Extended Discussion on Personal Views

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by DÛke, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Matthias - Great points... Are you ready for us to pummel North Korea, if need be?...


    The Crackdown where more governments are actively trying to bring down terrorist organizations and not just monitor them...

    And I believe we'd invade Pakistan - nukes or not... Just because a country has Nukes doesn't mean we wouldn't invade them... and we could more than likely destroy the nuke before it got near us...
  2. arhar Member

    I am well aware that a lot of people in the world don't like USA. What I do have a problem with, however, is people constantly saying "Well, I think this and that, and the whole world agrees with me." To presume EVERYBODY in the world hates America is just stupid. There are a lot of people who do, and a lot of people who don't.
  3. arhar Member

    Allright, I won't counter every single point of yours, rather just a couple....

    A wise man once said: "One who assumes makes an ass out of himself, so don't assume." I know more about philosphy than your shallow pseudo-intellectual self can either hope to. I have actually read works by all of them and took college courses on their philosophy. You probably are not even able to comprehend the notion of utilitarianism, that's why you call Mill 'dumb'.

    You miss my point. On a global scale of things, children being fed is much more important than good education.

    See, it's statements like this that prove that under this wall of big words hides a primitive and frankly, very stupid, person. American culture is less respectable than Egyptians, Israelites, and Africans? Respectable by who? By you? If you have lived in America so long and all you can see is superficious, then I feel sorry. I have lived in Russia before, which probably has much richer and more respectable culture, if anybody asked your opinion, and American culture is much, much better.

    But then again, this is futile. The reason I'm doing this is because I am completely baffled. I am baffled that some people take you seriously and actually consider your opinions. Your sentences may flow very well and sound great, but if anybody would just take time to READ what you actually write, they would realize that your posts are complete drivel. You make absolutely no sense, with your overblown, presumptous statements, filled with your opinions presented as universal truths. Needless to say, most of them are so incredibly stupid, I wonder how do you even come up with this. Kant is stupid? American culture is less respectable than some African spear-throwing society? Hitler will be remembered as a hero and an icon? I could go on and on, but this is too much.... Please, forget the big words and just focus on making sense sometimes.
  4. Astranbrulth New Member

    Train -- You sound like a very combatitive person, one that is sure of himself. I'm guessing you to be a Sligh or Stompy player, something along those lines. I reckon that if we met IRL I would probably like you. But your thinking is somewhat short sighted.

    You think you would be able to stop a nuke before it got to its destination? I'm not even talking about a strike on the US proper (where it could be brought into and detonated in a harbour by innocent looking commercial shipping, or any other such subterfuge) but about the battlefield.
    Even if you had a 90% chance of stopping one delivered by air or missile, show me the strategist who is willing to gamble an entire army with a 10% chance of being destroyed by one bomb. And that's not even supposing that the country being invaded doesn't just hide one in the basement of a house along the most likely invasion route and sets it off as the opposing enemy rolls by.

    Only the Soviets (who used to send punishment battalions through minefields to detonate mines for the troops following , who expounded human wave attacks against machine guns) were willing to think about attacking nuclear -capable opponents. But even they didn't do it, in the end.

    I think your president Bush is a fool, but I doubt even he would take such a gamble.

    This is a fundamental failure in the logic of your government.Why ? Because instead of thinking of eliminating WMD for fear of being invaded, other governments (like N Korea) are thinking "I'd better get some of these nuke things, or we are going to be in for a spot of regime change!" . Is invading a nuclear capable opponent worth it?

    *** THE RISK IS TOO GREAT, THE REWARDS ARE TOO SMALL***

    Let me ask you now: Let's say that you are offered the choice - North Korea defeated, but New York levelled by a nuke shipped in a couple of months later. Would it be worth it? Of course not!

    By raising the political temperature around the world, the US has only made WMD more attractive to countries that don't want to be bullied around.

