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Author Topic: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK  (Read 581 times)

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Online Markje

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USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« on: May 27, 2021, 02:15:46 AM »
I will just put this here for those who still think that the USA is so exceptional. Are we exceptional in some ways? Yes of course.

I think this is an excellent idea for a new thread, get some perspective from the europeans on this board.

How do we think the USA is exceptional
How do we think the USA is on-par with the rest of Europe
How do we think the USA is lacking severely compared to Europe.


Let me go first!:
Exceptional:
- Military power. I think there isn't a country in the world that can compete, NL itself being the laughing stock of europe with fake bullets and sending guys to Iraq without proper protection (family bought mil-gear for their loved ones cause the military sure didnt)


On-Par:
- Internet hosting: Amazon, digital ocean, Azure are easily matched in size by yandex.ru, alibabacloud.com and hetzner.de. (yes, I know they aren't all europe)
- Hightech companies like Apple (Compare to Europe: ASML , Philips)
- Emergency response teams for Fire, Ambulance and Police / Riot-police.

Lacking severely:
- Health care for poor people
- General Police force (because of widespread gun control or lack of it the police are quite aggressive and also biased to certain color people)
- Democracy : Need any explanation? Just look at the last 2 elections both candidate and implementation wise. (yes I know, officially USA is not a Democracy.)
- Internet access in the USA seems monopolized between companies charging way too much for way too little access. Compare my own access:
   speed: 1Gbit synchronous up/down access: unmetered/unlimited price: Eur 55,- / month including TV+Landline telephone services.
- Job minimum wage: You hear about people having to work 2 and sometimes 3 jobs just to pay the bills. (https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/06/about-thirteen-million-united-states-workers-have-more-than-one-job.html) Compare Europe : If you have a job, 1 is enough. Even a garbage man, waitress or other low-wage job can pay the bills holding just 1 fulltime job.

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Online AvHdB

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2021, 03:26:35 AM »
Perhaps the two biggest but more psychological differences is a can do attitude or approach that American's have. On the other side The United States has become, since Roe v. Wade so polarized that the concept of a polder model, meaning the ability to find compromise and consensus in society and politics is completely gone.
“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” T.S. Eliot

Offline Danchik

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2021, 06:21:10 AM »
American exceptionalism, at least to me, is more about a "do what I say, not what I do" mentality.

You see it in the media, movies, business, etc., and especially in geopolitics. It's ingrained into the culture.

God bless America and, well, the rest of the world can go F itself. ;D
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.


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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 07:31:28 AM »
I support no government anywhere, ever, never. No institution, No religion!!

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2021, 10:08:46 AM »
I will just put this here for those who still think that the USA is so exceptional. Are we exceptional in some ways? Yes of course.

I think this is an excellent idea for a new thread, get some perspective from the europeans on this board.

How do we think the USA is exceptional
How do we think the USA is on-par with the rest of Europe
How do we think the USA is lacking severely compared to Europe.


Let me go first!:
Exceptional:
- Military power. I think there isn't a country in the world that can compete, NL itself being the laughing stock of europe with fake bullets and sending guys to Iraq without proper protection (family bought mil-gear for their loved ones cause the military sure didnt)


On-Par:
- Internet hosting: Amazon, digital ocean, Azure are easily matched in size by yandex.ru, alibabacloud.com and hetzner.de. (yes, I know they aren't all europe)
- Hightech companies like Apple (Compare to Europe: ASML , Philips)
- Emergency response teams for Fire, Ambulance and Police / Riot-police.

Lacking severely:
- Health care for poor people
- General Police force (because of widespread gun control or lack of it the police are quite aggressive and also biased to certain color people)
- Democracy : Need any explanation? Just look at the last 2 elections both candidate and implementation wise. (yes I know, officially USA is not a Democracy.)
- Internet access in the USA seems monopolized between companies charging way too much for way too little access. Compare my own access:
   speed: 1Gbit synchronous up/down access: unmetered/unlimited price: Eur 55,- / month including TV+Landline telephone services.
- Job minimum wage: You hear about people having to work 2 and sometimes 3 jobs just to pay the bills. (https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/06/about-thirteen-million-united-states-workers-have-more-than-one-job.html) Compare Europe : If you have a job, 1 is enough. Even a garbage man, waitress or other low-wage job can pay the bills holding just 1 fulltime job.

Some very good points Markje.

I would like It better if the USA had a smaller military for sure. You know, a military that was actually focused on National defense of the US homeland, right here on American soil, rather than involved in "building democracy" overseas (read: theft of assets from overseas countries, war profiteering for the 1%).

So if we had a much smaller military, then we could afford to have better infrastructure at home. Rather than wasting that money on overseas adventures. And we could afford many of the other things you mention, like better more affordable healthcare for all.

And my pet peeve would be better more affordable housing for Americans. Read: Americans born here, not illiterate jerks showing up for handouts.

My other pet peeve would be better border security. No normal country can last if they don't have good border security. Unfortunately the Dementia in Chief moron wants open borders, and we are going to suffer for years from the ineptitude of this guy. He should be finishing Trumps wall and doing other things for border security, but sadly he's doing the opposite. 

I would especially like it if most or all overseas troops were brought home and were placed on our borders, to actually protect this country from the real threat to our Nation, that of illegitimate outsiders who don't speak English, don't share our work ethic and don't care about our values.
"As you walk out on the way, the way appears."  Rumi

Offline Manny

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 12:03:55 PM »
I don't believe the US is more exceptional than anywhere else.

The US: Expensive healthcare and out-of-control cops are the negative things that strike me the most. It's a shame they now have a Socialist president, kind of a heir to Blair, he'll do just as much damage there as Blair did here.

