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View Poll Results: What would you think of a North American Union?

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  • I would LOVE it, bring it on!

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  • I would like it.

    1 3.70%
  • I wouldn't know what to think about it.

    3 11.11%
  • I would be disturbed by it.

    7 25.93%
  • I would be deeply disturbed by it.

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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I think another major difference is that Canadians, as a whole, were too polite to even answer the question. I know I typed something up then decided it served no real purpose.
    The purpose I could see it serving is to educate Americans about Canadian's views of the United States. Feedback from others, if constructive, is usually very helpful for one to see how they really are, even if they don't show it initially.

    I think the typical United States person will understand how further merging with Mexcio might not benefit them and feel very concerned about it but won't understand how a Canadian would not welcome merging with the United States. There is a tunnel vision about that sort of thing. jmo.

  2. #22
    Senior Member sdalek's Avatar
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    Would you say it boils down to Free-market Imperialism?

  3. #23
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    The purpose I could see it serving is to educate Americans about Canadian's views of the United States. Feedback from others, if constructive, is usually very helpful for one to see how they really are, even if they don't show it initially.

    I think the typical United States person will understand how further merging with Mexcio might not benefit them and feel very concerned about it but won't understand how a Canadian would not welcome merging with the United States. There is a tunnel vision about that sort of thing. jmo.
    You seem to misunderstand my politeness

    In all my years of talking to Americans, very few have ever shown any real indication of understanding or willingness to change their views. This happens even at the higher education level, relative to here. If you are talking about a healthy medium between open and closed, Americans are polarised along one of the two dimensions (like most things in the states, you are either A or B and it rarely leaves any room for discussion.)

    I have a hard time taking anyone asking this question seriously - the world's opinions about Americans, policies, government... anything really... are plastered and yelled out everywhere. It should be obvious, even in a media controlled country. The polls say the same story over and over again - misinformed and uncaring. That's why I don't bother anymore.

    It's funny, because the first thing I did when I was responding is google to show some references. This is the first thing I got back, and it reminded me again of when I watched it on Fox news. And you know what? That's pretty much it, summed all together. From my eyes, a gigantic social failure right there. Total unwillingness to deal with reality, to face what is happening, to rip apart the veil. Also from my eyes, ~2000 may of marked the end of the export of American culture. From what I see here in Vancouver, it is, en masse, a move towards European and Asian goods and services (and local, actually... that's something new too). The couple of friends who live in Europe say something similar - the earlier distinction between Americans and their government is fading.

    World opinion has reached quite low - no one liked Americans to start with, I'm sorry to say, but everyone loved the ideals. One puts up with a lot of crap for good intentions, noble ideals and power. Europe has a longer memory than the "New Countries" and remembers shaking off imperial rule. France remembers supporting the US in its foundation, remembers what it stood for. Even Canada remembers our history, the fight for freedom, etc. You remove that ideal and you have nothing... that's what I, and I think many others, see now. Those that were pro-American now just hope you'll return to the country you used to be... those that were neutral (that'd be me for a few years now - my friends use to call me the pro-American due to the undelrying philosophy) now avoid the whole country if possible. I wouldn't call myself anti-American, but I sure as hell don't want to be a part of the states either.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    You seem to misunderstand my politeness

    In all my years of talking to Americans, very few have ever shown any real indication of understanding or willingness to change their views. This happens even at the higher education level, relative to here.
    Well, PT I was being selfish. I personally wanted to see your view of things. I am obsessed with finding out how others think and feel about issues. I don't know why, I just collect the data and reflect on it.

    Yes, I agree that higher education does not necessarily mean a broader view, there is much cultural programming even in college.

    Okay, going to read your post now and thank you for answering!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    If you are talking about a healthy medium between open and closed, Americans are polarised along one of the two dimensions (like most things in the states, you are either A or B and it rarely leaves any room for discussion.)
    Yes and becoming more and more that way everyday. People get up in the morning and turn on either channel A or channel B and fill themselves with their preferred political polemic and then go to work and find others of their same preference and repeat the memes they heard back and forth and glorify their egos that they are having deep discussions and that we're all so educated and thinking as a culture. The more information we are given the harder we cling to what we're told and the less real critical thought goes on.

    I have a hard time taking anyone asking this question seriously - the world's opinions about Americans, policies, government... anything really... are plastered and yelled out everywhere. It should be obvious, even in a media controlled country. The polls say the same story over and over again - misinformed and uncaring. That's why I don't bother anymore.
    Being a person living within American culture I think the biggest problem is that people here are so passive and prefer not think for themselves. They chose to be ignorant of what the real intentions of their elected officials are and chose to be ignorant of how much power in this country is Plutocratic in nature. They are fed their propaganda and they would defend that propaganda with their last breath all the while ignoring the hurts that are done to them by that very plutocratic power.

