Saturday, April 21, 2007

Good BBC thread on anti-Americanism

BBC correspondent Justin Webb has started a multi-part series on anti-Americanism around the globe. It's a very nice take on the issue from an unusually sympathetic European voice. Webb does a decent job, given the format, of parsing what are legitimate and illegitimate anti-Americanism mindsets.

I would like to add here my own little blurb. While I realize that we probably deserve a lot of what we get, I'd also like to suggest that the 'pride' in the USA which many Europeans find repugnate hides a somewhat positive quality - we believe in our mythology.

Now we all have our own mythology, and it's my contention that where the mythology is more deeply ingrained into the public psyche... where there's true pride in the mythological values of a culture or community, there is also the most antipathy when another, similar group with a different but equally strong mythological adherence is encountered. I posit that this is the issue between the US and France. We both have strong mythologies that civilians basically believe in, but our myths have diverged more and more over the past 200 years, and especially in the past 50.


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