Benlog

crypto and public policy

Can So Many People Be Wrong?

Filed under: General August 28, 2003 @ 2:53 am

I’m back from a summer traveling in Europe and South America. Having spent more than half of my life living outside the US, I have some amount of perspective on what people think of this country and how those feelings have evolved over time. And I must say, it’s not a pretty picture.

I vividly remember a time when the US was mostly admired, even by a large percentage in France (where I grew up). Sure, there was always some level of annoyance at US arrogance and obsession with money, work, and an amusing form of puritanism that shuns vague nudity yet thirsts for extreme violence. But things were never nearly as bad as they are now.

People used to joke about the US; now they’re serious. Americans are those scary uneducated folk who go around imposing their life perspective on the rest of the world. We are hypocrits in that we ask of others what we’re not willing to do ourselves. We are inconsiderate of other nations’ needs. We do things entirely for show and personal interest. We used to be a powerful nation with somewhat of a role model position. Now we’re just the big bully on the block.

This makes me incredibly sad. One shouldn’t always believe the majority as many minorities have thus been crushed, but…. can so many people be wrong? Can we keep going as a nation without a modicum of respect from others? What can we do to regain this respect, to regain that which we seem to have lost so quickly?

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