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VERY simple question about the usa

mikhail

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does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
 

Kandahar

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The average American will probably say yes, but in reality the answer is no. The amount of ignorance and ethnocentrism in this country is truly unbelievable and very frustrating at times.
 

t125eagle

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well, i guess it depends. on what level are you talking about? becasue i figure everyone wants food and clothing and maybe even a better life for their children.
 

iamjack

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I think that's a crude generalization. It's funny how universal consideration is demanded of us above all others, yet we rarely get it ourselves.
 

mixedmedia

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mikhail said:
does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
I sat here for a couple of minutes trying to decide if there is anyway of getting around the answer "no." But I found none.

When I think of most of the people I know who are not particularly interested in what goes on in other countries, which is probably most Americans in all honesty, I'd have to conclude that most of them would not understand anyone not wanting to live as we do.

For myself, I look on many other cultures and think, oh, that would be nice. Iceland, for example. If I didn't think it would freeze my **** off, I would love to be an Icelander.

Or maybe one of those two tribes left in the Amazon rain forest.
 

TwoPops4Sure

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mikhail said:
does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
Did the average Soviet citizen during the cold war understand that there are different cultures and that many people did not want to live under the guise of communism?
I'll just use Russia as a convenient example. If you want me to get on the case of the UK, just give a shout.

I believe your notion is an overused stereotype, much the same way American men used to think all Russian women were fat and ugly, and wore flour sack labor farm dress outfits during the cold war. Had we found out what true hotties the Russian ladies indeed are, I'm certain the cold war would have thawed in 1948..LOL. The Canadians, while certainly not the only country, are the one country that is in close proximity that suffer from this affliction of berating Americans perspective of the world. Their lack of national identity (they define themselves as "not Americans") largely contributes to their perpetuation of this nonsense. They will let you know in a hurry that they know more about America. They need to know more about America. Canadian livelihood is entirely predicated on their presence North of our border and our closely integrated economic and trade system. They often crow about the fact that many more (% wise) of them have visited the US than vice versa. However, 80% of them live within a 3 hour (150KM) drive of the US border, making a leisure visit quite convenient for the majority of their population. The US is much more uniformly populated over our mainland. Canuks have easy access to the US, are weined on our TV and media, have a large expatriot population in the US workforce as well as intermarriage/dual citizenship and often choose to visit on vacation when their frozen tundra is uninhabitable. Going to Canada, or even trying to understand what makes them tick doesn't make most Americans much of a difference. Their daily news broadcasts on their national network CBC consists of more US news than Canadian news. In America who cares about Saskatoon, Saskachuan, or the Yukon Territory, etc. I have to invent reasons to go to Canada, and I travel internationally quite frequently. Our economic and social choices are abundant within our own borders. We can find any kind of climate, landscape or living condition within the continental US at any time of the year. We are fortunate to have an economy which for the most part does a decent job of providing gainful employment for the majority of our citizens and many who are not. Scattered throughout the US you can find substantial ethnic neighborhoods of just about any nationality on earth. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area is case in point. It's this kind of self contained living that could cause one who grows up in the US to become highly insular, however, as they would have little incentive to visit other countries for variety. We have always enjoyed relatively liberal economic and social freedoms in this country, and it is natural for us to assume that others would rather prefer this as a way of living as well. And if you look at the VISA line at any US consulate worldwide, it would seem that this is more than just a mere idle boast. Notwithstanding the expressed misgivings of the world community, the US is still the most sought after immigration destination. Indeed I would argue that US "culture" and media is amongst our top exports to the world. I mean does Coke have life?

There are many British expats here in the US. I have had the occassion to meet and work with many in both Israel and in the US, having been involved in high tech business for many years. I have also enjoyed myself in London and in the south of the UK many times. What is amazing to me is the below average level of understanding of foreigners of US culture, values and people. We are very diverse in both ethnicity and world viewpoint. But we are bound together with determination regardless to origin as first and foremost Americans. I believe that diversity is the reason the US is a superpower and will continue to be so for many decades in the future.

Prior to 9/11, many Americans couldn't spell Afghanistan, let alone have a clue about its history, our involvement in that region or the culture of its people. Of course the Russians didn't know understand much about them either, but found out the hard way after they got their tails kicked in the 1980's, no? (Damn that Ghengis Khan.) BTW-thanks for the blueprint for the invasion plan..:).

For most of the rest of the world, it's like being in bed with an elephant. When the elephant rolls over, its unaware of the presence of anyone else in the bed. However, other occupants of that bed feel the effect, and in fact live in fear of being crushed. It is no wonder the rest of the world knows so much about the US. Besides being a very open society, this country arguably has more impact on the lives of citizens of other countries than their own governments.

