# The "ignorant American" - a fair prejudice?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by GRO, Jan 7, 2005.

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1. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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I also reject Neildo’s assertion that a bigger country means less knowledge of the rest of the world. Canada is bigger then the US, and yet I would vouch that we know marginally more then Americans. To be fair to the US most nations on Earth are very ignorant, especially when it comes to other countries that’s what makes wars, nationalism, and jingoism all possible. The reason why the US is a target of our outrage is because the US has a responsibility whether or not she likes it, she is the sole superpower (for now) and is abusing her powers in the most spectacular (alas meaning retarded) fashion, which is only possible because of the electorate which by many accounts is woefully undereducated, and is falling way behind those of Canada, Japan, China, and Western Europe in many respects. The US cannot depend on a few brains; it needs an entire workforce of them. Otherwise the US will continue its slide into a Wal-Mart nation…not pretty at all because that means the US will be completely dependent on China and other manufacturing hubs.

3. ### SpykeRegistered Senior Member

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I think Wilson was more important to modern world history than Bismarck because events at Versailles shaped the rest of the 20th century.

No. He wasn't. He simply was president when the Great War broke out. Roosevelt had already begun re-defining the role of the modern president.

Germany, prior to WW1, is simply not important to American history.

That's a huge assumption.

But he wasn't, so it's a moot point.

No, you don't. You don't have to know anything about Bismarck to understand the Kaiser. An American only needs to understand the character of Wilhelm to have some knowledge of how Germany's 20th century history was shaped.

Mismanaged? Not really. Some of those alliances were always fragile and tenuous, such as expecting Italy and Austria to really share a common interest enough to defend each other, or Russia and Austria, or France to allow itself to remain isolated. Russia, Italy and Austria all had competing interests in the futures of the Ottoman Empire's European territories. There was no way those alliances could have lasted, which is exactly why some of them didn't.

Canada is bigger? Right. If you count all of that uninhabited frozen tundra in the north. Most Canadians live fairly confined in the southern environs of your country.

5. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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4,731
I think Wilson was more important to modern world history than Bismarck because events at Versailles shaped the rest of the 20th century.

Well…I think Wilson was important and possibly more so then Bismarck, but I think Wilson will be remembered for his inability to sustain the 14 points, how he relatively easily cowered to French and British interests, and his failure to get the League of Nations accepted by the isolationalist US congress. Overall he was a failure, much like the Versailles treaty.

No. He wasn't. He simply was president when the Great War broke out. Roosevelt had already begun re-defining the role of the modern president.

I don’t think you understood what I meant; it was Wilson who was the first to really engage with the world in any large measure, using American power to the benefit of the US, he was the first to understand that importance of internationalism, and was the first to recognize that American power if used correctly could possibly lead to a better world as codified in the 14 points…

Germany, prior to WW1, is simply not important to American history.

We aren’t talking about pre-WWI necessarily what we are talking about is how WWI happened. Roosevelt had no influence on that war…disagree?

That's a huge assumption.

Not really considering that the main reason the British empire collapsed was because of the financial burden of the war, and its inability to re-establish its position as leader of the Gold Standard, the US become a nation of importance because of the war due to the amount of credit given to the allied powers, and huge increases in industrial output. All of this was possible because of Bismarck’s creation of a Prussian dominated Germany.

But he wasn't, so it's a moot point.

Its not a moot point, it only goes to show how ultimately irrelevant he was to the holistic sense of history.

No, you don't. You don't have to know anything about Bismarck to understand the Kaiser. An American only needs to understand the character of Wilhelm to have some knowledge of how Germany's 20th century history was shaped.

The Kaiser would be a no one without Bismarck so that is a moot point.

Mismanaged? Not really.

Spyke, either it was, or it wasn’t…

Canada is bigger? Right. If you count all of that uninhabited frozen tundra in the north. Most Canadians live fairly confined in the southern environs of your country.

Granted, but he didn’t define by what he meant as “big” did he? Let’s be more realistic shall we…the European Union is about the same size and knows more then the US holistically…American education lacks compared to advanced western nations.

7. ### SpykeRegistered Senior Member

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I agree for the most part, although I don't think it is fair to see Wilson 'cowered to French and British interests'. It's more fair to say that he couldn't sway them, Clemenceau particularly, who was insistent on seeing Germany prostrate. Even Lloyd George had misgivings about the reparations placed on Germany. He failed in Congress because he refused to compromise with Henry Cabot Lodge (Roosevelt's close friend) on the content of the peace treaty concerning the League, particularly Article X. His stubborness over that point caused him to fail.

I may have misunderstood, but again, I think you are wrong. Roosevelt was the first to project US power internationally. Read up on the European blockade of Venezuela in 1903, attempting to force the Venezuelans to pay their debts. Roosevelt saw it correctly as an attempt by the kaiser to land troops in South America, which could threaten the future isthmus canal. German ships bombarded one Venezuelan town. TR got the British and Italians to agree to arbitration, but the kaiser refused. Roosevelt told the German ambassador that if the Germans refused arbitration he would send Dewey's fleet to repel any German attempt to land troops. The kaiser agreed to the arbitration. Which brings to mind these 2 earlier statements of yours -

1. "I reject the notion of yours that Roosevelt’s policies of naval aggrandizement was anything more then posturing to Japan, and possibly Great Britain."

