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  1. #81
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    But it's not like it's your ancestral home or anything... you killed all those guys... well you and us and a few others...
    that's the thing. There's not a lot of community here by ancestry or anything. So we gotta make it ourselves. THAT's why there's the patriotism. Otherwise the neighbor would figure he's different from his neighbor and all Hell would break loose -- well, more than usual, anyway.

    This is why you don't see it anywhere else. Either they don't need it (like you guys) or they can't pull it off(pretty much anywhere in Africa, etc). We had to build a national identity on having a national identity. Fuck yeah.

    Yeah... when's that coming in again... you know, you guys learning english.. oh sorry, international english?

    Hey, maybe we do have our own language. We do have an army and a navy.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #82
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    that's the thing. There's not a lot of community here by ancestry or anything. So we gotta make it ourselves. THAT's why there's the patriotism. Otherwise the neighbor would figure he's different from his neighbor and all Hell would break loose -- well, more than usual, anyway.

    This is why you don't see it anywhere else. Either they don't need it (like you guys) or they can't pull it off(pretty much anywhere in Africa, etc). We had to build a national identity on having a national identity. Fuck yeah.
    So it's purely a defensive posture?

    If a person where that defensive it would be close to being a problem. With the misplaced aggression it'd definitely be a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Hey, maybe we do have our own language. We do have an army and a navy.
    We know... We're the poor sods you keep shooting!!

    Friendly fire, isn't!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #83
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    So it's purely a defensive posture?

    If a person where that defensive it would be close to being a problem. With the misplaced aggression it'd definitely be a problem.
    Well, if we believe there's nothing in common with us and we have nothing to recommend us (as most of the world seems to believe), why bother?

    Hm. Maybe the grand experiment is all over and we should all go home. Back to Russia for me, then.

    We know... We're the poor sods you keep shooting!!

    Friendly fire, isn't!
    Heh

    I mean language isn't a uniting factor with us, either. Get a northerner and a southerner and they cain't barely understand nochother nohow.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #84
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Well, if we believe there's nothing in common with us and we have nothing to recommend us (as most of the world seems to believe), why bother?

    Hm. Maybe the grand experiment is all over and we should all go home. Back to Russia for me, then.
    Maybe if you can get that latent INFP shadow in control and quit trying to be special and just try to be an equal it'd be less traumatic?
    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I mean language isn't a uniting factor with us, either. Get a northerner and a southerner and they cain't barely understand nochother nohow.
    Try getting someone from Devon and someone from London together.... Dey no' be knowin arf of wha e be sayin an e's frum sim schuls an awl!

    Edit -
    Not being special is in now way similar to not being any good.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  5. #85
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Maybe if you can get that latent INFP shadow in control and quit trying to be special and just try to be an equal it'd be less traumatic?

    Edit -
    Not being special is in now way similar to not being any good.
    I dunno. I don't remember ever going to an event and having people shouting, "We're decent! Yay!"

    I'll probably have more to say on this after school.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  6. #86
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I dunno. I don't remember ever going to an event and having people shouting, "We're decent! Yay!"

    I'll probably have more to say on this after school.
    Welcome to blighty, possibly the only place where the losing team is applauded more... for some reason...

    But anyhoo, that's the point, there's no satisfying america, it wishes to be the best and the brightest and now the dream is tarnished people seem to be getting negative.

    Oh and the whole them vs us thing, that could really do with going. Who is them anyway? There's not enough reds left! They all died of starvation!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #87
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The McCarthy era, state-sponsored murder of Ethel Rosenberg (who was only caught up in the mess, unlike Julius), not to mention Sacco/Vanzetti and the Red Scare of the 1920s - the US had no problem getting rid of its undesirables. The adversarial system of justice just makes it easier for it to look legit.
    Ethel Rosenberg was involved in espionage, and the current historical view was that Vanzetti was innocent and Sacco probably guilty. And, as I've stated before, there was a "clear and present danger" with Communist infiltration of the federal government in the 1930s and 1940s. We're not talking about harassing old ladies who went to the wrong fundraiser. Alger Hiss was the #3 man in the State Department, for Christ's sake.