Peace..



TwoPops
 
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Bustabush

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"does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?"

How the heck can anyone know what anyone thinks unless they met that person? No one can truly answer this question with out knowing what or who the "average person in america" is. This question undoutedly will lead to many diff answers depending of anyones idea on what is the "average person in america". How do you expect to get any real idea on what the "american" thinks?
 

jfuh

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Every "average" american is going to say yes. And most likely they have some understanding of another single ethnicity.
But to a nation where the majority doesn't even know thier own ethnicity, has a self-identity crisis, it's a very difficult concept for them to grasp in terms of the significance of what ethnicity means. I mean who can answer this question completely, what is an American (in terms of the US nation). To most americans it is literally all black and white, though they may not speak it, but they feel it and express it.

To answer your second part. Sure, they're knowledgable about it, but they can not comprehend why anyone would not want what they want themselves. This is particularily the case of fundamentalist evangelicals who find it impossible that anyone could not believe in Jesus Christ as our lord savior.
 
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cnredd

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mikhail said:
does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
No matter what the answer is, it's still a one-way question...It should be...

does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do anymore than any non-American individual in the world?...

That changes the subject to a more objective position...

Do the Japanese care about Argentinian culture?...Do the Swedes care about Indian culture?...Does the French care about Chinese culture?(we know they don't care about Arab culture...they proved that)...

The way you phrased the question reinforces the notion that it ALL comes back to the USA...You are more interested in Americans thoughts than anyone else's...That says much...

If you want to find out about a "different culture" in America...pick one, walk 100 miles and you'll find it...Name another country where you can do that for almost every culture in existence...

You want 'em?...We got 'em...:2wave:
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by mikhail
does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
I know I do. But the people I think your point is geared too, don't really care. They have an over-riding reason that is driving their behavior. Maybe ignorance of the consequences. Or it may be deeply rooted in narcissism. Or it may be that they watch too much god-damn TV! Whatever it is, I find it more obscene than any profane word one could possibly say.
 

Some_Guy

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"does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?"

That question is a blaring generalization. Although the American people tend to be pitifully controlled and manipulated by the media, people are unique in themselves. I do not believe that there is even such thing as an "average" person. As 2pops said, America has groups of pretty much every single nationality in the world, so reflections of the American people are pretty much reflections of the entire world.
 

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mikhail said:
does the average person(take that as you will) in America understand the simple concept that there are different cultures in the world, that mean people think differently and dont want the same things they do?
I'd have to say no. Than again if you replaced "America" with the name of just about any other country the answer would still be no.

Unfortunately most people regardless of where they hail from are pretty ignorant towards other cultures. My advice is to get out and travel, experience new things, take in foreign cultures, and help fight global ignorance.
 
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The average person in the USA just wants to pay their bills and could care less what the wrest of the world is doing.
Out of the whole industrial first world, Americans work the most hours.

Sometimes we watch the news around dinner time but the majority of us just want to get by.

Thats what you probably dont see.

The US government puts the poverty line very low so it doesnt ahve to account for the fact that there are more people struggling here then they want to admit. Cause then those people would need help too, and you cant dominate the world when youre helping your own people!

Most people in America have nothing to do with what our government does. The government does what it wants.

Alot of us really hate the things they do, but we know there isnt much we can do becuase everyone has to go back to work.
Its overwhelming.

I hope I answered your question. I was being honest!
 

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Kandahar said:
The average American will probably say yes, but in reality the answer is no. The amount of ignorance and ethnocentrism in this country is truly unbelievable and very frustrating at times.
Ditto....

And discrimination called classism is coming back on the tide of pan-demic and economic depression.
 

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I think the issue is that the majority of people in say china would not know much about the life style of malaysians and the average chinese civilian wouldn't pass judgement claiming heir lifestyle to be supieror. Theres just something about someone saying they're way is best when they have no idea what it is they are trying to replace.

Live and let live...
 

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You know, I'm on my second tour in Bosnia working with the 32 countries of NATO. I haven't worked with all 32, but the larger ones like Germany, France, Spain, Durka Durka Stan I have.
I've done missions with them and drank with them and they feel just like Americans do. Most of them could care less about what goes on outside their country, just like most Americans. They and us have enough problems to deal with without adding the worlds burdun on themselves.
 

liberal1

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The problem with the U.S. is the same dilemma that the Roman empire faced. Okay, now that we've become a major super power we now care more about entertainment and sports than world affairs. Who really wants to listen to CNN when the Packers and Patriots are playing? Rome became to involved with it's theater, coliseums, etc. and the average person ignored worldly affairs. Notice too that Rome was sacked by nomadic tribes that had inferior technology, and that they united together to destroy what they saw as an oppresive force.
 