Germany was neither Japan nor Britain, and he was doing much more than posturing about Venezuela. He was serious about enforcing the Monroe Doctrine.

2. "Secondly no one was really scared of the American navy"

Dewey's Asiatic Fleet could have smashed the entire German navy of the day in about an hour and a half. Germany was just beginning her naval build up, as authorized by the 1898 and 1900 naval acts. Her navy at that time could not have handled Dewey's fleet, much less the US navy.

He had little influence, yes, although even as a civilian he was an influential voice in the country, and he was a leading warhawk from 1914 until the time the US entered the war. As president he had been influential in briging the US onto the world stage. On the other hand, Bismarck had no influence on that war other than he consolidated Germany. Yes, he consolidated Germany, but that in itself did not lead to war. Yes, he began some colonization, but cut it off in the mid 1890s. It was the kaiser's imperialism that was much more influential. But I'll agree that neither Bismarck or Roosevelt were directly influential as far as the war is concerned, which goes back to my original point in this thread that Americans have no more need of knowing Bismarck to understand the history of the 20th century as Europeans need to know Roosevelt to understand the same history.

And that was my point. Even if Germany had not consolidated under Bismarck, when war broke out between Austria and Russia, which it would have regardless of what Bismarck did between 1864-1871, Prussia would have allied with Austria, and the other Germanic states would almost certainly have been in that alliance. The war would have taken place, and events from that point on would likely not have been radically altered.

But he wasn't irrelevant to history, regardless of your attempt to make him so.

Come on now. You can't believe that. Even if Bismarck had not unified the Germanic states, the kaiser would have been head of Prussia, by far the most powerful of the Germanic states, and militarily the most powerful state in Europe. Prussia had defeated France and Austria already before unifying. Besides, nationalism was strong in the Germanic states before Bismarck's wars, he simply recognized it. It's highly possible the kaiser would have recognized it after 1890 as well, and also unified Germany.

They weren't 'mismanaged'. Rather they were ill-conceived. It was simply illogical to expect they could withstand the rivalries of imperialism.

Maybe. Who knows? I believe American education does lag somewhat in areas such as history and geography. Personally, I don't think most American students have a strong knowledge in those areas, but I don't think most European students do either. I don't think students these days as a whole care enough about the humanities courses, and I believe this is true everywhere, but most students generally feel those courses are distractions from their career goals in school.

And 'holilistic' must be your new word. Twice in one thread. You must have finally grown bored with 'juche'.

8. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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Well shady people get elected because almost nothing but shady people are the ones to be voted for. This isn’t really a democracy but rather a coporate oligarchy. Money buys everything. People buy their way to run for President and surely they can buy their votes to be elected President as well. There’s no real voter ignorance because Bush and Kerry aren’t really different as they’re basically on the same agenda. The rich get voted in and they continue to rule and there’s not much we can do about it unless we revolt.

And my comment about not caring about the little guy was sarcasm. It’s not that I don’t care about the little guy, it’s just hard to keep up on the politics of every single country. So unless those smaller countries or you guys up in Scandanavia come out of your shells and do something internationally significant, then I most likely won’t know about it and it’s not due to lack of caring. It’s bad enough having to keep up on 50 states, let alone other countries. Just being current on our state news is equal to all of Europe knowing every single thing about every single country there, plus six other international countries. So sorry if after working 55 hours a week and catching up on the news of 50 states that I don’t have the time to know everything about everyone other than the powerhouse international countries. You most likely don’t know what’s going on in the states here other than what our President and few cabinet members do internationally so it’s no biggie. It’s an equal exchange in so-called ignorance. There’s just too much politics from too many states and countries for all of us average citizens worldwide to know what we’re all doing.

I don’t mean a bigger country due to just landmass as with Canada because Canada isn’t divided up into as many areas as the U.S. is. Remember what the U.S. means, United States. We’re basically a bunch of united states/countries as the European Union will turn into. Having to know as much about America such as our neighboring states is like Europeans knowing as much as every single country in Europe, their neighboring countries. We don’t act as if there isn’t a world outside the U.S. or that the U.S. is the world, it’s just that it’s hard as hell to keep up with everything outside the U.S. Just having to keep up on the news about ourselves is like you guys keeping up with every single country in Europe. They have their 44 or so countries and we have our 50 states/countries. So once we finally keep up on all that darn news of our 50 states/countries, then we can finally start chipping away at learning about other countries. It’s easy for Europeans because you’re small countries so your knowledge about yourselves is barely keeping on par to us knowing just about ourselves.

So when they compare knowing a lot about their “international neighbors”, it’s really not that much to brag about. Just as I may make some general region opinions on the European Union as a whole, you make general opinions about the U.S. as a whole. I may not pay attention to every single countries politics in Europe, just as you may not pay attention to every single state politics here in the U.S. For the major states you know of here, I know the same in regards to the same major countries in the EU. You don’t know what happened in the states/countries today of South Dakota, Alabama, Kentucky, and Oregon just as I sure as heck don’t know what happened in Norway, Luxemburg, Estonia, or Romania. Not much of a difference in “ignorance”, really, but you don’t see me calling you guys ignorant.

