America: A Degenerate Society?

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America: A Degenerate Society?

Postby SQ » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:10 pm

(it's not a requirement to watch this, just know it was my inspiration and helps fuel the discussion) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhwIFbB5iuo

Holi is the celebration of color, which obviously in that video looks really fun. Did you ever notice how people from countries other than the US are more laid back, accepting, and more educated? Do you think this has to do with their cultures, beliefs and traditions? America has no real central belief or tradition, and its holidays have been overrun with commercial propaganda. While other countries may have similar problems with their holidays, they aren't near as "bad" as the USA's.

America has a much more business-like society where as, for example, in Italy it is customary to kiss and hug freely(as with many other cultures) upon meeting. Do you think America's lack of centralized focus in beliefs, as well as its emphasis on the individual rather than the group or family somehow ruins them or corrupts them?

I have often seen on other sites, people critisizing Americans. They say its citizens are so in need of a culture, they "steal" someone else's and use it as their own - hence why America has quite possibly the largest number of "weaboos"/"wapanese"/"otaku", as well as such a split-society in beliefs as a whole.

While America prides itself as a melting pot of cultures, do you think it is this very pride that is ruining America? With The USA's emphasis on the individual rather than the group, they have seen decreases in any and possibly every sort of country-wide activity(voting, caring about the government, donations to NPOs and charities, community service). Do americans not care about what happens to their neighbors directly because of this?

Disclaimer: I really don't know what I'm talking about for the most part, This is a question based purely from curiousity. This board is full of the most intelligent people I know, and I would like your opinions on this "issue".
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Postby Kalium » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:20 pm

People have been claiming that society is 'degenerating' since ancient greece, and probably longer.
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Postby Otohiko » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:27 pm

Kalium wrote:People have been claiming that society is 'degenerating' since ancient greece, and probably longer.


Point. However you can't say the Ancient Greek society didn't in the end disappear, and that wasn't just for external reasons.

There are obvious cultural differences, and commerical-orientedness is certainly a notable factor.

I was just in Toronto this week, and I could honestly sense how much more consumer-/economy-driven that city was than places I'm used to living in. So I definitely think that rampant capitalism is fucking things up.

As far as other things though, like your hugging arguments etc. - those are cultural things. In some ways it's even built into the English language. Anglo culture has always tended to shy away from over-expression and has a very sharp tendency to separate private space from public space.
I deal with this every day, since I still have a very Russian social mindset and certain cultural things just piss me off to no end here. But what can you do.
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Postby SQ » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:48 pm

Inthesto: AT least I can admit it and not just post this and be all "LOLZ I'M RITE" :roll:
Nothing wrong with wanting to learn shit, and this is something I want to learn about. So back the fuck off.

As far as other things though, like your hugging arguments etc. - those are cultural things. In some ways it's even built into the English language. Anglo culture has always tended to shy away from over-expression and has a very sharp tendency to separate private space from public space.
I deal with this every day, since I still have a very Russian social mindset and certain cultural things just piss me off to no end here. But what can you do.

Well we can't really change it since it's already firmly in place, but don't you think because they were told to not be touchy-feely that their brains may end up working a bit differently? Coping with things differently?

I started out being so afraid of hugs from people I would run away or be violent about it. Then I gradually was able to kind of just be a bit uncomfortable. Now I'm to the point where I am uncomfortable hugging only certain people, but for the most part really like hugging(as I'm sure a few of you learned at AWA =) ) and this expierence alone changed my view about what physical touch does and how it can change the way we percieve things.

I think there is some kind of change... I almost lived and breathed by what the TV showed as an example of who to be until I started living with better friends and relationships, so to speak. Living on the other side and being Russian, you sensed something too?

Is there a way to pinpoint that, you think?
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Re: America: A Degenerate Society?

Postby Arigatomina » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:05 am

SQ wrote:...they have seen decreases in any and possibly every sort of country-wide activity(voting, caring about the government, donations to NPOs and charities, community service). Do americans not care about what happens to their neighbors directly because of this?

On a normal day? No, they don't care. Busy running the rat race, thinking about themselves, criticizing the "ones in charge" and ignoring the rest. But give them a crisis they can't ignore? Then American's come out in force, jump together like a great big family and show so much unity, involvement, and charity that it's almost embarrassing. The tsunami? Katrina? The towers? The second the light goes on we stop in our tracks, drop everything, and help with no thought about our own petty problems.

The problem is that the light goes back off. And within a few weeks or a month, we forget. For a little while, we hold grudges against those who didn't react fast enough, we talk big about making sure we're even more united for the next crisis, and how with this renewed proof of our potential as a united nation we'll not fall apart any time soon. But then a month passes and another and suddenly you look around and we're all right back where we were as if nothing had happened. We'll come together again for the next emergency. Till then, we won't even think about it. It has nothing to do with work tomorrow, that movie tonight, or what we're going to do for Christmas this year.