    I don't think Americans are alone in this passivity in the western world it is just that America is currently the machine that drives the multinational corporate army and therefore their actions are more outwardly visible. But then I think all leaders at the top act and feel very differently than their sound bites. I think often that the leaders of Britain or other western nations give lip service to objecting to the actions of the US but it is only words to pacify their populations.

    It's funny, because the first thing I did when I was responding is google to show some references. This is the first thing I got back, and it reminded me again of when I watched it on Fox news. And you know what? That's pretty much it, summed all together. From my eyes, a gigantic social failure right there. Total unwillingness to deal with reality, to face what is happening, to rip apart the veil. Also from my eyes, ~2000 may of marked the end of the export of American culture. From what I see here in Vancouver, it is, en masse, a move towards European and Asian goods and services (and local, actually... that's something new too). The couple of friends who live in Europe say something similar - the earlier distinction between Americans and their government is fading.
    Thank you for the video but alas I am on dial up and it just takes too darn long to download those.

    In my opinion the United States is going to be diminished over the coming years by the multinational corporations as they move their home base to Asia, mostly China. I could be very wrong about that, but that is my feeling at the moment.

    Americans have been entertained to the point where they are so busy playing and distracting themselves they won't lift a finger to stop this. As long as they can find the money to pay the cable bill they won't worry too much about their rights and standard of living being chipped away at...until the wolf is standing right at their own door.

    Look at how easily we accepted things like the Patriot Act. Look at how easily people can put aside Obama voting to renew the Patriot Act and act like he is god's answer to Bush. Flip side of the same coin is all it is. Every four to eight years they give you a new face to pin your dissatisfactions on so you won't blame the corruption in the system itself. They take their cues from radio and TV. What did Rush tell me today? How did Hanity view this? What snappy comedic comback did Air America have today? How did Michael Moore say that?

    All those people allowed to DIE in New Orleans as if we were a third world country with no adequate resources to mobilize and hardly a whimper about it from the majority of the population. People just say "Oh well, it must have just been incompetence and let's be forgiving and do better next time." How many next times will it take?

    There is a recent story of people in a store walking around a woman who was stabbed and bleeding to death and no one stopped to help her (one woman stopped to take a picture with her cell phone). We've become totally passive and having a lack of self direction. We depend too much on our media leadership to hold our hands and lead us in the way we used to lead ourselves.

  6. #26
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Yes and becoming more and more that way everyday. People get up in the morning and turn on either channel A or channel B and fill themselves with their preferred polemical polemic and then go to work and find others of their same preference and repeat the memes they heard back and forth and glorify their egos that they are having deep discussions and that we're all so educated and thinking as a culture. The more information we are given the harder we cling to what we're told and the less real critical thought goes on.
    My views follow! :p

    Root cause: Identity in a super-group. As one associates certain traits to the super-group, they also attempt to fit into that super-group and it associated traits. This dynamic creates how things should be, how reality is. As a result, anything that doesn't fit into that super-group becomes either the "enemy" or "not of the group". The stronger the group identity - the closer associated with ego and dominance - the stronger the traits and the greater the polarisation. And of course, the stronger the resistance of cognitive dissonance.

    For example: America is the Land of the Free. Liberals are the enemy because they want to socialize things. Conservatives are the enemy because they want to jail people for small offenses. Neither has anything to do with America being Free - an abstract concept. The shift from one particular meme to the supergroup must force a lack of critical thought. Information is disregarded or reframed in order to maintain a coherent view of reality - one created by the group identity (the super-group, rather than the local group).

    Being a person living within American culture I think the biggest problem is that people here are so passive and prefer not think for themselves. They chose to be ignorant of what the real intentions of their elected officials are and chose to be ignorant of how much power in this country is Plutocratic in nature. They are fed their propaganda and they would defend that propaganda with their last breath all the while ignoring the hurts that are done to them by that very plutocratic power.
    I have to disagree with this at the personal level. People are people - here, in the States, in Europe or in Asia. The natural inclinations of all of us are extremely similar. It is the social dynamics - the environment - that makes us different.

    Americans are taught that they are the best, the freest, the noblest. They are taught to succeed at any cost, that money is what matter, materialism rules the day. They are taught they are republican, democract, Christian, White, Black... everything. They are not shown that these values can contradict - freest in the world and must free everyone else, etc. These identities come from or merge into larger concepts that last for a very long time - manifest destiny, Christian values... these things haven't gone away. They linger on, shaping the people who they touch.