Now if you guys happen to know all the leaders names and politics of every country in say Africa or Indonesia, then that’s something to brag about as that’s some real “international” stuff. But I doubt you guys know everything about every country in those regions just as I don’t. I pay attention to those regions as a whole just as you guys probably do other than the more important countries in those regions. It’s not about “self-interest”, it’s just about what goes on. Those more important countries (“players”) do more stuff that affects the international community as opposed to thet smaller ones that stay quiet and keep to themselves so we know more about them as opposed to all of the countries there. I can tell you what’s going on in Korea or Thailand for example, but I don’t know what the heck is going on in Mongolia, Laos, or Borneo as they don’t have a huge impact on the world. If they keep to themselves and remain quiet, how is the average person going to hear about them? Surely you should see the difference and it has nothing to do about just caring about the players and not the world. If you think otherwise, here’s a big F-U. Oh, sorry for my crude Americanism. You see, when constantly under fire about things which so-called intellectual and caring finger-pointing people such as yourself cannot put into proper perspective, we start to no longer give a damn.

I defined it. I compared our states to being equal to countries in Europe. Canada isn’t divided up like those two areas are. And as far as knowing more about an area on whole, that’s rubbish. Both sides are equal. The only reason why the EU would know about the US as a whole is because we have few leaders (when counting the president and their cabinet and such, not governors, etc) in charge of us internationally as a whole. Now if you guys became the European Union and had as little leaders as we do, we’d know as much about you as a whole too. Nobody can say what the EU is doing as a whole because each country is doing their own thing. Just a quick example is the war with UK being with us but France against us. How can we say what you’re doing as a whole when all your views are conflicting? That’d be like saying how California does this and that but New York does something else. Internationally, our states aren’t divided and can’t do their own little things as we’re united and do things as a whole, even if half of the U.S. may be against something due to lovely politics.

If you wanna claim superiority when it comes to knowing things as a whole, that’s just pure false as when it comes to the U.S. vs the EU, you can’t compare the two since the EU isn’t yet united, and when it comes to places outside the U.S. and EU, we’re just the same since we both seem to bunch areas up as a whole. I was just called a self-interested person by dividing up areas around the world into regions and only paying attention to them holistically too as opposed to knowing about every single country, especially the little guys. If I’m being called ignorant and selfish for doing that, you guys are just the same then. I guess we’re all just simple-viewed holistic bastards.

Isn’t that how it is and has always been here though? Democracy is just a word and system said to blind us lowly peons into thinking we’re free when we’re not. The rich people are in charge and have always been in charge since the end of WWII when capitalism took over. The richest and most sly person always gets their way, regardless of what the people may think or say, assuming the rich people’s propoganda hasn’t had an easy effect on them.

- N

9. ### top moskerAriloulaleelayRegistered Senior Member

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Einstein was a postal worker.

The point is, sometimes, smart people get more out of being down and out than always on top.

10. ### LavaLet discovery flowRegistered Senior Member

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Obviously they get less out of it, which is exactly why only a small minority of them choose to deliver post, collect garbage, etc.

Lava

11. ### GodlessObjectivist MindRegistered Senior Member

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4,197
No need to hijack a thread for this one; It just goes along with the title of the thread "Ingnorant Americans"; The dipshits of Congress sign thier own death warrants: Congress passes `doomsday' plan

Yea, yea, it's just for the worst case scenario; however I've been reading this one a week after 9-11 in conspiracy theories websites!. thus rendering one of many theories to become "reality"!.

Godless.

12. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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Is it just me or does this give incentive for those "lawmakers" to want Capitol Hill or somewhere else so the people of Congress die thus usurping power unconstitutionally? I mean hey, since the people of America didn't choose those to be in charge if a disaster happens, who knows who those people really are. Sorry, but with the way things seem to be getting crappier and scarier, I wouldn't doubt someone wanting that to happen. Bush 'n Co. seems to want to take away our constitutional freedoms so this seems like the next huge step.

- N

13. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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I agree for the most part, although I don't think it is fair to see Wilson 'cowered to French and British interests'.

He wasn’t able to really do anything of significance, I mean the Brits and French were annoyed with his pretentiousness of democracy, and self-determination of states while these two “Great” Empires were there to just hand out another imperial fantasy of a peace treaty. He was not able to effectively use the carrot and stick here; he didn’t really tell the Europeans that he had their economic future in their hands through the debts. He wasn’t able to get any of the 14 points through, and was largely impotent. I read Paris 1919 and he began as a ray of hope and ended as a large failure.

I may have misunderstood, but again, I think you are wrong. Roosevelt was the first to project US power internationally.

No way is that true and you know it…The Americans went to Japan in the 1850’s that was the most the real first international move of real significance for the United States, the US first “gun-boat” policy team. Roosevelt’s waltz in Venezuela is linked to the Panama canal project and could hardly be called a “projection of power”.

Germany was neither Japan nor Britain, and he was doing much more than posturing about Venezuela. He was serious about enforcing the Monroe Doctrine.

I don’t see the logic in this statement, firstly it’s hard to understand, secondly I never mentioned Venezuela so why state that I am talking about “posturing about Venezuela”?

