technological progress, among other things – will spread over to the majority of the population, and how quickly. So much depends on education.

    I can’t disagree, though, with this major point. For those of us who can, we definitely have (because of all those things you mentioned) a far greater control over our own lives than it was possible in the past. We can, for instance, turn ourselves off the popular and the dominant culture and pursue instead our own goals and objectives. Such is the life of people in the creative arts. And that’s what E.M. Forster was alluding to in Howards End (the subject of one of my BC pieces) – the kind of freedom made available to all of us in a way, even the starving artist, despite the inequalities that come with capitalism.

    So is that what you meant by centralization and decentralization of power at one and the same time, or by “power is being decentralised NOT concentrated”

    Explain the latter if you can.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Chris,

    And the Doc and me, we’re northerners, which is totally different to being dodgy southerners. He’s a bit odd anyway, coming from the east coast over the mountains, not like us westerners.

    Actually I’m even odder than that. I was born and grew up in London. My father was from an old Yorkshire family but was a Geordie born and raised* and descended from Vikings. My mother was born within the sound of Bow Bells and so could call herself a Cockney – but she spent her formative years in rural Essex and had French and Welsh blood. I identify strongly with the Celtic element and consider Wales my second home.

    The Yoo-knighted States calls itself a melting pot, but we in Europe have been melting things for millennia.

    * Hence my Newcastle United fandom. My brother takes after our mother more, and supports Chelsea – which is a bit random, because Mum was a football fanatic who in her youth was a regular on the terraces at Chelmsford City, in their heyday when they were a non-league superpower**!

    ** When Hereford were elected to the Fourth Division in 1972, they had actually finished second in the Southern League the previous season – behind Chelmsford. It should’ve been the Clarets***!

    *** OK, enough with the obscure footie monologue…

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, congratulations on being Blogcritic of the Day.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It sure looks like it, Doc: a true melting pot, and all in that little crucible, a small country by any comparison, called Great Britain (or is that term out of use already?)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wow, and thank you. By virtue of what did I deserve this?

    What are the criteria?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, Roger, the full official name of our ‘superstate’, as Chris puts it, is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It’s usually shortened to the United Kingdom or the UK, because if you use Britain – which properly refers only to the largest island of the archipelago – you’re excluding that pesky province of ours across the Irish Sea.

    ‘British’ is, of course, heard rather more widely and indiscriminately to describe a whole gamut of things from these islands, but nowadays the monicker ‘Great Britain’ is mostly only used for the Olympic team – rather apt, after our showing at the Beijing games! – and, for some obscure reason, tennis.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And actually I dispute the notion – often perpetuated even by my compatriots – that we’re a small country. The UK is actually the 22nd largest country in the world by population and the 79th largest by area, which considering there are upwards of 200 countries and self-governing territories (depending on who you listen to) isn’t too shabby.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What about the population density, Doc? It must rate rather high.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful
  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t have actual figures for you, Roger, but you can google the info if you need precision. Loosely speaking, though, Britain and, indeed, Europe is far more crowded than the USA.

    Britain is about five times smaller than Spain and with around 70 million people has double the population, but still feels like a green and pleasant land.

    The EU, which is smaller than Europe proper, has over 600 million people, twice the population of the USA, in about half the US land area. The USA is practically a ghost nation, there’s nobody there!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Many of the most crowded countries, mind you, are city-states like Monaco, Singapore and Bahrain, which are tiny by other measures.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Love that World Atlas site, Rob, good find.

  • Cindy

    Well, I call you people Brits–I like it–and I hope to continue doing so unmolested.

    And, curiously, by that I mean only the English. I always call the others Scots, Irish, Welsh.

    And even though I’m wrong, who cares?

    The Guardian UK is also wrong. As you can see in this piece,

    Oh no! British people

    To celebrate the publication of his new book, ‘the waiter’ rants about a favourite topic … err, the mean Brits

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Are you moving on with your article? I think you should write it. Plenty unanswered questions.
    And yes, I do like the term “Brits” too. It’s got a nice ring.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m not a fan of the term ‘Brits’. Too tabloidy for my taste.

    Cindy’s is a good strategy. It’s a curious thing that if you hear one of us refer to himself or herself as British, that person is almost certainly English. It’s not something the Scots or Welsh do – they’re always to be called Scottish or Welsh, never British. Neither do the Irish (well, why would they? – they’re not), except maybe the occasional loyalist from the North, but then they’re all crazy up there anyway.

    One good way of getting your head separated from your body is to call a Scotsman or a Welshman English, especially after a few rounds of McEwan’s or Brain’s.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think that would stand to reason, Doc. The others would resent to be so called (because it denies their distinct roots). But that’s the expected reaction on the part of any “minority” (used loosely and non-derogatorily)culture.

    Even STM’s most vehement objections to my entertaining the idea of “American exceptionalism” was, I firmly believe, in the idea that the terms slights the “poorer American cousins,” such as himself – a bit on the defensive and charged with emotion, if you know what I mean.

  • Cindy

    I’m not a fan of the term ‘Brits’.

    Unlike all the other Brits who seem to be big fans of words used by Americans, lol.

    :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hell, “the Brit” comes off to me in the same way that we used to be called “Yanks.” I hear it as a term of endearment.

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    Thanks so much for the support! We are closed today, so I am enjoying goofing off. But I should get back to it soon.

    Dr.D., Big C–

    Thought you might appreciate this bit of the comments policy from a list I am on.

    NOT OK to post:
    – “flaming” or rudeness of others on the list (like, “hey, you suck!”)

    [ALTHOUGH UNFORTUNATELY, THAT’S OCCASIONALLY THE
    MOST HONEST EXPLANATION FOR, AND SOLUTION TO, AN
    ONLINE DISPUTE. AND SOME PEOPLE DO “SUCK”.]

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    How about calling somebody “your cocksucker you,” if contextually justified?

    Where did you get that list anyway, Cindy?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, erase that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger, for us the term ‘Yank’ has a slightly more derogatory tone to it than the term ‘Brit’ does for Americans.

    ‘Yank’ is more closely analogous to another archaic word: ‘Limey’.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    How would calling somebody a cocksucker ever be contextually justified?!?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Call me that name and you would be contextually justified.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Sorry, Dr Dred, I could not resist.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’m glad I haven’t crossed the line, though a few times I was tempted to respond in some such fashion to some of the BS that’s been on BC.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I never used “the Brits” term in such a way; a convenient shorthand here on BC to include STM, Chris and yourself. For all the individual differences, I still see a certain commonality amongst you which differentiates you (in my eyes at least) from the rest of “us” (if I be permitted to say). So no offense was ever intended. (As to “limey,” definitely so). But I always thought of “the Yanks” as kind of affectionate, perhaps because of the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” movie.

    Goes to show how Hollywood can veer you away from the reality.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Silas,

    I get your point (and the joke), but while in your case it may literally be a true descriptor, the word doesn’t define you. It would be like calling a breastfeeding mother ‘a walking milk bar': i.e. a good way to get yourself kneecapped.

    Roger,

    Good God Almighty, man, don’t let STM catch you calling him a Brit. It’s almost as bad as if I were to call you Russian.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And I’m not offended by the word ‘Brit’ – I’m just not that fond of it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wouldn’t be that offended by affiliation with the Russkies. An illustrious history, no less bloody than any other nation.

    I’d like to believe I have transcended the merits or demerits of my national identity (including my adopted American one) for I am as nique-nique as they come; and I believe that’s true, too, of lots of BC members as well; and good for them.

    But I’ll pay heed what you said about STM. No more shorthands. Everyone’s a Mensch.

  • Cindy

    The Americanization of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (the song) was a thumbing of the nose by American patriots at the British, who created the derogatory term.

    Here’s the song Roger and its history.

    The phrase took on a life of its own, I think (i.e., minus the British); it just became a patriot song it seems. I think that is what you see in the movie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You may be right, Cindy. Just goes to show how naive I can be when I go to the movies. Just like a teenage in love.

  • Cindy

    Ah, I forgot to say, the British wrote the song Yankee Doodle Dandy. (Just in case you don’t visit the link.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I like that “walking milk bar,” Doc. Did you think that up on the spot? Crude of course but colorful. You’re showing your novelist’s potential.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I didn’t know about the long history, Cindy, just George M. Cohan’s song (“Over here, over there … the Yanks are coming …”) and James Cagney’s movie of course.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s what I had in mind:

    Over There, Over There
    Send the word, send the word,
    Over There
    That the Yanks are coming,
    The Yanks are coming,
    The drums rum tumming everywhere
    So prepare,
    Say a Prayer
    Send the word,
    Send the word to beware
    We’ll be over, we’re coming over.
    And we won’t be back till it’s over over there!

    Naturally, I associated it with the Yankee Doodle Dandy song.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yankee in the Wiki.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    More of the same from answers.com

  • Cindy

    I’ve messed things up a bit Roger.

    The song Yankee Doodle, was written by the British and co-opted by American patriots.

    Only the movie was called Yankee Doodle Dandy, not the song. And it was apparently about George M. Cohan. So, it makes sense that Over Threre would be in that movie.

    Also, just to be confusing, the title song in the movie was called Yankee Doodle Boy.

    Aside: Who the hell is, “Hastings of Cambridge, Massachusetts…”? Is this someone that is commonly known? Am I just suffering from not paying attention to battle facts in school? (snore…..)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I did get that. The movie was really a story of M. Cahan, which featured his most popular songs. So I just made some wrong associations, stupid me. Goes to show, though, how easy it is to shoot yourself in the foot. I had better be careful, because Doc, Chris and STM (though they hate to be grouped together, so they tell me) are quite knowledgeable about these things.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know, I’ll look it up. Mentions The Uncle Tom’s Cabin which I’ve read a long time ago in Polish; I had better read it in English.
    Was thinking, anyway, of doing a comparative piece on that, The Color Purple, and To Kill a Mockingbird – three different portrayals of blacks in the South.

    But anyway, Doc et al are more on top of topics like that because (they may feel) they’ve lost the revolutionary war; so I’m at a disadvantage compared to them.

  • Cindy

    I loved those three.

    Well hopefully Stan is up on it for some other reason. He’s not likely to appreciate the idea that he lost the revolutionary war. :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s why I bracketed it. Stan is a puzzle, though. He denies the British/English – whatever – origins, whatever that means; yet he won’t say who he is. I think he even denied being an Aussie. Yet he speaks and writes with perfect lingo (or at least understands the other two) whereas to me it’s like Zulu sometimes.

  • Cindy

    (pssst…he’s Australian)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m certain he is. He even speaks of the “criminality” gene up this thread with utmost seriousness. Eventually, after a great deal of effort, I managed to get it out of him that he doesn’t exactly mean it literally.

    Thank goodness I can breathe again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyways, I was mistaken about what I’d said earlier about “anger.” Now I’m playing with a somewhat fuller deck. So I’ll communicate my “newer insight” at a later time.

  • STM

    Doc writes: “Roger, for us the term ‘Yank’ has a slightly more derogatory tone to it than the term ‘Brit’ does for Americans.”

    Then I’d better not tell them about the origins of the common Aussie slang term for an American … Seppo.

    It has its origins in Yank, is NOT derogatory, but most Americans are fearfully offended when they first hear it in full – until they finally get it.

    Which means Roger probably will be highly offended for at least 3 weeks :)

    Also, Rog … umm, please, tell me where I’ve denied being Australian?

    You’re fucking dreaming old boy.

  • STM

    Rog: “Even STM’s most vehement objections to my entertaining the idea of “American exceptionalism” was, I firmly believe, in the idea that the terms slights the “poorer American cousins.”

    Rog, once and for all I’m going to speak my mind, and please – stop presuming to know the font of others’ thoughts.

    You’re behaving like a wanker who pretends to know a lot but doesn’t get a single subtle nuance on here. You misconstrue comments, forget what was said and then make things up according to your skewed memory.

    That kind of comment (above) is exctly my point in regard to the ridiculous and dangerous notion of American exceptionailism – it proves my point perfectly.

    I don’t come from a country that’s poorer. By you’re own admission you’ve never been here, so how the fuck would you know? It has exactly the same standard of living as the US (better in some ways), and similar wages even in US dollar terms.

    It’s less than 1/10th the size of the US in population. So it’s not a superpower, but that’s not a bad thing.

    Roger, I think you need to use your brain a bit less literally.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m wrong about the last point, Stan. Just remember your disclaimers about not being British or English or whatever. As to Seppo, I believe the term is cited in one of the links I provided,
    like in the following – possibly a septic tank. What made you guys think this up? A natural antipathy? Just asking.

    But why should I be offended? First, I’m an Eastern European by birth (Polish, more accurately); and second, I believe myself to have transcended national identity to have become a person in my own right. So even Polish jokes won’t offend me, Stan, because I do likewise with the Italians or the Irish, or whomever. So no hard feelings, mate, OK?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK, STM, let’s just drop it. What makes you think I’m knocking down your country? I had never crossed my mind. It just strikes me that your response is somewhat on the emotional side (especially that I have not really been advocating this notion); so perhaps you’re responding not just to me but to whatever else may have happened in your past associations with people I neither know or care about. I certainly don’t have any stake in American superiority – you sure can find plenty of people on this site who do! – especially not now and not today. So I don’t see why you try to resurrect this subject. I think we’ve been over it already and decided to drop it.

    And BTW, the comment you’re referring to was written days ago; you should have objected to it then and there. So no, I’m not really presuming anything, because how can I? I was only trying to understand (for myself) your vehement reaction.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But anyway, Doc et al are more on top of topics like that because (they may feel) they’ve lost the revolutionary war

    [laughs uproariously]

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. I’ve been to Australia – twice. When Stan says he lives in God’s own country, he’s not far wrong. It is a magical place. Those who live there know it. They have no illusions about America’s or anyone else’s exceptionalism.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I don’t mean it in any bad way. It’s just that you are more motivated than I, for example, and many other Sepps or saps, to study that period of the American history. Am I wrong there? Plus, I did bracket my rather haphazard surmise, so do give me some credit, please.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Doc, why should I question Stan’s view of his home country? I was only taken aback somewhat by his rather violent response to my having only entertained the idea to which, one way or another, if you’ve read my piece, I no longer subscribe.

