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Is the USA an egocentric country?
This poll has expired.
I'm American and I think yes 15 votes, 45.455%
I'm American and I think no 3 votes, 9.091%
I'm not American and I think yes 13 votes, 39.394%
I'm not American and I think no 0 votes, 0%
Other: Specify 2 votes, 6.061%
Totals: 33 votes, 103.058%
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(Originally posted on: 01-24-07 05:45:34 PM)
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Instead of hijacking the other thread, we can start it here.
Do you consider the USA to be an egocentric country. Why or why not? Moreso than other countries? Why or why not?

EDIT --> Oh, and for those uncertain people:
Dictionary.com says:
Quote:
1. having or regarding the self or the individual as the center of all things: an egocentric philosophy that ignores social causes.
2. having little or no regard for interests, beliefs, or attitudes other than one's own; self-centered: an egocentric person; egocentric demands upon the time and patience of others.


_____

From other thread...

I've arrived at that conclusion by interacting with many Americans. I've spent a summer working in the USA and although it was a pleasant experience and I enjoyed the people, there was little reference to anything non-American. There is mostly all American music, movies and entertainment. The media reports pretty well only American things and things that affect Americans. So I'm sure both A and B (I don't like Stephen Colbert) played a part as well, but America (at least compared to Canada) is extremely egocentric. I can provide some specific examples if you would like.
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Reply 1 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 05:53:17 PM)
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Quote:
having little or no regard for interests, beliefs, or attitudes other than one's own; self-centered: an egocentric person; egocentric demands upon the time and patience of others.


All nations have this same, self-centered belief. Whether they are making treaties or breaking treaties, they do it for the same reason; the belief that it is somehow benefiting themselves.

To say that America somehow does it more is like saying oriental people are somehow more intelligent; its all based on stereotypes, generalizations, and hasty assumptions.
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Reply 2 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 05:54:55 PM)
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Are you asking if America is egocentric about America? Or if Americans are egocentric about themselves?
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Reply 3 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 06:07:45 PM)
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Quoted from Hoff:
Are you asking if America is egocentric about America? Or if Americans are egocentric about themselves?

Open to interpretation LOL IM SUCH A FAG!!
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Reply 4 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 06:11:37 PM)
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Yes, America is an egocentric country, more so than any other countries, save the likes of North Korea. However, I think there's an explanation to this.

What people find interesting is determined by how important something is, by how much they're affected by it and by how much they can relate to it. Because of that, local stuff is interesting, and you don't expect people from place A to be interested by what happens in place B, 1500 Km. away, unless it's a big thing - but that same people will be interested by all sorts of inane stuff going on at place A.

Now, in Europe people are somewhat interested in American politics because, after all, they have a global impact. But in the US, that is still national politics. Therefore, there's relatively little that has a global impact and that doesn't affect them first and foremost as American citizens.

But when something big enough happens (p.eg. Tsunami), they care just as much as Europeans.

Are they egocentric? Yes. More than other comparable countries? Probably. Too egocentric even considering what I just said? Personally, I think so, if I have to judge by how world politics threads fail in SD.
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Reply 5 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 06:11:59 PM)
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God forbid a country looks out for it's citizens...
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Reply 6 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 06:15:24 PM)
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Now that I read Widukind's reply, I see the question from a slightly different point of view. The refusal to participate on international endeavors (international courts, Kyoto agreements, etc) and the fact that many if not most Americans believe that sort of individualism is the way to go, and that their country should ultimately do whatever the government thinks is best for the country, without any regard to third parties... All that could be interpreted as particularly egoistic.
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Reply 7 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 06:16:39 PM)
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I pretty much agree with Sukkit (in his first post). I was gonna try and explain but I decided I didn't feel like it. Then Sukkit did it for me.

Only thing about it I want to comment on is:
Quote:
Too egocentric even considering what I just said? Personally, I think so, if I have to judge by how world politics threads fail in SD.

While that maybe true, I don't think its untrue for most of the rest of the world. The US maybe more egocentric than the other countries, as far as I can tell because of the reasons Sukkit said. But then also a little bit more out of human nature. The rest of the world does it too.
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Reply 8 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 07:28:05 PM)
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I don't think egocentric is quite the correct term, but it is close. I think we as Americans are complacent and self-important. Especially when it comes to things that disrupt our way of life. The cost of a barrel of oil, attacks on American soil, foreign travelers, etc...

