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Topic: (Not) All about Biden (Read 763 times)

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #25
What countries have we conquered?
Don't they teach you about the Spanish-American and the Philippine-American wars, among others?

@Frenzie: "creepy totalitarian pledge"...? What about the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance is creepy or totalitarian?
Primarily the every single day part. If you did it once a year at Independence Day or something that'd arguably be a different matter, although I think you have to admit that whole flag worship thing is kind of odd.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #26
Don't they teach you about the Spanish-American and the Philippine-American wars, among others?
Which have we retained? (And why?) What others There are a few American territories, often called possessions, that are not (yet) states[1]... Perhaps you pine for your nation's lost colonies?

Rote is a means of learning; ritual is a species wide-preoccupation... I take it, then, the quasi-religious nature is what offends you? :)

The "flag worship" thing -as you call it- has much to do with military service, here. What other forms of regional (or national)  symbolism or heraldic identification bother you so?
Puerto Rico comes immediately to mind.
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #27
I am yet to find an American who'd think the children's daily flag-worship remarkable in any way. But let me tell you that it's extraordinarily remarkable. I am not aware of evidence that even Third Reich or Stalinist USSR had this level of indoctrination and brainwashing for children. They sure as hell had indoctrination and brainwashing and it had its effects, but this did not come in a daily worship ritual for all school-going children.
Nazi Germany copied the creepy totalitarian pledge, the weird salute, and apartheid from America.

Edit: although the pledge thing may have been limited to the Hitlerjugend/mädel.
I have seen photos of Third Reich schoolchildren doing the Nazi salute with the teacher in schoolclass. The Nazi salute may easily have been a daily thing. Moreover, insofar as Hitler managed to institute the Nazi salute as a general greeting among all citizens, it can be deemed creepier than in USA. In USA there is no "Heil Uncle Sam" or such.

In WWII, one of the battlecries by Red Army soldiers was "Za Stalina", i.e. leader/führer cult. There was also "Za Rodinu" (for birthland/motherland), a word that had been previously banned because Communism was supposed to be universal and worldwide, without nationalism, but Stalin brought the words birthland and fatherland[1] back to give soldiers something to fight for. It turned out that there is a straightforward need for patriotism in a war.

I am opposed to USA's colonialism. From the outside, USA looks like a colonial empire.
Pray tell: What countries have we conquered? Which do we occupy? Which do we administer and tax?
Is this yet another point where you need to be educated from babysteps up? Did you learn anything at school at all?

Doesn't it make you wonder how the original 13 states became the current 50? The same way as Ancient Rome kept conquering until it had gobbled up all the shores of Mediterranean (and more), USA has been conquering until it gobbled up a good chunk of the continent and at least half of the Pacific Ocean. This is colonialism. If you argue that it's not, that it is "contiguous" or something, then Russia would not be colonial either. But from the point of view of all the conquered peoples, Russia is absolutely a colonial power. The same with USA.

And if you argue that you made "purchases of territories" rather than conquest, then, seriously, when you buy another country's colony, you are buying a *colony*, i.e. you are the colonist replacing the previous colonist.

War with Mexico 1846-1848 is a good example. Everything from Texas to Oregon used to be Mexico. First, USA gained Texas by means of profuse *illegal immigration*. When this caused friction between the countries, USA took the rest of Mexican land too, reducing Mexican territory by a half. So, all the USA's problems at the southern border are self-made. It is merely historical justice hitting you back. Illegal immigration followed up by display of military might is one of the colonial techniques that Ancient Greece, Rome and Britain all used to great effect on many occasions.