  • STM

    Roger: The term Seppo is what is known in Australia and the UK as rhyming slang. I have explained before: IT IS NOT PEJORATIVE, therefore there is no antipathy involved.

    Back in the days before WWII, just about everyone in Australia had a septic tank, so it was a term in common usage.

    It just happens to rhyme with Yank. I did explain that. Rog, our problem here is that you don’t read in full nor properly comprehend posts (and I can tell by your writing that you are perfectly capable of doing so).

    Paradoxically, however, in regards to any meaning behind the nickname, occasionally there might be some truth in the analogy – although that was never its intent (and I’d never suggest all Americans are full of sh.t any more than anyone from anywhere else, Australia included).

    On the nickname: As is our wont in this country, where many names are shortened (or lengthened even so they can end in a vowel), we’ve shortened it to Seppo.

    In Australia, not having a nickname is far worse than having one, even if it’s one that might seem at first glance to be less than complimentary.

    Not having one means we don’t care. Americans are well liked in this country, and there are plenty living here too. I count a number of them as friends and one of them has been a very close, longtime mate.

    Like I say, some Americans are offended – until they finally “get it”.

    Those Americans who have chosen to live here happily call themselves Seppos.

    Also, I never said Australians had a criminality gene.

    I said there was a “convict gene” that doesn’t necessarily manifest in criminality, but rather a healthy mistrust of authority figures … like politicians and law-enforcement officers, for instance.

    Please read the posts properly. If you want to know why I’m getting annoyed with you Rog, that’s the reason.

  • STM

    Rog: “But anyway, Doc et al are more on top of topics like that because (they may feel) they’ve lost the revolutionary war;”

    Lol. Are you serious Rog …. ??

    Anyway, it’s even-stevens – we won The War of 1812.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    STM,

    With all due respect, as I re-read parts of your #132 and some of the other comments, I regard them as an attack on my person. I’ve tried all along to be as tactful with you as I possibly could (because I didn’t want us to become estranged, especially in light of Chris and Doc with whom you share an affinity); and so, all along I was moved by a certain respect for you, if only because of association, a respect, besides, for a different point of view; but it is you who are violating good form, which now releases me from this obligation. So yes, I am going to give you a piece of my mind.

    First off, you’re in no position, as you say, “to be annoyed” with me. We don’t have that kind of relationship, and your saying so only confirms to me your basic immaturity and yes, inferiority complex.

    The truth is, I don’t have to know much about Australia, because the truth is – it’s not that important to me, nor is it important to me in the larger scheme of things. You are but a province or a suburb (and a bunch of hicks) compared to parts of US. A taxi driver in Manhattan has more moxie than your shrewdest specimen. And you damn fucking know it.

    So yes, I may be damn wrong about some basic facts, so impugn me all you want on factual ignorance. I don’t give a shit. But you can’t impugn me on on the power of my analysis, my life experience, or being able to see through an insecure hothead such as you. Yes, I do take your remarks for what I think they’re worth, not because of my inattention or natural dullness. And with you, I just cut to the chase.

    The US is where it’s all at (or had been till now). This is where all the energy is, the hustle and the bustle, the culture, the invention and the innovation, crime, fraud, the best and the worst, the literature, the arts, – anything you can fucking think of. Yes, in America – no longer in the UK and never mind fucking Australia. It’s here where the big explosion, the Big Bang had happened – so yes, you are “poor cousins” by comparison. And I’m sorry you’re having difficulties with it, but I wasn’t responsible for this. It’s a problem you have to deal with, not I. You have to learn facts about US, not I about Australia, because WE are the epicenter. And only a superpower, like the US had been, has a right – for better or worse – to call itself exceptional; the privilege of power again. And all the rest of you, who are in a lesser orbit, can only resort to name-calling and derogatory terms because ultimately, you’re impotent; again, the sign of inferiority, jealous, envy, and impotence most of all. So it’s your problem, not mine. If you’ll mature enough, you’ll take it in stride; if not, well, it’s your business.

    And that’s how I see it, and that’s how I read it. Which isn’t to say I’m not critical of my own country. But you’re idealizing yours, forgetting all the while that people are the same all over. Ultimately, it is you who is demonstrating narrow-mindedness, intolerance and inbuilt bias (for the very reasons I mentioned)to the point you’re almost foaming at the mouth and can’t think straight. So that’s the end of our conversation. Sorry it had to end this way, but personal attacks of the kind you displayed I will not take – even if it’s from adult-child.

    PS: Don’t expect me to get int the finer nuances of your Aussie shorthand or slang. The “convict” gene or the “criminality” gene – same difference to me. As I stated, those who are in power can afford ignorance; those who are under the thumb had better know all there is to know about their master, or the enemy as the case may be – self-preservation, if you know what I mean.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Is that you trying to be offensive, Roger? That’s the only explanation I can think of for all the nationalistic drivel you’ve written above.

    Stan is annoyed with you because, like may commenters here, you’re far better at transmit than receive.

    He can be annoyed with you if he wants to, they are his feelings after all, so your comment about he’s “in no position to” is simply nonsense.

    The USA ISN’T where it’s at, it’s just a part of where it’s at, and the fact that you could even say so sticks you firmly in the American exceptionalism camp, which as any fool knows is a bullshit attitude.

    As what you comically call your analysis is so skewed, you can indeed be called on it, and quite rightly so based on this long stream of bile.

    From my perspective, the USA is a loud noisy teenager of a nation, gifted and full of potential but mostly large and empty like all the noisiest vessels, and rants like your tragic long squeal of paragraph above are perfect indications of that immaturity.

  • STM

    Rog writes: “It’s here where the big explosion, the Big Bang had happened – so yes, you are “poor cousins” by comparison.”

    Rog, give yourself an uppercut!

    Now you’re just sounding like an amero-centric snob.

    Grow up. Most of that post, and especially the bit above, is an absolute load of bollocks. How many times have you been out of the US? I’d be interested to know, beyond leaving Poland.

    Perhaps you need to study a bit of history, and properly.

    And I’ve got every right to get annoyed by the stuff you write, especially if I think it’s wtrong – which it is, a lot of the time.

    Sorry, but this site is a microcosm of democracy (in the the modern sense).

    It’s basically a free-for-all. We all get ripped to shreds every now and then (including me) … it goes with the turf.

    If you can’t cop it on the chin, that’s your problem.

    But free speech is free speech, delivered in short-hand or not.

  • STM

    Rog: “A taxi driver in Manhattan has more moxie than your shrewdest specimen.”

    Lol. I doubt that very much Rog, although that doesn’t mean NY cabbies aren’t shrewd.

    Remember, unlike you, I’m coming from a position of having spent time in both places, and in the case of the US, on many more occasions than one.

  • STM

    As for exceptional in the sense you’re using it (which wasn’t how I was, by the way) … I’ll just say this.

    Australia was part of the British Empire, a superpower for 200 years until the mid-20th century – at worst, for the entire 19th century and for half the 20th.

    When you’re talking about influence on the world, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.

    It’s the reason we’re dealing in English on this site and why most of the world is speaking it.

    However, as I say, the jingoistic way you’ve presented it wasn’t how the idea of American exceptionalism was intended to be viewed. It’s about how Americans have seen themselves througthout their short history and the myths that have gone with it.

    And we’re not your enemies down here, believe it or not – we’re just about your only real, enduring friends.

    Mark, – name change mate? I have lived in a place with an outhouse.

    Up in the country, way up the coast. The place was built in the 1850s, and while they did build bathrooms inside, they left the outhouse just in case.

    There were poisoinous spiders in there, though … under the seat.

  • M (a) ¶/ ® k

    …edited or not, I still find #141 an exceptionally crazed comment.

    raspberries to the censor

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #142,

    “Being annoyed” is a childish response or feeling, Chris, and you know it. Yes, totally inappropriate on the part of an adult. So it is not I who display an infant mentality in this case, but your esteemed colleague.
    As to your other points, I’ll come back shortly.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    PS: I shouldn’t have to be giving you lessons on the nuances of your own tongue, should I now? So at least take me for the intelligent person that I am and make certain that your remarks are cogent and apropos, or you shall be forced not to take you seriously. Not much to ask for, I should think.

  • M a( )r k

    make certain that your remarks are cogent and apropos, or you shall be forced not to take you seriously

    I’m sure that STM doesn’t take himself all that seriously in any case regardless of coercion.

  • STM

    Nowhere near as f..king seriously as Rog, it would seem :)

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Mark, your original comment was accurate but not, what was that phrase EO used some years back, “not in keeping with the spirit of brotherly love we wish to foster”. Could I have strawberries instead?

    Roger, I don’t know where you got such a notion, but being annoyed about something isn’t remotely childish. I’m staggered that you, a Pole for fuck’s sake, could come up with such a remark!

    Oh yeah, intelligence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, not for you to claim for yourself. That is pretty immature but, hey, you are in the USA, the largest juvenile detention centre on the planet. LOL!!

  • Ma ® k

    I grow exceptional strawberries.

    And Chris, my comment was exceptionally editable.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As to the rest of your #142, Chris, it’s a matter of opinion concerning which we can respectfully disagree. If not today – but even today, because of US goes down, so will much of the world, as STM himself had admitted – than at least not that long ago, yest – that’s exactly where everything was and where things happened – in almost any area of human endeavor, good and bad. You may not like it, and you may disagree, but again, that’s my view and we can either discuss it or go our separate ways. I have the right to my opinion and you to yours. To call mine ridiculous does not advance your counter-argument.

    No, I wasn’t trying to be offensive; if you read my lengthy response, all along I have tried to go along with STM – but he kept on harping on the issue, not to mention attacked me personally; so yes, I did retaliate, and I’m going to do it again and again once the discussion deteriorates to that level.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #143:

    STM is right in that “he has every right to be annoyed.” Of course he does and I can’t deny him that “right.” It tells me, however, about the immature infant he is in that “annoyance” with someone who expresses views with which he vehemently disagrees is the only emotional response he can muster or think of.

    So no, I stand by my statement: For although he’s got that right, we don’t have that kind of relationship where I have to tolerate his attitude – namely, his being annoyed at me. Children are annoyed when things don’t go their way, not adults. Consequently, he’d totally discredited himself in my eyes. End of story.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark: You’re reading inaccurately. #148 was addressed to Chris, not to STM. So get your own head out of your arse.

  • M (a)r {….!…} ¶/ ® k

    But then where would I hide?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If that’s what you really think in #151, the middle paragraph, then I must conclude you have no ear for the English language, or simply fail to grasp the basic concepts. Think about it first and then come again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry for the uncouth remark. Heat of the battle.

  • STM

    There you go Rose, you Pommy you-know-what … I knew I was right all along.

    No ear for the English language!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s not an innate thing but an acquired one, like for music. Being a native speaker is no guarantee against nonsense.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, if I ever need lessons in English, you can be certain it won’t be from a Seppo. What could be better than the source?

    As you’re the one that is struggling to be understood, as contrasted with the rest of us who are understanding each other very well, it is pretty obvious who has the language issues. As I told you earlier, although with delicious irony you seem to have missed it, you are not so good at receiving as transmitting.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Whatever you say Christopher. A perfect argument from authority. We have nothing more to say on this matter until you abandon you false sense of loyalty and start thinking as an individual you’re portraying yourself to be. So until that time, I really don’t care for your shallow characterizations. Save them for somebody else.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Methinks there is a bit of “annoyance” expressed in #162. See #154 and #147.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You think wrong. No annoyance at all, only coming to terms with reality.

    And even if there were, Mr. Lawyer – and this is the key point – I have neither used that word nor characterized it as such.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, if there is one thing that really pisses me off it is when people, normally it is Ruvy or some other person with a loaded agenda, impute actions, feelings or thoughts to me that have never even crossed my mind.

    You are attempting to paint my entirely accurate observation that it is you that is out of step in this conversation as being a “false sense of loyalty”, rather than doing your ego the favour of accepting a truth you clearly dislike. You also try to pitch it as a “shallow characterisation”, but it is neither shallow nor a characterisation, it is a description of your behaviour. You’re possibly trying hard to be objective but are coming up way short, sport.

    Coming to terms with reality? Naah, mate, making it up is what you’re doing…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    “From my perspective, the USA is a loud noisy teenager of a nation, gifted and full of potential but mostly large and empty like all the noisiest vessels, and rants like your tragic long squeal of paragraph above are perfect indications of that immaturity.”

    Roger. This quote from Chris sums up the depth of his thinking. He thinks in the broadest and most unformed generalities. There’s not much point in arguing with him.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris. It’s not my business what pisses you off. If it’s not a false sense of loyalty – and I agree it was a cheap shot, though not beyond the realm of possibility because you’re human, after all – then I completely disagree with your assessment of STM’s use of the term “annoyance” as though it were totally innocuous.

    But never mind that, now, because since you don’t even make an attempt to see what I’m getting at, then certainly I shall not make an effort on my part either; so let’s just leave it at that, shall we?

    But I do reserve the right not to deal with STM on the basis of his expressed “annoyance at me,” which I intend to exercise as my prerogative.

    Fair enough? There’s nothing really to be added to what I have already said, so let’s just drop it. I do not wish to completely spoil whatever possibility there still exists between us for an honest exchange, and I mean it.

  • http://www.yellowpigs.net/classes/petunias Bowl of Petunias

    Oh no, not again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not, David, at least not on that issue as I see, since I didn’t even bother to challenge it. But I won’t be ganged upon, and I don’t care if they bring the whole army.