2. "Secondly no one was really scared of the American navy"

Firstly I didn’t even mention the Germans, secondly the British were not scared about the American fleet sure the American fleet could have caused the British some damage, but the experience and expertise of the British navy against the novice American navy would have surely won the day. The Japanese in turn also had proven their worth twice against the Chinese at the Battle of Yalu in 1895 which the Chinese had a far superior force, and the Russians in 1905 again with a technically superior force.

He had little influence, yes, although even as a civilian he was an influential voice in the country, and he was a leading warhawk from 1914 until the time the US entered the war.

Jingoistic Rhetoric means nothing to history…

As president he had been influential in briging the US onto the world stage.

He was a president who had limitedly flex the American muscles and at that vis-à-vis weak, unstable Latin American states. I wouldn’t call that putting the US on the world stage; I think the 1898 war against Spain was significantly more important, if anything Roosevelt was nothing but a continuation.

Yes, he consolidated Germany, but that in itself did not lead to war.

It lead to it being a world war, it lead to it being a world power, it lead to an arms race, it lead to the race for empire, etc. Without a German consolidation the war btwn Austria and Serbia would have been the 3rd Balkan war…not a world war.

Americans have no more need of knowing Bismarck to understand the history of the 20th century as Europeans need to know Roosevelt to understand the same history.

Of course that’s foolish…Bismarck again was the stalwart statesman of the 19th century, who created a empire out of the heap of the broken Holy Roman Empire, and within 30 years was able to directly challenge the power of Britain…no small feat. What did Roosevelt do that even comes close to that record? Name me any other statesman who comes close to that save Stalin…

Even if Germany had not consolidated under Bismarck, when war broke out between Austria and Russia, which it would have regardless of what Bismarck did between 1864-1871, Prussia would have allied with Austria, and the other Germanic states would almost certainly have been in that alliance.

Pure speculation, firstly why would Russia necessarily go to war with Austria if the alliance systems were largely a Bismarckian machination? Even assuming war did occur btwn the two states, it would not have created a western front, it be just another war btwn the “civilized” world and the “barbarians”. Prussia was not a fan of Austria firstly because it challenged her authority in “Germany”, and if anything the Prussians may have even supported Russia.

But he wasn't irrelevant to history, regardless of your attempt to make him so.

I didn’t state in the most unequivocal sense that he was totally and completely irrelevant, what I am saying is that in a global sense his influence was too limited, and irrelevant. He was a major figure in the US…ok…but we aren’t talking local history.

Come on now. You can't believe that.

The Kaiser would still be fundamentally the weakest major European state without Bismarck.

Even if Bismarck had not unified the Germanic states, the kaiser would have been head of Prussia, by far the most powerful of the Germanic states, and militarily the most powerful state in Europe.

The most what? Ok that’s a bit absurd…yes Prussia had an amazing army, but lacked in manpower, and industry compared to France. Without the Ruhr valley which was bordering France Germany would be much weaker state.

Which was I believe facilitated by Bismarck…look at a map of Prussia prior to Bismarck…

Besides, nationalism was strong in the Germanic states before Bismarck's wars, he simply recognized it.

Nationalisms…not nationalism…if it were one nationalistic feeling why the struggle btwn Austria and Prussia?

And 'holilistic' must be your new word. Twice in one thread. You must have finally grown bored with 'juche'.

I still use Juche…as shown by my name…its just that most ppl don’t understand the significance of the term. Holistic is not my new word…my new word is: I.

14. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

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I defined it.

No you didn’t actually it was convoluted at best because it did not speicify exactly “large” is…population, land mass, economy…etc?

I compared our states to being equal to countries in Europe. Canada isn’t divided up like those two areas are.

We have provinces and territories, many ppl in Ontario don’t know anything about Labrador, we know it exists. Meanwhile they know pretty much everything about Ontario. What I find very interesting about the relationship btwn Canada and the US, is that Americans have no clue about Canada but we know oh so much about you. In every country regardless of size there are predominate areas of economy, and politics, as a result I don’t but this “large” concept.

The only reason why the EU would know about the US as a whole is because we have few leaders

Ok already you are getting on a tangent here, who said anything about this being an exclusively American exercise in intelligence? I would vouch that Europeans have a more intimate knowledge of much of world for a couple of reasons:

1. Imperialism: the experience of colonizing and bringing back goods from their former colonies exposed them to other cultures.
2. History: Europeans have had a much more tremulous history then the US in terms of wars, and Europeans have to know thine enemy.
3. Proximity: Europe is at the crossroads of empire, its close to the Middle East and has a much better grasp of the situation, it has experienced imperial rule from Islamic, to Russians, and has a much better grasp of history, and cultures.

America has none of those things, America is a baby compared to Europe, 60 years of American hegemony means little compared to Europe’s hegemony. American’s conception of themselves as the best at everything makes them feel that since everyone is inferior to the American, and “our” way of life they should learn about us not visa versa. The Europeans weren’t so obtuse, they understood that learning the local culture, language, and customs leads to successful empire. One of the reasons the British were able to stay in India was so long was because the British understood Indian culture, so American culture is so “exceptionalist” Americans feel as if others have to conform to them or else…this is one of the principle reasons why the US is losing Iraq and the “war on terror”.

