REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Exploring Anti-Americanism

POSTED BY: KHYRON
UPDATED: Sunday, April 29, 2007 17:01
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 8046
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Thursday, April 26, 2007 3:45 AM

KHYRON



Thought some of you might find this interesting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6547881.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/6592479.stm



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:39 AM

DEEPGIRL187


This was really fascinating, Khyron. I think that if people could open a polite and thoughtful discourse about the subject, maybe America could improve relations with other countries and vice versa.

*************************************************

"If you want to win a war, you must serve no master but your ambition."


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Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:45 AM

OLDENGLANDDRY


I'm not sure if I would say that is is sad but it is certainly true that most of America still does'nt realise just how much their nation is vilified by people in supposedly "friendly" countries all over the world.
I live in a relitively small seaside-town on the east coast of England that happens to have a large foriegn -language school in it and almost all of the students that i host in my home from all over the world declare a dislike and even hatred of the USA. Most of them see you as war-mongering arogants who are out to bleed the world white.
So, how are you going to prove them wrong?
For myself, I only have to read some of the threads on this board to cause me to heave a sigh of resignation at your country's innevitable future.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:58 AM

FINN MAC CUMHAL


Quote:

Originally posted by oldenglanddry:
So, how are you going to prove them wrong?

For the most part, I consider it futile to prove bigots wrong. They will believe whatever they want to believe regardless of how rational it is. What can I do? And how much should I really care?



Nihil est incertius vulgo, nihil obscurius voluntate hominum, nihil fallacius ratione tota comitiorum.

Nothing is more unpredictable than the mob, nothing more obscure than public opinion, nothing more deceptive than the whole political system.

-- Cicero

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 6:02 AM

KHYRON


Quote:

Originally posted by oldenglanddry:
... almost all of the students that i host in my home from all over the world declare a dislike and even hatred of the USA. Most of them see you as war-mongering arogants who are out to bleed the world white.
So, how are you going to prove them wrong?

Don't feel like responding to your whole post, but some people can't be proven wrong because they're bigots, and some of those who unconditionally hate America certainly bear all the hallmarks of being just that. Hating America is an accepted and somewhat fashionable type of prejudice, and while anti-Americanism is certainly borne out of principle in many cases (with some justification), it's mostly so popular simply because it's just trendy. Sort of the lowest common denominator of political statement (some of those involved might even call it philosphical movement or principle). It's become the Myspace or Pop Idols of ideology.



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 6:19 AM

FLETCH2


I think it comes from the belief that you can't victimise the big guy, kinda the same logic that says you can insult the WASP male when insulting anyone else makes you a racist/sexist. I think there is a general feeling taht it's OK to insult America just because they are the big kid on the block. Oh and there is a big side helping of envy in there too.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 6:55 AM

AGENTROUKA


Going by my own purely subjective experience, I think there is a helping of disappointed admiration in there.

Growing up, TV America as portrayed in movies and tv shows (which are everywhere), tied to the role it played for Europe in WW2 and its glorified revolutionary past, seems to be the coolest thing ever, because it's a distorted fictional reality that no other country exports in this way. (Not saying that's a bad thing to do, just a fact.)

Then the more young people start actually paying attention to the world, its flaws start to emerge. They had slavery? They waged war of questionable justification? They make questionable choices now?

Never mind that every country has its flaws, America's become more apparent in how positive and all over the place it is presented in the media. The contrast, I think, makes people irrational, causing an overt rejection and vilification.

It's like a child rejecting a disappointing role model, I think, ignoring that a role model is just a projection upon a person.



But that's just my lowly theory regarding younger people.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:13 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


"to the kind of democracy that celebrates and encourages ordinariness"

Yes. that is America to a 'T'. But not just ordinariness - ignorance and small mindedness. Americans foster that, celebrate that, memorialize that. I mean, where else do you have people passing laws about teaching evolution? And what better place to look for the epitome of American values made whole than to dubya?

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took ...


I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.


So are Americans 'ugly' and hateful? You betcha - and by choice.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 7:53 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I think Webb ignores some very real facts about America that make it very likely that we WILL be hated. The first is that we spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. That, and our 800 military installations around the world make our military footprint large and very resented. In addition, our previous lock on international banking and the UN made it impossible for other people to be heard.

Webb also makes some blatantly inaccurate statements about supposed lack of European success. Germany in particular has been growing very quickly, and the Euro is rising relative to the dollar. (Good thing I invested in forex).