    STM chose to express himself in a certain way (that he is annoyed with me), which is his right, but to which I took exception. So I’m asserting an equal right on my part not to have any further communications with him. They don’t have to understand my reasons if they don’t want to. So I don’t really see what this whole bloody argument is about.

    Are they trying to coerce me or something? What is the f …ng point?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Alright, I’m mend the fences, Christopher. Your characterization was not shallow, so I am taking it back. Let’s just say we disagree on this and any number of issues. I’m also taking everything back I had said about your facility with the English language; though again we have a number of disagreements concerning usage, fair enough?

    I can live with that if you can. But don’t try to force my to associate here with whom I do not care to associate with.

    Roger

  • Uncle Arthur

    Geez, this is kicking along nicely, ain’t it?

    Love Bowl of Petunias coming in out of left field.

    Thumbs up Bowl!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Roger,

    The truth is, I don’t have to know much about Australia, because the truth is – it’s not that important to me, nor is it important to me in the larger scheme of things. You are but a province or a suburb (and a bunch of hicks) compared to parts of US. A taxi driver in Manhattan has more moxie than your shrewdest specimen. And you damn fucking know it.

    When I lived in New York, then truly the capital of the world, I used to have the same arrogant assumptions about the United States. A former cabbie in New York (around the same time I was in college) contributes here relatively frequently. So he has moxie. But that does not mean you are wise to compare him to Stan Denham. I learned how to drive in New York – so I have similar moxie.

    The more I traveled the States, the more my arrogant assumptions decreased, and in traveling in Israel, they disappeared altogether.

    Were I not a Jew, I would have been headed out to Australia or New Zealand a long time ago to live. The truth is that within the “Anglosphere culture”, you are better off in either of these nations than the United States. Objectively speaking (and not taking into account religion, nationality or the loyalties they inspire), you can live a better life there than in the United States.

    What surprises me is the vehemence of your comments – but then I have to remember that you adopted the US as your own, and such attitudes are common in immigrants and their first generation children. I’m the exception to the rule.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Ruvy,

    Take these in the context, please, just as I try to do in your case. Yes, I am a goddamn patriot for all of America’s faults; and whatever gripe you’ve got with the West, it was America (and no goddamn Australia or the UK) that had set the tone until now. And I’m saying that, for better or for worse. And no goddamn Brit or Aussie is gonna convince me otherwise even if they stand on their head.

    Why don’t you read some of the extended tit-for-tat on this thread (and on my previous one) with STM, and perhaps you’ll understand my stance. My arrogance was only a response to no lesser arrogance on their part. I’m not proud of that, but I’m not gonna extend my other cheek. And you wouldn’t either.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, actually, your #166 is a perfect example of the pointlessness of engaging with you. Glib, elitist, patronising and missing the point all in one big ball of bile. How sad…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would say, Christopher, that you or I are not exactly a category apart from Dave. Elitist perhaps you’re not, but patronizing . . .
    I have yet to see you’re being wrong on anything. But then again, since you’re a pure Anglo-Saxon, that entitles you, I guess.

    I’m thinking the comment up the thread, regarding learning anything by way of English from a Seppo.

    Come to think of it, that’s elitist, too.

    Oh, well!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Uncle Arthur, Comment #171

    New verse, same as the first.

    Do say “hi” to Bowl of Petunias for me, and please remember me to the sperm whale as well.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://twitter.com/ZaphodBeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Hey, this bar doesn’t have any liquid nitrogen! How am I supposed to make a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster without liquid nitrogen?

    Did anyone notice that an outhouse seems to have disappeared from this conversation?

  • http://twitter.com/ZaphodBeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Wow, lifeforms descended from monkeys seem to have limited capabilities.

    Hey, what do I know. I’m just this guy.

  • http://twitter.com/ZaphodBeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Night monkeys. Hope you do a better job tomorrow. I have faith in you. Dig?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Arthur Dent

    I seem to be having this tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.

  • Ford Prefect

    What’s for breakfast?

  • Arthur Dent

    I think Roger is a Vogon

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Stan, it’s supposed to be Cindy impersonating characters from H2G2. Now I’m just getting confused.

  • http://twitter.com/ZaphodBeblebrox Zaphod Beeblebrox

    You know a good party when you wake up and the room is trashed and your pants are on backwards.

    Cindy who? Never mind, just another monkey.

    Hey, wait a minute… These aren’t MY pants!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    LOL. Cindy, good find. I had no idea Zaphod tweeted.

    Incidentally, shouldn’t you be in bed? Isn’t it about half past a billion over there on the East Coast?

  • Lester

    Doc, in regards to your confusion: are you having difficulty understanding or comprehending English?

    If so, you may be in the same category as C.Rose: no real ear for the language.

  • Ford Prefect

    It’s possible that Roger isn’t a Vogon at all, and is simply one of the very few sentient beings to have survived prolonged exposure to the The Total Perspective Vortex

  • pablo

    Chris 174 you said:

    “Dave, actually, your #166 is a perfect example of the pointlessness of engaging with you. Glib, elitist, patronising and missing the point all in one big ball of bile. How sad…”

    You said it not me, and so very poignant it is. :)

  • Slartibartfast

    What worries me is that someone can put a name to a story about the New World Order, without knowing much about the actual world it relates to.

    That’s Earth, we’re talking here, BTW … the little blue planet in the middle of nowhere which, sadly, is soon to be demolished to make way for a new intergalactic highway bypass.

    I am the only one here with the authority to make a new planet for Earthlings – but you have to pay a deposit up front and put in a hard-copy request.

    This is known as a New-World Order.

  • Vogon leader

    There once was a man from Gorzów Wielkopolski,

    Who was stung on the head by a wasp

    When asked if it hurt,

    he said, “Not very much,

    it can do it again if it likes”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    All you Anglo-Saxons on this site just piss me off. I’m annoyed with you to no end.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Hmm, yesterday it was inattention, today you’re verging on racism? What on earth has got into you?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Why racism? All of yous are just a pain in the arse, as annoying as a fly in my soup. Your habits, your innate arrogance. These are MY feelings and I’m entitled to them.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Re Comment #193–

    Ah, there is another form of that despised verb “to annoy.” See Comments #163-164.

    Dan(Miller)

    Covers ears and cowers under desk lest anyone be further annoyed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I should say that #193 exemplifies the proper usage – known in some circles as a paradigm case argument.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To be distinguished (somewhat) by the keener minds from such expressions as:

    “It’s frustrating to be talking to you,” or
    “You exacerbate me.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Should be “exasperate me.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?sid=ebc4463df24731deedfaee6d2789294a&gid=2208322338&ref=search Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

    Roger, A fly in your soup, you say? Strange, I didn’t get one. Well, if you don’t want it, would you mind terribly…

    Ah thanks. The fly has always been my favourite part of the soup.

    Just for that, I’ll treat you to another of my fabulous poems.

    “An Ode to O, freddled gruntbuggly”

    by Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

    O, freddled gruntbuggly…

    Thy mircurtations are to me…as plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.

    Groop, I implore thee — my foonting turlingdromes.

    And hooptitiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles, Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,

    see if I don’t!

  • Mullet

    “You exacerbate me.”

    No one should be doing any kind of ‘batin’ round here.

    The best thing for folks to do is stop the moment they need glasses.

    And remember: To aviod typos, awlays keep them hands above the keybaord.

  • L.Carroll

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  • A cockatoo

    Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz: “Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts”.

    I’m assuming that’s a wallop in the orchestras. Sh.t, that’d hurt, wouldn’t it?

  • Rat

    “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

  • Dan

    “The US is where it’s all at (or had been till now). This is where all the energy is, the hustle and the bustle, the culture, the invention and the innovation, crime, fraud, the best and the worst, the literature, the arts, – anything you can fucking think of. Yes, in America – no longer in the UK and never mind fucking Australia. It’s here where the big explosion, the Big Bang had happened – so yes, you are “poor cousins” by comparison. And I’m sorry you’re having difficulties with it, but I wasn’t responsible for this. It’s a problem you have to deal with, not I. You have to learn facts about US, not I about Australia, because WE are the epicenter. And only a superpower, like the US had been, has a right – for better or worse – to call itself exceptional; the privilege of power again. And all the rest of you, who are in a lesser orbit, can only resort to name-calling and derogatory terms because ultimately, you’re impotent; again, the sign of inferiority, jealous, envy, and impotence most of all…” –roger nowosielski

    This is a most fascinating encapsulation. And, it seems to have been a spontaneous, off the cuff delivery. And from a reluctant but ultimately forced defensive posture as well. Very nicely done.

    No matter what cliquish twitterings of scorn follow, comment #141 is clearly a knockout punch.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Correct, Dan. It was impromptu. Initially, I was going to ignore STM’s patronizing attitude verging on dismissal but I slept on it and decided to retaliate.

    I simply got tired of all those a ..holes who’re not even from here but from some la-la land simply taking potshots. The scorn naturally followed but what the hell. I expected nothing better from natural-born losers.

  • STM

    “No matter what cliquish twitterings of scorn follow, comment #141 is clearly a knockout punch.”

    Depends on what he was trying to knock out.

    Might have worked for a strawberry blancmange.

    But actually, Dan, it’s complete f.king dribble.

  • Cindy

    The other Dan,

    a knockout punch

    ???

    I saw it as roughly equivalent to having the wind lift one’s kilt at the church picnic.

    You think there is actually merit in that statement? You don’t see it as jingoistic patriot sputum then?

    I find it to be the perfect example of thinking gone awry. Or maybe even an encapsulation of just what is wrong with our education system. Or how about just what is wrong with people.

    It’s at the heart of every significant problem with the world, that kind of thinking. And you applaud it?

    Well, I think it’s totally fucked.

  • STM

    Roger: “I simply got tired of all those a ..holes who’re not even from here but from some la-la land simply taking potshots”

    As Rose would say, delicious irony. You’re not from “here” either … you’re a pole.

  • STM

    Roger: “I expected nothing better from natural-born losers”.

    As opposed to Roger, the winner ….

    Why not pay a visit to his website.

    He’d really appreciate getting a comment.

    Even one.

  • Rat

    Converts are always the most fervent advocates…*

    *And, in the case of immigrants, always the ones who want to shut the door on those following.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Cindy. There was a relative marit (compared to the demerit of others who speak with a false tonque). And Dan had it right on the other score: it was reluctant, too. But STM’s comment was an insult, so insult gets repaid in kind.

    Take it in the fucking context rather than in light of your esoteric concepts of absolute justice and fairness. This is a real world.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Whoever the fuck you are, Rat, identify yourself rather than hiding behind your handle.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m getting plenty of them here, STM. And what about your own website? What honors and distinctions can we attribute to your name?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And another thing, Ratso. How would you know whether I want to shut the door on anyone? To the best of my knowledge, neither Chris no STM expressed any desire to relocate. And you, for all I know, may be in Panama.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But STM. I’ve made it my country. So what is your fucking point?

  • Rat

    And you, for all I know, may be in Panama.

    Now you’re getting the idea, Roger.

    It’s all illusion.

    As Clav is wont to pontificate, “Pixels on a screen.”

  • Cindy

    This is a real world.

    It’s among the most fucked up thinking I’ve seen. There is no acceptable context for those ideas. They opened up your skull dumped a load of garbage in and now you spew it from your mouth. That’s great thinking and analysis? That’s ‘the real world’?

    Enjoy your real world Roger as well as your delusions of grandeur.

    You’ll excuse me though, not being a superior intellect, I’m excused from thinking of ‘the real world’ in the same terms as a cultural robot.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “But actually, Dan, it’s complete f.king dribble.”

    Another example of your natural Anglo-Saxon arrogance: whoever doesn’t agree with you gets rewarded with a disparaging shorthand. Sign of impotence, buddy – jealousy, envy, all of the above. That’s what makes you a natural-born loser.

    Though reluctantly at first, I’m glad I’ve posted my comment. I pegged you right, after all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Get off your high horse, Cindy. If you don’t see the context, you’re an ….

    I’m not going to complete the sentence.

  • Cindy

    If you don’t see the context, you’re…

    …apparently incapable of putting yourself in the shoes of childish narcissist.

    There that about says it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And you know what your fricking problem is: You don’t appreciate America, what it had done, the freedom and liberties it made possible, the strides it had made. Even STM and Chris – for all the internal spat we’re having – are not disputing that. But you …

    Go and find your anarchistic society, and I wish you’ll live happily ever after.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, I’d rather love myself than hate myself or do my damnedest trying to become who I am not (which is what I suspect you’re trying to do).

  • STM

    Roger (who will probably read the first seven lines of this post and go off half-cocked writes: “Neither Chris no STM expressed any desire to relocate.”

    That’s right. I can’t speak for Chris, but then I did spend a fair bit of time in America in the 80s (mostly in California, although I’ve seen most of the country first-hand). I also had the chance to live in the US permanently.

    After some very careful consideration of that option, I went home instead – for the better lifestyle. I did the same with a job offer in Britain, where I hold dual citizenship, even though I went to school there for a few years as a boy and sometimes miss the place.

    I like America (and Britain too), but I like it here way better. I like visiting, but neither the US nor Britain would be my first choice as a place to live.

    Remember, unlike you, I’m able to make that judgment from a position of having been there. There’s no place for an arrogance born of ignorance in this debate.

    I understand that from your perspective, coming from Poland, you might find that hard to understand,

    Well, it might have been good for you but it wasn’t the better option for me: I wasn’t fleeing a nasty eastern european communist regime where it cost half a week’s wages to get a roll of toilet paper and a can of beetroot soup.

    I’m Australian, not American, I already live in what I regard as God’s own country – and I say, who really wants to live with a bunch of foreigners in a country that doesn’t offer a better life, no matter how nice they are and how good a place it is?