    The greatest evidence against Saddam Hussein having no significant amounts of WMD or terrorist contacts is the fact that there has (as yet) been no devastating attack on a Western city by terrorist groups.

    Put yourself in HIS shoes, train. Here comes the massively potent army of the Great Satan, and they are going to get rid of you for real. You have tried to placate them, but to no avail. Let's say (hypothetically) you have links with Al Qaeda and large amounts of nerve gases or other agents.
    Do you say, "Well, lets play nice and fight the US on its terms, and later, when I'm caught, they can hang me via some international tribunal" or do you say "UP YOURS BABY! If I'm going down, you will pay for it with blood!", and hand your goodies over to Mr Bin Laden & Co.

    Given your destructive tendencies, I would imagine Osama would have had more than just TNT in his arsenal by now. And surely Saddam is more bloodthirsty than you, train. Um, .... I think.......


    Arhar --- I have had a look at your 'culture', and am sorry, but must agree with Duke in that it basically caters for the lowest possible denominator. I never imagined that there could be people of the colossal, unimaginable stupidity that I have seen on the Springer and Ricky Lake shows. I avoid the stuff like I avoid the plague. Even programs like Oprah are nothing but orchestrated treacly weepathons. The concept of 'reality TV' is just Blargh!

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the USA is good for nothing and that nothing good comes out of it - technologically the world can only benefit, and I suppose even the mass production approach to consumerism helps lower prices so that the poorest have clothes to wear and food to eat. And Duke, even you must admit that it is better to have a thinker like Mills (if he was American, but methinks he was), despite his having opposing viewpoints, than another of the marching morons. (Of course, I suppose that raises the question as to whether another culture would have fostered MORE thinkers or not ...)


    Duke -- I hear your warning. However, I believe that discussion and intelligent argument can only serve to make me stronger. It is good to have one's opinions challenged, because it forces you to sit and think about yourself, what you believe in, and where you stand in it all. Even if nobody listens to what I have to say, *I* benefit from the thinking I do. Of course, there is always the possibility of making somebody else learn something new, or modify their opinion - and so we all grow.

    Naturally, I enjoy a good mental rumble, even one where I get my butt kicked, because that will mean that I have learned something new. I can understand the anger of your posts, because Iraq, if it doesn't get turned into a US - clone, will end up in the same sort of hands that Afghanistan was and Iran is. There has already been so much lost in the wake of the US invasion (the Codes of Hammurabi stolen! I couldn't believe it!) and the icon - destroying religious nuts that would take over would ensure that precious little will remain.

    I pray (ironic, coming from an atheist) that it will not be so.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I was thinking train was referring to covert ops or something where the nuke could be neutralized before conventional battle begins.

    India and Pakistan are actually pretty close (relatively, at least closer than anyone else) in taking this gamble.

    Heck, there's probably some people in South Africa who are like that :) They're everywhere, make no mistake. But don't make the mistake of thinking that those kinds of shows and reality TV are indicative of American society has a whole. They're just more entertaining to watch, because who doesn't like to laugh at another's foibles? Programs about the latest technology or achievements on a regular basis are just boring :)
  6. arhar Member

    Astranbrulth: You're right. The entire American population watches Jerry Springer and Ricky Lake and frequently appears on those shows, wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirts and eating McDonalds, playing country music and driving a pick-up truck.

    Have you ever been to America? To judge the entire culture by what you see on stupid TV-shows (most intelligent people who have better things to do with their time watch very little or no TV at all, btw) It's like condemning Japanese culture, saying that all those sick Japanese perverts are good for is bukkake.
  7. DÛke Memento Mori

    ...