And most American are completely ignorant about the rest of the world, and about a science and technology as well. Most people think that the USA represents the highest order of civilization. They have no idea that many other nations are ahead of us on a number of key quality of life and economic indicators. (For example, new technology is never introduced into the USA- we're too backwards. It's usually introduced into Japan and Europe first.)



---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:23 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Oh. Yeah. And that. What he said.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:44 AM

MALBADINLATIN


Quote:

Originally posted by Fletch2:
I think it comes from the belief that you can't victimise the big guy, kinda the same logic that says you can insult the WASP male when insulting anyone else makes you a racist/sexist. I think there is a general feeling taht it's OK to insult America just because they are the big kid on the block. Oh and there is a big side helping of envy in there too.



Grandpa used to say "If you stick your head up above the crowd, somebodys' gonna throw a rock at it"

Now the French, they have always bad mouthed everyone because they think thier language, art, fashion, and cuisine is so much better.

Another saying from Grandpa that is relevant--- "People remember the bad things you do for much longer that the good things"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:02 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Yep, nothing like having a military presence everywhere to stick your head above the crowd. Also, mebbe we shuld stop "doing" so much, that way people will have neither the good nor the bad to remember!

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:33 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
So are Americans 'ugly' and hateful? You betcha - and by choice.



And we apparently generalize a lot.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:41 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


By your own example, I'd say so.

Not a snit fit or anything, I just thought your post was exquisitely ironic.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:46 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:


And we apparently generalize a lot.


Recognizing a problem is the first step towards fixing it. But seeing as most Americans drive instead of walk, that first step is usually avoided.

Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:48 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
I think Webb ignores some very real facts about America that make it very likely that we WILL be hated. The first is that we spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. That, and our 800 military installations around the world make our military footprint large and very resented. In addition, our previous lock on international banking and the UN made it impossible for other people to be heard.



The self-hatred appears to be another unique quality about America.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:50 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


What ??


SignyM cites facts and you cite ---- self-hatred? Where's the connection?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:52 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:

The self-hatred appears to be another unique quality about America.


Geez, if your dad treated your mom not-so-well, would you refrain from criticizing him for fear of sounding like a dad-hater?

Just curious Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:54 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
What ??


SignyM cites facts and you cite ---- self-hatred? Where's the connection?



That's what happens when someone is totally incapable of believing that they are anything but a perfect, shining example of what everyone else should be.

Reminds me of the parents who insist their kid is a perfect little angel, even after said little angel has rolled another kid for their lunch money.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:58 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
By your own example, I'd say so.

Not a snit fit or anything, I just thought your post was exquisitely ironic.



And your example, as well. And your post is equally ironic.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:02 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
By your own example, I'd say so.

Not a snit fit or anything, I just thought your post was exquisitely ironic.



Yep. your quote was an example of generalization as insult. No irony intended. I do like the conceit that you display in thinking you can describe all the 300 million people, with a multitude of backgrounds and beliefs, living in a country as big as all of Europe, as "ugly and hateful". Wow! A masterpiece of generalization indeed.


"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:02 AM

CAUSAL


One of Webb's points was that often protests over issues(e.g. against nuclear weapons) tend to focus on the American aspect of an issue (e.g. America's nuclear weapons). I think he has a point there. Many people have died as a result of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and there's a weekly protest over that on the campus of my university. But many people have also died in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the actions of the people we're fighting against; but there's no protest against, for instance, the Mahdi Army. I find that curious. Anybody care to comment?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:06 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
What ??


SignyM cites facts and you cite ---- self-hatred? Where's the connection?



That's what happens when someone is totally incapable of believing that they are anything but a perfect, shining example of what everyone else should be.

Reminds me of the parents who insist their kid is a perfect little angel, even after said little angel has rolled another kid for their lunch money.



Remember that rant about how we've divided ourselves into camps along political/ideological lines and how we don't even listen to each other any more? Yeah. That's what we're doing here.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:06 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

The self-hatred appears to be another unique quality about America
Only if you define "self" (ie America) as its worst qualities and then feel that you must defend them. My definition of America is about all the good things America represents, not our pervasive military presence and rank ignorance. So I'm allowed to criticize some of our bad qualities because I don't feel that's "us".

But I think Chris said it better than I did.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:13 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
My definition of America is about all the good things America represents, not our pervasive military presence and rank ignorance. So I'm allowed to criticize some of our bad qualities because I don't feel that's "us".