    I'm sorry, there's no way this is a justifiable position. From a utilitarian position, without the CRA, the US explodes into massive violence hinted at by the end of the 60s. From a position of common decency, you'd rather we have millions still suffering from Jim Crow? You really think Southerners, quintessential conservatives that they are, would have just realized the error of their ways and changed it? I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like you to take a look at.
    It's a quite solid position, if you stop and think about it. One can easily be against the Civil Rights Act and against Jim Crow laws. Jim Crow was enshrined IN LAW (legislation and precedent). That can be ended without passing an act forcibly preventing individuals from discriminating. The government must be color-blind. Individuals do not have to be, and it's a far greater crime to take away one's right to decide with and for whom to do business than it is to let some bigots live in their lily-white fantasyland.



    No, I can look behind the veil a little better than you'll give me credit for. Tell me, did these protests actually debate the issues at hand, or did they debate the window-dressing? When they were about the actual issues, did the authorities in Birmingham and Chicago respect the protesters' right to peaceable association, or did they agitate the crowd to the point where they turned on firehoses and started cracking skulls?

    Even when Cronkite was decrying the Vietnam War, did he ever start directly going after the war profiteers who made sure we stayed there longer than we ever should have?

    If there's a difference in the US and USSR, it was just one of scale - and I'd stack that more up to cultural differences than the inherent superiority of one society over another.
    That's bullshit. An intelligent person with an objective mind cannot believe that. It's not a matter "of scale." You cannot compare a country in which rights were violated to a country in which there were no rights to begin with. EVERY country has violated its citizens' rights in some way (that's a bug in government that cannot be fixed). The Soviet Union was BASED in oppression. That is inherently inferior. There is no way around that.



    With the clear exception of the Stalin era (which was one of the greatest tragedies of human history), I'll respectfully disagree. People over there were imprisoned for having the wrong opinions, people over here were imprisoned for having the wrong skin color. What's the difference? You can lie about your opinion. It makes our racial disparity much more damning, in my estimation.
    Well, first of all, the Jews would disagree about that point. More importantly, though, people over there were imprisoned for any reason at all, or no reason at all. You could disappear in the night without even a trial. You were worked to death to build a railroad to some shithole thousands of miles away and had no choice whether to do it. The whole country was enslaved, and you're acting as if it weren't so bad! How can you believe that with a basic knowledge of history?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #88
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I am all about not brainwashing, but let's be realistic. The purpose of the state is to preserve the state...not ethics. I had a professor from Germany who really knew his shit and would talk to us about the differences in schooling here and there and how it actually could be a problem that we really don't ingrain national pride nearly as much as other countries do. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I wasn't really indoctrinated (as far as I can tell), but we also need to remember the general population isn't as intelligent as most of the members on this site. With that said, indoctrination like this isn't really productive past the ages of early middle school.

    I don't think facts should be changed in order to give a good light to the country. That's detrimental because it keeps younger generations from learning from our mistakes, but I do think some form of teaching strong national pride is important at a very young age.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  9. #89
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell View Post
    Lowtech:
    You are assuming your country's obession that communisim is wrong is correct, but you're just buying the propoganda you have been brought up with.
    It would be more correct to say that I've found the propaganda to be mostly true after independent investigation involving far more than anecdotal evidence.

    Btw, I would highly recommend that you read up on the Korean War, before making any blanket assumptions. Also, when you get right down to it, Hitler's (and Stalin's) invasion of Poland did not exactly constitute a direct attack or imminent threat to the United Kingdom...

