Sunday, January 28, 2007

Six words that that I think characterize U.S. culture.
A. Independent B. Militaristic, C. Commercialized, D. Mobile, E. Outspoken. F. Pioneering.
A. Americans are independent in lifestyle and in principle as is obvious simply by viewing the number of personal items on the market place today such as personal music devices. On the negative side America has no built in sense of community and family is used in a very limited meaning. This independence also leads to ignoring community environmental responsibilities. On the positive aspect Americas independent thinking has been responsible for many amazing advances and inventions that have benefited the world. Another positive has been that independent thinkers have not listened to those who warned against risk stating” No one has ever done that.
B. Americans are a militaristic people who fought from the beginning for their independence with military solutions. America has never hesitated to take what it feels it needs or is entitled too by use of military force. The USA was created by invasive force and genocide.
C. Commercialization explains America with more detail then capitalism only as many countries engage in capitalism. American commercialism however not only promotes a product or service but has used campaigns to alter people’s perceptions of themselves and others. Commercialization created the “keep up with the Jones’s” mentality, and dictated how we should look, feel, and smell. The concept not only sold popular culture but created popular culture as well.
D. America is mobile and when examining the geography of America one could say it came about honestly. Americas desire to spread and inhabit has lead to expedient technological advances. The mass production of the automobile and the rapid development of flight display this.
E. Americans express opinions as this was an important founding principle. Individuals in America not only value this right provided by the Constitution but many have felt it is a duty. While unfortunately far too many, do not question popular opinion, a few have advanced the craft finding new ways to meet an open minded audience. For creative individuals the internet has been an explosive force with blogs, video blogs, and pod cast as examples.
F. America was founded and moved forward with a pioneer spirit, individuals who had desire for first freedom then land. This is the America that was built by both immigrant dreams and tragically by exploitation. However, the concept in its idea form still thrives in new areas both geographic and intellectual.
Most of the characteristics I have identified have deep structure in America; however they in some forms represent surface structure. Characteristics go to the depth a people allow them too. In many ways these characteristics have historically worked together to further America. However to say that they are all noble would be to say the ends justify the means, which I do not believe.
If militaristic attitudes and commercialization were to be stifled it would have a positive effect on the other four characteristics. Commercialization while generating commerce also has a large influence on the population’s attitudes, as mentioned before commercialization is intent on creating markets by creating artificial needs. If focus were shifted toward the positive aspects of independence then commercialization would wane. Militaristic attitudes will most likely remain until there is a change of consciousness in America. No country can project what its population does not hold in its consciousness.