Mudcat Café message #2874778 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #122219   Message #2874778
Posted By: Little Hawk
29-Mar-10 - 12:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
Subject: RE: BS: Nationalized Healthcare, good? bad?
Now, don't be nasty.... ;-)

Look, Greg, I've lived in the USA, okay? I was there for 10 years. I am well aware of how deeply certain cultural assumptions, such as "socialism is a terrible evil, and leads to Communism" and "we live in the best and freest society on Earth here" and "we are better off than other people are"...I'm well aware of how deeply they are woven into the thoughts of a majority of Americans, quite regardless of their basic level of intelligence, which after all is about the same as people's basic level of intelligence anywhere else...

It's cultural programming, and it starts at kindergarten age. That has a profound effect on people that usually lasts the rest of their lives.

Go back a few generations in the UK, and consider the cultural programming that was put into every English schoolboy regarding the natural right of the British Empire to expand all over the world, run and exploit other places, carry "the White Man's Burden", and lord it over the darker-skinned races in a kindly and benevolent (ha! ha!) manner..."for their own good"!

Ah, yes, it was a tacit assumption of most Englishmen, wasn't it? They didn't dream of questioning it. This didn't mean they were stupid, necessarily, it meant that they'd been very well programmed by a ceaseless flow of imperial dogma from the time they were old enough to walk.

Well, something quite similar happens to Americans from the time they are old enough to walk. It's a similar set of imperial and militaristic assumptions, the kind of assumptions that can only arise in a militarily dominant empire during its time of greatest historical power.

Doug's opinions do not indicate that he's stupid. They indicate that he's a fairly typical product of the society and area he was born in and the family and peer group he grew up in, and the political influences that were woven into all that.

If you studied the opinions of most Germans during Germany's imperial phase....from about the time of Bismark through the end of WWI...and a brief resurgence under the Nazis later...you'd find that they had a whole bunch of grand imperial mythology they mostly believed in too...whether or NOT they were bright, capable people of high intelligence. The Japanese also fell into that trap, and so have many other populations when their country went into an imperial phase.

It's a characteristic of the citizenry of great imperial powers during their time of expansion. They must believe in various grandiose, self-justifying, self-glorifying mythology in order to continue believing in the moral rightness of what they are doing, both to themselves and to others. Imperial powers, morally speaking, are robbers who take other people's land and resources by force...or by the threat of force. Their population cannot be allowed to see it that way or they'd lose faith in the system. They must believe that their government and social system stands for good and is the best one around. When they stop believing that, then the empire is about ready to fall. Some of them will go on believing it even after the empire has fallen...