I don't know why we're so quick to forget. If you ask a random American about one of those crisis moments, they'll recall it vividly and they'll be just as vehement as they were when it happened. But you mention it to a group and half of them will wonder why you're bringing *that* up again. That's old news. Who cares about old news? I have to be at work by 5am tomorrow. Yeah, I was one of those people swearing to put "better men" in office come the next election. But I was just caught up in the moment. I know my vote won't make a difference. Those elections are all rigged, anyway. Catch me next crisis. I've got stuff to do right now.
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Postby Beowulf » Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:06 am

America has no fucking culture. We have Apple Pie which we stole from the dutch, gangster mythos which we stole from Italians, and hot dogs that have legally sanctioned amounts of rat shit allowed in them.

America is a society of money lords. No one gives a shit how you get your money, but if you have it, your in the club. If not, tough shit. We are the dumbest, fattest, and most dumbed down society of people in the entire western fucking world.

Fuck America :down:
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Postby Beowulf » Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:10 am

ive seen that guys penis :barf:
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Postby Orwell » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:50 am

Otohiko wrote:As far as other things though, like your hugging arguments etc. - those are cultural things. In some ways it's even built into the English language. Anglo culture has always tended to shy away from over-expression and has a very sharp tendency to separate private space from public space.
I deal with this every day, since I still have a very Russian social mindset and certain cultural things just piss me off to no end here. But what can you do.


Examples? How so? You should really go off into more russia stories. If you weren't dead to the world.org.
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Re: America: A Degenerate Society?

Postby Orwell » Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:31 am

Next Article on Org >>

SQ wrote:Did you ever notice how people from countries other than the US are more laid back, accepting, and more educated?
They are more laid back, IMO a reaction to the centuries of the rich guy sticking it to the poor guy. Accepting? I'd say it's more or less equal, Germany has their skinheads, France has their Sarkozy, not really sure what britain is discriminating against in particular. More educated? against who? The American public school system standard is pretty low on average, but there is a reason people come to our colleges.

Do you think this has to do with their cultures, beliefs and traditions? America has no real central belief or tradition, and its holidays have been overrun with commercial propaganda. While other countries may have similar problems with their holidays, they aren't near as "bad" as the USA's.


It's definitely culture, since it's the only general trend we can look at that contains everything your analyzing. People ARE individuals though. As far as Americans beliefs? Progress, bigger, better, faster, stronger and, despite the rampant calls of lazy fat idiots, I think our very status is a a example of otherwise. Our laziness? Please, if we no longer lead the way as the hardest working nation on earth per capita, this is because of technical innovation. Same thing with weight, sorry, we don't NEED to work the fields any more. If you truly want numbers I'll go ahead and look for them, but on general the average american ate MORE than they do now in the '50's. But they also had to work harder to accomplish the same things they do now. We now eat less and more sporadically. What goes into the food makes a big difference as well. How often do you go to the store? Once a week? How often do cultures who eat a lot of fresh food go? Once a day? A few times a week? As far as uneducated, well, I WILL look into actual numbers more, but let us not forget a entire population boom is about to retire, of course the replacement of educated people is going to be smaller than the number of engineering jobs, etc.

America has a much more business-like society where as, for example, in Italy it is customary to kiss and hug freely(as with many other cultures) upon meeting. Do you think America's lack of centralized focus in beliefs, as well as its emphasis on the individual rather than the group or family somehow ruins them or corrupts them?

I have often seen on other sites, people critisizing Americans. They say its citizens are so in need of a culture, they "steal" someone else's and use it as their own - hence why America has quite possibly the largest number of "weaboos"/"wapanese"/"otaku", as well as such a split-society in beliefs as a whole.


I'm sure I'm gonna piss off a few, and perhaps I'm talking out of my ass, but where else do you see 'counter-culture' as big as here? Of course, that alone fades, the rebel goes to work and raises a family. But with the corporatization of counter-culture and the growth of women in the work place, the traditional family values aren't there to be instilled. With so focus on capitalism, we have tons to spend around. And where do you go to spend it? Well, in a traditional culture, generally you buy what you need, and a few luxuries. You don't need the biggest bestest thing money can buy. But in corporate counter-culture, to be part of it you need that newest gizmo, so off you go to spend it on that iPod v2 only to realize 3 days later the iPod v3 has arisen on the shelves. It's self-feeding loop that has created the rampant consumerism we see today.

With The USA's emphasis on the individual rather than the group, they have seen decreases in any and possibly every sort of country-wide activity(voting, caring about the government, donations to NPOs and charities, community service). Do americans not care about what happens to their neighbors directly because of this?


I would not say directly, and I would certainly not use charitable measures to a broad somebody as a gauge, but I would say that there is a indirect relationship.

This board is full of the most intelligent people I know, and I would like your opinions on this "issue".

I'm sorry.

Ari: I wonder how much this is true in other countries as well though. To pick a country we bombed then helped put back together, there's a japense film, I want to say it was Akira, made shortly after the war, and this one man talks big about making a change, and fights through all the red tape to really make a difference and inspire everybody. But as soon as he's dead? They all go back to self interest. Now is that because their consumerism/capitalism is similar to ours? Or is that just the fact that, what country holds a grudge against those who don't act how they want, and holds it? Europeans come to mind, and with all the past kept very much alive in memory, look at how many wars they've fought over honor. Over being unable to forget the past and accept their fellows. I'd say the forgetful thing is as much good as bad.