Nobody can say what the EU is doing as a whole because each country is doing their own thing. Just a quick example is the war with UK being with us but France against us. How can we say what you’re doing as a whole when all your views are conflicting? That’d be like saying how California does this and that but New York does something else. Internationally, our states aren’t divided and can’t do their own little things as we’re united and do things as a whole, even if half of the U.S. may be against something due to lovely politics.

I don’t see the relevance of this to the conversation at all…

If you wanna claim superiority when it comes to knowing things as a whole, that’s just pure false as when it comes to the U.S. vs the EU, you can’t compare the two since the EU isn’t yet united, and when it comes to places outside the U.S. and EU, we’re just the same since we both seem to bunch areas up as a whole.

Firstly once the EU adopts her constitution its pretty much united, and that should be this year. Secondly I can compare the EU with the US, because like the US they have an economy almost the exact same size, pretty much the same living standards, and like the US, Brussels (like Washington) subsides the poor states, let’s just say Nebraska meet Slovakia.

I was just called a self-interested person by dividing up areas around the world into regions and only paying attention to them holistically too as opposed to knowing about every single country, especially the little guys.

I am from one the little guys you mentioned, and not only is it offensive, but ignorant.

If I’m being called ignorant and selfish for doing that, you guys are just the same then. I guess we’re all just simple-viewed holistic bastards.
Sorry…but you don’t have the right to talk about anyone but yourself.

15. ### BlueMooseGuest

NEILDO, thanx for reply. Good post.

16. ### LavaLet discovery flowRegistered Senior Member

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156
American?s conception of themselves as the best at everything

Yes, I've noticed this too, and its patently wrong. There seems to be this assumption standard in the US that the american way of doing whatever it is is the best.

Where America does win is:
1. with natural resources per head
2. With its constitution

But to think the rest is simply wrong.

Newborn deaths per 1000: US apx 6 per 1000, UK apx 4 per 1000.
Annual deaths from electrical wiring: US I dont recall, but thousands per annum. UK: ditto unfortunately! but somthing like 30.
School achievements: Finland knocks the stuffing out of US.
etc etc etc

If you mericans got past your own ignorant arrogant views you could learn the lessons that other countries have, follow suit, and do much better for it. Its there for you if you'll stop and look.

Lava

17. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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Since you love to bring up Canada, when my "large" comparison was between the U.S. and European countries, I'll say that Canada is the smartest of all countries and knows everyone about everyone just so I can omit them from the comparison since I wasn't originally talking about them.

No matter what you say, there can be absolutely no comparison between single European countries and the United States in regards to how much politics and stuff that has to be learned about their own selves before finally being able to learn about others. France is around the size of Texas, which isn’t all of the United States. So if a Texan decided to only care about their own state and no other states in the U.S., then they’d be able to learn a heck of a lot about other countries such as France gets to do. Now if France was the size, had the population of, and had the amount of territories as the United States, then I can guarantee they’d know less about their neighbors because of the overwhelming about of politics that happens just in their own country.

Like I said, the amount of politics between your 44 countries in Europe is like the amount of politics in our 50 states of the U.S. I don’t know how many times I have to repeat that or slightly change the wording to get you to understand that. It’s absolutely true so there can be made no comparison between the U.S. and Europe. It’s pretty simple. Small countries = less news about themselves which means more time to learn about other countries. U.S. is the size of Europe each with more states than all of the countries in Europe. Each U.S. state = each European country. Therefore the U.S. politics = that of all of Europe. If just knowing the politics of 44 European countries means they’re somehow smarter than others, than the U.S. of knowing the politics of 50 states is greater. But I’m not here trying to make bragging rights or claim one is better than the other unlike you arrogant guys are trying to do.

That’s really relevant. You’re claiming that Europeans can know more about the U.S. holistically than the U.S. of Europe which somehow makes them smarter than Americans. The only reason why you can know more about the U.S. as a whole is because it’s pretty simple. Of our 50 states/mini countries, we only have a couple leaders that speak as a whole for all 50 states/mini countries. One cannot know what Europe is doing as a whole because they each have their own leaders for each 44 countries that do not all act in unison as the United States does. For a quick comparison sake, to know what the U.S. is doing as a whole, let’s say you only have to know what three decision makers are doing, now for Europe we’d have to multiply those three people by 44 countries which is 132 people compared to 3. And again, since each European country can acts individually as opposed to acting as a whole, you will have differing actions and opinions that clash with one another. How can one make a general holistic opinion of what the European Union is doing when they’re not all acting as a whole? As a quick example again, if the UK is with us on the war in Iraq yet France isn’t, what holistic opinion should I make about the EU when those two country viewpoints clash? Simple, you can’t because you’re not acting as a united whole as we are.

The reason why you can’t compare the EU to the U.S. is because you said you can talk about the U.S. as a whole. How can you compare the two when the EU doesn’t act in unison which makes us unable to talk about the EU as a whole? That’s a pretty one-sided comparison. You can’t say that you’re smart because you know about us as a whole since we do act as a whole yet say we’re stupid for not knowing about the EU as a whole when you don’t act as a whole. Now if the EU did act as a whole as the United States, then finally you could make the comparison of knowing each areas politics and all that stuff.

