Why Americans Don’t Understand the World?

America is a politically and culturally isolated in the world. This isolation is both linguistic and cultural.

The European Union speaks many languages but a common currency and free travel unites them and many migrate within the union to find work as there are no passports required. Despite the diversity of cultures it is not unusual for citizens to be proficient in one or more of the major languages (French, German, Spanish, English, or Portuguese).

Americans (unfortunately) expect the world to speak English and see Europeans as somewhat misguided small countries who dabble in social democracy, socialism, and even communism. This viewpoint is an unfortunate product of American jingoism that is perpetuated in our schools.

As an example of a European voice not heard in the US, I am going to translate a Facebook post by a Facebook friend of mine, a member of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

“American violence has a sociopathic and criminal tone wrapped in a blanket of ‘patriotism” and the ‘American Dream’ that is nothing more than a continuation of the WHITE PRIDE of the 19th century, under the cloak of PSEUDO-DEMOCRACY that resorts to political crime whenever peaceful means yield no result.” – Bastos

Dr Bastos and many others see US foreign policy as a form of neo-colonialism, and American culture as aberrant (we have surpassed all other countries of the world in per capita incarceration).

I could go on and on but this is a blog not a rant. We Americans are a part of a world community as evidenced by our participation in globalism.  Our imagined “rugged individualism” is a relic of the 20th century before the computer. In today’s world “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately” (B. Franklin). Americans care not for our neighbor’s opinions or issues. We should ask ourselves “Why not”

José Gabriel Pereira Bastos

A violência americana tem um tónus sociopático e criminal, disfarçado de ‘aptriotismo’ e de ‘sonho americano’, que nada mais é do que a continuação do ORGULHO BRANCO do século XIX, sob a capa de uma PSEUDO-DEMOCRACIA que puxa do crime político cada vez que não consegue convencer por meios pacíficos.  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1217606982

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About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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