Free-dumb, or how America died

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    Free-dumb, or how America died

    https://eand.co/how-freedom-became-f...a-baee33dc6476

    “Mate. Have you seen this?!” Ben, the grizzled London copper asked me, starting to cackle, as he handed me his iPhone.

    There, I saw a picture of crowds of people gathered in Central Park. Then another, on California’s beaches. With, apparently, not a care in the world.

    “What the hell is wrong with them? It’s not like there’s…a…global pandemic…or anything.” Ben laughed.

    “You zee!” added Matteo. “Avridamah!!”

    “What the — “, I began to ask. And then I got it. Freedom. As in: look at what these idiots think is freedom. LOL! Snowy looked up at me, grinning.

    My dog park buddies had a pint. “Americans,” I said, sighing. I struggled for a moment, and then gesticulated. All that came out was: “They’re just…different.”

    Ben rolled his eyes. Matteo sighed melodramatically. “We know, mate. Oh, we know.”

    The American idiot is, by now, a figure that’s the stuff of myth and legend across the world. Nobody else is really quite sure: are Americans really like this? This…well…laughable? Yesterday, they were the kind of people who made their kids do “active shooter drills,” meaning masked men burst into classrooms…and pretend…to kill them. What the? Today, they’re the kind of people who happily congregate in parks and on beaches during a global pandemic…when the lunatic fringe amongst them isn’t protesting for “liberation” in the first place. What on earth?

    I don’t use the term as an insult — the American idiot. I mean it in a precise way, as I try to remind people. For the Greeks, “idiot” carried a precise and special meaning. The person who was only interested in private life, private gain, private advantage. Who had no conception of a public good, common wealth, shared interest. To the Greeks, the pioneers of democracy, the creators of the demos, such a person was the most contemptible of all. Because even the Greeks seemed to understand: you can’t make a functioning democracy out of…idiots.

    ...

    When Matteo, when Ben, when every single person I know who’s not American, when the world looks at America, it sees the American idiot, and what it tries — and usually fails, because it’s lost for words — to express is something like this: can people really be this selfish? This oblivious? This…thankless? Why do they keep voting for less healthcare, retirement, education, income, savings, happiness, trust, year after year — even the so-called good ones? What kind of people…why are the literally the only people left in the whole world who do that? And then…complain bitterly about not having…the very things…they deny each other? Who can even make sense of this, the bizarre circular firing squad of social suicide that America has become? But all those, of course, are key traits of the idiot. The answer — sadly, I think — is: yes, people can really be this way.

    Perhaps because they don’t know any other way. Maybe because it’s all they’ve ever been taught or told. That’s not an apologia for the American idiot, by the way. Or is it? Even I wonder. Still, let me try to explain as best I can — America’s strange and complicated with freedom, one so perverse that freedom became twisted into something very much like its opposite. It has to do with the way Americans think — unsubtly, narrowly, single-mindedly — about what freedom is, and means.

    About half a century ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin divided freedom into two categories — maybe you already know them. Negative freedom, or freedom from. And positive freedom, or freedom to. The theory then went — and this became the basis of generations of American thought — that only the freedom from was worth developing and cultivating.

    The freedom “to”, on the other hand, was vilified as something that only communists and socialists would want. Why? Because my “freedom to” — say to be educated, or to be healthy — requires your input, help, cooperation. But American thinking — which became obsessed with individualism — couldn’t admit or permit that, because then maybe you weren’t “taking responsibility for yourself” and all the rest of the jargon.

    ...

    In the cruelty, aggression, rage, violence, hate which characterize American life as especially brutal. Americans are always trying to escape from any kind of obligation or responsibility to…anything. Each other. History. The future. Just common decency. Even just basic humanity. Who else makes their kids…pretend to die? And then pretends that doesn’t scar kids for life? What the? That’s why the world doesn’t know whether to be horrified, shocked, repelled, or astonished by America — and it laughs. Nervously, oddly, baffled. What Americans don’t know is that that laughter is a world being polite.


    ...