In short, everything beyond the original 13 states is colonies. And the original 13 states themselves are ex-colonies. USA is a 100% colonial empire.
Отечество is fatherland. WWII is named Великая отечественная война in Russia/USSR, usually translated as Great Patriotic War, but a closer translation would be Great Fatherland War. Well, Patria is also Fatherland, so Great Patriotic War is good enough.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #28
USA has been conquering until it gobbled up a good chunk of the continent and at least half of the Pacific Ocean.
I'm confused: You do know About the Louisiana Purchase, the sale of Greater California by the Napoleonic French and the purchase of Alaska from the Czarist Russian? (Puerto Rico was likely gained -along with the Philippines- by treaty (ending the Spanish-American War...). We granted both freedom; Puerto Rico chose to remain a territory, and the Philippines chose independence; Puerto Rico retains the right still to opt for statehood — they've routinely voted to remain a territory!
I'll let you check on American Samoa and Guam and Hawaii... (No: we didn't claim the Moon! :) )

Can you think of any others? (That might support your charge of Empire, I mean?) :)
War with Mexico 1846-1848 is a good example.
An interesting case: Yes, Texas was part of Mexico. Mexico was conquered by Napoleon's forces, which was a Spanish colony; and Texas fought Mexico for independence and won. Later, Texas petitioned for admission to the Union and was accepted; it fought on the Confederate side of our Civil War.[1]  It was because Texas succeeded (and accepted the defeat of the Confederacy) that it lost the proviso to become six states, at a time of its choosing!
I'm not surprised you need a "And now for The Rest of the Story" update... (Wouldn't you of all people stop to consider the source of the history you learned? :) )

The lands got from various Indian Nations were mostly got by war and treaty. I don't claim the U.S. dealt honestly with the Nations; but neither did the Nations deal honestly with the U.S. — the peace that finally came was concluded with treaties, ending wars that the U.S. won...

You like to play with words more than you want to understand history: I'd blame your elementary schools for that, by which I mean the Soviet slant! :)
The French still ruled Mexico -including the Pacific Northwest- into the War of Northern Aggression's  conclusion!
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #29
The "flag worship" thing -as you call it- has much to do with military service, here. What other forms of regional (or national)  symbolism or heraldic identification bother you so?
I didn't say it bothered me. It might or might not bother me if I were in America. I'm not.

I am however giving you my perspective as someone from the West that this is something I associated with Nazi Germany, and that it was a bit of a shock to learn that not only did they get it from America but that it's still ongoing.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #30
I have seen photos of Third Reich schoolchildren doing the Nazi salute with the teacher in schoolclass. The Nazi salute may easily have been a daily thing. Moreover, insofar as Hitler managed to institute the Nazi salute as a general greeting among all citizens, it can be deemed creepier than in USA. In USA there is no "Heil Uncle Sam" or such.
I was referring to chanting "I pledge allegiance to the blood flag, the republic for which it stands, and dear old Adolf, so help me God" or however the nazi pledge goes exactly.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #31
USA has been conquering until it gobbled up a good chunk of the continent and at least half of the Pacific Ocean.
I'm confused: You do know About the Louisiana Purchase, the sale of Greater California by the Napoleonic French and the purchase of Alaska from the Czarist Russian?
When you buy a colony from a colonist, then you are the new colonist of the colony. What is confusing about it?

(Puerto Rico was likely gained -along with the Philippines- by treaty (ending the Spanish-American War...). We granted both freedom; Puerto Rico chose to remain a territory, and the Philippines chose independence; Puerto Rico retains the right still to opt for statehood — they've routinely voted to remain a territory!

The islands had been ceded by Spain to the United States alongside Puerto Rico and Guam as a result of the latter's victory in the Spanish–American War.[101][102] As it became increasingly clear the United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, the Philippine–American War broke out.[103] The war resulted in the deaths of 250,000 to 1 million civilians, mostly due to famine and disease.
Well, does not sound like USA simply "granted freedom" to the Philippines. Philippines was gained in 1898 and the independence was granted in 1946. Meanwhile it had to go through Japanese occupation too with another million of deaths. So, it is more like USA was taking some time to figure out if to grant any independence at all, and if yes, then on what terms. The terms ended up being:

However, the economy remained dependent on the United States.[25] As a precondition for receiving war rehabilitation grants from the United States, the Philippines agreed to the Bell Trade Act, otherwise known as the Philippine Trade Act. This granted preferential tariffs on U.S. trade and pegged the peso to the U.S. dollar.
I.e. the American grip over the Philippines moved towards the financial and economic stranglehold over the nominally independent country, which is the more modern form of colonisation. Oh, and of course the military bases. Definitely you know about the military bases so I do not need to go into details.