    To contrast, I was born into a culture in which diversity didn't mean "split by the railroad tracks". I went to school with just about every culture - to this day, my closest friends are atheist to Christian to Muslim... Asian to Indian to Middle Eastern to African to European to American (I do not have any south american friends, now that I think about it!). When I go out to eat around my place I can walk for 5 minutes to a dozen nationalities of food.

    Growing up here formed the way I view the world. I was taught that Canada is a country whose role as a middle power was to negotiate between other countries, to stand up for what is right. It's not our identity, exactly, but our place as a middle power - a role, if you will. I don't exactly take pride in our peacekeepers, but the conceptual nature of having a military to intervene in atrocities appeals to me more than the message that is delivered in the US.

    I guess the point is that everything in the states is progressing "naturally" - it isn't like the military complex, the corporate lobbying, the corruption and the polarisation wasn't predicted decades ago. Large scale social dynamics are surprisingly easy to predict. Even giant events... wars, natural disasters and such don't changet the direction of a strong identity. At best, it becomes part of the identity, shaping the next generation. The original factors remain... the politics, the identity, the polarisation... It continues to lead a similar path.

    Same people, different environment.

    I don't think Americans are alone in this passivity in the western world it is just that America is currently the machine that drives the multinational corporate army and therefore their actions are more outwardly visible. But then I think all leaders at the top act and feel very differently than their sound bites. I think often that the leaders of Britain or other western nations give lip service to objecting to the actions of the US but it is only words to pacify their populations.
    The US is fundamentally different in one respect - the worship of individualism. There is such a resistance to any form of group oversight and socialisation... the only way it is broken is with another value set - normally religion. In both cases, it feels akin to two lords fighting over who gets the serfs. There is no fair play, no boundries, no role that isn't touched by the "me" mentality. No one serves in the US government.

    Sure, having a lot of power, invading countries, setting up coups, breaking trade agreements... stuff like that matters - and it's rather important with such a giantic force. But the issues start closer at home. The concept of power has poisoned the country, the abuse of the power is just another factor.

    People are people, but that difference cannot be understated. When I talk to my family in the states, I get three different stories - my uncle, property developper, on how to exploit the state rules for profit... my cousin, also property developper on how to get as much money as possible from the buyer... and my cousin, a lawyer, who while far more liberal, tells horror stories about the general ambulance chasing, exploitive cases that they wanted (years before their degree).

    You talk to my dad (as a manager dealing with the strike going on here), or my mom and you get a totally different story. We worry about our medical care - we don't worry about being bankrupted because of it. My dad talks about how he wants the strike to be resolved for the workers (he's not a part of the core complaints)... As a manager, he is responsible for the workers - this is implied here. It's the same at my company. Every Canadian company I have worked for.

    The friends that have had issues? American companies. There is a difference, a fundamental one, in the attitudes between the two people.

    Maybe the more aggressive "Te" approach is better - maybe the US is on the right path. These are more observations than anything else.

    In my opinion the United States is going to be diminished over the coming years by the multinational corporations as they move their home base to Asia, mostly China. I could be very wrong about that, but that is my feeling at the moment.
    The United States is losing it's competitive edge, that I can state fairly certainly. It's not the corporations exactly, it's the lack of acceptance that there are externalities that need to be governed by 'fair play' for everyone involved. That must happen. A restructuring of patents, of research capital, of grants... If it doesn't happen like a large section of the world has done, it will be done by a Government "Corporation", which doesn't operate under 'fair play' very well.

    Look at how easily we accepted things like the Patriot Act. Look at how easily people can put aside Obama voting to renew the Patriot Act and act like he is god's answer to Bush. Flip side of the same coin is all it is. Every four to eight years they give you a new face to pin your dissatisfactions on so you won't blame the corruption in the system itself. They take their cues from radio and TV.
    This mostly goes back to group identity. Anything to shut out a very large and present danger to the system itself. It has been gamed and it won't stop with a new person - it's systemic. As you say, same thing every 4 years... Progression just keeps going!

    It's been bad under Bush, but that's because they have absolutely no tact and have pushed every limit they could (and invented ways around the ones they couldn't break ). However, it's been like this for a long time. It's narrowed the time in which it would of happened to a point where it's easy to see.

    There is a chance of an upheaval in the next 4-8 years... but we'll see. It depends how much government, rather than corporations, run things.