    Arhar, I'd like to say something, but it is not concerning the war. You criticize me for clinging to small details as education, from which I have in part made my judgments concerning the rather uncivilized American culture. I honestly do not watch much television, or movies for that matter. But then you criticize another for judging your culture based on what is or was popular on television. I personally think it is not that appropriate to judge a culture from what they watch - we all like to watch idiocy from time to time, and heck, we participate in them at times as well - just for the hell of it. I have lived in the U.S. for almost 9 years now, and in fact, I have my citizenship – I am a complete “American.” I should have the proper experience to make some points…

    ...I think education and how students, including high school and college students, are educated really reflects how a society becomes what it is. Having said this, the little attention paid to learning, the lack of learning, the sheer disinterest for learning and knowledge, the desire for material pleasure and eternal happiness...we look at those in disbelief, only to face the entire American society with more disbelief - that for, it is the most ignorant, overtaken, downright stupid society on Earth, perhaps the most infatuated and "busy" society to ever inhabit Earth as well. Very rarely do we see personal interest in education, very rarely do we see caringness, or willingness to actually teach as opposed to fling the little stupid study-guides which are easily digested by the foulest personas. Am I really supposed to think Americans are intelligent? That they are not subhuman? What fantasy! What sheer idiocy! What a daring suggestion that would be!

    ...and really, how that reflects many people, from train, to Ferret, downright to you, Arhar, who criticizes my love for education, and the plentitude of subhuman "awareness" that thrives in these shallow mud holes which is the United States.

    ...it is no wonder in my heart what the U.S. is loved by such samples, for it allows the stupid to thrive as healthily and as richly as the normal human; it breeds and encourages subhumanity on the expense of all humanity; it has "democracy" too, which enables those whom are otherwise eradicated in the more human world to have a voice, as if they deserved it; it offers "liberty" to a people who have no clue what liberty is, that have no real education, and therefore, have no real outlook, no real responsibility, but merely "opinions" and "agree to disagree" and the disgusting super-American "logic" which tries to win itself over truly creative minds, intelligent minds, true liberties and freedoms of the soul. What America is: the shallowness of humanity, where the ugliest, most basic instincts are allowed to see daylight, all for the capitalistic nature in which nothing matters but money, and so, whether one is human or subhuman, it matters not at all - for they all can do the same job, the same slavery almost equally, needless of brain power, needless of any power.

    …albeit, the disguise is clever, where slogans as “freedom of worship” and “freedom of speech” are uttered almost constantly in defense of this rottenness to the point that the complusion leads to believing in these rather extreme "liberties," and more so, they become believed by every living-dead that inhabits this place. Why worship at all! Indeed, what such people reply to their “religions,” in defense of their religions, is something rather obscure, unconvincing, if not idiotic and self-seeking – you see, they too are opinion-lovers, who simply choose to “believe” something if only because it “fits” with their agenda, with their happiness and pleasure – “freedom of worship” easily translates to “freedom of opinion,” which as I have said, is nothing more than freedom of stupidity to walk proudly of itself as if it possessed the slightest essence of truth or sincerity. A culture so blind, so fearful, so suspicious of what is otherwise merely normal! Not too long ago we beheld in broad daylight the collapse of the Twin Towers, which as we have seen, imbedded a sense of fear unlike any other amongst these subhuman Americans, a sense of loss, a sense of..."being equal to what the world had suffered from"! - God forbid!. And we look at this and we wonder - 3000+ deaths? Who cares!, but you see, the caringness of these subhumans derives from ignorance to what is otherwise a natural occurrence, a very natural occurrence at that, a simple everyday type of expectancy...yet in the U.S., we beheld the frenzy of these animals, the "frenzy of the world," the "world forever changed"! What...insecurity, what lacking, what subhumanity! "God Bless America," plus the American flags flying in every shallow corner of the states - we do not see much of this in, say, Iraq - we rarely behold a one flying his Iraqi flag...not because they hate their country - just look at the news today: they love their country, but they simply lack the materialistic, over infatuated idolatry, the love of symbols and physical objects which, in the United States, represent "the truth," that otherwise, this truth would not be seen, and therefore, not observed, since the majority do not know what the truth is, and therefore, need some moving, physical object to satisfy their craving for something of value. Yes, they of themselves - they lack all value. They are subhuman. This is not to say that Iraqis lack subhuman habits – what I saw concerning their “worship” frightened me, at the end, they too are subhumanity, a less severe case, but a case nevertheless.