Beo: We have a culture obviously, look how rampant it is IN THE WORLD. We very much so have a culture, however it's so different from all the others that some don't recognize it. Everyone here has brought their little piece to form a new whole of cultural identity. As far as hot dogs, just about anything you eat is legally sanctioned to be inpure in small amounts. And, gee, how many hotdogs do americans eat? How many are sick? To limit it more hurts producers and doesn't help the population. So who gives a flying fuck. I'd rather eat a hotdog than even fresh food in a third world country prepared right there. Gods knows what goes into THAT, but at least I know when I'm eating a hotdog it's safe. Right up till the minute it's imported from china or I try to eat it in one bite.

I'd also point that part of what we're living in is a epochal experiment, whether it's the shift from agrarian society to a technical one, or from the warfare state of empires to the welfare state that is a nation. Not to say there still isn't war in the world, but much of is isolated to the poorer nations who need the assistence of the first world nations in the form of stability and economic security. Don't send a MRE ration to the starving boy, give him a factory job producing efficiently what resources are available, or do what America should be doing and give him a fair chance at education.

LOLOLOLBEOTHREADPOST. :roll:
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Postby Corran » Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:01 am

SQ wrote:
As far as other things though, like your hugging arguments etc. - those are cultural things. In some ways it's even built into the English language. Anglo culture has always tended to shy away from over-expression and has a very sharp tendency to separate private space from public space.
I deal with this every day, since I still have a very Russian social mindset and certain cultural things just piss me off to no end here. But what can you do.

Well we can't really change it since it's already firmly in place, but don't you think because they were told to not be touchy-feely that their brains may end up working a bit differently? Coping with things differently?


I hate how interpersonal touch such as girls holding hands or a guy with his arm around another's shoulders would get odd stares in America. In the last 4 months that I've been in Korea I've seen such touch a lot, and I can't help but think Americans would instantly assume they are gay before thinking it a normal social relationship. Can you imagine how children would turn out if the only touch the parents were willing to give them growing up was an occasional hug or handshake? Touch is extremely important, yet the older we get, the larger our personal no-touch bubble expands. I wouldn't be surprised if a sociologist could connect this with the suicide rates in various societies...

Other issues I have with American society today:
We rarely look at the bigger picture. Who has time when we are so into ourselves and the things that directly affect us. Socialized medicine? "Screw higher taxes, we want our money for ourselves, who cares about that sick John Doe? I've never met him."

"The customer is always right" mentality shouldn't mean you should be an ass just because you didn't get what you originally asked for. Wouldn't society be more pleasant to live in if our jobs weren't so stressful. Remember that next time you feel like chewing out or under-tipping a waitress for an accident or something out of their control.

A lot of us choose our President the same way we choose our toothpaste. We should give people quizzes on the candidates right before they enter the poll booth. Not to deny people from voting, but to open their eyes by make them think. "Wow, I really don't know a thing about the people up for election... should I really be voting this year?"

/me blames the media for most of our social problems.

/cynicism
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Re: America: A Degenerate Society?

Postby Fall_Child42 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:42 am

Orwell wrote:Beo: We have a culture obviously, look how rampant it is IN THE WORLD. We very much so have a culture, however it's so different from all the others that some don't recognize it.


Now keep in mind I am 100% serious about this post.

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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:54 am

I don't have all that much time to post, but i think there are a few things that haven't been touched on that probably should be.

The average American doesn't care about politics because he figures all politicians are corrupt and going to fuck him over in the long run. This defeatist attitude (combined with strong regionalistic moral stratifications) really makes us a series of extremely different groups that are constantly at odds politically. We don't want a single culture, because we don't want to be considered the same as those that we are vehemently opposed to for one reason or another. Why try to unifiy in some way when you don't have the same moral/political/religious belief structures as your neighbors and you take pride in that fact?

I think there's this innate desire within each little cultural group to be the one America is known for. They think, at some level, that if they can become successful and powerful enough, this undefined nation will be defined by them. Since money is power (or can buy the power to get rid of opposition if someone doesn't want to sell out), people strive for that money.
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Postby guy07 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:58 am

Yeah ... america sucks ... not much you can do about that ... except maybe move to another country, or give more power to the religious nuts who want to encourage family values. But who needs that, right? :roll:
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Postby BasharOfTheAges » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:04 pm

guy07 wrote:Yeah ... america sucks ... not much you can do about that ... except maybe move to another country, or give more power to the religious nuts who want to encourage family values. But who needs that, right? :roll:

There's a reason the 2nd amendment exists. It's not about protecting your family from intruders or hunting, it's for overthrowing the government. No way in hell that could happen, but that was the intent of the law.
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Postby Fall_Child42 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:08 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:
guy07 wrote:Yeah ... america sucks ... not much you can do about that ... except maybe move to another country, or give more power to the religious nuts who want to encourage family values. But who needs that, right? :roll:

There's a reason the 2nd amendment exists. It's not about protecting your family from intruders or hunting, it's for overthrowing the government. No way in hell that could happen, but that was the intent of the law.


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