Similar schemes apply everywhere where USA has "granted freedom". USA is rather granting "free trade" - free for USA, non-free for everyone else.

I'll let you check on American Samoa and Guam and Hawaii... 
For Guam and Hawaii, the Texas scheme applies, except it was more straightforward, without the little bit of nominal independence in between. By the way, anybody can see that the short Texas independence was a sham just to fool the Mexicans (and any other powers that may threaten the annexation).

Can you think of any others? (That might support your charge of Empire, I mean?) :)
Can you think of a single example that does not look like colonial empire just doing what a colonial empire does?

Regarding Philippines again:
By the end of his term, US President Theodore Roosevelt "came to believe that the United States could not sustain long-term imperialism because of its ideals of self-government and its party system."
So, Teddy Roosevelt came to realise that USA was acting like a colonial empire. His realisation was slow, only by the end of his term, but at least he realised it. Why can't you?

The lands got from various Indian Nations were mostly got by war and treaty. I don't claim the U.S. dealt honestly with the Nations; but neither did the Nations deal honestly with the U.S. — the peace that finally came was concluded with treaties, ending wars that the U.S. won...
When USA wins colonial wars and imposes colonial treaties, it does not make matters any less colonial. Britain and France and Netherlands and Spain and Portugal all won a good deal of their colonial wars too. Does it make them any less colonial? A colonial empire wages colonial wars pretty much by definition.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #32
What is confusing about it?
I think I've got it now! According to ersi , the ONLY nations that aren't colonialists are those that have never won a war...
When you charge the U.S. with being "colonialist",  exactly you charge the U.S. with? Being a nation that hasn't been conquered? :)
Please make your point by listing some examples of non-colonialist nations...
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #33
When you charge the U.S. with being "colonialist",  exactly you charge the U.S. with? Being a nation that hasn't been conquered? :)
Teddy Roosevelt understood (probably in a limited way) that USA is a colonial empire, but you cannot. I guess we can't raise the level of discussion any higher.

Please make your point by listing some examples of non-colonialist nations...
Many of the colonised nations that later gained independence are non-colonial themselves. Estonia and Finland were colonised in so-called Northern crusades in 13th century, gained independence some 100 years ago, never colonised anybody else. Most sub-Saharan Africa and Pacific islands never colonised anybody else, but got colonised.

You see, for every colonial power, there are countries and peoples that got colonised, and most of the latter never became colonists themselves. Can you wrap your head around this?

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #34
guess we can't raise the level of discussion any higher.
Probably a good guess: You throw the term "colonialist" into a conversation only to justify your prejudice... Seems to me you use anti-colonialism  like others use anti-racism: as a cudgel to compensate for a deficiency in natural strength...
What happened fifty, a hundred, or a thousand years ago only matters if it can be used to support your preexisting animus.

You exaggerate certain traits of Americans and then berate them for being immoderate... And not understand why your belated or  outré logic is not immediately accepted.
 
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #35
What happened fifty, a hundred, or a thousand years ago only matters if it can be used to support your preexisting animus.
Is this one of those principles of yours? Something like "don't remind of old stuff"? How about applying this to the constitution, founding fathers etc., i.e. none of them basically matter? Ha, gotcha big time!!! :lol:

You know, I like history lessons for the enlightenment they provide. Learning helps a lot, even though, yes, you can call everything that helps a crutch. Okay, remain helpless then :)

Edit: By the way, this century does not make America look any better than fifty or hundred or two hundred years ago. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq make America look the way it has always been perceived  - as the most acutely troublesome colonial power ever since Western Europe retreated into being post-colonial.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #36
Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq make America look the way it has always been perceived  - as the most acutely troublesome colonial power ever since Western Europe retreated into being post-colonial.
It took a while, but you got there! How's that post-colonial Europe working out for everybody? :)

Your use of the word "troublesome" (above) is telling: Anything that disturbs your solitude is just another matter to gripe about.... :)

It seems you'd judge history according to the two extremes, a mythical Edenic past and an utopian future. Such obviates any reasonable analysis of current events, and precludes any realistic understanding of history per se.
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #37
It took a while, but you got there! How's that post-colonial Europe working out for everybody? :)
Yeah, let's talk about Europe's colonialism instead :) except that the problem is, as usual, that you barely know anything on American topics, much less about anything anywhere else in the world.