Quoted from American Constitution preamble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


The preamble explains the rationale of our constitution. Our country was not founded by kings or emperors but instead it was founded by the people themselves. America is the only country I am aware of to have done this. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Reply 9 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 07:33:10 PM)
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i pretty much don't care about other countries, bomb em all i say
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Reply 10 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 07:39:58 PM)
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Quoted from Sukkit:
do whatever the government thinks is best for the country, without any regard to third parties


Most of the nations around North Korea (good ol' Uncle Sam included) demand things which would bring about an end to its autonomy. Therefore, it refuses to cooperate.

Is it still egoistical?
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Reply 11 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 08:18:51 PM)
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America is a beautiful country allowing itself to be ruled by corporate and religious interests.

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Reply 12 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 08:20:40 PM)
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What about Canadians who think they're the greatest things on the planets (at least better than those smelly ogres to the south!), Europeans who think they're the only shining beacon of good in the world?

Considering the alarming levels of Anglosphere nationalism and European/South American bigotry to the US I dont take a lot of evaluations of the US very seriously.

Quote:
corporate and religious interests.


Mormons and Fundimentalists outbreed just about everyone in the US. THey're the ones that vote fundimentalists into office.
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Reply 13 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 08:30:51 PM)
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All big nations only care about themselves, see big countries like USA or china, ofcourse they are more egoistic than other nations....

I live in a small european nation, and in europe we are used to interact with other nations....in the news there is indland and udland....We are used to check out foreign cultures.....USA only got themselves, and then maybe mexico, and Canada has more and bigger ties to Europa, and probably have some of our european colonialism interest for the whole world in em'
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Reply 14 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 10:15:17 PM)
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Ok, say you take all of europe's little countries, put them together and look at europe as a whole. Are Americans more egotistical about American than Europeans are about Europe?
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Reply 15 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 10:16:22 PM)
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Quoted from Surt:
All big nations only care about themselves, see big countries like USA or china, ofcourse they are more egoistic than other nations....


I would say Canada is like this as well. We're constantly fed advertisements that ask us to make ourselves better and improv ourselves and our lives via products and personal change. Even in movies - who cares how many people die? As long as the hero and their friends live, it's all good.

We don't cry when the bad guy dies in a Disney Movie. We never get their story, just that they're bad.

I'm off on a tangent. Point is, we're egocentric, person to person and its our own fault.
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Reply 16 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 10:33:37 PM)
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Yes, Hoff. We are. America hasn't been invaded or bombed in recent memory, Well, save for 9/11.

But losing 3000 lives certainly doesn't compare to the total destruction of most of your cities. There are still bombed out buildings across europe that serve as a reminder of WWII, not to mention concentration camps. That kind of legacy is very humbling.

In America, we look at 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, and think that "Oh look, we got bombed, lost some people, and then completely destroyed entire nations in response. We kick ass."

While this isn't the opinion of many soldiers or the intelligentsia, it's certainly the view of the unwashed masses. Maybe if we paid attention to teaching things like critical thinking, we'd have less assholes, but you're right that the majority of Americans are assholes.

For example, at Macy's I worked with an Iranian woman named Surir (sur-EAR). An obvious W.A.S.P. attempted to practice spanish on her, thinking she was Cuban or Mexican. This was the rest of the conversation I observed:

Surir: I don't speak spanish.
DumbBitch: Where are you from?
Surir: I am from Iran.
DumbBitch: Are you a muslim?
Surir: Yes.
DumbBitch: Are you a terrorist.
Surir: *Laughter* No.
DumbBitch: Oh... Ok...

The woman then stalked off looking suspiciously at Surir. And this is typical of dumb, uneducated Americans with no talent for critical thinking.

Now certainly, other nations have their idiots too. I'm not going to judge all of say, New Zealand, because I meet one closed minded Kiwi. But there are closed minded Kiwis, I'm assuming, just like there are closed minded Mexicans, Britons, Germans, Russians, Swiss, you name it, there are idiots and ignoramousses from the nation.

It's just that America has the problem of not really educating its people like most western nations at least attempt to do. I think we're ranked just behind Estonia for edcuational excellence. There are several second world african nations that beat us.

One of the reasons that we've grown so strong in the past century is that after WWII the GI bill sent literally millions of people who would have otherwise been unable to persue higher education to college. Science, industry, and technology exploded thanks to WWII vets.

Now we're squandering what we've been given because highschool education is worse than it has been since the ninteenth century. Very few people are able to go to anything but vocational schools, and while voc schools are fine, they don't do much to improve critical thinking and citizenship capabilities like highschool should.

Now, I'm probably wrong about all of this because I have no training in sociology, but this is my take on the problem.

