Re: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri 29 Nov 2002 - 00:12:39 GMT

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    When you say you have a few riots, etc. you must not be talking about Kosovo, Northern Ireland and the scrap between Greece and Turkey as European problems based on religious differences. Are they not part of what we call Europe? We do believe in our system because it seems to be successful at this time. But we don't really try to force it on anyone else. We may tell them we think they would be better off with it, but that's a far cry from forcing it on anyone. We don't fight wars to make them accept it.

    We never wanted to rule Vietnam, for example, we just wanted to keep Russia and the communists from doing it. The same applies to North Korea. They were forcing their system on South Korea and we fought to keep them from doing it. Korea has been governing itself ever since. We did take over the government of Japan for nearly a decade and instituted democratic government there, but I don't hear them complaining about it and we got out of there after the Korean war and let them run their own affairs. Nor are we trying to force democracy on Kuait. So I'm not sure what you're talking about when you talk of all this forcing people to take our form of government.

    We do pefer to deal with democratic countries but, again, we don't send armies to make them accept that form of government. If you think we do, give me some solid examples and I'll consider the prospect. Compared with Europe, we're a pretty hands-off country. Although we outlasted the Soviet Union, we have not gone into any of those countries and tried to make them like us. What they've done in that regard they did on their own. Not with American tanks rumbling through their streets.

    So I guess I see a side of Europe that you don't see and you seem to see a side of America that I am blind to. American culture has spread around the world, I agree, but not because we were forcing it on anyone. Others just seems to want what we had. Beijing and Taiwan didn't get Macdonalds restaurants because we told them to. The guys who paid good money for the franchise did it with the idea that they would make money. It was an investment and it paid off handsomely for them.

    They buy our movies because nobody else is making better movies. They use our books to teach the sciences and thus build their world view because nobody is producing better books than the U.S. They read English on the internet and do business in English because it's the only language most of them have in common with the people in other countries. There was a time when French occupied that place in the world. But times change.


    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    >To: <>
    >Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 1:51 AM
    >Subject: Re: Why Europe is so Contrary
    > > I'd say the greatest biasing factor for Europe is the number of
    > > culutures and languages that influence policy making and world view.
    > > various European cultures have been fighting and dominating each other
    > > milliniums now. Most of the protestant church groups sprang up in
    > > opposition to Catholicism in Europe first and than spread to parts of
    > > U.S. The U.S. assimilated these various groups relatively peacefully
    > > Europe fought over them and hundreds of thousands of people died over
    > > Our religious debates were downright gentlemanly by comparison.
    > >
    > > The result in Europe has been large groups of people with strong
    > > who are willing to die for what they believe in. Americans, on the
    > > hand, are willing to die for what we believe in as a nation but seldom
    > > that way about individual faiths. We don't have members of one faith
    > > to domainate members of another faith for religious reasons. Members of
    > > faith may look down on members of another faith but we don't have
    > > wars about it. At least, we didn't until the Muslims came.
    > >
    > > America, with its mere 200 years of assimilation fighting for such
    > > as the idea that sheep ruin the land for cattle and that the only good
    > > indian is a dead indian. We also believe that any man has the potential
    > > become president of the U.S. and such men as Bill Clinton, Abraham
    > > and John Kennedy seemed to prove the point. They said Kennedy would
    > > become president because he was a Catholic. But we didn't have to fight
    > > civil war for him to prove it. In Europe, Protestants, Catholics and
    > > Eastern Orthodox groups are still fighting to the death in some places.
    > > Such divisions make for strong opinions about the memes that make one
    > > religion different from another and one group's concept of what is right
    > > wrong compared to another.
    > >
    > > The advent of radio, television, and the movies have made the U.S.
    > > relatively homogenous by comparison. We all picked up pretty much the
    > > values from media that differed little from one place to another. I
    > > an old "Beyond the Fringe" skit in which a Brit is comparing American
    > > political parties and says In America they have the Democrats who are
    > > similar to the British Liberal party and the Republicans who are like
    > > British Liberal party. Despite the fact that we have so many different
    > > nationalities and faiths in the U.S. the basic ideas about government
    > > foreign policy are pretty much the same across the land. Instead of
    > > fighting about which religion should be in control, we fight about
    > > policy. That seems much more important to the average American than
    > > religion.
    >Grant, Joe,
    >Yes I can see your point, though, but from my POV that is maybe the
    >fact I dislike the most in the American/ Usasian attitude, that there ain
    >' individuality ' in it.
    >You seem to think all quite the same, one country, one nation, one voice !
    >IMO, what you described in above can be seen as a ' faith ', no doubt
    >a positive one from your side of the channel when you look at it, but
    >from my side of the great pond I see a country that is willing to impose
    >its " democratic " values and its compulsary memes upon the rest of
    >the world. If you don 't realize that for others that is unacceptable you '
    >in the wrong country.
    >Oh I believe that is part of the American tradition and part of the ways
    >by which America was founded, but it seems fair to say if you see the
    >European cultural/ social/ political diversity as the major point why we
    >don 't engage ourselves in a stupid war, than you make me upset.
    >Than is the ways by which Americans, like you and Joe talk to us the
    >Europeans a question of " culture " !
    >If you say that the diversity, like Joe seems to indicate, is a flaw to the
    >reason why we don 't go to war with Iraq, than you attack our/ my way
    >of life... and I am not a Radical Muslim, far from it !
    >It is this kind of attitude, this kind of reasoning, the lack of patriotism
    >that you see as a slur on the European vail, that we/ I dislike !
    >It is just in the diversity of our, yes, bloody cultures we find peace
    >and ease of mind, and yes, the same diversity holds us back to become
    >a true European nation, but at least we hold back the praises of wherein
    >patriotism and sacrifice of authoritatives are displayed....
    >That kind of conservatism is since long replaced by the Enlightment and
    >Modernism and even Post- Modernism.
    >And please, stop the stupid phrase that you have rescued us ! I am from
    >the second generation after WWII and, really I don 't care,...the war is
    >since long over, each year we remerber the deaths, but you ain 't gonna
    >get that meme in my head !
    >We the younger generation don 't care that the US helped us, we don 't
    >even border to say thanks ! Why should we !? It was and still isn 't
    >our war, and moreover, the war on terrorism is not our war either !
    >For far I can tell, in Europe, Western Europe there hasn 't been an
    >attack by any Muslim organisation in the sense of disctating us to
    >confert ourselves to Islam !
    >The hardest things that happened here were demonstrations and a
    >few riots the last couple of days in Antwerp.
    >And than again, when a racistic whitey shoots a Marokkian man
    >out of, what now seems to be psychological distress, and when
    >the Marokkian community haunts the streets shouting we' re all
    >racists and don 't even border to watch_ its so spoonfed.
    >The possible, maybe real danger is that AEL movement, the
    >Arabic European Liga, which is defending the ' rights ' of the
    >Arabic community in Europe, with no support within that commu-
    > for the time be...
    >On the other hand, we had Trabalsi, a footballplayer who tried
    >to blow up the American embassy in Paris, but failed, but again,
    >there is no real threat.
    >And today, after the attacks in Kenya, the police set a double-
    >guard at the gates of the Jewish neigbourhood in Antwerp, but
    >that's soldiers in the streets, nothing !
    >You 're getting panaroid folks !
    >And like 9/ 11 indicates you have good reasons to be, but don 't
    >compare Europe to your home country, we' re different and I like
    >it to stay it that way.
    >Maybe we're in the wrong and the future will tell, but don 't try
    >to get us hooked on the terrorism- meme.
    >Denile maybe works for us, let us be !
    >Fights your wars, but leave us out of them.
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    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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