    For all the faults of this country and my countrymen, and they are legion, there’s just something special about living free in a South Pacific paradise that you’ll never understand unless you’ve done it.

    It might also be the reason why so many people are bashing the door down here trying to get in here, too.

    On the other issue regarding your politely framed question of “what’s my fucking point?”: My point is, for all your blathering on and your jingoistic nonsense and buying into the dangerous American myth of exceptionalism, you’re actually a pretend American.

    All the bits of paper in the world, and all the desire, won’t really make you one, the same as I’d never have been one because I didn’t grow up there. In your case, it’s because really, deep down, you’re a Pole.

    I doubt too any real American would turn a simple suggestion of annoyance – born out of a sense of frustration with what now seems like a thickheadedness and boastfulness that’s starting to assume epic, even biblical proportions – into a federal f.cking case …

    And I suspect most real Americans wouldn’t agree with any of the dribble you wrote in #141, beyond the suggestion that it’s a good place. Most of the ones I know would find it cringingly embarrassing that one of their countrymen (real or pretend) would even countenence such nonsense.

    That comment is the kind of thing that gives Americans the really bad press that so upsets them.

    I also find it amusing that you can write about the New World Order when I suspect your real knowledge of the world is limited to communist, pre-Solidarity Poland and one city of the US.

    But what you’ve done is: You’ve exposed yourself, like Cindy says, and anyone with at least half a brain on this site will be struggling to take you seriously from this point on.

    If you thought I’d insulted you before, consider this the real deal – and most of all, consider it payback.

    You, are, truly, a …….., you present your views like a typical passive aggressive (nice one moment when it suits and full of bile the next when someone presents an equally valid opinion but one you don’t like), and as far as I’m concerned, any of your views are now about as useful as tits on a bull.

    It’s you who should be making apologies old boy for that disgraceful comment, not me.

    And, ah, don’t worry, I won’t be.

    Also, don’t assume we’re all pure-bred Anglo-Saxons. This little black duck’s Anglo-Celtic, and proud of it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I have no problem, STM, understanding the choice you’ve made. And I have no reason doubting your words. For your info, however, I wasn’t fleeing Communism or any such thing. I was too young at the time to have that kind of consciousness. So no, when I came to US with my parents, I was reluctant. Of course, I don’t regret it.

    My nasty response to you was activated by nothing other that the manner of your address – your “annoyance” with me. I did and still do think it was highly inappropriate. So that was the stumbling block. I do hope you understand my position. Other than that, I hold no animosity whatever, and much of what I had said was in the spirit of a “good fight.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But again, you, too, a presuming great deal about me. What would you know about my life here – one city … ha? Why do you find it necessary to make such assumptions? Is it because you still have a secret desire to get back at me?

    And what should I make of the following:

    “All the bits of paper in the world, and all the desire, won’t really make you one, the same as I’d never have been one because I didn’t grow up there. In your case, it’s because really, deep down, you’re a Pole.”

    How would you know what I am deep down? Looks to me like you prejudging the situation from your own case and your own experiences. I haven’t made any such presumptions in your case. Why would you feel justified to do so in mine? What do you know of my personal history? Nothing.

    I was prepared to smoke a piece pipe with you and let bygones be bygones, but I’m beginning to see that your “annoyance” remark wasn’t an isolated incident. So you’ll have to convince me otherwise. And yes, I am making a federal case out of your remark, like it or not. So perhaps in that respect I’m not a true-blue American – why would you assume I’d want to be? – but an Eastern European or a Pole, if you like. Satisfied now!

    And don’t you worry about the impression I make on this site. It’s my problem. Or would you rather I caved in to public opinion – by such as Cindy or you, or whomever else you’d like to solicit on behalf of your “cause.” No thank you. You’re sticking to your guns and so am I. So unless you want to make amends, war it is.

  • M ar k

    Might I suggest spit balls at ten paces? Terribly exciting for spectators.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “who really wants to live with a bunch of foreigners in a country that doesn’t offer a better life, no matter how nice they are and how good a place it is?”

    Just noticed the above. A slip of the tongue, perhaps?

    No, thank you. I kind of like the multiculturalism I find in America. No other place like it.

  • Cindy D

    I think it is we who are being considered the foreignors.

    A little slip of your own there perhaps?

  • STM

    Lol. Confusion reigns once more.

    Americans ARE foreigners if you’re an Austrlian.

    Is the problem for you ESL?

    And as for multiculturalism, one in every four Aussies was born somewhere else.

    OK Roger, tell me where else you’ve been apart from the US and Poland? Be honest, come on … I might have been wrong, Perhaps you’ve lived in two American cities.

    On the peace pipe. Not interested …

    You know where you can stick that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    When you’re saying “we,” do you include yourself?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Likewise! There’s nothing else to say.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And no problem with my ESL, as you have put it, old buddy. The context makes it perfectly clear that the “foreigners” reference is applicable to those in the good ol’ USA, not Australia. And if it wasn’t meant to be so, you should have worded it differently. Back to you, chump.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let’s see now. NYC, Eugene, Ore; Berrien Springs, Mich; Morganton and Ashville, NC; SF, Oakland, Alameda, CA; Columbia and Ft. Jackson, SC; Augusta and Ft. Gordon, GA; Fort Hood and Waco, TX; KY;

    Poland; Israel; Italy; France; Germany;

    Married five times; divorced just as many – to an African-American, Chinese American, a Southerner, an Irish-German, forgot the fifth;

  • Mar k

    Everywhere that I’ve traveled to (scalable from communities to tribes to nations) people, with cause, self-describe as exceptional.

    Now I’m informed in #141 that many of them, lacking power, don’t have a ‘right’ to the word.

    Knock out punch? Nitwittery, I’d say. And not benign at that. The myth of American exceptional exceptionalism leads to wrong action.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark, if you’ve read my preceding piece, I argue it’s passe. #141 was just a biting response. I definitely don’t subscribe to that notion – not now and not today. But one could make a plausible argument that America (at one time) spearheaded the West. Other than that, I don’t have any stake in the notion.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And the strongest case, perhaps, could be made in terms of its “open” immigration policy: at no other place was there such an influx of peoples from all over the world. The kind of energy resulting from this influx and mix was phenomenal. Explosion in arts and literature is just one example. One could well argue that in the area of the 20th century literature alone (if not before), the American output was by far more dynamic than from any other part of the world.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And I don’t appreciate your “nitwittery” comment, BTW, especially when you zero in on one line at the expense of the overall context. (Even so, power has its privileges (I can refer you to a passage from Thucydides)in that it provides its own self-justification.)

    But if you’re intent on firing cheap shots, you can forget it.

  • Cindy D

    Roger,

    When you’re saying “we,” do you include yourself?

    Let me type more slowly. When I said “we”, Roger, I meant we Americans.

    The context makes it perfectly clear that the “foreigners” reference is applicable to those in the good ol’ USA, not Australia.

    Let me rephrase Stan’s comments so it makes sense to you. Stan said he didn’t think it was worth coming to live in American with a bunch of foreignors, meaning with a bunch of Americans.

    After all who would Stan, an Australian, be living with if he moved here, but Americans–who are foreignors to him.

    What is interesting is that the way you are construing it, it almost seems that, by foreignors, you are talking about people you don’t identify with. Makes me wonder what color they’d be. I say this because, in your mistaken interpretation of Stan’s words, it seems like you aligned Stan with yourself based on some commonality. Color is just the commonality that springs to mind.

  • Thucydides

    Please, just leave me out of this!

  • Clavos

    Been slumming again, Thuce?

  • Cindy

    #141 was just a biting response. I definitely don’t subscribe to that notion – not now and not today.

    You get mad and just makes stuff up you don’t believe in? Is that the context you meant?

    That sounds sort of wacky. How should anyone guess such a thing?

  • Cindy

    lol, Clav.

    Okay Roger, I’ll be back to fight later. Now my nephew and I are going to the park to play on the swings.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, that does clarify it – to mean all of us are “foreigners” to him. I’m sorry, but that meaning was not all that clear.

    Which still makes a point in that for all his living and residing in the States, he’d never thought of assimilating and making it “his own country” as long as the Americans were foreigners to him. Consequently, he was projecting in imputing his own experiences and feelings when he stated that I’m not an American but a Pole. Of course I am by birth, but what of it?

  • Clavos

    Well, that does clarify it – to mean all of us are “foreigners” to him. I’m sorry, but that meaning was not all that clear.

    It was clear to all the rest of us, Roger.

  • M a rk

    I’d agree that ‘America’ was exceptionally lucky not to have been decimated by 20th century war and to have been left in the position to capitalize on the migrations following WW’s and particularly the reconstruction of Europe following the WWII.

    And I don’t appreciate your “nitwittery” comment, BTW, especially when you zero in on one line at the expense of the overall context.

    Well yeah, but I think your argument that he who has the power controls the language is the crux of the issue.

  • pablo

    yo Roger,

    You lived in Eugene brother? Me too for years man. You go to the fair? Saturday Market? get back to me bro.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What kind of royal “we” are we using here?

    And how come we’re jumping in on this thread now? Is it because we have no adequate response on the other one?

    But then, I have to remind myself – it’s just a meaningless pixel on a computer screen.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Will email shorty, Pablo.

    Yes, I was going to the University of Oregon there, over three years. Got married there too. Beautiful country, all green, but too much rain.
    They used to have signs there, “Don’t Californicate Oregon,” or something like that, remember?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark,

    “Well yeah, but I think your argument that he who has the power controls the language is the crux of the issue.”

    You don’t think that’s true?

  • M a rk

    I’d say that the powerful try to control concepts, but that their actual success is rare — except in their own minds.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, for one thing, history is always written and re-written by the winners.

    But aside from that, the overall context was a biting retort to STM (for his preceding remark). So I admit I had gone overboard somewhat in pressing the point (which could arguably be made in a subtler and less offensive way).

    In any case, I disavowed myself of the notion of “American exceptionalism” in a prior BC article – as I connected it then and made it contingent on (only provisionally, mind you) on the notion of American prosperity. And since the latter notion is no longer applicable, the same goes for the former. So in a sense, the entire exchange on this thread (including the “offensive comment”) was a rather moot point and nothing other than “sticking it to him.”

    So that’s more or less the context.

    Childish behavior, perhaps. Well, I wasn’t gonna take his snottiness sitting down.

  • Ma ® k

    …history is always written and re-written by the winners.

    An history is written by the winners and powerful — the one that they read to themselves and to any others whom they can force to listen to the bullshit; the losers and weak invariably have their own (which the powerful are often blind to.) These alternative histories are the bases for counter-movements and cultures.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t have any argument with that. And in accord with what you’re saying, there’s another say: “A pen is mightier than a sword.”

  • Dan

    We can all try to deny American exceptionalism for whatever reasons. But it is the elephant in the room. That’s why Charles Darwin applied his ‘survival of the fittest’ theory model to the advancement of the US over other countries.

    You can argue with Charles Darwin if you want (I do), but he was trying to rationalize an observable phenomenon. I don’t think many Americans at all think that they themselves are exceptional. But most know that this is the place for it.

    The appreciation from around the world for the benevolence of the US has waned since the days of the Soviet Empire. In a way, it was a good thing for the world, and many inside the US, to see self evident examples of how socialist superpowers carry out their business.

    US exceptionalism, in theory, hurts other countries. But to some significant extent that has been a good thing.

    I asked someone I know in military intelligence what was a burning question for me. Why can’t Iran figure out how to make a nuclear weapon? Jeez didn’t we do that like seventy years ago? before color TV even? He said it was because intelligent cool-headed scientist’s get the hell out of crazy assed places.

    I’ve heard the opinion too, that poaching the talent from other nations has it’s drawbacks.

    A lot of young exceptionally talented people come from much poorer places to American universities for education. Most often, for free. After learning skills that would be extremely useful to the folks back home, they instead choose to stay on for citizenship, often with powerful financial incentives if they help “diversify” the right technical positions. This kind of exceptionalism migration does have a cost.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It has been the crucible, the laboratory for the best and the worst. Not for much longer, I’m afraid, but still, for all the naysayers, “everybody” (and I say that with qualification) looks to America for the lead. Even today. Including all those who most vehemently oppose the notion.

  • Cindy

    You don’t appreciate America, what it had done, the freedom and liberties it made possible, the strides it had made.

    For whom, Native Americans? Blacks? Indentured servants?

    I had two very excellent teachers, one as a teen and one as an adult. Both of them taught me a similar thing. Essentially, that the most important things to learn/read/understand are those that challenge the dominant cultural perspective. Since 9th grade I learned not to believe what I was taught and to go find out for myself. And even so, I found out at 46 (via my second great teacher) that I’d inadvertently allowed a lot of things I hadn’t examined to indoctrinate my thinking. And I am sure there is plenty more damage to undo.

    I wrote in some other thread, my opinion is that a patriotic stance is not appropriate toward a body that holds power over you. The only appropriate perspective is a critical one.

    Patriotism, in my eyes, says that a person has not managed to move beyond indoctrinated ideas–is not a critical thinker in an important sense–does not seek out the whole story from a range of accounts, in order to find the truth. And often has become callous and lost much capacity to empathize with others. There’s a lot to undo, it starts when we are just small robots children.

    (Roger, did you really forget the background of your fifth wife? that’s a bit worse than forgetting your anniversary I’d think.)

  • STM

    Dan: “That’s why Charles Darwin applied his ‘survival of the fittest’ theory model to the advancement of the US over other countries.”

    Lol. That’s bollocks. Where on Earth do you guys get this stuff from? Do you just hear something second-hand in America and just believe it?

    He was making an observation about American society, as a new, wholesome, attractive, meritocracy – in a similar vein to the kind of comments he made about other places.

    At no stage did he ever link that in with his theories. In fact, Darwin actually refused to take his theories into that realm. It’s another myth Americans apply to themselves.