  10. #90
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cogdecree View Post
    I don't disagree, though the main topic or the main question to the topic is how well can 5 to 12 year olds grasp concepts beyond good vs evil and us vs them, childen at such an age are extremely hedonistic and their views on life reflect that.
    Cogdecree - yes, we vary the way we teach content for any subject to people of different ages. Certainly young children get a differen bare bones version as compared to older students. At the same time, this does not imply that we cannot give them an even-handed view of history. One that includes both flaws and victories. Children read stories with rather nuanced characters from a very young age and are well able to grasp the concept of shades of character. Giving them just a 'positive' implying acts of omission regarding important historical events and justification for them is doing them a disservice and in essence, a form of revisionist history -- very dangerous. See Hitler and Mao who did such long term damage through such, albeit extreme exercises. We want kids to learn analytical skills, like you said. Analysis implies getting all the information and learning how to objectively reach your own conclusions. We start this early, in a simple fashion by ensuring they get to see different perspectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    There are lot of negative things about American history that should be included in textbooks. Actually, a lot of negative things about the federal government are not covered in textbooks even still. Of course, American kids don't learn nearly enough about the negatives of other countries other than maybe Germany and the Soviet Union.
    Exactly -- a false propping up of the United States versus other countries just leads to a strange and false sense of infallibility. There is no need for that - it's jingoism, a real problem today in the United States where for many people, where any criticism of the country's past policies becomes unacceptable. Real patriotism that most citizens have for their country is based on recognizing what makes their country's history unique which includes failures and victories, however short the history.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    If by "brutally invaded" and "its own agenda" you mean propping up unpopular South Vietnamese governments and fighting to prevent a North Vietnamese take-over attempting to impose odious communism through "one man, one vote, one time" (a system that would later result in millions of boat people and years of economic stagnation coupled with high levels of government repression), all for the purpose of containing global communism, then yes. And yes, Mai Lai is always mentioned.
    Odious communism....

    The problem with saying that is was humanitarian/democratic concerns and not strategic ones that drove/drive foreign policy is that we need to stop and ask, of all the countries with brutal dictatorships and no democratic norms, why only choose to engage the ones at risk of adopting communism and being under the influence of Soviet power. Why not Libya? Why not the multitude of brutal African dictatorships or Latin American miltary dictatorships (U.S. intervention there was barely as direct as we saw in Vietnam or South Korea). It would be so much easier and better justified to protect people and their inalienable democratic rights closer to home? Strategic interests provide a more compelling explanation.

    Regarding this idea of the uniqueness or specialness of the United States. There is no harm in highlighting this for students. That's what all countries do. History everywhere is told from the perspective of the country in which it is being told and done to highlight the trends that lead to the modern day country -- its unique economy, politics and society/culture. There's no harm in stressing what makes the United States unique. It is unique like every country in the world is for its citizens. The problem, again, comes in when people mistake this uniqueness accompanied by super powe status into a sense of entitlement and unchecked power. Being a superpower means there will be abuse and good use of power - this complicated history is what makes the U.S. unique. Students should get a complete view of their country's history, whatever their age. How detailed the versions are will differ by age and ability.

    Some examples that are troubling are a concentration on the United States as a saviour for Germany without an understanding of the problems the country faced with one superpower on each side of its disjointed country. Similarly, looking at Japan and U.S. presence there without an understanding of the long term ill-effects of U.S. military presence there. These are not things that should be left out. The United States has a rich history for the short period of its being and its institutions have been a model for so many countries in South America. There is much to be proud of, especially its democratic history but there are also policy decisions that have been considered unwise in retrospect. Give students a complete version that is appropriate for their age.

    A really cool resource, for example is the book, "As Others See Us. American History in the Foreign Press" edited by Ralph E. Weber. It's simply a collection of news reports from newspapers around the world. It's such a fascinating view of history and a great tool for presenting different perspectives. I have an old edition that I picked up from a second hand store in Greenwich village years ago which covers The Declaration of Independence to the Supreme Court Decision on the Pentagon papers. Really fun stuff. No commentary - simply a collection of news reports from a surprisingly wide collection of international news sources.

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