If a European says we’re ignorant about not knowing the politics of every single country in Europe, then they’re just as ignorant for not knowing about every single state in the United States. We have states that are more populated and pull in more wealth than some of your countries! Our states are practically mini-countries so just keeping up on the politics of those states is like keeping up on a whole country. If you want to do a comparison in knowledge without counting the United States as one country to make things weighted and biased in your argument, the results will be pretty even. The amount of politics between 50 states/mini countries of the U.S. vs the amount of politics between 44 countries in Europe. Either count them each like that or count the U.S. and EU each as one country. I just wish I could count the EU as one country, but you guys don’t act united as you’re all able to have your own international agendas which our states aren’t able to

My, what a hypocrit! So you can group up countries into regions and say you know a lot about them as a whole, yet when I mention that’s how I do it too, I’m called a person that cares only about the powerplayers, about myself, and not the little guys? Hi pot, meet the kettle. I admire your knowledge, have respect for you and all that, but damn dude, don’t be such a hypocritical, pompous ass.

- N

18. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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And this is another problem I have that I mentioned earlier. Someone generalizing all Americans when they should be only spitting the flame towards our government.

As I said, we're not really a democracy. We don't get to make our own rules so we cannot learn the lessons and follow the suit of the greater countries in various areas. That's all left up to our darn politicians to create those laws. The only "choice" we have (assuming voter fraud and all that doesn't sway results which just means the politicians chose our choice for us) is voting for or against a law in which a politician comes up with which means we don't really have a very good selection on things. So once their crappy proposal gets rejected, we then have to wait years for another crappy proposal to be brought up.

Until a *politician* actually "gets it" correct, then finally we can follow suit of those other countries. The American people just get to wait around until those politicians that just don't get it finally end their term and hope that one that does "get it" gets elected.

There's been plenty of politicians that "get it" who have run for various official positions, but the thing is, they usually don't get elected because their views are deemed too radical and too big of a change by the higher ups. God forbid that in one aspect we take on a characteristic of a European country as opposed to coming up with the idea all ourselves. Money buys everything and unfortunately it's the bad ones that don't "get it" that have all the money so they just continue to reign over us. Powerful democractic votes? Ha! Let's see, do we vote for bad guy #1 or bad guy #2? Real democracy there, eh?

That's usually the only voting we get to do anyways. When it comes to the more important things, it's the damned senate that get to vote on them and we all know how corrupt they are and other lame proposals they make and pass. No Child Left Behind? I sure didn't get a chance to vote against that piece of crap, heh. The Patriot Act? I'm not stupid enough to vote away my freedoms. The Iraq War? I wasn't able to vote against that horrible mistake. All the important things you may have in mind that the U.S. needs to follow step of a European country and do, the American people don't get to vote for it, but the higher ups do.

So please, at least be a bit more specific and direct your disdain towards our government and not the American people. The people are pretty stupid in thinking how powerful their "democracy" is, I'll at least give anyone that point, but they really are weak and have little say in the important matters that you guys seem to hate so much about.

And when Americans in other countries get spit on or are shown other forms or ungodly rudeness all because they hate the actions of the American government, that's overboard. If that were me, I'd knock those dumbasses flat on their ass. You may hear people saying how they dislike France due to some of their disagreements with us (which I don't blame the disagreements), but if a French person, or someone from any foreign country, asks for help and mentions where they're from, in no way would a person hold a grudge against them. You'd see people being helpful and highly interested in them because we're suckers for foreigners. Quiet a difference in attitude, yet our people (not government) are the bastards?

- N

19. ### LavaLet discovery flowRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
156
Neildo:
> If a European says we?re ignorant about not knowing the politics of every single country in Europe, then they?re just as ignorant for not knowing about every single state in the United States.

Very true. But theres something else to it, something I'm trying to get clearer in my own mind. Its that rather unrealistic assumption that any country that does different does it because theyre more backward, when really thats demonstrably not the case, time after time.

I guess over here we treat foreign cultures with more respect, we appreciate that there are reasons why they've chosen to do things the way they do, and that the issues and best solutions are gonig to be different in each place.

I'll respond to your other good post if I get time later.

Lava

20. ### LavaLet discovery flowRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
156
I broadly agree with some of your reservations about the way the US is run, but other countries are no different in that respect, the comparison is equal.

The fact remains that America's medical system, as an example, has become an undemocratic rip off closed shop system, and it is reflected in the number of people unable to access important treatment, and the needlessly high infant mortality rates. And the fact remains, you the people arent doing a whole lot about it. Many are dying because of it, its very sad. And the reason the people are doing nothing is that very few have even got as far as realising that your system is not the best. The 'merican people arent even at base camp on this.

Of course that isnt the exclusive privilege of Americans. I guess Winston Churchill was right on one thing: Democracy is a terrible system, until you think of all the others.

> There's been plenty of politicians that "get it" who have run for various official positions, but the thing is, they usually don't get elected because their views are deemed too radical and too big of a change by the higher ups.

Yes, many solutions are rejected because they mean change. The trouble with change is that those that see it as good are relatively apathtic, while those against it are very vigorous and vociferous as a whole.

We have real solutions to all sorts of ills, but the people will not vote them in, as the people as a whole are not really solution oriented, rather they are primarily against any change.