    He wasn’t applying his survival of the fittest theories of evolution. At the time, the US had existed for a short time and was far from a superpower and in truth still a minor – if rising influence – on the world stage.

    Darwin was an admirer of the US, as are many of us, but that’s another thing altogether. It had also

    It was in fact lucky it existed at all in the form it had been prior to Madison’s war, and only survived that way at the cobference table in the wash-up to The War of 1812 – another great source of American myth.

    The same kind of foolish nonesense has been thrown up about him justifying British exceptionalism, which using the standards you and Roger have applied in regard to America and which I believe are foolish in both cases, WERE exceptional at the time.

    It was also suggested – in America too – that Origin was somehow a justification for British industrialism and the unfettered capitalism that was financing at the time Britain’s expanding global Empire.

    That too was just the propogation of another myth, this time about British exceptionalism – and there have been plenty of those too.

    In that regard, this comment of Dan’s is just more nonsense about American exceptionalism. If it had some basis in truth, that’d be fine but it doesn’t.

    It’s just more jingoism, more crap.

    More cringeworthy stuff. You should be ashamed of yourself Dan for even propagating such nonsense, especially when it has no basis in truth.

    An exercise: I challenge you to find a reference in which Darwin himself actually applies his theories a) to the US, or b) to Britain.

    They can’t be put in the social Darwinism camp either, as Darwin himself did not take it that far.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Dan, all you’re proving is your own subjectivity. The USA is an important country, nobody would deny that, but no more exceptional than any other leading world power.

    The whole soviet empire thing is exaggerated, it was just a brief post WW2 phenomenon, hardly a major phase of history. People go for education all over the world, not just the USA. I can’t even believe you brought up such a thing.

    Just like any other place, there is a fascinating mixture of good and bad. Just like any other human construct, it is imperfect, unique and precious, but no more exceptional than anywhere else.

    Your comment was a great example of the youthful insecurity of the USA though, always needing to boast about itself is so teenage.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Can you imagine Dan and Ruvy locked in a room together?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Can you imagine Dan and Ruvy locked in a room together?

    Why should any of us want to imagine a thing like that, Jet?

  • STM

    Heaven forbid. But you know what, from a personal perspective … I’d much rather be locked in a room with Ruvy.

    Ruvy believes what he believes, and much of it (about 99.9 per cent) I don’t agree with, but despite his being away from America for a long time and now considering himself not one – he still exercises in spades that great ability of many Americans to accept an equally valid argument even when he doesn’t agree with it.

    He’s forceful in his views and will give you a serve, but he doesn’t spit the dummy in that self-centred way if you don’t agree with him.

    He just goes into a mad rant, allowing his opponent some leeway but not much :)

    If I ever went to Israel, Ruvy would be the first bloke I’d look up. God only knows how that would turn out, but I’d do it (and Ruve, I promise I’d chip in a few shekels for the tucker and board if you put me up for a few nights :).

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Stan,

    Thanks for the kind words – you’re always welcome in our humble abode….

    Just look up Ma’ale Levona and check the pork and shrimp outside for a few days, Stan. It won’t hurt you none. I ain’t that hard to get hold of either.

    During Passover, you won’t get any beer in this house, though….

  • Vogon leader

    Roger writes: “whomever else you’d like to solicit on behalf of your “cause.” ..”

    I don’t have a cause unless truth and the dispelling of dangerous myths and notions – and not just about America – can be regarded as a cause. My main contention here, if you read between the lines: Unless the truth of the past is looked at properly, one is doomed to repeat it.

    There’s no recruiting, Roger. I suspect it’s nothing more than that there are some people here who might also see the validity of that train of thought, possibly even more so after the bile-spewing in #141.

    Of course, there’s also the other issue here of free speech.

    Just because you don’t like what I have to say doesn’t mean a) it’s not as valid as your own view, or b) that I have no right to say it.

  • STM

    Yes, that’s me … the Vogon leader, purveyor of really shocking poetry

  • Cindy

    That was a great poem about the wasp. ha!

  • STM

    The best part about it is that nothing rhymes … in my defence, I’ll just say I was a bit “annoyed”.

    I do love a good limerick though …

    And I love a bad one too.

  • Clavos

    It’s the Irishman in ye, mate…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To you it’s a myth because it’s an inconvenient truth. To me, it’s a myth because it’s no longer valid.

    You’re just as free to express whatever you heart desires, and so am I.

    My so-called vile response was prompted by what I deemed as a childish remark (which I still do). But because you’re not a child, I won’t let go. Your equally vehement objection to a thesis which, as I’ve made it plain in many comments prior, I had already discounted was prompted (and continues to be prompted) by what I regard as a sense of false pride.

    I understand it, naturally, because I am an Eastern European myself and I thought myself superior to Americans for quite some time. It took me close to twenty years to shed this attitude, by which time I was totally Americanized.

    So that’s where it stands insofar as I am concerned. I don’t have anything at stake with the “exceptionalism” idea (if for no other reason that it’s a past); it’s only usefulness derives from it being a shorthand (misleading as it is) for America’s past greatness. As to your vehement objection(s) to the use of the term – concerning the misleading character of which I think we cam both agree – only you can answer.

    One possible answer is of course that you are a fearless fighter for the truth. Well, somehow I am less than totally convinced that this defines the situation in its totality.

    Anyhow, that’s my best understanding of the situation as of now, for whatever it is worth.
    Nothing more to add.

  • STM

    Clav: “It’s the Irishman in ye, mate…”

    Or as my mum used to say: “When they ask you which half is Irish, tell ‘em it’s the good half”.

  • STM

    Roger: “I thought myself superior to Americans for quite some time.”

    I don’t see myself as superior to Americans.

    But I don’t see myself as inferior, either.

    Superior or inferior to no one, for that matter.

  • STM

    Well, superior to the Poms maybe :) … especially when the cricket’s on – which it will be soon.

  • STM

    RuvY: “you’re always welcome in our humble abode….

    We’d probably have to communicate by hand signals. How would you understand me Ruve??

  • STM

    Cindy: “Okay Roger, I’ll be back to fight later. Now my nephew and I are going to the park to play on the swings.”

    Hey Cindy, what – no invite? Can I come next time?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I wasx going over this thread for the heck of it, and caught this little sweet remark from our Comments Editor on progress, power and its nature;

    If people are going to have such power, there obviously needs to be a powerful counterbalancing force to stop it all getting out of control. We wouldn’t want someone like Ruvy figuring out how to hack into missile control would we?

    Sorry, Chris, I was thinking about such issues about five to seven years ago while explaining to my sons the strategic importance of Armon haNetziv to Jerusalem. I’m way ahead of you. Living in the country where internet and computer security was invented – in a population of hackers – gives you a certain advantage when looking for human resources, Chris….

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy: “you’re always welcome in our humble abode….”

    We’d probably have to communicate by hand signals. How would you understand me Ruve??

    My Neanderthal ancestors left me memories of complex hand signals for use in such cases, Stan. An example: the middle finger of the hand up-raised means “put your digger to better use, mate!”

    The real question is how you would understand the South Africans, Irishmen, refugees from the Old Confederacy and Geordies that make up most of the English speakers here in the village.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Looking at the comment thread as a whole, for the most part, I agree with Roger’s analysis in comment #22, except his last part about not believing in any escape from this.

    As for the issue of American exceptionalism that arose here to create all sorts of arguments, this is my take on it. I should mention that I was originally reluctant to submit this to BC – but Stan Denham encouraged me to.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, given the daily basic html errors you make, I’m quite confident you couldn’t hack into a paper bag.

    Do you have any evidence to support your claim that computer and internet security was invented in Israel, because that surprised me?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ruvy (#275),

    Thanks. The last part is a reflection of my theology; that’s where we differ. I suppose to you Messianic times will take place on earth. My view in this respect leans toward “afterlife.”

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ruvy, given the daily basic html errors you make, I’m quite confident you couldn’t hack into a paper bag.

    LOL…. You are so right, Chris. The only hacking I do is when my lungs push up phlegm. You would think I was smoking cigarettes the way my dad, z”l, used to! I used to do another kind of hacking as well, driving a taxi in St. Paul, but I would never attempt to do something I myself am incapable of – like hacking into a computer system. You really should re-read that comment a bit more closely, Chris. Right now, I don’t have time to argue over minor side issues, like the Israeli origins of internet security.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, if you are going to make comments that come as news to me, stuff like “Living in the country where internet and computer security was invented”, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask for some evidence.

    Not surprising that you ducked the issue, you and evidence are not really that well acquainted.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Chris, your request is not unreasonable. I just don’t have time to deal with it right now…. There is a difference, you know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Here’s one lead:

    History of Internet Security.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Come on, everyone knows that Al Gore invented the internet while I handed out finger sandwiches.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Just so long as they were kosher finger sandwiches.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Not sure about Ruvy’s claim that internet security was invented in Israel, but they certainly are industry leaders.

  • STM

    As long as they were chicken breast, cucumber and mayo on white bread kosher finger sandwiches.

  • Cindy

    I love the cucumber sandwiches that you get with an English tea (when it’s served in a home).

    Cucumbers, butter, cream cheese and white bread, with the crust trimmed off, and cut into triangles.

  • STM

    Yeah, that’s sounding pretty bloody good Cindy. It’s amazing how well cucumber sangers (or watercress too) go with a nice cup of tea or five. I think the Queen serves ‘em up at her garden parties.

    If she invited me, no other poor bastard would get any. Unlikely to get an invite, though :)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    DD wrote,

    Just so long as they were kosher finger sandwiches. and Cindy added: Cucumbers, butter, cream cheese and white bread, with the crust trimmed off, and cut into triangles.

    Once Passover is over, if the cucumber sandwiches are made with kosher cream cheese (and they don’t use Wonder bread, which can be made with lard), they will be kosher finger sandwiches….

  • STM

    While I won’t get invited to Buck House, I have had some nice afternoon teas in this part of the world, which included said finger sandwiches. Sydney does some nice ones at various hotels, but Singapore is the place: Raffles is best, but most hotels do them, and it’s a feature in KL as well.

    Also, the Sheraton in Bangkok used to have a nice one. Not sure whether they still do, but a nice cup of tea and a plate of finger sandwiches would be the perfect, welcome respite from what’s going on in Thailand at the moment

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Chris, as I told you earlier, I didn’t have time to document my claims on internet security being invented here. But, seeing as it is a bit later, I do have some time. I followed the leads provided above as well as going where I knew I could get information.

    Most Israeli patents are filed overseas, so this may make it look less obvious that the original product came from here. Also, many products invented here were done at foreign owned R&D labs. For example, the modern cell phone (a modification of the car phone found in cop cars for decades) was developed at Israel’s Motorola Labs. Here it was first marketed as the pélefon, the wonder-phone, and today, lots of folks in Israel call cell phones pélefons, just the way my mother used to call refrigerators “frigidaires”.

    But to get to the point, the link I just provided carries this little nugget:

    For those of you who don’t know (again, probably most of you), Israelis have invented much of the technology used today such as instant messaging (ICQ), firewall security software, Intel wireless computer chips, numerous medicines, and miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs. Other Israeli inventions: the cell phone (invented by Motorola, with it’s largest R&D center being in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system, voice mail technology, and VOIP technology.

    I have two more links here, so let’s see what we can do…. This little nugget from DD’s link to a 2002 article:

    “American and European business and governmental agencies cannot survive without the long-term innovative potential of Israel in this industry,” Hunt said. “And competition from Israel is also driving other countries, such as Sweden, to work harder to innovate.”

    Among the presenters at the conference, all with development operations in Israel and business and sales headquarters in the United States, were CyberArk, a startup that makes security “vaults” to protect vital company data; Gilian Technologies, a company that creates “exit control” platforms that recover original information and reload it automatically after a site has been hacked; and Riverdale Networks, which specializes in detecting and disarming so-called “distributed denial of service” attacks, which shut down networks by overloading them with information.

    But I did say “invent”, didn’t I? I didn’t say “industry leader” or “major player”. So, let’s look further, shall we?

    The best I was able to get in the limited amount of time I’ve invested in this was this .PDF on Israeli Technology’s Contribution to the World. It doesn’t say “invent” Chris, so I have to backtrack just a bit on my claims. But found within this .PDF is this little statement:

    An Israeli company pioneered the field of Internet security. Check Point Software Technologies, with young CEO Gil Shweid at the helm, invented the products which have set industry standards in internet security, protecting and preventing attacks at both the network and application levels. Checkpoint burst onto the scene in 1994 and hasn’t stopped growing since. With a broad range of software solutions,
    including firewalls and various products that integrate network management and security, the multi-billion dollar company is considered the current world leader in network security software for enterprises. The FireWall-1 and VPN-1 software
    has been installed at more than 300,000 sites globally, including almost every Fortune 500 company. Checkpoint’s premier product, Firewall-1, has never been breached.

    So, I’ll modify my original comment just a bit, for your sense of propriety:

    Sorry, Chris, I was thinking about such issues about five to seven years ago while explaining to my sons the strategic importance of Armon haNetziv to Jerusalem. I’m way ahead of you. Living in the country where internet and computer security was pioneered – in a population of hackers – gives you a certain advantage when looking for human resources, Chris….

    I didn’t quite get to wipe the floor with you – that would have been a pleasure – but I came close….