    Matteo and Ben often ask me: “What wrong with Americans?” All my non-American friends do, as do everyone’s. What they really mean is: “why don’t they get it? Why can’t they change?” I tell them that Americans will never really change. They used to think I was kidding. Looking at Americans voting down better healthcare during a pandemic…then happily crowd parks and beaches…after protesting for liberation from lockdown…they’re beginning to believe me.

    ...

    Carrying a gun to Starbucks — so kids have to do active shooter drills. Being able to “choose” between a million health insurance plans, none of which covers you — so that you don’t have to pay higher taxes to the hated government. Making everyone stand on their own two feet — even while every force in society is cutting those very limbs away. Never taking any kind of collective action as a society — that’s socialism!
    Last edited by ev13wt; 07-02-2020, 03:17 AM.

    #2
    Know what Americans think? "Boy, sure wish every other country and their opinions would just go fuck themselves."

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by FleshEater View Post
      Know what Americans think? "Boy, sure wish every other country and their opinions would just go fuck themselves."

      You know what, that is EXACTLY what I expect from a teenage angst country being young and rebellious.
      America is acting like the millennial it actually is.

      And only dumb Americans like you are xenophobic and nationalistic. Not all.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ev13wt View Post


        You know what, that is EXACTLY what I expect from a teenage angst country being young and rebellious.
        America is acting like the millennial it actually is.

        And only dumb Americans like you are xenophobic and nationalistic. Not all.
        Oh, shit...didn't realize how much time you spent over here talking to Americans.

        Remind me, how many people has Germany killed over the last 110 years? Nationalistic? Hahahaha! Point that finger elsewhere.

        Comment


          #5
          I just read that as how brain washed by the government British subjects (they are not citizens) are.

          Comment


            #6
            What about the large protests in Germany the last few weeks?

            London protests?

            UK beach crowds?

            Italian beach crowds?

            All during the "pandemic".

            SHUT THE FUCK UP

            JEALOUS BIGOT

            Go hug a rapey Muslim in your great homeland....bitch.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Ted_Kaczynski View Post
              What about the large protests in Germany the last few weeks?

              London protests?

              UK beach crowds?

              Italian beach crowds?

              All during the "pandemic".

              SHUT THE FUCK UP

              JEALOUS BIGOT

              Go hug a rapey Muslim in your great homeland....bitch.
              I imagine Eviltwit over there, drinking tea and eating crumpets or whatever they eat around a mask, talking with his small circle of German friends about how inferior Americans are, and how superior Germany and Europe is. How we should all be more passive and compliant, like them.

              I cannot honestly say that I've ever had a face to face conversation with another American about what the fuck Europe does politicially...other than both of us agreeing they should stay out of our business. But, apparently Eviltwit knows Americans better than me. I don't know. Guess I should talk to more of us in my travels.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by FleshEater View Post

                I imagine Eviltwit over there, drinking tea and eating crumpets or whatever they eat around a mask, talking with his small circle of German friends about how inferior Americans are, and how superior Germany and Europe is. How we should all be more passive and compliant, like them.

                I cannot honestly say that I've ever had a face to face conversation with another American about what the fuck Europe does politicially...other than both of us agreeing they should stay out of our business. But, apparently Eviltwit knows Americans better than me. I don't know. Guess I should talk to more of us in my travels.
                Are you seriously to stupid to understand that half of the United States does not like your ego thinking and xenophobia? That many millions of Americans discuss world happening DAILY? Stop living in the 80s cold war? I know your education shaped you, but get a fucking clue already. How old are you? 12?

                It's just you and your circle of friends that hold this view dearly.

                Comment


                  #9
                  We are aware of the American idiots, they are usually called dingbats or goofoffs-

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just another Death of America essay from a literary know it all....

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I hate to bother you with facts, because I know you have trouble with them, but American's don't want less healthcare, we want private healthcare. We know that free will and a market economy will provide the broadest range of healthcare to the most people. We reject uniform, sub-par healthcare for "all". Americans, most of us anyway, are for the freedom of the individual. It is for the good of society when we each pursue our own interests. We're also free to do dumb shit if we so choose. You should try it sometime, it's awesome.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ev13wt View Post

                        Are you seriously to stupid to understand that half of the United States does not like your ego thinking and xenophobia? That many millions of Americans discuss world happening DAILY? Stop living in the 80s cold war? I know your education shaped you, but get a fucking clue already. How old are you? 12?