By the way, I've met as many egocentric assholes from western Canada percentage wise as I've met egocentric assholes from the U.S. And I think this has to do with the same lack of a dark, violent, legacy that's constantly in our faces when we think about history and geography.

All the big wars happened "Over There."
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Reply 17 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 10:51:15 PM)
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Quote:
That kind of legacy is very humbling.


No it's not.

(Western) Europeans are among the most snobby, egotistical people on the face of the planet. They have this whole "nostalgia" of the past greatness and contributions they have given to this world. They see themselves as the 'Enlightened' Paragon of equality and freedom and self-righteous point out how much more 'equal' economically their citizenry are and how bluntly aggressive and self-serving America is while shamelessly using Eastern Europeans for their own advantage. Not only that, but their leaders support Middle Eastern leaders who abuse and disenfranchise their people not because they care about those nations, but because it reduces petroleum costs. And their food and money donations to those backwards and corrupt African regimes? Why, what better way to make yourself look good than helping to clean up the mess you created!

Sorry to break it too you, but the buck doesn't stop in America.
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Reply 18 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-24-07 10:51:39 PM)
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Canada isnt egocentric? Fuck get out from under the rock. Canada struts its own egocentric attitude, which is greeted with the attitude of "who cares about Canada" And we can haggle an argue about both sides. The fact is people are egocentric and cunts all over the world.
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Reply 19 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 02:25:12 AM)
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Quoted from Mr Excitable:
The fact is people are egocentric and cunts all over the world.
True, but the problem here is that the average american is exceptionally ignorant of this fact, and gets offended when you point it out.
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Reply 20 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 03:28:40 AM)
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They are, but it's also partially due to the fact that we're probably almost a hyperpower at this point. The US is egocentric because it controls a massive empire and influences the world greatly. It's like Romans being egocentric, it's not like it doesn't have a degree of logic to it. Shit that happens in the US is important because the US is an important country.

If you get offended by this because America really isn't a great country and every country deserves equal attention by anyone I don't really fucking care, so don't go bitching at me about it because I'll just ignore you. Plus, it's not like I actually fucking care about how powerful my country is, I don't have an absurd nationalistic view of my country that somehow links my own self-worth to the success of the country I was randomly born into.
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Reply 21 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 12:17:01 PM)
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Quoted from vissario:
And you arrived at this conclusion through:

a) hasty generalization
b) popular ignorance
or
c) the Colbert Report is an accurate discription of the U.S.


Quoted from vissario:
I feel that we all should not hold other human beings to our own standards and should instead let them exist on their own. The only time I would "hate" another person is when they deny me the ability to continue existing cooperatively with society.


Is Adam denying you anything?

because else, he should be allowed to his opinion.
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Reply 22 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 02:52:50 PM)
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Quote:
And their food and money donations to those backwards and corrupt African regimes? Why, what better way to make yourself look good than helping to clean up the mess you created!


Alternatively, we could do absolutely nothing and blame someone other than ourselves for the state of the world today. Would sir prefer this option?
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Reply 23 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 02:55:57 PM)
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Quoted from Mingan:
Quoted from Mr Excitable:
The fact is people are egocentric and cunts all over the world.
True, but the problem here is that the average american is exceptionally ignorant of this fact, and gets offended when you point it out.


We get offended when someone points out there are egocentric people in the world?
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Reply 24 of 89 (Originally posted on: 01-25-07 03:08:48 PM)
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From an outside perspective, America does rate itself extremely highly.

To be fair, you could make a good case for this being based on good solid evidence of it being rather a good place to live, but nevertheless, it does love itself more than other countries I know.

Vissario is probably right to state that most countries have some stupid self-aggradising myths about how great they are in comparison to others, but I do think Americans are particularly good at this. Perhaps rather than "egocentric" the term I'd use in the case of certain Americans is "overpatriotic" - I've met a few who take their country far too seriously, and can't handle a bit of reasoned criticism (equally, I've obviously met plenty of sane and pleasant Americans). I also think the way that the idea of being "unpatriotic" is used by certain American politicians as an insult for anyone who's not beligerantly aggressive when it comes to foreign policy is utterly retarded.

Obviously, most countries have their fair share of irrational patriots (more's the pity), but I do think Americans seem to breed this particularly fiercely. If I were to walk out into the street and declare "Britain is a fucking shithole, I'm getting out of here," half of the people I encountered would simply agree. If I were to go out and burn our flag, it'd piss some people off, but others would just look a bit bemused, and some would just laugh. No-one would take it all that seriuosly, and I certainly wouldn't get lynched (although I would probably get arrested if I kept at it).

Therin lies the difference.
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