Opportunities for self-development, self-education, "growing" independent mind are abundant in the USA (I can claim that with certainty. I've tasted several worlds in that regard). However, the average American Joe takes the minimum out of them. Instead, he prefers to be close-minded, to have minimum knowledge of surrounding world, to create simple illusion of the certain black-white world where USA is #1 do gooder, and #1 period.... Add there incessant flag waving, ribbon buying (? instead of helping to the children of KIA), goose stepping, blindly following. I think having such an average citizen is a dream of every totalitarian government. However, Soviets did not manage to brainwash populace that much. The only thing soviets "achieved" was that nobody took a single government word seriously. Democratic, free (relatively) USA, did brainwashing (intentional or not) with flying colors. Is it just common lazy human nature or there are some other powers at work?