Lava

21. ### SpykeRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,006
I already agreed that he failed to achieve most of his goals at Versailles. I simply said it was wrong to say he 'cowered', and nothing you just said refuted that.

We were talking about the first 20th century/modern president to project power. You said Wilson. I showed you it was Roosevelt. If we're going back prior to the 20th century I could point to Jefferson's Barbary wars as the first true projection of US power, but the point was the projection of power towards becoming a modern international power.

Wrong again. Telling Germany to either arbitrate or face Dewey's fleet was indeed a projection of power. And the kaiser agreed to arbitration, so he obviously took it seriously.

Simple. You said Roosevelt's aggressive display of his navy was simply posturing towards Japan, and maybe Britain. I pointed out that threatening the Germans with the intevention of Dewey's fleet off of Venezeula to keep the Germans from landing troops there (which Roosevelt feared would be a permanent move) was posturing expressly for the Germans. Not Japan. Not Britain.

You said "no one was really scared of the American navy", which by implication also means 'everyone was not scared...', which would include the Germans. Since it was the German navy off the coast of Venezuela that Roosevelt threatened, how the two stack up is relevant. And Dewey would have smashed the Germans.

Roosevelt wasn't posturing against the British, so it's pointless to even discuss this. No one questions the Royal Navy's total dominance of the seas in that period. Besides, relations were very good between the British and Americans at this time. And yes, the Japanese navy had proven itself a force to be reckoned with, but the Russians did not have a technically superior force. They had a numerically superior force at Tsushima, but the Japanese had a much more modern British designed and built fleet, with superior speed and fire range. Plus, they knew the Russian Baltic Fleet was coming and got the position to cross the Russian 'T'. They destroyed the Russian Pacific fleet because they launched a surprise attack with torpedo boats in Port Arthur harbor, damaging many of the Russians at anchor. Others were further damaged by Japanese artillery as Japanese land forces closed in on the port, until the czar finally ordered them to sea, where what was left was the either destroyed by the Japanese, or scuttled themselves. But like the Americans, both were rapidly increasing their dreadnought navies by 1905, and both navies had fairly recent battle experience.

We come back to his posturing against Germany over Venezuela. And so you aren't confused this time, he...was...posturing...against...Germany...not
...Venezuela...so...let's...not...confuse...that...again...as...posturing...
against...a...weak...unstable...Latin...American...state. Comprende?

Absurd. Russia, following the Balkan Wars, was committed to aiding Serbia. France had it's alliance with Russia. Even if there was no modern Germany, but still simply Prussia and the collection of Germanic states under the lose parliament of the Conference of Vienna (which basically established the loose parliament under Austrian auspices), they all still viewed France as a common enemy, not to mention Berlin, like Vienna, viewed Russia as a major threat to its interests. It would be wrong to assume that as Russia intervened on behalf of Serbia, that the rest of Europe would not have been sucked in.

He didn't create an empire. He created a state. He made a powerful kingdom even more powerful. He created a state because he recognized the potency of rising German nationalism (the German peoples had recognized such potential in a unifed France), and he understood that they were going to gravitate to either Vienna or Berlin. And he also recognized that the Austrian empire was gathering dust and was weak, and the time was right. And he deserves credit for that. He was a superb chancellor. But that's still not important for an American to have an understanding of WW1.

It's not speculation. Russia had made it clear it would defend Serbia. The Germanic states, even if not unified under Bismarck, would have fought with Austria against Russia because they were tied to Austria via the Conference of Vienna. Which would have brought France into the war because of her alliance with Russia, and so on and so on.

Prussia would not have supported Russia over Austria. Under any circumstance. Remember, Bismarck, during the war with Austria in 1866, was insistent that the war be limited so as not to risk weakening the Austrians too much, which he feared would strengthen Russia, the real threat.

That's just silly.

And with that amazing army, Wilhelm could have also done what Bismarck did between 1864-1871.

I know what a map prior to unification looked like. Doesn't alter what I said.

It was 'nationalism'. The question was 'was the loyalty going to be to Berlin or Vienna'? It was important to establish that the power lay in Berlin.

22. ### UndecidedBannedBanned

Messages:
4,731
I already agreed that he failed to achieve most of his goals at Versailles. I simply said it was wrong to say he 'cowered', and nothing you just said refuted that.

I don't have the book on me right now, but if I believe one example would be the German reperations issue. Reading the book it seemed pretty obvious the Wilson did not have the personality to confront the European leaders, and they didn't really take him all to seriously.

We were talking about the first 20th century/modern president to project power. You said Wilson. I showed you it was Roosevelt.

Power is a subjective term to be sure, but I asserting that projecting power in Central America is not really projecting anything other then imperialism against defenceless states, and early regime change. Wilson was the first imo to really use American power in any meaningful way.

Wrong again. Telling Germany to either arbitrate or face Dewey's fleet was indeed a projection of power. And the kaiser agreed to arbitration, so he obviously took it seriously.

Ok from what I read about the subject (there is little on it), the British as well as the Germans were blockcading Venezuelan ports. Now about the Germans, there have to questions about why they cowered. I think the main reason why the Germans didn't confront the US was not because the Germans nessecarily feared the Americans, but rather must have asked themselves what's the point of getting in a war with the US to collect a couple of bills. He obviouslly nothing...we don't know why the Kaiser ultimately gave up. I think it was the fear of starting a war that wasn't worth its weight in gold.

