Saturday, October 20, 2007
America is NOT a cultural Imperialist!
I found myself pondering something in my philosophy class(the fruits of which will be seen with increasing regularity here, no doubt). While we were debating whether America is a cultural imperialist or not, I put forth that our system, and our country, were the best in the world. One of my classmates sneered, with no mean amount of derision, “So, our system is perfect?” My first impulse was to say, “No, of course it isn’t.” He answered with an emphatic, “No, it is not!”
I wish to amend my answer.
In the first place, my contention was not that our system was perfect, but that it was the best. Since when is perfection the litmus test for superiority? And secondly, which ought, perhaps, to have come first, our system is perfect. It was founded by God, upon principles that are eternal and immutable. The system is perfect. It is run, alas, by people, who are not, and never shall be. The fact that we execute the system imperfectly is not a poor reflection on the perfection of the concepts, but upon the perfection of our capabilities.
My country is not a cultural imperialist. We are a market society. We offer goods, services and ideas. There is no requirement to buy what we sell, on any level. If people are buying, however, and their ruling bodies don’t like it, they (the rulers) need to take it up with their citizens. We are not under any imperative to NOT share our culture. And, along those lines, why do so many Americans feel that everyone has a right to violently defend their cultures, EXCEPT US? Everyone in the world is entitled to their own beliefs, except Americans. We have to believe in everyone but ourselves. Otherwise we are charcterized as arrogant, domineering and imperialistic; forcing our views on the rest of the world. Poor, innocent, defenseless world at the mercy of big, mean, dumb America. PLEASE!
How long do people think we can be “one nation” with that attitude? And, more terrifyingly, what if that's why they're doing this? They don’t want to be one nation? What then? What do they seriously think will happen to all their freedoms when they get the nation they're trying so hard to build? They're going to find that the world they've built has no place for them. They will have fought hard to achieve self-annihilation. What really scares me is that I think some of them know that. And they're doing it anyway.