  • Dan

    “Lol. That’s bollocks. Where on Earth do you guys get this stuff from? Do you just hear something second-hand in America and just believe it?”—STM

    Where I got “this stuff” from was a book called “Descent of Man”. In it, Charles Darwin rights “stuff”. Some of it reads like this:

    ” There is apparently much truth in the belief that the wonderful progress of the United States as well as the character of the people are the results of natural selection for the more energetic, restless, and courageous men from all parts of Europe have emigrated during the last ten or twelve generations to that great country and have there succeeded best.”— Charles Darwin

    “More cringeworthy stuff. You should be ashamed of yourself Dan for even propagating such nonsense, especially when it has no basis in truth.” STM

    Need more? Here’s Darwin agreeing with a contemporary:

    “I do not think that the Rev Mr Zincke takes an exaggerated view when he says: “All other series of events as that which resulted in the culture of mind in Greece and that which resulted in the empire of Rome only appear to have purpose and value when viewed in connection with, or rather as subsidiary to, the great stream of Anglo Saxon emigration to the west.”—more Descent of Man (C. Darwin)

    “An exercise: I challenge you to find a reference in which Darwin himself actually applies his theories a) to the US, or b) to Britain.”–STM

    So far in just one paragragraph from “Descent of Man” Darwin is quoted as seeing “natural selection” in the stock of Americans being more energetic, and couragous. He then couples that with agreement that basically all human achievement to that point in history “only has value” as “subsidery” to what is then going on in America.

    My point, was only for those who claim that American exceptionalism is some kind of childish boastful myth that Americans make up about themselves; Here was a non American, very respected, and a scientist who made a name for himself studying differences in human life forms.

    Those who hate the notion of American exceptionalism love Charles Darwin. So the cognitive dissonance is better.

    Finally Darwin confers “survival of fittest” status on US.

    “Obscure as is the problem of the advance of civilisation, we can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave, patriotic, and benevolent men would generally prevail over less favoured nations.” —Descent

    “Dan, all you’re proving is your own subjectivity. The USA is an important country, nobody would deny”…blah, blah, blah,…”Your comment was a great example of the youthful insecurity of the USA though, always needing to boast about itself is so teenage.”

    please don’t carry on as though i’ve been some irrational reactionary here. my insecurity level is minimal. If you had something more to offer than those hypothalamusic spasms you and Ruvy engage in, say, some specific point, then it might be mutually beneficial.

    Besides, if I were to go to the mud with people who want to argue such things, I couldn’t have made a better case than rogers exquisite bitch slap #141. If he doesn’t want that anymore, then that can be my response to you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan,

    You’re showing more balls than I’d ever give anybody credit for. To take on the whole Anglo-Saxon contingent? (Not counting the Irish, of course, because they’re a world apart, homebodies. I’ve always loved the Irish.)

    These people just foam with envy and resentment. That’s the only way I can possibly understand their violent opposition to the idea of America’s past (I must say) greatness. Just like the French, they forget we saved their ass from Hitlerism. I know they’re not representative of all English, but they sure as hell are doing their best to make me lose all respect for the Anglo-Saxon breed. A bunch of arrogant, ungrateful bastards.

    But don’t get involved too much in this dispute, because it’s a bitch. STM is the fucking idol on this site, whom I’m trying to dethrone. It’s my fight. Meanwhile, I thank you for your courage.

    Roger

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, thanks for going the extra mile and a half there, I appreciate it, and your honesty.

    What saddens me though are your parting words. I guess our world views are so very different. You are spiky, combative and want to win every point. I am spiky, combative and just want to know the truth, whatever it may be, and don’t much care who is right.

    It has simply never occurred to me, in any comments conversation with anyone here on Blogcritics, that anyone was winning or losing, just are we learning something, some truth.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dan,

    If you had something more to offer than those hypothalamusic spasms you and Ruvy engage in, say, some specific point, then it might be mutually beneficial.

    I don’t care if you and Stan want to roll in the mud over such silly topics as national exceptionalism. But do leave me out of this. I already expressed my view on the matter elsewhere (see comment #275 and follow the link). It’s enough having to cope with an organ grinder and his loyal monkey over at Desicritics. Between the two of them, they kill nearly every comment thread.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hey, Ruvy,

    Who the hell is the organ grinder and the monkey? Now you make it imperative that I read your linked article.

    But please, don’t jump on Dan. One of the few allies I have had here (not that I wished him to get involved). It’s my fight, and let it remain so till the end.

    Roger

  • STM

    Dan: He says, and I quote. there is apparently much truth in the idea of natural selection … but he lays no claim here to applying it scientifically.

    In regard to the US, he’s making a comment about a new, attractive, society that is a beacon as a meritocracy and is largely commenting on a passage he’s included by the Rev Zincke.

    The US was a very young place at the time of Darwin’s observation.

    What you fail to mention is that in that same passage he was also speaking about the “remarkable success of the English as colonists”, a point he also makes by comparing the success of the English colonists against the French in Canada.

    Clearly in the preceding passages, when he’s commenting on the stream of anglo-saxon migration west, he’s not simply talking about the fledgling US.

    When you read the entire passage, the US is not specifically mentioned in relation to this passage: “Obscure as is the problem of the advance of civilisation, we can at least see that a nation which produced during a lengthened period the greatest number of highly intellectual, energetic, brave, patriotic, and benevolent men would generally prevail over less favoured nations.”

    He is asking also, “who can say where the English gained their energy”. suggesting that this has occurred throughout history and that such a thing is possible, but is not applying it specifically to the US. In fact, he’s pointed to American energy, if you like, as being a direct result of that English energy.

    You miscontrue what it’s about. Darwin also has not applied his scientific theory here in this passage. He is surmising and making a comment that certain things are possible.

    But clearly, he is not speaking entirely of the US, nor does he make any claim to it being scientific beyond social possibilities.

    Myth, Dan.

    Josiah Strong, the American clergyman “socialworker”, for want of a better term, wrote in a similar vein, much later: “In 1800, Anglo-Saxons (I use the term somewhat broadly to include all English speaking peoples) had increased to about 20,500,000, and now, in 1890, they number more than 120,000,000, having multiplied almost six-fold in ninety years. At the end of the reign of Charles II, the English colonists in America numbered 200,000.

    During these two hundred years, our population has increased two hundred and fifty-fold. And the expansion of this race has been no less remarkable than its multiplication. In one century the United States has increased its territory ten-fold, while the enormous acquisition of foreign territory by Great Britain – and chiefly within the last hundred years – is wholly unparalleled in history. This mighty Anglo-Saxon race, though comprising only one-thirteenth part of mankind, now rules more than one-third of the earth’s surface, and more than one-fourth of its people. And if this race, while growing from 6,000,000 to 120,000,000, thus gained possession of a third portion of the earth, is it to be supposed that when it numbers 1,000,000,000, it will lose the disposition, or lack the power to extend its sway?”

    This is the kind of thinking we are looking at here – social Darwinism. However in relation to the passage you quote, it’s important to include the preceding linking passages. If you want to believe Darwin was writing solely about the US, so be it.

    But he wasn’t.

  • STM

    Dan: Also, it’s well known that in the same chapter, Darwin also writes this in relation to anglo-saxons, which if you were apply Dan’s standards here, you could only construe as racist theory that the anglo-saxon race is better. It is NOT scientifc theory, and therefore, like the above passages about the English, the US, and the English and French colonists in Canada, should be taken with a grain of salt:

    “Or as Mt Greg puts the case: “The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits; the frugal, foreseeing, self-respectimg ambitious Scot, stern in his morality, spiritual in his faith, sagacious and disciplined in his intelligence, passes his best years in struggle and in celibacy, marries late and leaves few behind him. Given a land originally people by a thousand saxons and a thousand celts, and in a dozen generations five-sixths of the population would be celts, but five-sixths of the property, of the power, of the intellect would belong to the one-sixth of saxons that remained.

    In the eternal struggle for existence, it would be the inferior and less favoured race that had prevailed – and prevailed not by virtue of its good qualities, but its faults”.

    That’s in the same chapter. Clearly, it has no scientific basis, and anyone using Darwin’s theories and quoting them as a rationale for the success of the United States or the Anglo-Saxon race in general should also own up to knowing the kind of racist rubbish that precedes it and props it up.

    Once again, my challenge is: Provide us a passage that doesn’t cite Darwin’s racist theories in regard to his writings on Britain and the US, but cites his genuine, valid, scientific basis for such views.

    This is the kind of rubbish that gave Adolf Hitler the basis of his beliefs in the superiority of the Aryan race and which have now been consigned to the dustbin of history, where they belong.

    I say once again: it’s myth, especially when passages are conveniently cherry-picked in relation to the US without any link to what he’s written in the same chapter either before or after.

  • STM

    Indeed, I could sit here proudly claiming by virtue of Darwin’s writings that the anglo-saxon race to which I belong has been championed as being the best according to his social theories on man (and which have no basis in real science).

    And clearly, even as a persopn of British descent, I have no reason to be proud – as it’s racist rubbish. It would better seen as a misguided justification for imperialist expansion.

    In the same bein, Dan’s cherrypicked use of it – or any Americans’ cherrypicked use of it to prop up the myth of American exceptionalism – is jingoistic rubbish and should be treated with equal contempt.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Roger,

    My comment at Desicritics got edited under the rubric [blathering], a common editing technique when the editor on duty does not like what you say and cuts out what you write. So, I posted the following there – expecting it to be edited out there as well.

    “Ha!

    I knew the bigoted editors here couldn’t handle the truth! Fortunately, my characterization of Temporal the organ grinder, and his loyal monkey, “commonsense”, has been preserved in comments at Blogcritics – where something that barely exists on this site – freedom of speech – still remains.

    I’ll return to that characterization there – naming names, this time. Time to start talking on the internet (again) about how editors here exercise the blue pen of censorship in violation of their own policies – bringing what could be a great site into the dirt….”

    Temporal is an editor at DC with strong anti-Israel leanings and a weak sense of what constitutes freedom of speech. Were it not for that, he would be a good writer and editor, both. “commonsense” is a physics professor who seems to have a case of near terminal verbal diarrhea. But he never seems to die! “commonsense” chitters like a monkey, uttering what H.G. Wells used to call “big thinks” in his novel “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, throwing coconuts at all and sundry – but with me and another fellow as his favorite targets – and condescendingly lecturing anyone who has the temerity to throw a coconut at him.

    Were it done with good humor, it wouldn’t be a bother. But it isn’t. And editors (like Temporal) get involved, unable to distinguish between objective editing out personal attacks and their own points of view. It’s stuff like this that drags a really fine site down. If Chris Rose and DD, BC’s Comments Editors, are starting to look like angels of objectivity by comparison, well, they are.

    Whenever he can, Temporal will incite others against Jewish nationalists without appearing to do so. In that sense, he is a far more talented version of Jonathan Huie. That’s what happened here. Thus, the description, “organ grinder” Then came “commonsense” with his witless remarks in tow – the “monkey”. The edited comment simply said that intelligent discourse was done at that thread, and it was time for this weasel, me, to scamper off.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s very good, Ruvy. Reminds me a little bit of some of the satirical pieces by Orwell (e.g., the Animal Farm), but there was another work I can’t think of now, where expressions like “commonsense” or “organ grinder” were personified in a biting satire. Perhaps you should start writing more and more in this vain. You seem to have a knack for it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dan,

    I wouldn’t argue for the “American exceptionalism” thesis from Social-Darwinism. I believe it’s been discredited as a solid scientific theory. I see it more as a nineteenth century propaganda justifying “the Manifest Destiny,” and the “White Man’s Burden” concepts and more generally, the presumed superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race. So to employ this pseudo-theory is to fall into a trap.

    I would think the most effective way to argue would be by examining the results – from the empirical standpoint, in short. Since the British Empire had folded (a lot of it had to do with conversion from coal to oil as a major energy resource), America picked up the mantle and (until now) has been the dominant culture in the West if not the whole world. And that’s not just a subjective view, as some of the commenters here tried to insinuate, but a rather objective appraisal of the historical reality.

    There’s nothing wrong with an empirical argument per se – i.e., in arguing from the results.

  • Cindy

    Well, I’m not sure anyone argued that the US hasn’t been dominating the whole world. But the idea that being a dominator makes one somehow exceptional or superior is nonsense. Imperialism isn’t exceptional.

    Kicking the weaker kids and stealing all their toys doesn’t make one an exceptional child it makes one a bully.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t stressing the imperialism idea, not once. And I think it’s a grave mistake to view America’s accomplishments only through that prism. The entire focus is on culture (the good and the bad) which without a doubt has been dominant – and it’s only on that basis that the notion of exceptionalism is a credible one. There had always been throughout history centers of civilization from which their influence would spread outwards: Greece, Rome, Italian city-states (like Venice and Florence), Louis XIV France, the British Empire, and for the last two hundred years, America. So the notion of “exceptionalism” – a poorly-phrased construct, I admit – is not in any way absolute or eternal – only a relative (or comparative) one and history-bound, to denote nothing but cultural dominance and leadership during an era. There’s nothing sacred or eternal about it – just a phase in history and one objective way of describing the high points of history.

  • STM

    Ah, now we are getting somewhere. Yes, the US did become the dominant western power from the mid-20th century, and yes, it is a great place, and yes, it is the true superpower of the second half of the 20th century, and yes it has atrracted some th best and brightest … but there’s a very good reason: it was the industrialised western nation with the largest population base and therefore the largest industrial base.

    For all that, Americans even when they were outclassing even the British in manufacturing at the turn of the 20th century didn’t want to be a superwpower. It took another half a century for that to happen, which might be seen as a very great aspect of the collective American pysche.

    But Darwin’s comment about the US was actually being used to prop up his discredited social theory on the pre-eminence of the anglo-saxon race. He regarded – if you read the full chapter from which Dan has quoted – the US simply as an extension of English energy on the other side of the Atlantic. His comments on the saxons vs the celts is a few passages earlier and is very, very telling stuff.n It’s racist beyond belief.

    And at no stage does he apply genuine scientifc theory to any of these beliefs.

    This is what I was asking for Dan to provide – a reference where he applies the kind of scientific theory he does to evolution and survival of the fittest. I am familiar with the descent of man but Darwin’s opinion as quoted in this regard was simply Darwin’s opinion, and it’s since been discredited.

