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  1. #51
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Take Christianity, for example. When a Christian begins to impose their ideology/way of being/living upon others who don't share the same worldview, those that are imposed upon usually go HEY WTF I am a good and decent human and I don't need your version of what's good and true and right forced upon me.

    I mean that within American culture, there are a whole lot of things that are "better than," just like it is with any culture. But I've encountered a number of Americans who assert that the "better thans" within their culture are universally "better thans." The imposition of American ideologies upon places where things are different as if the culturally American "better thans" are universals are troubling, especially when one recognizes the power of your country, and the action it takes that affects others in the world.

    How about some examples?
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  2. #52
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How about some examples?
    Capitalism, for one huge example. Individualism, for another.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Capitalism, for one huge example.

    I would argue that is one example in which Americans are speaking from a better position than people who live in countries with command economies. That is a demonstrable "better than."
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  4. #54
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    How about some examples?
    I am going to have to ask other individuals for some support here, because like I said earlier,
    And these Americans can't see what they're missing because everything they know is filtered through American media and American individuals.
    I'll have to think about this one, and I don't even know that I'll be able to come up with some concrete examples without a significant amount of effort. I'm not trying to duck responsibility here, I'm just saying explaining a worldview difference is really difficult. But again, if the TCK American OP can call it out, and non-Americans can call it out, there is something that distinguishes x kind of American from y kind of American.

    I've seen it on the boards in addition to real life, where a non-American will assert something in their post, and an American will answer as if their "better than" is a universal, and not appear to notice. I'll try to pay attention to when I perceive this to be happening again.

    Perhaps the TCK American OP has some thoughts?
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  5. #55
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I would argue that is one example in which Americans are speaking from a better position than people who live in countries with command economies. That is a demonstrable "better than."
    It's demonstrable if you value the things that one values as an American. Again, an imposition of ideology. As it happens, most of the world values things that necessitate capitalism, but not to the same degrees, with the same nuanced sub-values.

    If one thinks of it as a Venn-diagram of American Values and XYZ Country's values, there's probably going to be considerable overlap, but it's hard to explain the nuances of where things differ. I agree with Onemoretime about capitalism, though, in its philosophical differences that come from living in a culture that's different than America. In terms of pragmatism, if a country's going to game the system that everyone's playing in the world today, they have to subscribe to some of the shared values.

    I think individualism/collectivism is easier to use as an example; capitalism has so many pragmatic things to it that exist outside the realm of the more value/moral/philosophical parts.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    It's demonstrable if you value the things that one values as an American. Again, an imposition of ideology. As it happens, most of the world values things that necessitate capitalism, but not to the same degrees, with the same nuanced sub-values.
    You're going to run into problems here, though. As an American, we don't believe in these things just for us. If you believe in free markets, civil liberties, the rule of law, etc., you don't just believe in them for Americans because we're special or lucky. Classical liberalism holds that all humans deserve these things.


    If one thinks of it as a Venn-diagram of American Values and XYZ Country's values, there's probably going to be considerable overlap, but it's hard to explain the nuances of where things differ. I agree with Onemoretime about capitalism, though, in its philosophical differences that come from living in a culture that's different than America. In terms of pragmatism, if a country's going to game the system that everyone's playing in the world today, they have to subscribe to some of the shared values.
    Who's gaming the system?


    I think individualism/collectivism is easier to use as an example; capitalism has so many pragmatic things to it that exist outside the realm of the more value/moral/philosophical parts.

    I would disagree about that to an extent. A lot of what is important about capitalism lies within the moral/ethical realms.
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  7. #57
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I would disagree about that to an extent. A lot of what is important about capitalism lies within the moral/ethical realms.
    Actually, that's what I'm saying too. Think morals and ethics wrt health care. If X country values caring for its citizens, it will likely take action to acquire the medical care it can provide. The dominant way of doing that today involves microscopic lab testing/expensive machines like MRIs, etc. These techniques of care necessitate a capitalist system to create said avenues to examine health states and perhaps care for their ill ones.

    But that doesn't mean the country values capitalism to the extent or with the same nuances that Americans do. And in fact, they likely don't, simply because they're a different culture. Think of Venn Diagrams here. Distinct overlap, but it's probably not the same. This is what I mean by the pragmatism aspect of globalization requiring countries to share ideologies to some extent, or requiring countries to really buck the dominant system, which they are unlikely to do, if only because humankind shares a lot of values.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  8. #58
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    It amazes me that on average, typical Americans only know one language fluently.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Why does that amaze you? We don't need another language. Not everyone has the time and money (or interest) to travel outside the US. Another language for us is a luxury, not a necessity. We're not all rich and we don't all have liberal arts educations. Besides, as has been pointed out, everybody speaks English.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    It amazes me that on average, typical Americans only know one language fluently.

    We pretty much speak English and enough Spanish to buy food, beer, and fireworks. I took four years of Spanish in high school, and I could communicate with the Mexican guys with whom I used to work at restaurants. Probably pretty typical.
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