    All those people allowed to DIE in New Orleans as if we were a third world country with no adequate resources to mobilize and hardly a whimper about it from the majority of the population. People just say "Oh well, it must have just been incompetence and let's be forgiving and do better next time." How many next times will it take?
    I did find that shocking. Still, we have many of our own things here. I guess what I don't understand is how this isn't something to riot over, but the WTO stuff was. *shakes head*

    There is a recent story of people in a store walking around a woman who was stabbed and bleeding to death and no one stopped to help her (one woman stopped to take a picture with her cell phone). We've become totally passive and having a lack of self direction. We depend too much on our media leadership to hold our hands and lead us in the way we used to lead ourselves.
    To be fair, that has been seen in nearly every culture - it's not really that unusual for someone hurt to be ignored - people are people and that's a well tested psychology reaction in people.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The US is fundamentally different in one respect - the worship of individualism. There is such a resistance to any form of group oversight and socialisation... the only way it is broken is with another value set - normally religion. In both cases, it feels akin to two lords fighting over who gets the serfs. There is no fair play, no boundries, no role that isn't touched by the "me" mentality. No one serves in the US government.
    Individualism as an idea may be worshiped, but people in the United States are far from being true individuals. Emerson's Self Reliance had the best descriptions of true individualism I have seen yet and I don't see too many examples of what he was talking about running around today.

    We're told through advertsing that to be an individual we merely need wear the right jeans, buy the right brand of beer and drive the right kind of car. In that way people are into self worship, they feel that by having the right material goods that they will be individual and expressing their creativity. I see people more than willing to submit to group think each day. I cannot agree with your premise that the problem is a lack of willingness to be socialized. I think we are some of the most culturally programed people who ever lived and this has been evident since the 1950's.

    It is a false self that inhabits the "me" persona here. The problem is not too much individualism but rather lack of taking the responsiblity that comes with individualism. We don't have enough of the true individualism that can only come from the true inner self and through true critical thought. We try to buy our individuality prepacked and marketed by people who are experts in manipulating people's egos.

    We're becoming a nation of egomanics whose grossly overfed egos are starving out the rest of them, the true self of the strong individualist cannot be heard. People welcome someone else to think for them so that they can have more time to cater to the growing ego, a monster that just gets crankier the more he is fed. So long as they can quiet this ever growing hunger and weakness they allowed, they don't care what else happens.

    I can't judge the way the rest of the people of the world are, I can only report what I see around me. I do not know that this is not true for the rest of the Western world, it might very well be.

  8. #28
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Individualism as an idea may be worshiped, but people in the United States are far from being true individuals. Emerson's Self Reliance had the best descriptions of true individualism I have seen yet and I don't see too many examples of what he was talking about running around today.
    Oh, I agree, but its rather like "Forms of Government", or if you prefer, a religious title like Christian. Both are simply creations in our minds, however, they still inflict a certain mindset on the population. It can be as general as "being a Christian" and unified as a group, regardless of what it could mean... It could be used to support charity or war... the crusades, the inquisition... these things are all touched by the mindset. It's rather obvious in Islam right now. Liberty, freedom... individualism... all of these terms are constructs and all shine for a while before the situation... the nature of the term... changes.

  9. #29
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    Alright I am a Canadian and like PT live in the Vancouver area. And from what I know about the US I can't say that it's my most favourite place in the world here are some differences that I see with the US.

    Upon entering the US I notice the lack of attention and detail to their streets and their greenery. I notice that fast food is super cheap and that grocery shopping is an unreal expense. I also notice that I am almost 2 sizes smaller in clothing in the US as compared to Canada. That is initially.

    As I dive deeper into the US culture I see a nation, that is willing to fight for their beliefs and their freedoms. I see a country that understands the need to push people to take care of themselves totally lacking in social reforms.

    Then I look at your medical system full of pros and cons that's for sure. We all pay for medical here and we all pay on a sliding scale depending on income and family size and we all get coverage. We get the basic needs met and plenty more. It didn't cost me anything more to have 3 babies and get my husband in for a vasectomy.

    Canada isn't perfect it needs work. But the things we have figured out the US hasn't and vice versa. I think there is much that could be learned from one another but to unionize our coutries I think you're right in saying that it will take away from us and our cultural beliefs.

    Just some of my thoughts.......
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Oh, I agree, but its rather like "Forms of Government", or if you prefer, a religious title like Christian. Both are simply creations in our minds, however, they still inflict a certain mindset on the population. It can be as general as "being a Christian" and unified as a group, regardless of what it could mean... It could be used to support charity or war... the crusades, the inquisition... these things are all touched by the mindset. It's rather obvious in Islam right now. Liberty, freedom... individualism... all of these terms are constructs and all shine for a while before the situation... the nature of the term... changes.
    I agree that the nature of terms can change, but I still don't see how buying the "popular" brand makes anyone an individual under any stretch of the imagination. We've become a nation of clones and drones.

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