    Like I say, it’s worth reading the whole chapter and not cherrypicking a couple of comments.

    I am also arguing against the myth of American exceptionalism from the same standpoint that I argue against the myth of British exceptionalism.

    In my view, both are identical (both are argued for by Darwin) and have been used to foster a sense of superiority that has justified imperialism (in slightly different forms) by both nations. It’s almost like one handed the baton of imperialist expansion to the other, much like Rome and Byzantium.v Sadly, when the British had tired of it, the US gladly accepted it.

    Go to Britain, guys, and you can hear some people offering up the same arguments as to why they are such an exceptional race/country (or, as Dave Nalle once said to me with tongue planted firmly in cheek, “Now there’s a people who never lived up to their full potential”). I have heard the same arguments supporting their anglocentric view that I hear from Americans who believe the same view about themselves.

    It’s bullshit there, and it’s bullshit in America – which continues to have a very skewed, one-eyed amero-centric view of its role in history and a view often based on myth, rather than truth.

    The same way German exceptionalism was bullshit in 1930s Germany, a place that also, fatally for them and millions of others, refused to look at the lessons of history and learn from them.

    That’s why IMO it’s also very dangerous.

    The only thing separating places like the US and Britain from Nazi Germany in terms of that racial view is the bbelief in personal freedosm, democracy and rule of law.

    It’s a thin line. Let’s hope it holds.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I never argued from the social-Darwinism standpoint and had told Dan (in the comment above) that it’s a bogus argument. And that to do so is indeed dangerous.

  • Cindy

    …to denote nothing but cultural dominance and leadership during an era…

    By doing what?–stealing, killing and enslaving people? Involving itself in causing harm to people worldwide? America was exceptionally good at those things, I agree.

    I’m afraid I can’t just set those things aside and focus only on the good parts–what you seem to want to do.

    (That’s what the indoctrination of our education would have us do. Now why would I want to actually intentionally engage in it myself, having spoken against it so many times?)

    American Exceptionalism only exists if you deny part of reality.

  • Cindy

    Let me qualify that. It doesn’t actually exist. Rather it can only even exist in one’s mind under certain conditions. For me one of conditions would be–denying part of reality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Nobody is setting things aside. You have to take the good with the bad. There had never been a perfect society, and ours is/was no exception. Still, there’s no denying it was a dominant culture for a stretch (again, for better or for worse). And that’s the argument in a nutshell. Nothing else is being claimed.

  • Cindy

    ‘Dominating’ does not equal ‘exceptional’ (superior) except to people who I don’t want to think like, and that is my argument is a nutshell.

    If a person believes that dominating things is a good thing and it exemplifies what is to be considered ‘exceptional’ that is a flaw in that person’s thinking and viewpoint in my opinion. One likely existing because they don’t question what their education told them to believe.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I am talking about dominant culture, a different thing.

  • Cindy

    It works the same way as I see it. Dominant culture does it by marginalizing subordinate cultures and their viewpoints. Whether you are stealing someone’s land or creating institutions to try to suppress their ideas and install your own, it’s all the same to me.

    I don’t say these things off the cuff to be disagreeable. My ideas about this have developed over a long time. So, be assured, it’s not that I don’t understand you. I understand you very well.

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  • M ark

    One likely existing because they don’t question what their education educators told them to believe.

    Let’s keep this personal.

    Rog, isn’t separating the aspects something of a mind game?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Except it doesn’t work like that – i.e., by being spread by sword or by fire. (Exceptions, of course, like the spread of Islam in historical times.) It’s more like a sphere of influence, and it’s adopted by others rather than forced down their throat. The westernization of Japan is a good example.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I can’t respond before I see the remark you’re citing from.

  • STM

    Rog: “Just like the French, they forget we saved their ass from Hitlerism”.

    That’s not true, either. They were in military stalemate with the Germans except at sea, where the Royal Navy kept the Kriegsmarine mainly in port except in the Atlantic, and slogging it out on land in North Africa, but they were a long way from being defeated by the time of America’s entry into the war.

    They inflicted the first full-scale military defeat of the war on the Germans by demolishing the Luftwaffe offensive against Britain in the summer of 1940.

    In July of 1942, the British also inflicted the first full-scale land defeat of the entire war the Germans: at El Alamein, crushing the Axis forcs and the Afrika Corps under Rommel and driving them in full-scale retreat across the desert.

    They’d given the Nazis more than one bloody nose in the three years they were fighting the Germans before America’s entry into the war.

    These are the the kinds of history lessons I say Americans need to learn before they open their mouths – and which others find (here’s that word again) so annoying.

    You, of all people, Rog, should know this. The British were not prepared for war but declared war in Germany in 1939 after the Nazis invaded … Poland. Didn’t do Poland much good, but they at least kept their word.

    The French I’d agree with, who have conveniently managed to write the US and Britain out of the liberation of France, but not the Poms.

    Remember the D-Day landings if in doubt about about any of this: in the invasion of Europe. there were two US beaches )Uta and Omaha), and three British (Gold, Juno and Sword – one of them Canadian).

    More British and Candians involved in the D-Day landings than Americans.

    That is not to say that the huge US build up and involvement didn’t ultimately swing the tide; but, sorry, it wasn’t exactly “saving your asses from Hitlerism”.

    The Poms were holding their own quite nicely, but I daresay they were quite glad you came to their aid.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, overstatement in the heat of the battle. Of course the English fought valiantly. No question it was a joint effort. And you can’t discount the Russians. Who knows what the result would be if the Germans didn’t open a second front, with American entry or without. I’d say the future of the world hang in the balance.

    Of course, Hitler wasn’t keen on invading Great Britain. He regarded the English people as “cousins,” or at least as equals, and was desirous of their co-operation.

  • Clavos

    Cindy,

    Kicking the weaker kids and stealing all their toys doesn’t make one an exceptional child it makes one a bully.

    Trying to draw an analogy between the actions of kids on the playground and geopolitics is grossly over simplistic, Cindy, and way beneath your usual level of discourse.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right! The squabble for command and trophies between Monty and Patton. Wasn’t Bradley ultimately the top field commander, with Ike in the background?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And certainly the defeat of Rommel’s forces in North Africa was the British effort – critical because the Germans were running out of oil.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What aspects am I separating, Mark? It’s all one ball of wax, as I said earlier – both the good and the bad. But the way a culture typically spreads is not by sword and fire (although “imperialism,” or outreach, to use another term, may well be a necessary condition. Still, a sphere (or the spread)of influence is a fruitful model.

  • M ark

    cultural / economic (military) dominance — these aspects interact to such an extent that examining the one without the other(s) leads to confusion.

    So, we make up a history about, say, the westernization of Japan that denies/ignores/minimizes the force involved. Or another that re-writes the facts of WWII.

    Well, overstatement in the heat of the battle.

    The whole argument between Rog and STM is about the underlying overstatement of American ‘dominance’ and the validity of histories based on this overstatement…isn’t it?

  • STM

    The order of command was Ike as Supreme Commander, and Arthur Tedder, of the Royal Air Force, as deputy Supreme Commander.

    With much of America’s naval power engaged against Japan in the Pacific, the Allied Naval commander for D-Day and the Normandy invasion was also British, Bertram Ramsay – who had pulled the surviving British and French troops off the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940.

    Tedder overrode the big-headed RAF air commander Trafford-Leigh Mallory, the man who falsely tried to claim that his tactics had won the Battle of Britain, and ran all the Allied air support for Normandy, and he disliked Monty even more than Patton did (Patton, incidentally, held a grudge because he’d been given command of a non-existent army for D-Day … a dummy army in south-east England designed to fool the Germans into believing the allies would attack in the Pas-de-Calais). Tedder was probably even more critical of Monty as well, despite being a fellow countryman.

    Monty was in overall charge of the Normandy land battles, but even Ike – who was one of the greatest diplomats God ever breathed life into – eventually found the prickly Monty too much to bear.

    Although he was a good military commander, and his record proves it, he was a total pain in the arse and came within a hair’s breadth of being removed by Ike as the war progressed across the rhine.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No, Mark, your’re twisting it, and I don’t know why would you want to do that. America’s was still the dominant culture during the period in question, and I’m certain that STM doesn’t disagree. Or at least I don’t believe he had. The argument really was whether this, what I take it to be as a fact, is sufficient reason to refer to the US dominance as “American exceptionalism.”

    As to the other part of the comment, I have just admitted in the remark about that it’s all interconnected, and I wasn’t engaging in any separation. I just focused on culture (and the spread of US culture) as a key indicator of American influence – regardless of but not separate from all the historical forces which made it possible. The same with the Athenian Empire, and Rome, and all other powers which, throughout history, were regarded as centers of civilization during the heights of their power. So yes, power is an integral element, and the formation of centers come part and parcels.

    And it has nothing to do with “mind games,” only with conceptualization. Unless you regard all conceptualization and distinction-making as a “mind-game,” in which case the term becomes meaningless and vacuous, and of no use.

  • pablo

    A note to truthseekers on this site, (I know its almost an oxymoron) concerning 9/11.

    The former senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, John Farmer, former Attorney General of New Jersey is releasing a new book tomorrow on the 9/11 Commission. The book, “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11″ alleges that the government lied repeatedly about the attacks. According to the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ““Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and security.”

    Mr. Farmer himself is quoted in the Post saying:

    ““I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”

    Thats all folks, you can go back to sleep again.

  • STM

    Roger, even a comparison of WWII casualty figures gives lie to the idea that the conflict should be regarded as a mostly American victory when you are talking about the western allies.

    British Commonwealth casualty figures for battle deaths alone were nearly 600,000 (that includes Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc). Even Poland suffered 240,000 deaths and many of those were in Polish units fighting with the British for the duration of the war.

    By comparison, US battle deaths were 418,000 (although that is disporportionately high considering they fought for three years). But those for Britain alone are close to that figure, and probably equal it if you factor in civilians.

    And I know you’ve apologised, but to even make the suggestion that “we saved your asses” is more than an insult to the many hundreds of thousands of that greatest generation on this side of the fence who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    However, all these pale into insignificance when compared to the six-million Holocaust dead (a great pointer to why we fought that war and why people were willing to lay down their lives) and the casualties suffered by the Soviet Union, which also ran into the millions.

    Nevertheless, the outcome left America a superpower. And one great thing about America as a superpower … we’ve never had a war on that scale since – although there have been the proxy wars of the Cold War and the ongoing madness in the mid-east.

    I like the idea best that American might is used to keep the peace of the world on a macro-scale, if you like.

    The big stick does work … mostly. I just hope it’s used justly too.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re right insofar as to the insensitivity of the remark, for yes, it is an insult to all who have fought and died bravely.

    As a matter of fact, my uncle was with the Polish Army (Gen. Anders, commander) in England at the time, and fought with the Brits. Eventually he settled down in Scotland, and I have cousins in Edinburgh.

  • Cindy

    Except it doesn’t work like that – i.e., by being spread by sword or by fire. (Exceptions, of course, like the spread of Islam in historical times.) It’s more like a sphere of influence, and it’s adopted by others rather than forced down their throat. The westernization of Japan is a good example.

    That some people are drawn to power makes that power exceptional in some way?

    Does the fact that some people want adopt the behavior, attitudes and tastes of gangsters–because gangsters have power and wealth–make gangsters exceptional?

    Of course power can have influence; this doesn’t make it special or especially good or especially smart or especially right. People have been drawn to power and have stood in awe of it. So what does that say about the superiority of that power?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s always good with the bad. And yes, even gangesterism in America contributed and was part of the culture – the bootlegging, the spread Harlem and Chicago night clubs (The Cotton Club), jazz. You can’t separate the dominance of culture from power. So while you may despise the idea of power and how it is used, culture and the influence of culture is a necessary concomitant. So yes, a dominant culture (which may or may not be good or the most desirable) is the result of despicable power. It’s always been so.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And you can reduce the term “exceptional” (as I have already hinted at) to mean nothing other than “dominant.”

  • Cindy

    #318

    Clav,

    Trying to draw an analogy between the actions of kids on the playground and geopolitics is grossly over simplistic, Cindy, and way beneath your usual level of discourse.

    In looking at America’s legacy. I see it as a bully. From those who settled here and stole from and killed the Indians, to those who enslaved people, etc. on and on…I can add country after country American bullied and harmed. I also include those cherished “founding fathers”, who in my book were a pack of scoundrels.

    America is often claimed to have been helping other less powerful nations in various ways. In reality it has always just gone in to places and spread what was in its own interest–whether the people their want that or not.

  • Cindy

    I don’t think you can reduce the term exceptional to merely mean dominant–not in the sense it is used in the phrase American Exceptionalism.

    How about the Catholic church? How about Islam? Do you talk about Islamic Exceptionalism? Because these ideas are dominant or dominating it makes them exceptional?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re right in the sense that we’re kind of stuck with the expression. But that is the import of my argument – that the term is at best a relative or a comparative one, history-bound, and far from absolute and eternal. So in effect, the arguments for “exceptionalism” in some ultimate sense are misguided. And “dominant” emerges as the proper term.

    No, present day Islam hasn’t reached that niche yet (and in its present version, the culture it spread can be “objectively” assessed as a negative one). But once upon a time, Islamic culture was a dominant one – in learning, the sciences, even invention of the banking system. Did you know that during the Harun Al Rashid era (same time as Charlemagne), you could draw a draft on a bank in Baghdad from 20000 miles away and it would be cashed in a matter of days? The Thousand and One Nights, a superb literary work, comes from the same time period.

  • Clavos

    America is often claimed to have been helping other less powerful nations in various ways. In reality it has always just gone in to places and spread what was in its own interest–whether the people their want that or not.

    Which is not necessarily (and often wasn’t, in the case of US) bullying.