Four questions:

1) Is America's military bad as such?

2) Is America's military presence in other parts of the world bad as such?

3) What do you mean by "rank ignorance"?

4) What are the "good things"?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:13 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
but there's no protest against, for instance, the Mahdi Army. I find that curious. Anybody care to comment?


That's simply that we protest the "actions taken in our name as Americans" thing IMO.
For instance, I wouldn't have protested about what Hitler was doing to Jews, I'd just join the army to help stop it. But I would protest us NOT taking action against him.
Maybe that's over-simplifying it too much; I don't know. But I do feel the trendy-ness of the anti-american (militaristic) thing in my international-like college town. When things become trendy, and little knowledge is there to back up a position that is generally acceptable, that's when the trouble starts....

BAAAAA Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:17 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
but there's no protest against, for instance, the Mahdi Army. I find that curious. Anybody care to comment?


That's simply that we protest the "actions taken in our name as Americans" thing IMO.
For instance, I wouldn't have protested about what Hitler was doing to Jews, I'd just join the army to help stop it. But I would protest us NOT taking action against him.
Maybe that's over-simplifying it too much; I don't know. But I do feel the trendy-ness of the anti-american (militaristic) thing in my international-like college town. When things become trendy, and little knowledge is there to back up a position that is generally acceptable, that's when the trouble starts....



Yeah...one of the guy in my class proudly sports a "Support the Iraqi Resistance" banner on his MySpace page. Don't think he really knows what that means (and when pressed he just stammered)--I suspect he just thinks it's cool.

I get your point on the actions-taken-in-my name thing. But I'm thiking more internationally. If an American warplane intentionally dropped a bomb into a crowded market and killed 150 people, there'd be an international uproar. But just a couple of weeks ago, a car bomb exploded in a Baghdad market killing about that many. Where's the international outcry over that?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:20 AM

CHRISISALL



1) Is America's military bad as such?
NO

2) Is America's military presence in other parts of the world bad as such?
DEPENDS WHY WE'RE THERE

3) What do you mean by "rank ignorance"?
DEPENDENCE ON AMERICAN NETWORK TV FOR NEWS

4) What are the "good things"?
THE DESIRE FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE; THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS; THE PIONEER SPIRIT; THE MELTING POT OF DIVERSITY OUR COUNTRY GAINS STRENGTH FROM; APPLE PIE



My answers Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:22 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
4) What are the "good things"?
THE DESIRE FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE; THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS; THE PIONEER SPIRIT; THE MELTING POT OF DIVERSITY OUR COUNTRY GAINS STRENGTH FROM; APPLE PIE



Don't forget comic books!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:26 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


1) Is America's military bad as such?
NO. Our military is like most other developed-nation militaries, and better than most worldwide. On the average we don't rape, plunder or sack. I don't like the way "militaries" function or the uses to which they're put, but that's a general problem and not specific to us.

2) Is America's military presence in other parts of the world bad as such?
YES, for the most part. We have no good reason to be in so many places in the world.

3) What do you mean by "rank ignorance"? Most Americans are extremely insular about other places and cultures. Looking at some of our recent discussions about guns, violent crime, mental illness, incarceration rates etc it becomes very clear that most Americans think that the whole world is pretty much like America except where it's worse.

4) What are the "good things"?
Our value of freedom. It may have gotten lost in the shuffle lately, but it changed history.


---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:27 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:

Yeah...one of the guy in my class proudly sports a "Support the Iraqi Resistance" banner on his MySpace page.

Foolishness.
Quote:

But just a couple of weeks ago, a car bomb exploded in a Baghdad market killing about that many. Where's the international outcry over that?


Again, that wasn't the UK or the US perpertrating it, it was peeps from within their own country (wasn't it? Work is keeping me busy- my current events knowledge is a little limited past couple weeks...).

oh, the pain Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:32 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:


Don't forget comic books!


No other country in the wold has the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-man, the X-Men or the Fantastic Four! NOW YA GOT ME ALL PATRIOTIC!!!!!
YEAH!!!!!

Who ya gonna call, Eiffel-Tower-Man?????
That French poof!

Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:32 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
What ??


SignyM cites facts and you cite ---- self-hatred? Where's the connection?



That's what happens when someone is totally incapable of believing that they are anything but a perfect, shining example of what everyone else should be.

Reminds me of the parents who insist their kid is a perfect little angel, even after said little angel has rolled another kid for their lunch money.



