A friend last week, who is an international student here as USC, asked me to describe to her, in general, American culture. At first I thought of the “mixing pot” bullshit that I was taught in elementary school, and after about 30 seconds of nothing coming to mind, I simply described American culture very similarly to capitalism.
I told her that American culture is very different in different parts of the country, I believe the same can be said about business practices around the country. I also said that American culture varies by class, as well. You can see the similarities there too. And after a few minutes of fumbling around with a concept that I had no idea of I realized that America is cultureless. We accept whatever is thrown at us. We do not create the new trends, we wait for them to come out and then pass ourselves off as “trend setters.”
Whatever happened to the America that invented the first of everything? Most of the amazing stuff that I can think of was invented in America, but recently it seems like everything is coming in from oversees. Does anyone still remember American pride? Part of that is being proud of yourself and your own ideas as well, not simply the ideas that are popular at the time.
Let’s stop criticising people for the clothes that they wear, or for the car that they drive, and instead, let’s NOT criticise and Work Hard! Hard Work is not just for the poor, it’s for everyone. Work disciplines the mind as well as the body, and is as essential to a healthy mind as REM sleep.
And going back to my original idea, and tying it back to my tangent, I believe that the culture in America was lost somewhere when we lost our work ethic. And I believe that the two go hand in hand. If you have nothing to tie you down, what makes you appreciate the times when you are untied? And in this time of untied Americans, I say lets re-enact the Leash Law.
igor on Necessary and Contingent … dilektosun on Wittgenstein on Philosophy, Pt… wernerschwartz on An Important Distinction wernerschwartz on An Important Distinction wernerschwartz on An Important Distinction
- Active Philosophy
Two things come to mind…
First…American culture is absolutely synonymous with capitalism…we are the flagship for the free market.
Unfortunately our culture is then dictated by Madison Ave. which tries to project this sterile material world in all places and thus it seem to others that American culture is invading but here in America the ads don’t seem to capture our spirit at all.
As for hard work…I think we still work really hard but at all the wrong things. Like we bust our ass 80 hours a week selling stocks (well not anymore…), or doctors will see 40 patients a day. I think the stress level/misery in the job force shows that maybe we “work” too hard at the wrong things and not hard enough at the others.
I agree that we used to be innovative, but I do not think it is bad that America is no longer at the fore front. In all reality, I think that is good to see innovation ‘shift’ around the rule. Recently I have been thinking that nationalism (nations/countries), even more than Religion (the belief in a physical god/heaven/hell), is the single most inhibiting thing to what I would define as a Utopia. Don’t get me wrong I think getting over the heaven thing would do wonders for the psyche of humanity.
If we all just realize that we exist on this planet and that is it; that all this bullshit about “my country” country wouldn’t get in the way of human creativity, ingenuity, and emotion.
The replacement? Human culture. A culture devised around letting every one live (my new meaning of life).