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liberal1 said:
The problem with the U.S. is the same dilemma that the Roman empire faced. Okay, now that we've become a major super power we now care more about entertainment and sports than world affairs. Who really wants to listen to CNN when the Packers and Patriots are playing? Rome became to involved with it's theater, coliseums, etc. and the average person ignored worldly affairs. Notice too that Rome was sacked by nomadic tribes that had inferior technology, and that they united together to destroy what they saw as an oppresive force.
Except that we won't be getting saked by anyone anytime soon. As far as your premise goes, this site seems to negate that idea. I would consider most of the people hear that are Americans to be "Average" Americans. I'm sure there are a few above and a few more below, but all basically average. And they all seemed to be pretty well informed. They have varying opinions, goals and beliefs. But they know what they believe They watch the news, they read, they listen, they debate. Just because there not standing at a rally with a sign in there hands does not mean they are uninformed or even unconcerned. I think "The problem with the US" is the same exact notion or problem that you will find in virtually every industrialized country in the world
 

Billo_Really

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Originally posted by Calm2Chaos:
Except that we won't be getting saked by anyone anytime soon.
You mean "...sa[c]ked by anyone anytime soon."
 

ddoyle00

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Christ, I used to hear the same comaprison in school. America is not in any way like the Roman Empire.

At its height of power, Rome controlled land stretching from Great Britain (part of Europe, Calm2Chaos) all the way to Israel. Thats what, at least 4,000 miles?

So they had a huge empire and no way to receive or send real time information.
They used local rulers to carry out the will of the Empire, usually under threat of armed troops who were stationed there.
There was usually a coup of some sort to overthrow the Ceaser, usually by stabbing him in the back, sliding some snakes in his bed, or being beaten to death.
Rome just got too big for its britches. They were constantly trying to gain more and more land and at the same time fighting off invading armies.

Now how does any of this sound like America?
 

Calm2Chaos

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ddoyle00 said:
Christ, I used to hear the same comaprison in school. America is not in any way like the Roman Empire.

At its height of power, Rome controlled land stretching from Great Britain (part of Europe, Calm2Chaos) all the way to Israel. Thats what, at least 4,000 miles?

So they had a huge empire and no way to receive or send real time information.
They used local rulers to carry out the will of the Empire, usually under threat of armed troops who were stationed there.
There was usually a coup of some sort to overthrow the Ceaser, usually by stabbing him in the back, sliding some snakes in his bed, or being beaten to death.
Rome just got too big for its britches. They were constantly trying to gain more and more land and at the same time fighting off invading armies.

Now how does any of this sound like America?

OOOO is that were GB is.. And all this time I thought it was next to New York
 

ddoyle00

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My bad, I confused you with someone else. It would have made more sense if you were that person.
 
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Calm2Chaos said:
Except that we won't be getting saked by anyone anytime soon. As far as your premise goes, this site seems to negate that idea. I would consider most of the people hear that are Americans to be "Average" Americans. I'm sure there are a few above and a few more below, but all basically average. And they all seemed to be pretty well informed. They have varying opinions, goals and beliefs. But they know what they believe They watch the news, they read, they listen, they debate. Just because there not standing at a rally with a sign in there hands does not mean they are uninformed or even unconcerned. I think "The problem with the US" is the same exact notion or problem that you will find in virtually every industrialized country in the world
Personally I think this forum instead show the problem with USA and the attention for the rest of the world. That it is for example more debate threads and post about one country Iraq then the rest of the world in here it seams. But it of course not only USA problem to be to egocentric just that you american seem to be abit more at the same time you are the most powerful country in the word, and that is not a good combination.
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
Personally I think this forum instead show the problem with USA and the attention for the rest of the world. That it is for example more debate threads and post about one country Iraq then the rest of the world in here it seams. But it of course not only USA problem to be to egocentric just that you american seem to be abit more at the same time you are the most powerful country in the word, and that is not a good combination.
You need to work on your grammer before you post, dude. I've got no idea as to the point of your post.
 

Bergslagstroll

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iamjack said:
You need to work on your grammer before you post, dude. I've got no idea as to the point of your post.
Sorry was a bit tired to write it seems. But from reading this forum it look like that you almost solely focused on your short time interests regarding international issues.

Like for example that you seem extremly focused on one single country with 20 million. Yes of course you have reasons for that, but it could be a good idea to care a bit more for the other six billions.
 
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