Remember that rant about how we've divided ourselves into camps along political/ideological lines and how we don't even listen to each other any more? Yeah. That's what we're doing here.




Maybe you are.... But I think, in this issue at least, that there is merit on both sides of the argument.

I don't think America is evil, or as bad as a lot make it out to be.

But we have problems, and to say that those who have a issues with America do so strictly out of bigotry is just burying one's head in the sand. We've earned at least some of the animosity toward us.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:35 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
3) What do you mean by "rank ignorance"? Most Americans are extremely insular about other places and cultures. Looking at some of our recent discussions about guns, violent crime, mental illness, incarceration rates etc it becomes very clear that most Americans think that the whole world is pretty much like America except where it's worse.



We only have two neighbors, and one of those is nearly identical to us, culture-wise (though I think they might disagree on that score). So we're not really exposed to much difference of necessity. I think I would be more upset about our ignorance if the average American went out of his way to stay ignorant. But I don't think that's the case. I think it's the case that it's harder to get an international perspective in the U.S. than in, say, Switzerland, where you can be in any one of half a dozen different countries with no more effort than half a day's train ride. In the U.S. it takes some extraordinary effort to visit another country. Heck, it takes 2+ days just to drive across Texas, let alone to another country! We're like small-town dwellers. Maybe it's true that they've never been to an opera or an art museum. But to do so, they're going to have to make an extraordinary effort (unlike a New Yorker, who can just hop on the subway). That said, if you're going to try to talk about international issues, you'd better do your homework. (And just my two cents, but given that gun control in the US is a matter of the interpretation of the US constitution, I don't know how much international perspective is required.)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:40 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
Maybe you are.... But I think, in this issue at least, that there is merit on both sides of the argument.

I don't think America is evil, or as bad as a lot make it out to be.

But we have problems, and to say that those who have a issues with America do so strictly out of bigotry is just burying one's head in the sand. We've earned at least some of the animosity toward us.



I agree with you on the merit-on-both-sides thing. I think what upsets me is when people stroll into a thread and say things like, "That person is just a ________________, I'm not listening to him," or "Of course you'd say that, you're just a ____________." I see a lot of that, especially in the animosity between Geezer and Rue. He pushes her buttons, she insults him, and then it goes along like that for a while. And don't neither of them listen to the other, because they've already got each other pegged as morons. And I think that it's sad that we assign people into little ideological categories and then give ourselves permission to ignore them because they're a Republican/Bush-supporter/Liberal or what have you. That's a classic genetic fallacy, with a dash of ad hominem thrown in for good measure.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:41 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


"I do like the conceit that you display in thinking you can describe all the 300 million people ..." As do you, and the author of the piece:

about the French (In their heart of hearts, many French people still believe that to be true.); about everyone not American (A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion); about intellectuals, specifically of the French persuasion (The kind of anti-Americanism fostered by French intellectuals down the centuries revolves around intense dislike of what America is - not what it does.) and even about the US (The US represents, I suppose, a set of ideas about human conduct which makes approval or disapproval of its behaviour much more important to Americans).

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:45 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


"He pushes her buttons, she insults him"

Where have I insulted him? Is it an insult to point out to a person that their argument is fatally hobbled? Besides that, all I did was ask for the connection between the facts SignyM posted and Geezer's 'self-hate' repsonse. I'd consider all of this in the spirit of a debate.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:52 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
"I do like the conceit that you display in thinking you can describe all the 300 million people ..." As do you, and the author of the piece:

about the French (In their heart of hearts, many French people still believe that to be true.); about everyone not American (A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion); about intellectuals, specifically of the French persuasion (The kind of anti-Americanism fostered by French intellectuals down the centuries revolves around intense dislike of what America is - not what it does.) and even about the US (The US represents, I suppose, a set of ideas about human conduct which makes approval or disapproval of its behaviour much more important to Americans).



Not to get all overly philosophical on you, but it seems like the trouble is that one can't accurately talk about a large group of people without some amount of generalizing. The danger to that, of course, is that there will obviously always be people who don't fit the generalization. But if one doesn't engage in some degree of generalization, how can one ever talk about a large group?? It's a quandary.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:53 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
That's a classic genetic fallacy,


The transgenic in me is offended!

Oh, uh, did you mean 'generic'?

Never mind.

Dark Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:59 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
one can't accurately talk about a large group of people without some amount of generalizing.

Irish peeps fight a lot, drink a lot of beer or ale, and like potatoes. The steroetype is true, and holds FOR ALL OF THEM MICKS!!!!