    …and there you have it, the American culture – as common as it is, no more than it is and no less. Even "intelligent" people around here, around the U.S., are easily laughable in other places. But the complusion, the "nature" of these people permits them to delude themselves with the utmost basic, filthiest of instincts which, at the end, becomes the glorious sickness, the glorious specimen that is the "American."
  8. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

  9. Astranbrulth New Member

    Spiderman --- Heeeyyyy... I *like* Discovery Channel! I didn't know programs on technology were boring ....

    Seriously though, you're right, there are plenty of euthanasia candidates here too. However, at least the popular culture here is not quite as frenzied and superficial as the American stuff we get bombarded with over the television.

    Constantly.

    As a result of the US cultural hegemony, sadly many of the ideas here are shifting toward American ideas, or people's interpretations thereof. It's cool to slouch around with a 'gangsta' attitude and ignorance to match. US grammar : "drive-thru", "eezi" etc is creeping into the language.

    If you guys have something more to offer other than the oozy patriotism that we see on CNN etc, please show us. Give the rest of the world something to respect. Or is the roar of the guys on the pick - up trucks to loud for anything else to get through? What is it that I have been missing? Please direct me to something I can respect.


    Arhar --- Fair enough, I have never been to your country, so I have had to judge by what I see on TV (which I try and avoid - you're right, I do have better things to do with my time) and read in print. Possibly it is a distorted image that *I* have, seeings that it is an image gotten through my interpretation of other people's interpretations.

    However, I do have family (an aunt, uncle & three cousins that emigrated quite some time ago) in the US, Texas to be more specific, and what they have told me has only reinforced the perceptions that I have of your country. For example, when they first went over, my cousins, which were doing OK, but not brilliantly at school, suddently shot to the top of their classes and stayed there. So at least some of your schools are as rotten as some make them out to be. And I have heard plenty about the mentality of the pick up driving yahoos that live there, since you mention it.

    (Never fear, however. Our own government is also destroying whatever decent schooling there was, by decreasing teachers, increasing pupils per class and introducing new fangled systems that nobody understands. By the end of the decade I fully expect our classes to be a zoo like other places.)
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Either that, or the S. African school system was short-changing them...

    Hm, can't really provide examples from TV since one of the purposes of TV is to entertain in the first place. What might be "high-brow" to me may be trash to you. Same with music - kids are going to pick up on what's "cool" to them and use it; if that means "gangsta" then so it is.

    I'm not sure why this is important to begin with - do you (as an all encompassing "non-American") need to "respect" the US in order to understand it or go along with its policies? Or something like that?
  11. arhar Member

    Duke:

    I agree with you that American education system, on the average, sucks. I know many, many Russian, Indian, and Chinese people that weren't doing that good in school in their countries and cruised through American education system with no effort at all, myself included. But that's the AVERAGE, and it's very low, I'll give you that. However, again, by focusing on details one can easily get the distorted picture of the whole. The truth is, with that low common denominator, in America there exists an opportunity for talent to be rewarded, for ANYONE to get proper education and get their due. THAT's why I love American culture and society.

    Basically, I'm sure as an immigrant you know plenty of examples of geniuses, brilliant people that were living in poverty in Iraq, or whatever country they originally lived in. I sure as hell know about a thousand of examples like that. Brilliant doctors, nuclear physicists, writers, mathematicians... they were living below the poverty line in Russia, barely making ends meet and concerned with prolonging their existence instead of applying their talents. And guess what - when they came to America, they prospered. That is why I love American culture. "America is a land of opportunity" - sure, it's a cliche... but it's true! Here, if you work hard, you will succeed. If you're talented, you can go to the best school there is, best college there is, get a best job that you can. If you're a good businessman, you can open your own company and prosper without fearing for your life when mafia comes knocking on the door every day. Can you say the same for the third world countries that have such great cultural traditions? I'm afraid not.