    And while I won’t disagree that US involvement with other, lesser countries was not altruistic, neither was it always to their detriment. Best case in point I can think of: Saudi Arabia. Had not the US, UK, and the Netherlands discovered and begun to exploit their oil fields, King Saud would be king of a bunch of nomadic camel herders and a hell of a lot of sand, nothing more.

    Another example: the Marshall Plan.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Oh, Clav, get with it, for Pete’s sake! All Right Thinking People know that the Marshall Plan was merely a selfish United States ploy to take over Europe after ravishing it through a brutal war in which the United States had been the principal culpable party. Having lost the war, with its terrible military might destroyed by the forces of right and justice, the United States was forced to implement, with great stealth, the Marshall Plan as a devious alternative means of gaining complete dominion through the New World Order. This is conclusively demonstrated in this lucid hysterical historical analysis.

    Some misguided and ignorant people may point to Japan as a place where the United States provided assistance altruistically. Nothing could be further from the truth. Japan did eventually rise from the ashes remaining after her unfair but dramatic defeat in WWII to become an arguably democratic, affluent and powerful country. The occupying United States did nothing at all to assist her in doing so. Instead, through repressions thinly disguised as benign assistance, Japan was retarded horribly and is still recovering from wounds left by the unspeakable war which the United States started through aggressions so vile and numerous that Japan was ultimately forced to defend herself. Such is the sad state of Japan, even though the war ended more than sixty years ago!

    There are numerous examples where much has been done by other countries, altruistically and with far more impressive results; to cite a few, look at Poland, Hungary, and East Germany following WWII. Through the unselfish and unceasing efforts of the Soviet Union, they quickly developed vibrant economies and enjoyed all of the freedoms one could possibly desire. They soon became havens for the oppressed peoples of the world; many kindly residents, more interested in helping the unfortunate than themselves, were so generous as to relocate to the Soviet Union to make space for those poor wretches. Indeed, East Berlin became so overcrowded with immigrants desperately fleeing the horrors of western oppression that it was forced to build a wall to keep people out.

    You really must learn about history, Sir. Fortunately, history books are now being re-written to clear up errors such as those from which you and so many others sadly suffer, and to let the truth be known.

    There are so very many abuses by the United States which literally scream for apology that it almost impossible to know where to start.

    Dan(Miller)

    Glancing furtively about for enemies of truth, exits through tunnel cleverly dug for the purpose.

  • Clavos

    Mea culpa, Bishop Dan, mea maxima culpa.

    May I be permitted to attend a People’s Glorious Re-Education camp for proper penitence and guidance toward the Truth?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Well yes, certainly; however, it is very expensive and, regrettably, the costs are not tax deductible.

    Classes will be held on the first full moon which falls on a Monday, or as soon thereafter as possible, in Venezuela, at Hotel Mare Mares in Puerto la Cruz. It is hoped that President Chavez will be able to free himself, briefly, from affairs of state to deliver the principal address, which will last no less than ten hours.

    As soon as further details are available, they will be posted in all of the leading re-education journals. Hope to see you there!

    Bishop Dan

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan, that was an impressively demented analysis. Thanks for the link. What qualifications does Mr FTucker have, apart from being editor of The Free Market? (And does the free market need an editor? Doesn’t that defeat the object?)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Well, Doc, he’s just this guy, you know. I think the title of the publication is designed to indicate its price and therefore value, rather than the nature of its substantive content.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Dan

    “Dan: He says, and I quote. there is apparently much truth in the idea of natural selection … but he lays no claim here to applying it scientifically.”—STM

    So now you want “apply” to mean a “scientific” application? Short of Darwin rounding up human specimens and subjecting them to laboratory experimentation, I don’t know what would satisfy your shifting litmus test. The terminology is there. You looked up the quotes, so that’s all good.

    “In regard to the US, he’s making a comment about a new, attractive, society that is a beacon as a meritocracy and is largely commenting on a passage he’s included by the Rev Zincke.”–STM

    Yes, but not just commenting, he’s agreeing. The agreement is that exceptional people with exceptional hereditary traits are the ones who are attracted to the beacon.

    “The US was a very young place at the time of Darwin’s observation.”

    Yes, and he offered the perception that exceptional people populating a nation “would generally prevail over less favoured nations”. Which more or less has come to pass.

    “Clearly, it has no scientific basis, and anyone using Darwin’s theories and quoting them as a rationale for the success of the United States or the Anglo-Saxon race in general should also own up to knowing the kind of racist rubbish that precedes it and props it up.”—STM

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I only used Darwin as someone who saw the “myth” of American exceptionalism as a self evident observation. This is what I thought our quarrel was about. Darwins attempt to explain it, the “myth”, is his property.

    Your argument, up until now, seemed to be that AE is only something propagated by boastful Americans eager to rub the noses of non Americans in their perceived success and dominance.

    I agree with you to some extent. And to that unfortunate extent, those types deserve the contempt their misguided insecurities inspire.

    On the other hand, I do think AE to have been self evident, certainly in the past, and think the emergence of success and dominance to have been the result.

    I do confess to the belief that many desirable traits are heritable, but that those can be squandered through complacency and apathy. My admiration is more with the less gifted, of any stripe, who persevere to exceptionalism.

    An egalitarian meritocracy in a fresh society would seem to be conducive to that sort of flowering. But I don’t know. Myth or reality. maybe reality before, myth now. But certainly not myth before, reality now.

    Are we good now STM?

    “Except it doesn’t work like that – i.e., by being spread by sword or by fire. (Exceptions, of course, like the spread of Islam in historical times.) It’s more like a sphere of influence, and it’s adopted by others rather than forced down their throat. The westernization of Japan is a good example.”—roger

    Another fine pointed logical construction roger.

    As I said before, I think the US suffers from a world viewpoint by not having the USSR around to give examples of bad super power behaviour.

    “Had not the US, UK, and the Netherlands discovered and begun to exploit their oil fields, King Saud would be king of a bunch of nomadic camel herders and a hell of a lot of sand, nothing more.”—Clavos

    Which leads the question, who exploited who?

  • Clavos

    Which leads the question, who exploited who?

    A fair, if ungrammatical, question, Dan.

    Not a bad end for a bunch of camel jockeys, eh?

  • Dan

    “Not a bad end for a bunch of camel jockeys, eh?”

    Or even a great beginning.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Camel jockey? What’s next — the Kabul Derby?

  • Clavos

    Actually, the Derby is in Dubai, not Kabul, Silas.

  • STM

    Forget the Camel Derby. The 2009 Red Bull Air Race world series opens in Abu Dhabi this weekend, same neck of the woods.

    Check it out on the net this Friday and Saturday. ESPN or one of the action-sports channels might possibly have it too.

    Pretty exciting stuff … way better than F1, three-dimensional and faster.

  • Cindy

    Roger,

    What about these things in regard to the westernization of Japan?

    Sword and fire?

    Negative Impact of the Japanese Occupation

    Conspiracy to exonerate royalty and all the members of Unit 731.

    Rape

    “In the first 10 days of the occupation, over one thousand rapes were committed in Kanagawa prefecture alone.”

    “On April 4, 50 GIs broke into a hospital in Omori prefecture and raped 77 women, including a woman who had just given birth. It is also reported that the woman’s baby was killed during the assault. On April 11, forty US soldiers cut phone lines to a housing block in Nagoya city, and simultaneously raped ‘many girls and women between the ages of 10 and 55 years.'[28]”

    Censorship

    “The Allied occupation forces suppressed news of criminal activities such as rape; on September 10, 1945 SCAP ‘issued press and pre-censorship codes outlawing the publication of all reports and statistics ‘inimical to the objectives of the Occupation’.”[29]”

    “Allied censorship in Japan not only forbade criticism of the U.S. and other Allies ‘but the mention of censorship itself was forbidden.’ All traces of censorship had to be concealed, thus exasperating publicists since they could no longer simply redact material that the authorities found sensitive as had been done during the war, but instead had to rewrite the full text.[30]”

    Industrial disarmament.

    The governmental sexual enslavement of women with allied occupation approval.

  • Cindy

    You’re right in the sense that we’re kind of stuck with the expression. But that is the import of my argument – that the term is at best a relative or a comparative one, history-bound, and far from absolute and eternal. So in effect, the arguments for “exceptionalism” in some ultimate sense are misguided. And “dominant” emerges as the proper term.

    I’m going to argue that this is not the way it’s used and I think to try to make this claim would be a circular argument. Thus: It’s exceptional because it was dominant, because dominance is exceptional.

    Looking at a variety of definitions and ways of conceptualizing what is meant by American Exceptionalism, I have not once found it to merely mean American dominance.

    It is always used with the sense that America is qualitatively different–better. I think American superiority would be a better fit as a description than American dominance. As historian Howard Zinn has said, people who use this phrase as a way to pat themselves on the back.

    I almost suspect you are sort of choosing to reframe the definition so that you can rationalize its acceptance as somehow obvious and acceptable.

    I think if you mean dominant, then you might be better off using that word. Otherwise, we seem to end up with American Exceptionalism as defined by you vs American Exceptionalism as the rest of the world seems to be using it.

  • Cindy

    (and I don’t have any problem if people want their own definition, I like my own definitions, but I really suspect you are using it the same way everyone else is and just saying it’s different)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy

    Re #347 – so yes, I have redefined it (or reduced it). I have no problem with that. Terms often carry exaggerated, inflated meanings, so sometimes you have to re-analyze them.

    Besides, I don’t need the notion of “exceptionalism” to rationalize anything because all along I believe in America’s past greatness; so the notion, rather than being helpful, is an obstacle in a manner of speaking precisely because its inflated.

    As to #348, you’re too intelligent to go mere suspicions. There’re plenty that’s written on this thread (as well as the articles themselves) for you to see how I am using the term rather than engage in guesswork or try to accuse me of being duplicitous. The evidence is there.

    As to #346, I have no doubt there were abuses (just like the internment camps in the U.S., which, in my mind, were unconscionable.) And yet … there still was a reconstruction, and Japan did emerge as a major industrial power.

    The westernization aspect I was speaking of has to do with the younger and future generations adopting American values through movies and other transmitters of culture, and that did have some beneficial effects in bringing about a certain loosening of the traditional culture which went hand in hand with the closed society that the pre-War Japan was.

    As I’ve argued all along, to say that American culture was dominant at the time is not to say to say that US was immaculate or blameless (in this case, with respect to Japan); it is only to say that the American culture wasn’t shoved down the Japanese throat but was more or less freely adopted by a good portion of the population; and the same goes for the economic system which apparently the Japanese found advantageous to the point that they were eventually excelling in it.

    For good or bad reasons, Japan did attack US, which was an act of aggression; and every nation-state has a right to defend itself; so the occupations was one of the consequences of Japan’s action. But this is not to say that everything that followed since represented a forceful action on America’s part. Of course it was to America’s advantage to turn Japan into a friendly competitor rather than an enemy – so I am not saying that we did not have a valid interest in Japan’s industrialization and westernization. Of course we did. But you can’t turn people if they don’t want to turn by sheer force. The Japanese must have realized that it was in their interest, too, to become a US ally and a trading partner rather than not.

    So to close, of course, a dominant culture has a vested interest to spread from the center, but as I said, in Japan’s case (and that’s in spite of the occupation), it would be incorrect to say that we’ve left them with no choice in the matter. But in addition, there is also a centripetal type of force at work, whereby the dominant culture serves as a magnet.

    So there are both forces at work: centri

  • STM

    I dunno, call me old-fashioned. I really like the Japanese but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the Japanese of that era beyond feeling some sadness that people got dragged in to an awful war by their own military (and went along enthusiastically) that ended the way it did.

    In reality, though, Japan’s probably lucky it existed at all after WWII.

    The great conundrum … what would have happened if Truman hadn’t dropped the bomb, and did it save millions of Japanese as well as Allied soldiers?

    Had the US not, there might not have been many Japanese left at all, given their determination to sacrifice themselves to stop an invasion. They were ordered to do this, and probably would have.

    Any of these discussions about Japan during WWII are loaded, I reckon.

    Now there IS one group of people who have found it convenient to rewrite history to save face for themselves, and that’s very, very dangerous.

    True, some of it was done with a nod from the occupying powers, esoecially in relation to Horohito’s role … but still.

    At least their allies the Germans have examined their guilt in detail and worked through it. Not so Japan, where there is no war guilt – at least not in the way we would understand it.

    Most Japanese kids can tell you how dreadful the atom bombs were, but they know absolutely nothing about the shocking brutality of the way Japan waged its war against the west.

    And any attempts in Japan to tell the truth are still met with cover-ups, admonitions and whitewashing.

    Perhaps its best just to let bygones be bygones in this instance, and move on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But don’t you think, STM, that the kids (the newer generations, that is) are dissociated from the type of closed society that the pre-War Japan used to be; and if that’s so, then perhaps it’s unfair to saddle them with the sins of past generations and feeling of guilt. And what purpose would it serve to educate them about the past? Although I do see a valid point you’re making insofar as there exists a kind of blind spot which, if not looked at, will forever serve as a kind of disconnect.

    Part of the problem, too, has to do with Japanese manners and courtesy. So even though I consider them more sophisticated than any other Asian group, it’s really difficult to tell what they’re really thinking.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Susan Boyle.

    You just got to listen!

  • STM

    Love it. What about Simon Cowell? Lol

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Ain’t that so? Who is Simon Cowell, if you excuse my dumb question? But I’m only a Pole.

  • Clavos

    He’s the panelist on the right, with the crew cut.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Loved ‘em all. It was truly a great clip.

  • Alex

    if we allow a NWO then we lose all sovereignty. And guess what happens when we lose that, we lose the constitution. The constitution would not be the law of the land, international law would be the law of the land.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s coming to that, Alex. Not that I approve of it. America as you and I know it is slowly but surely on the way to extinction.