                        It's just you and your circle of friends that hold this view dearly.

                        I'm sorry, but please...prove it. Prove to me that millions of Americans discuss on a daily basis Europe and it's political decisions. I'll sit here waiting.

                        My opinion is formulated by traveling, a lot, and talking a lot, with real Americans. People living their American lives. If you think Americans are talking about Europe, or global shit, then your opinion must be solely based on Facebook. Thing with Facebook is, shit pop ups on pages, people comment...they don't talk about most of that shit in real life.

                        Oh wait...I forgot, you do base everything off Facebook. I remember your post trumping your 18,000 likes in an hour or whatever? Carry on.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          As an American, I fully acknowledge that we seem scatterbrained, panicky, unfocused, and often direction- less. At the same time, I would point out that we have also changed our collective character over the last 30yrs. but tried to keep our framework of rules and make them work in current circumstances. We used to be (forgive the metaphor heavy fishing bs here) like marlin. Loosely associated, generally close for reasons greater than tribal, and independent of thought due to lack of influence from others. We are now trying to figure out how to be mackerel with all these "independent leaders" fighting over who leads the school....all while a divergent group has actually been teaching at our local school.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            About half a century ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin divided freedom into two categories — maybe you already know them. Negative freedom, or freedom from. And positive freedom, or freedom to. The theory then went — and this became the basis of generations of American thought — that only the freedom from was worth developing and cultivating.
                            I'll delve into this philosophy since I have my coffee. "Freedom to" would insinuate the freedom is granted by a higher power. In reality, this is a false freedom, as something which is given can also be taken away. A true freedom would be "freedom from". We are alone and unobstructed without hinder. That is why "freedom from" is worth millions of our own lives to protect.

                            To address the crux of your argument, we don't expect anyone else in the world to understand this, or agree with it. It doesn't matter, we are free from your subjection.



                            Most people outside the US don't understand the difference between health INSURANCE and health CARE. Insurance should be an option for those who want coverage, in general or in case something catastrophic occurs. Care should be available to all, and come with an invoice at the end. The care one receives should not be dictated by the insurance policy the .gov says is appropriate for me.

                            Literally nobody I know gives a shit what the rest of the world is doing. We only care about vacationing in the beautiful, historic places that we don't have here.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Deuce 40s View Post

                              I'll delve into this philosophy since I have my coffee. "Freedom to" would insinuate the freedom is granted by a higher power. In reality, this is a false freedom, as something which is given can also be taken away. A true freedom would be "freedom from". We are alone and unobstructed without hinder. That is why "freedom from" is worth millions of our own lives to protect.

                              To address the crux of your argument, we don't expect anyone else in the world to understand this, or agree with it. It doesn't matter, we are free from your subjection.



                              Most people outside the US don't understand the difference between health INSURANCE and health CARE. Insurance should be an option for those who want coverage, in general or in case something catastrophic occurs. Care should be available to all, and come with an invoice at the end. The care one receives should not be dictated by the insurance policy the .gov says is appropriate for me.

                              Literally nobody I know gives a shit what the rest of the world is doing. We only care about vacationing in the beautiful, historic places that we don't have here.
                              To your first point; that's why our founding fathers deemed our freedoms as inalienable. So, while they did come from a higher power, they were to be considered a given, and that no man can take them away. The way you described it, though, sums up perfectly our current American government and the world's view of us.

                              On your second point; isn't it a shame what we have to deal with now concerning our health insurance? Too much government influence has absolutely destroyed what we pay for. Instead of getting the treatment your doctor has recommended, there is now a series of hoops to be jumped through before you can get to treatment.

                              At one point, when I was 19-20, I wanted to see Europe. Now I have absolutely no desire to go there, at all. I have discovered a plethora of places to see in the U.S. that I'll never end up seeing before I die. Just too much to do.

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