Thinking’s and a Cup of Coffee with Sanity…

yummy-coffeeTruth is the best propaganda. Or try this…..We are #1 (Repeat all day long!) This belief in the unfettered right of the US to use force anywhere in the world for any reason it wants is sustained only by this belief in objective US superiority, this myth of American exceptional-ism…

Now that is a coffee thinking for this Tuesday, February 19th, 2013…

I think you will find that kind of arrogance everywhere, especially in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East…

But isn’t anti-Americanism as always the most popular, the most simple, and the most lazy way to deal with it all?

To a certain extent, that may be right. However, I think that the ubiquity of American culture worldwide and America’s ability to enforce their own view through foreign policy have developed this “doctrine of superiority” beyond that of other countries/peoples. Actually, many places in the developing world, people tend to accept that to be American is better than to be, for example, from the Middle East and many people emulate American culture to a ridiculous (and sometimes very funny) extent.

With great power comes great responsibility, and I think that the consequences of America’s belief in its ultimate superiority have led to some very serious consequences…

the notion that “anti-Americanism” even exists in your canon speaks volumes. If I were to criticize, say, Vladimir Putin, or the dominant nationalistic culture in Russian elite society that inoculates him from criticism, would I be considered “anti-Russian?” Likely only in the eyes of those whom I am criticizing. Is there a tendency among some to blame ills on the United States to which they can’t be attributed? Surely. And to be fair since I levied no examples yet, I can not discern whether I am pointing to that phenomenon or not. But the term “anti-Americanism” is as totalitarian as one can get, and is routinely employed by just the type of individual that I am calling out in this column to drown out honest debate with nationalistic bromides. That by being a social or political critic you are somehow operating against an entire nation of people is, in fact, the laziest, most simple, and most popular method of dismissing the very pertinent ideas raised here…

You may not have traveled much, which might excuse your ignorance, but even the most inane must see the difference between a popular belief that your country is great and the much stated and widely held doctrine that your country is the greatest in the world ever and can do no wrong. Politicians in the USA have to keep saying “This is the greatest country in the world” to get elected, you hear it every day in the USA, it’s ingrained in a way that is not mirrored anywhere else in the world. Here in Russia and I’m sure in other countries, we are self-deprecating in a way you just wouldn’t hear in the USA…

This belief in superiority harms the USA not just externally but is a strong bar to progress internally and externally. It’s nothing to do with anti-Americanism…

For the rest of the world, in general, people do not confuse their own cultural bias for objective truth. Americans genuinely believe that the rest of the world agrees with them or is merely ignorant of the truth. They believe that everything outside their borders is simply inferior, even in cases where people have studiously copied Americans’ ways of doing things. This national mythology does enormous harm, not only in foreign relations, but also domestically because Americans cannot imagine that anything about their country needs improvement…

Kind of proves the point, doesn’t it, that when you make a rational comment about the excesses of American nationalism, you are presumed to be non-Americans. That’s how strong the orthodoxy is…

I’m American and I love America. I’ve worked there, traveled extensively there and have very dear friends there. But if I criticize, then I’m just a whining jealous Expat living in Russia, because I couldn’t toe the line there…

I have always thought that there was certain similarity between USA and the old USSR in their world outlook and perceptions of their role in the world. The obvious exceptional-ism, the missionary zeal to spread your values around the world, the inability to accept criticism and the great power anti-nationalism with semi religious symbolism. Thankfully, USSR is now gone… and I wonder what is to become of USA. It is looking like a USSA following the same path…

There’s a slight difference. The USSR was trying to spread communism like the Vatican tries to spread ROMAN Catholicism, whereas the USA is trying to spread a nationalistic Americanism. Oops, I guess both suck…

Don’t forget Obama’s claim during an election debate: “America remains the one indispensable nation.” Obama, being a reasonably sane chap, couldn’t possibly believe this. But the fact that he thought it needed to be said publicly, suggests political discourse in the US, borders on the deranged end of society…

The social theorist Jurgen Habermas has a name for this: “Systematically Distorted Communication.” It occurs when the conditions for achieving a rational consensus are eroded, usually through power and money (alternative means of coordinating action), and so a situation of pseudo-consensus takes the place of rational discourse, whereby people are prepared to accept as rational things which are untrue, unjustified, insincere, meaningless, morally dubious, and so on. Of course, trying to engage in rational argument becomes impossible within such an environment, which is probably why tribal loyalties and ad hominem attacks are employed instead…

I guess those are my thinking’s today…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?