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Mark Atwood
Our culture is superior[...] Not "different." "Superior." Call me a bigot if you want. I can live with that.


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docorion From: docorion Date: March 31st, 2004 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
"What we would NOT do is burn their corpses and drag them out into the street and then tear them up with garden tools while chanting idiotic slogans about giving our souls for Jesus's holy war. And we would certainly not do it proudly, in front of TV cameras."

Actually, I don't believe this is true. I believe the person who wrote it wouldn't do this. But America in general? The Deep South? The Bible Belt, as it were, whatever you conceive that to be? Idaho and the white power folks?

They'd do it in a heartbeat. And go home to their wives and husbands and children and tell them they'd struck a blow for liberty and freedom and the American Way.

We hold that sort of behaviour at bay only with an elaborate set of rules we call the Constitution (and others, but the Constitution is the foundation document)(I have, incidentally, sworn an oath to uphold said document; it's required of anyone in the Federal Service), and an elaborate culture built around it. The culture of most of the Arab world lies in ruins, with only the memory of it's pride and majesty remaining.

If you want a mission, it's not to build our 'superior' culture into the Arab states, but to find what is good and just and fair about their already existing culture (which, by the way, flourished with art, science, and high-level political and religious thought while our culture had fallen back to the barely holding on to literacy stage, during the Dark Ages. Much of Greek and Roman thought comes to us today only because it was preserved in the Arab world while we fought in the dirt and died of plagues we hadn't the wit to prevent), and use it to allow them to build their own, new, free culture from the ashes of what once was good.

[do you post this stuff *just* to provoke me? :-) ]
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: March 31st, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
The fact that their culture is in ruins is something they did to themselves, and continuing doing to themselves.

As someone better with words than I put it, for over 500 years, "they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity".

The vast vast majority of their technological and artistic advances was from the Suffi (spelling?) tradition, a tradition that all the current acendant traditions has all but killed (quite literally).
docorion From: docorion Date: March 31st, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sufi. And I'm not going to defend the failures of that culture-they are many, varied, and foul. But it was not always thus, and if we take our 'mission' of improving the world seriously (and believe it or not, I'd like to, a bit), we can't just export McDonalds, Coke, and Hollywood and call it a day. Cultures are local; they grow bit by bit out of the history of a place and a people. Culture is a habit of mind you get from generations of people saying there is a way *we* do things, and this is the way. We need to use what's there to build a better culture, not just send ours and expect them to embrace it and fall on their knees in thanksgiving.
From: ex_tepes85 Date: March 31st, 2004 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
America in general? The Deep South? The Bible Belt, as it were, whatever you conceive that to be? Idaho and the white power folks?

This is the sort of self-righteously biased Buckeye and Yankee and Left-Coast bullshit that made even the slaves fight against you in the War of Northern Aggression. We're people, too, here in the South. Please give us some credit for humanity and way the fuck more courtesy than priggish condescension.
docorion From: docorion Date: March 31st, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tried to spread my distaste for bigotry as widely as possible, geographically, while staying with more or less current events. To paraphrase the original, if you wish to take offense, do so. History shows that NO ONE is safe from this kind of crap; the South's sins, like Idaho's, are simply more current. New England has the witch trials and a slew of less famous religious crimes to it's 'credit'. (Buckeye? Where does that refer to? Ohio?) Left coast-well, can't think of one right now, but I guarantee I can find one if pressed.

Thank you for your ad hominem attack, please take your clue on the way out...
From: ex_tepes85 Date: March 31st, 2004 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure why I expected more snobbery, but thank you for proving me right.
From: ex_tepes85 Date: March 31st, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
PJ O'Rourke is one of the saints of McKendo, fwiw.
seawasp From: seawasp Date: April 1st, 2004 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)


... The problem here -- as in a number of other places in the world -- is that while Europe went through a several-hundred-year thing called the Enlightenment/Renaissance and climbed, inch by inch, through the Industrial Revolution, these other countries have for the most part been stuck back at Medieval levels and suddenly yanked forward. Their people have not gone through multiple generations of adaptation to wider worlds, different viewpoints, and so on. In the 1700s, most of "our" ancestors (i.e., the European immigrants to America -- I'm not speaking for others here) had no problem with moving in on the natives and taking their land -- heck, from their POV the natives weren't really USING it. And often they could justify their actions from religious viewpoints. It was only over a matter of generations that the OVERALL attitude shifted to the point that the USA felt they'd done something wrong there. Many of the basic societal attitudes in these other countries aren't even as enlightened as THAT; they're more from the 1200s. In fact, many of them are loosely assembled tribal groups who are currently working together only because of the threat of others around them overpowering them.

Outside of the European-settled/dominated areas (Europe, USA/Canada, Aus/NZ, and in its own way Japan, etc.), even in the higher tech countries like China the effects of AncientThink are still exceedingly strong. (you should see the way "business" gets done in China; our marketing gentleman gave me a real eye-opener on that). This all ties in with the complaints about "exploitation" by companies. That kind of thing won't change until their society goes through the same evolution ours did, creating a growing middle class whose comforts gave them the opportunity to notice overall injustices, and then conceive of acting on them.

And I don't agree with the comment about the American South; note that I, too, lived there for a while, and I've visited again a number of times. Are there rotten bigoted self-righteous bastards in that area who would justify actions in the name of God? Certainly. But THE MASSES aren't like that at all, and the level of repellent, animalistic behavior displayed in many of these other countries is simply not POSSIBLE here. Individuals who could do it? Sure. It's a given that even in the most civilized areas you'll get some fruitloops who will do anything; heck, SOMEONE watched Battlefield Earth, even. But as a general SOCIETAL thing, you just won't SEE that kind of behavior here, or in Europe, most if not all of the former Soviet Union, Canada, etc. Our society HAS changed.
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