Simple. You said Roosevelt's aggressive display of his navy was simply posturing towards Japan, and maybe Britain. I pointed out that threatening the Germans with the intevention of Dewey's fleet off of Venezeula to keep the Germans from landing troops there (which Roosevelt feared would be a permanent move) was posturing expressly for the Germans. Not Japan. Not Britain.

At the time when I wrote that statement there was no mention of Venezuela, I presumed what you were talking about was the naval expansion of the American fleet, that was surely not targeted towards Germany.

Since it was the German navy off the coast of Venezuela that Roosevelt threatened, how the two stack up is relevant. And Dewey would have smashed the Germans.

Firslty that's pretty obvious because i doubt the Germans at the time had the naval capability in the region to really confront the US. I don't know the composition of the German fleet in Venezuela but obviously smaller then that of the US which was just across the Carribean. Of course the Americans were at a comparative advantage vis-a-vis Germany should American ships been in the Baltic I think we would be singing a different tune. Like I said no one was really scared of the US navy, what I mean by that is that in a Battle of Jutland situation the Germans would have raped the Americans in 1914, they were able to keep the Brits at bay.

And yes, the Japanese navy had proven itself a force to be reckoned with, but the Russians did not have a technically superior force. They had a numerically superior force at Tsushima, but the Japanese had a much more modern British designed and built fleet, with superior speed and fire range.

I agree with that but in sheer firepower the Russians were still superior, the Russians lost against Japan for many reasons, one major reason was fatigue, the Russian fleet had to go all the way from Petrograd to Vladivostok past the Cape of Good Hope! That is one long ride to say the least, and the Russians had continous problems with maintence, like the situation in Venezuela the Russians were out of their element, while the Japanese weren't, that was one of the defining characteristics of the battle. The Japanese did have British made ships, and that did make much of the difference, and the Japanese were better organized, and in true Japanese fashion obedient.

We come back to his posturing against Germany over Venezuela. And so you aren't confused this time, he...was...posturing...against...Germany...not
...Venezuela...so...let's...not...confuse...that...again...as...posturing...
against...a...weak...unstable...Latin...American...state. Comprende?

I am offended by the tone first off...secondly I am offended by the inability for you to understand what I am articulating, what I meeant by weak latin states was the American's manipulation of Colombia, Venezuela wasn't even on my mind.

Absurd. Russia, following the Balkan Wars, was committed to aiding Serbia. France had it's alliance with Russia.

Would that alliance be nessecary pre-Bismarck no...if anything Russia and France were enemies prior to Bismarck, lets not forget that we are talking about a pre-Bismarckian world here. Firstly the holy alliance btwn Prussia, Russia, and Austria was against the liberalism of France, what would make you think that this would change without Bismarck? France allied itself with Russia to counter the unified German states...so no you got it wrong.

It would be wrong to assume that as Russia intervened on behalf of Serbia, that the rest of Europe would not have been sucked in.

I assert it wouldn't have been a pan European war, the reasoning you presented is counter to pre-Bismarckian realities.

He didn't create an empire.

So I guess the term "Reich" means nothing?

He was a superb chancellor. But that's still not important for an American to have an understanding of WW1.

Again of course it is because it sets the foundations of WWI...that war would have not happened without Bismarck, you constantly forget the influence of 1871, and how that was the prime reason for a western front, and a belligerent France.

It's not speculation. Russia had made it clear it would defend Serbia. The Germanic states, even if not unified under Bismarck, would have fought with Austria against Russia because they were tied to Austria via the Conference of Vienna. Which would have brought France into the war because of her alliance with Russia, and so on and so on.

The Germanic states were fundametally weak, I doubt the Germans would be able to co-ordinate with each other against a stronger Russia. Secondly you are again going on assumptions based on a Bismarckian European system alas the Franco-Russo alliance.

Prussia would not have supported Russia over Austria. Under any circumstance. Remember, Bismarck, during the war with Austria in 1866, was insistent that the war be limited so as not to risk weakening the Austrians too much, which he feared would strengthen Russia, the real threat.

Again Bismarck...I am not talking about Bismarck...this is what this conversation is about. Like I said, the Prussians without Bismarck would have probably supported Russia, or would have been neutral because it was in their interests to have a weaker Austria.

That's just silly.

Granted more powerful then Portugal, but I meant as in major European state.

And with that amazing army, Wilhelm could have also done what Bismarck did between 1864-1871.

I doubt he had the intellectual capability to do it...

I know what a map prior to unification looked like. Doesn't alter what I said.

http://www.zum.de/whkmla/histatlas/germany/ger1815.gif

I doubt that could have seriously confronted France in 1871...we know it didn't with Napoleon.

It was 'nationalism'. The question was 'was the loyalty going to be to Berlin or Vienna'? It was important to establish that the power lay in Berlin

Exactly nationalisms...Berlin, and Vienna are very different places.

23. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
5,306
Well, if you have any ideas about what we should do, I'm all ears. You'll also become filthy rich if you find out the magic way of making this all happen, economically and morally.