Re: Life after the oil crash

From: Mervin Bitikofer <>
Date: Thu Oct 27 2005 - 22:03:26 EDT

Gregory Arago wrote:

> "And I don't think any of us living in this country escape
> responsibility for the attitudes we are even now exporting to the world."
> Do tell please, what attitudes are you 'exporting to the world'
> (rationalism, scientism, positivism)? Did you mean that you are
> exporting a 'survival of the fittest' or 'struggle for life' attitude
> to 'the world'?
> Arago
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not so much any of those things (rationalism, etc.) I'm pretty sure
they were already intact in our pre-American western european heritage
-- and probably in some other cultures as well. I was referring to our
consumerist and entitlement mentalities which probably will creep into
any culture that attains widespread wealth and power. We've brainwashed
ourselves with certain messages that have become so omnipresent to us
that we consider it the norm. E.g. I let pharmaceutical commercials
convince me that at the first sign of discomfort from any part if my
body I should leap up and pop a few pills to banish the offending
annoyance. or ... I should be able to live like I want to, eat like
I want to, but still be entitled to a fit, attractive physique (with the
help of expensive products and programs of course!) .... I should have
it all while being delivered from any negative consequences. And if I
can't have something then woe to anything that comes between me and my
entitlements! I love the line in Princess Bride: "Life is pain,
you highness, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you
something." <<Not that I think this is a final word on life. But it's
a lot closer to true wisdom than the diametrically opposed tripe we so
pander for from big corporate marketing.

The rest of the world finds these kinds of arrogant attitudes
attractive, and can you blame them? We thought it was religion &
democracy that we westerns were selling to developing nations. But we
may be in for a surprise when we find out that it was actually the
flashy cars & carefree lifestyles they think we all have. (And they DO
think this thanks to the spreading international influence of
television. -- how many Americans do you see on television commercials
who don't have perfect teeth and carefree abandon? All thanks to
Crest! or Tums! You can imagine why viewers in other countries might
have skewed impressions!)

I'm not anti-American in my outlook, but I don't believe in flippant and
brainless patriotism. If something we do is stupid then let's not sugar
coat it. Was it Twain who said something to the effect: He who love
his nation will not withhold from it a rebuke.

Received on Thu Oct 27 22:09:58 2005

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