I'm very mixed on guns. I think people should be allowed to have them but they should be licensed. Criminal background check, training, maybe even an IQ test. Gun cabinets at home certainly. And stiff penalties for those that use them illegally. But the UK has gone too far in that regard so most are as good as illegal here.

On the positive side, a lot of good tech and products. A lot of e-commerce was born there. Who doesn't love their Apple stuff? Or Snap On tools? Or Zippo lighter? Or Weber barbecue? I like a lot of the historical car design. Build quality less so. You can find pretty much any climate you prefer in the US. Plenty of space, wide roads and big houses. And music: everything from Elvis through blues, jazz and Motown to Country. Lots of good music from there.

But a lot of that stuff can be exported from there and enjoyed elsewhere.

Shakey gifted me the book Exceptional by Dick Cheney. I agreed with very little of it. But it does explain the whole 'exceptional' mindset.

On Europe, I think you have to split it into three parts: The UK, the EU and non-EU Europe.

The EU: as an entity wasn't a bad idea on paper but doesn't really work in practice. Why we left. You cant take twenty-odd countries and have them all sing from the same sheet. Same as people from CA, FL and NY say, in general terms, they think differently. One size doesn't fit all. Nor one economic policy. Nor one set of laws.

There's much to celebrate about many of the individual nation-states in the EU (that's a topic in itself). The laid-back vibe in Holland, the efficiency in Germany, fashion and style in Italy, etc. The fries and mayo in Belgium.  :chuckle:

If you look at non-EU Europe, much of that is Russia. Probably the last European free country. Shame there isn't less corruption and better infrastructure or more people would choose to live there.

The UK: damaged badly during the Blair years, too many immigrants, too much rain, too much woke crap, but we have a lot of culture and history. Not to mention tech and engineering. We probably think of ourselves just as exceptional as Americans do.

If you have enough money to insulate yourself from the things you don't like, you can live well pretty much anywhere and think yourself exceptional. I know people who live like a Lord in the UK and in the US.

If you are Joe Soap living paycheque to paycheque to service his debt, driving a crappy car, living in a crappy place, eating fast food, married to an average overweight woman, your life is probably comparable with a similar guy in the US or anywhere in Europe.

Understanding the 'exceptional' mindset is necessary to understand the word in the US context. For that, Cheney's book gives a good overview of that. Its grim reading for those who think the US isn't qualified to lead and police the world.

 
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Online Gipsy

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 09:12:05 PM »
Just about sum's it up..  tiphat
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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 10:57:44 PM »
Understanding the 'exceptional' mindset is necessary to understand the world in the US context. For that, Cheney's book gives a good overview of that. Its grim reading for those who think the US isn't qualified to lead and police the world.

As I have mentioned before I am not fan of Bush Jr or Cheney. It wasn't always that way. There was a time, due to the unrelenting propaganda we are exposed to here in the USA, that I fell for the con job which is Bush Jr. and his VP.

Not anymore. When I watch old speeches of Bush Jr. to Congress or shortly after the events of September 2001 I really cringe. It feels so obvious what a fraud he is.

Just listen to his main speech to Congress as he is justifying the war in Iraq. You can clearly see what a liar he is in his eyes. He could not hide it, it was obvious. At least that's my opinion.

I think you should get some sort of reward for being able to stomach a book by Cheney. I really could not stomach it.

     
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Online andrewfi

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 07:14:38 AM »
Shakey sent me a copy of the same book.

It isn't often that I read a book and feel my flesh creep.

Cheney did it. He creeped me out.
But, of course, it wasn't just him. This is a culture, a population, a set of shared ideas - of which exceptionalism is just one.

To think that some of the most admired respected men and women in the United States are adherents to the tenets of U.S. exceptionalism should be enough to give anyone who is not in the United States cause for concern. Anyone who is one of the Exceptional People should understand why the rest of the world needs to keep the United States at arm's length. It ain't about you (OK, it is). It's about us!
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Offline Manny

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 07:29:39 AM »
It isn't often that I read a book and feel my flesh creep.

Cheney did it. He creeped me out.

I'm glad it wasn't just me.

It started out alright, freedom, democracy and apple pie. Then.....  :hidechair:
Read a trip report from North Korea >>here<<

Look what the American media makes some people believe:
Putin often threatens to strike US with nuclear weapons.

Online Markje

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Re: USA Exceptional compared to Europe / UK
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 08:19:02 AM »
Another good read in that context:

Framing the Threat by Imke Köhler (2019)

blurb:
There is great power in the use of words: words create most of what we consider to be real and true. Framing our words and narratives is thus a tool of power – but a power that also comes with limitations.

This intriguing issue is the topic of Framing the Threat, an investigation of the relationship between language and security and of how discourse creates the scope of possibility for political action.

In particular, the book scrutinizes and compares the security narratives of the former US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It shows how their framings of identity, i.e., of the American ‘self’ and the enemy ‘other’ facilitated a certain construction of threat that shaped the presidents’ detention and interrogation policies. By defining what was necessary in the name of national security, Bush’s narrative justified the operation of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and rendered the mistreatment of detainees possible – a situation that would have otherwise been illegal. Bush’s framings therefore enabled legal limits to be pushed and made the violation of rules appear legitimate. Obama, in contrast, constructed a threat scenario that required an end to rule violations, and the closure of Guantanamo for security reasons. According to this narrative, a return to the rule of law was imperative if the American people were to be kept safe. However, Obama’s framing was continually challenged, and it was never able to dominate public discourse. Consequently, Framing the Threat argues Obama was unable to implement the policy changes he had announced.

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