What America Stands For

 Superman: I'm here to fight for Truth, and Justice, and The American Way.
 Lois: You're gonna end up fighting every elected official in this country!
 Superman: I'm sure you don't really mean that, Lois.

From AmericanCulturalAssumptionDiscussion.

Funny, I always thought that the USA stood for "United States of America."

Apologies are in order....

Countries are just grouping of persons who happen to live under the same laws. Often they are not allowed to move inside the country at will as in, for example, China. Americans travel to most countries without visas so they can be considered citizens of the world.

Chinese can travel around their country at will (though there are tollbooths everywhere), at least the parts of China I've been to. The main exception are special administrative regions like Hong Kong, which still has its own immigration controls (despite being part of the People's Republic these days), and special economic zones like Shenzen. (OTOH, the old Soviet Union did greatly restrict travel about the country).

Countries do not stand for anything. What does Cameroon stand for, what do Mexico and Greenland stands for?

Greenland, last I checked, wasn't a country. Just a big island off the coast of Canada that happens to belong Denmark :)

I really do not understand why Americans think countries stand for anything. Maybe individuals stand for ideas, but countries are not there to demonstrate anything nor to make a point. Actually people don't do that either. Maybe the whole question is wrong anyway.

The US stands for Justice, Freedom, and all things good. It makes for good myth. I suspect the citizens of most countries see themselves the same way.

The facts, of course, are different than this idyllic image. Founded with the taint of slavery, we were making progress on getting rid of it--pragmatically, it wasn't profitable anymore--when Abraham Lincoln's War of Northern Aggression lead to 100 years of repression of the American South. (Kind of like the 250 years of repression that the American South perpetrated toward people of African descent before then? -- RedHat) (Or the 100 years of repression that the South perpetrated toward African-Americans from then until Dr. King and the end of Jim Crow?) Lincoln helped build an incredibly corrupt Republican party, which still runs around everyone else in terms of corruption. The Democrats tried to keep money stable, (Democrats aren't corrupt too? In fact, every party is!) with the constitutionally mandated gold and silver standards, but that got overturned. Then the bankers took over, and we got the fake Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Service, all in the same time. It's been a mess ever since. We have money backed by nothing. A two party system that seems designed to disenfranchise and destroy the middle and lower classes.

Not what America is supposed to be, in fact, quite the opposite. -- MikeWarot

On the contrary, we weren't making progress toward eliminating slavery at the time of the AmericanCivilWar? -- Southern extremists were actively trying to expand slavery into new territories to ensure its continued survival. That led to the abandonment of the Missouri Compromise, which led to Bleeding Kansas, which led directly to the war. But this is wandering OffTopic. -- WhiteHat

NoamChomsky was asked once why he was so hard on his own country which he claimed to love. His reply, in essence, was that we had to be hard on ourselves because we have the opportunity to be so much more.

Which prompts questions: Why should we have this particular opportunity? What is it that presents us with this opportunity to be so much more? Will being hard on ourselves make it so that the opportunity will be taken advantage of? Just being "SimpleMinded" and inquisitive.

What Americans want the US to stand for: A free and open society that brings out the best in each of us.

Likely alternatives:

  *A free and open society that is the most fair to all.
  *The most powerful country around (what we're lapsing into)
  *The richest Dictator in the World...
  *etc, etc.

-- MikeWarot

The first is most likely. The others are not "What Americans want the US to stand for". The others are what "other than Americans think the US stands for". While we should have some concern about how we appear to others, that should not deflect us from, as you put it "A free and open society". If we do this , we probably won't go wrong, in spite of the doomsayers who think everything Americans do is wrong.

At least some Americans want the US to act as the "world's policeman", which is far closer to the second and perhaps third. It just isn't the way they'd put it.

The misquote Churchill: The US is the most fucked up nation except for all the others. If you are looking for perfection from ANY large organization, you will surely be dissapointed. I don't like how W handled Iraq at all, but the UN seems too eager to sit on and ignore festering problems hoping they can rid then via paper-work. The US acted like its evil stereotype because the UN was acting like it's own. If the desenting nations were willing to put real teeth behind the Iraq issue, then a better compromise may have been found.

I am not an American. I cannot understand why the Americans think their country should stand for a "free and open society" more than other countries on Earth. The whole European Union stands for a free and open society, and in opposite to the U.S., it has got contact to it's southern neighbor countries.

For example, See: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTQ4YjRiZGY2ZGQyMjk0MTIyYWFjM2JhYzRhMDQ5OWQ=


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