I should know.

Irish Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 10:59 AM

CAUSAL


http://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:03 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
http://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html


Well, colour me educated!


Transgeneric Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:41 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
What ??


SignyM cites facts and you cite ---- self-hatred? Where's the connection?



SignyM quotes factoids, which have no meaning in and of themselves, but are meant to lead one to believe that the US is all about military takeovers, manipulation of the world economy, and our complete control of the UN.

We spend a lot of money on high-tech weaponry to reduce our own casualties and reduce civilian casualties when we're fighting people who don't care about, and in recent cases actively cause, civilian casualties.

Most overseas military bases are in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. I don't remember us taking any of them over since we gave Germany and Japan back to the Germans and Japanese after WWII. Sure would make a BMW cheaper.

We're good at making money. What can I say?

The UN doing anything about Darfur yet despite our urging?



"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:47 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:

SignyM quotes factoids, which have no meaning in and of themselves, but are meant to lead one to believe that the US is all about military takeovers, manipulation of the world economy, and our complete control of the UN.


Not the US, the PNAC; please pay attention. Big business/old money, represented by particular administrations. (Shadow Government, if you go for those labels)

Laying it out Chrisisall

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:55 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
"I do like the conceit that you display in thinking you can describe all the 300 million people ..." As do you



Not me. I note that the US has a "multitude of backgrounds and beliefs", which is about as far from your "...Americans, ugly and hateful..." as you can get.
Quote:

, and the author of the piece:

Oh. He did it so you can too. He at least used qualifiers, "...many French people...", or singled out groups "intellectuals" within the population as a whole.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:58 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Not the US, the PNAC; please pay attention. Big business/old money, represented by particular administrations. (Shadow Government, if you go for those labels)

Laying it out Chrisisall



Call for PirateNews. PirateNews, please pick up any house phone.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:05 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Drifting off-topic here.
Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
"I do like the conceit that you display in thinking you can describe all the 300 million people ..." As do you



Not me. I note that the US has a "multitude of backgrounds and beliefs", which is about as far from your "...Americans, ugly and hateful..." as you can get.
Quote:

, and the author of the piece:


Oh. He did it so you can too. He at least used qualifiers, "...many French people...", or singled out groups "intellectuals" within the population as a whole.

"Keep the Shiny side up"


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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:07 PM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Not to get all overly philosophical on you, but it seems like the trouble is that one can't accurately talk about a large group of people without some amount of generalizing. The danger to that, of course, is that there will obviously always be people who don't fit the generalization. But if one doesn't engage in some degree of generalization, how can one ever talk about a large group?? It's a quandary.



I agree, but calling the entire population of a country "ugly and hateful" reaches beyond just discussion and into prejudice. If I were to say that all members of a certain ethnic group were "shiftless and lazy" I'd get criticized, and rightly so. "Ugly and hateful" or "shiftless and lazy" are not the comments you use, to quote Rue, "in the spirit of a debate". They're what you use in rants and hate speech.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:14 PM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Geezer:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
Not to get all overly philosophical on you, but it seems like the trouble is that one can't accurately talk about a large group of people without some amount of generalizing. The danger to that, of course, is that there will obviously always be people who don't fit the generalization. But if one doesn't engage in some degree of generalization, how can one ever talk about a large group?? It's a quandary.



I agree, but calling the entire population of a country "ugly and hateful" reaches beyond just discussion and into prejudice. If I were to say that all members of a certain ethnic group were "shiftless and lazy" I'd get criticized, and rightly so. "Ugly and hateful" or "shiftless and lazy" are not the comments you use, to quote Rue, "in the spirit of a debate". They're what you use in rants and hate speech.

"Keep the Shiny side up"



Well, yes, some terms of generalization are more offensive than others. "Ugly and hateful" would go on that list, I think. I don't think of myself as "ugly and hateful" (though I'm sure some enterprising soul could find a comment from another thread that, when taken out of context, would make me seem ugly and hateful).

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:25 PM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
one can't accurately talk about a large group of people without some amount of generalizing.

Irish peeps fight a lot, drink a lot of beer or ale, and like potatoes. The steroetype is true, and holds FOR ALL OF THEM MICKS!!!!

I should know.

Irish Chrisisall



Except I'm an actual and whole Irish person born, raised and currently living in Ireland who hates potatoes. And who is also a non-fighting hippie unless she is really pressed. And doesn't drink very much either. Sorry Chris!





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