    Sure, prosperity leads to laziness, sloth and gluttony - that's why the new generation of Americans who massively consume Linkin Park, MTV, Fast and the Furious, and every fashion trend that comes around disgust me. Of course, if you focus only on them, then the picture is very bleak. But besides them, America has millions of talented, cultural intellectuals. They may not be as noticeable as the 'subhumans' as you put it, but they're there - if you wish to see them. They're there because America has opportunities for them to exist.

    And that's why I love American society! :)
  12. Matthias New Member

    I do think that N. Korea needs a new, more peaceful goverment. But the idea of attacking them just plain scares me. I think if any country would use nuclear weapons it is N. Korea. I am not afraid that they would use them on America (they simply do not have the technology to do so) but I have little dought that they would try to use them against S.Korea. I think that the United States would be best off if we focused on getting China, S. Korea and N. Korea's other neighbors to preassure Dictator Lee into disarming and seeking peaceful solutions. Some thing like 2/3's (I forget the real % but it was extreamly high) of his country are inlisted in the army, which I belife is the heart of his problems.If more of N. Korea's population worked (outside of military jobs) I dought they would be haveing problems like they are, well maby they would at first but I belive they could rebuild. And after all who wouldnt help them (maby france ;P ), the world would be much safer by giveing N. Korea some aid while it rebuilds, rather than dealing with a perhaps insane ruler trying to pick fights with the United States and other world powers. Well basicly Peace>War. But I do belive we are going to end up at odds with N. Korea, as long as they are being as demanding and agressive as they are, but lets finish up at Afganistan and Iraq befor we go off to N. Korea.
  13. Matthias New Member

    America's public schools aren't the best, I dont think anyone can really argue that. But our collages are top of the line, people come from all over the world for them :) . Than again I have a bias opinion my father works for Temple University.
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    This is because Kim puts almost all of his money into the military. That's where the money is, so that's where people go.
  15. arhar Member

    SOME colleges. We do have some of the best universities in the world, but on average, the level is pretty low. Community colleges, for once, are a joke.
  16. DÛke Memento Mori

    ...
    I do not believe that America lacks every bit of intellectual and talent - that is contrary to my beliefs. What I speak of are the common people, the all too proud "majority." Sure, we can sit down and discuss the few minorities who contribute the little glimmers of light that this nation sees, but away from this, the majority that overrules the culture, that decides the trends, that even has a "saying" in political and many other issues, can we really say much about them? It is also no doubt that all cultures have these subhuman, sick, overtaken personalities, but from my experience, the United States by far super-exceeds, and is quite excelling with these filthy high numbers of "good citizens," whom are good only because they are the worshipers of this nation, the slaves, the good-for-nothing empty shells who, should they be annihilated, no one would notice, thankfully. And do you know why no one would notice? Because they come in great numbers, in herds, all looking the same, all having the same personality - some call themselves "independents," and they are nothing more than the pariahs of society - they hold much hatred and discomfort, much contempt to anything intelligent even; and then we have the so-called "free thinkers," who merely love to call themselves many things, deeming themselves "intellectuals," or "rebels," or "liberators"...at the end, they are nothing more than puppets dressed with so many words and opinions, that they even look like "intellectuals," but a dog's nose has a great sense of sniffing out these buffoons - and how many I sniff around here! And then we have the "common people" and the "good citizens" - subhuman by every sense of the word, sick, deformed, retarded, corrupt – meaningless to the world and to life, and their greatest job is siphoning on what is truly intelligent, siphoning from the high peaks of humanity, and deforming everything into “opinions”.

    …again, they exist all over the world, but they thrive proudly in the United States, and not to mention, the culture around here, or the lack thereof, invites such ugly parasites to its muddy, humid dark corners.

    ...that the United States allows opportunities to nourish, that is great. But again, we cannot look at single details. We must look at what cost are these opportunities being made, for what great sacrifice, for what suicidal leap, for how much blood! And then we arrive at the very beginning, the threshold of our questions - that everything "great" you see is merely the "ungreat" beneath the surface, the shallowness, the lacking, the mask that conceals the sheer subhumanity, the inferiority of these people. Indeed, everyone has an "equal" opportunity in here - and just look now! We have idiocy climbing the ladder, we have fools, jesters, subhumans reaching out for this "greatness."

    ...perhaps I should make it clear: to offer everyone a chance is just as bad as offering very little chance to very few. We are not all equal human beings - we have different talents, we have different abilities, and at the end, we are divided into either a human or a subhuman; the disgust I have that subhumanity is allowed to see greatness, that it is allowed to even feel equal to what is truly human - from there I receive my overall "rage," even my rage towards the war...

    …some of us are meant to rot, to die, to simply vanish. Equality, too, has its very bad side effects. And today, this side effect is called “America,” mostly loved and sustained by the common man: the weak-minded, the "free thinker," the...subhuman.
  17. Ferret CPA Founder, Slacker

    You know who would really make this conversation good? Jesus. That way Duke could speak to his equal...If anyone often wonders why I sometimes don't post for awhile in this thread? I grow tired of "intelligent" users resorting to "you're stupid" as their primary mode of defense of their arguments...

    There are some good arguments on all sides here...most of you are right about some of your points, and most of your need to think some of your thoughts through because you're making assumptions about how the world thinks based upone your own opinions and what is displayed on the All-Knowing-Media...

    -Ferret

    "...rest assured, our country is fighting terrorism...but they're not going to tell CNN about it..."
  18. Astranbrulth New Member

    Spiderman --- Normally I would agree with you, what does culture have to do with a country's foreign policy anyway?

    However, I get the strong impression that patriotism is so ingrained in the psyche of the US citizen, that it has become a 'truth' of its own. The idea of 'free markets ' and 'democracy' are tacked onto the patriotism to create a sort of dogma in the outlook of the United States. It is almost as if it is believed that there are no alternatives to the type of government and world outlook that the USA holds. This is reflected in your politicians, media, films and books, both fiction and non-fiction.

    Opinions other than those that your government wants to hear are automatically discounted, made 'irrelevant', such as in this Iraq war. And in the unilateral tearing up of the ABM treaty. And in the tearing up of the Kyoto protocol. These are just the first that come to mind.

    The reverberations of your culture are heard in your government's responses to any opposing it. Anti-americanism is almost a crime. Anyone who dares to oppose the States militarily becomes a 'terrorist' and / or 'outlaw' state.

    It is not enough for the US to say "you are my opponent". No, it is "you are my opponent, therefore you are fundamentally 'evil' and I am fundamentally 'good' ".

    When it comes to "respecting" a country in order to agree with its policies, well , fair enough, I suppose that it is not (or should not be) necessarily a prerequisite. But it sure as hell would make it a lot easier.


    Mattias --- You are right, having such a large percentage of one's population tied up in the military will definitely stunt a country's growth, especially one with so few friends as North Korea.

    So this leads to the question - why does N Korea have such a large military, why does it seek weapons at all costs? Because it feels threatened, perhaps? Its current surge of aggression is directly in response to the rhetoric spouted by Bush. It has seen Iraq's fate, and realises that the nuclear bomb is its salvation, however misguided that may sound.

    When nobody cared much about N Korea, it was softening remarkably in its stance, shutting down its reactors. allowing inspections and engaging the South in the "sunshine policy". Think on that, if you will. If a country no longer feels threatened with destruction, it will do things that were otherwise unthinkable.

    For example, the only reason that South Africa was able to become a democratic state was due to the fall of the USSR. Don't think for a moment that sanctions and other measures were persuading the hysterical anti - communists in power here that democracy was the solution. LOL the arms embargo was a joke, for instance. We were actually exporting arms, never mind importing them. Only when the imminent danger of communist revolution was removed, was it deemed safe to transform into a democracy.

    It is pointless to demand results NOW with N Korea. There are only two options foward : a long and painful dialogue with them, to regain trust, and eventually progress, or a swift and ruinous war that will result in an all - round bloodbath. Remember, Saddam had no friends. Korea can at least count China in its corner.
  19. train The Wildcard!!!...

    Nice ain't it...;)

    And as for shooting to the top of a class here - it isn't hard...

    I actually play utility... usually anything not blue... As for the short sightedness... we can't look too far down the road in this day and age... nothing stays the same for much over 24 hours...

    I picture this happening... our army invading some country like N.Korea, and them then trying to use their WMD - 2 things come to mind - their bluff is called in Korea's case as they have yet to show this WMD, or their development of the unit failed to make it failsafe to tampering - special ops, psy-ops, buy-outs, etc... so yes i think we can defeat it...

    and they're where now?... afraid of Iraq...

    That's your right... I think he's got major cajones, and isn't done showing them to the world yet...

    I think so, especially if they're a threat to us...

    Bullying is a waste of time... action is the means to that end.

    I'd agree, if he's alive, either way - he'll be buried with any gifts he got from Saddam...
  20. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    The biggest problem with American culture is not that everything is possible but that so much is possible ONLY because of rich backers. It is they, in addition, who help high-profile lazy people get money, but only certain high-profile lazy people, and they decide not by merit so much as by the likelihood of profit. Our entertainment industry oinks.

    And our notions of business and identity in the culture are meant to tie into it. We aren't very far removed from the 1950s: when everyone had to be the same to get ahead with making money for themselves and their smiling family. Except that in the wake of the social turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s it was decided that people really could be different, as long as we were the same within our differences. We each need to be brave enough to stand up to this monstrous stupid social pressure -- not by forming other groups but by finding ways to live regardless of them.

    Nothing implicit in democracy has made us this way, but people have from the start polluted what democracy means. We've done this by misunderstanding democracy and new technologies early in their existence, and by the bad side of capitalism, advertising (although capitalism has a good side -- when the society is able to allow and nourish meritocracy).
    Our country's foundation has also been shaped by Self-Interest and Manifest Destiny etc. which basically apply democracy only to us until we forcibly (by military force or by reaction to communism) bring it to others on our terms. (Never mind that we adapted a bunch of Greek and French and British ideas to get it and that therefore we are not the sole stewards of democracy.)

    A different kind of democracy would have its own problems, as all governments do, but they would be different from ours. This we see in (insert the name of some other country that won't spark more entirely irrelevant discussion).

    The religion of the American Way, while not suscribed to by all in this country (as christianity isn't, and that's a better religion than this), is what is used by those really powerful people who want to use it to flaunt the wrong aspects of a meritocracy. These people simultaneously make those aspects unavailable to the people who want them. That's because they assume they have the money because they deserve it and the poor don't, when a lot of it is luck. Anyway, this process is tantamount to, as DUke* would put it, reinforcing subhumanity.

    *I'm on a Mac and I don't know how to make the ^U character now. Oh well.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    The real problem with these situations is we now have leadership who think we're still in the Cold War. Maybe we've picked it up again, but that's partly because of the overreaction prevalent in September/October 2001.

    For what it's worth I agree with you entirely about N. Korea, Astranbluth. North Korea could be dealt with (if it has to be in the interest of "human rights" or whatever) by leaving it alone, except it's too late now. Under other pressures from the world it would have done that, would have dropped the cold war mentality. Yet the Bush shogunate took it up in the face of some other options, and now N. Korea has too. It shouldn't be any wonder.

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