Europe's colonialism is not as much of a taboo topic for Europeans as American colonialism is for Americans, you in particular. When it comes to bad things, then your reaction is that others do it too - and did it first - whereas republican form of government, constitution, rights and liberties must definitely be peculiar to USA, even though all that was also done earlier in Europe (ancient Roman republic, ancient Athenian democracy, medieval Italian merchant republics and Hanseatic merchant city-republics, Balkan elective kingdoms and principalities etc.). Europeans really did pretty much everything before, both taboo and non-taboo.

Let me tell you what is really peculiar to USA: Slavery. In Europe there was no slavery for over a thousand years. Slavery was strictly a colonial feature, limited to overseas colonies. In European mainland it was phased out after the demise of the Roman empire. Whereas in USA, the idea was - and among some sizeable pockets of population still is - that the peculiar institution is a "natural and normal condition" of the land. Moreover, they manage to hold on to this peculiar idea alongside with all the freedoms and rights etc. that the constitution supposedly provides to everyone ("everyone" meaning true/real Americans only), and they do not perceive any contradiction whatsoever. Can you explain how this can work without short-circuiting the minds and hearts of people?

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #38
Let me tell you what is really peculiar to USA: Slavery. In Europe there was no slavery for over a thousand years. Slavery was strictly a colonial feature, limited to overseas colonies. In European mainland it was phased out after the demise of the Roman empire.
Sure, you ignore the Ottoman Empire. :) And some current Middle Eastern nations...
Your contention that slavery existed de facto in the U.S. after 1865 is puerile, and you know it.[1] And -you don't seem to know- that slavery existed on the North American continent before the Spaniard, Portuguese, Dutch, English and French arrived; the Indian Nations weren't the Noble Savages children's stories depict.
But as to the U.S. -itself a colony- and its relationship to slavery: You seem to think we invented it! (Certainly, most ideologues here believe so...) Do you really contend the phasing out of chattel slavery in Europe-proper made serfdom a nice and proper institution? (Russia too maintained medieval social institutions, until it found something worse!)
The Ancient World's experiments in Republicanism and Democracy were short-lived. Some post-Renaissance European nations experimented, too. The Reformation provided new exciting opportunities for bloody war to a grateful European Nobility! :)
Which do we note with approval, the few experiments or the many wars?

As for America, the U.S., we have longest-lived Republic in history... If your only complaint is that our laws and institutions don't function perfectly, welcome back down to Earth! :) If you can't get past your inferiority complex, I'm sorry for you; but it won't make me feel any the less respectful of my nation's accomplishments.
in USA, the idea [of slavery] was - and among some sizeable pockets of population still is - that the peculiar institution is a "natural and normal condition" of the land. Moreover, they manage to hold on to this peculiar idea alongside with all the freedoms and rights etc. that the constitution supposedly provides to everyone ("everyone" meaning true/real Americans only), and they do not perceive any contradiction whatsoever.
You of course mean, laws didn't magically reform racial prejudice away?!
Where have they ever?
Surely you're not so naive as to think such doesn't exist, outside the borders of the U.S. or the boundaries of its influence?
The example of Jim Crow laws is instructive: They were social class codifications -exclusions and inclusions- based on racial lines... However reprehensible, they were not slavery.
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #39
Sure, you ignore the Ottoman Empire. :) And some current Middle Eastern nations...
Middle East never was Europe, geographically. And Ottoman Empire never was Europe culturally. Ottomans are a whole other people/nation/country, not a continuation of the Byzantium. Otherwise one could argue that Genghis Khan's Mongolia is also somehow a European regime. (Because there is a Mongolian outpost in Europe to the current day, namely Kalmykia.)

Your contention that slavery existed de facto in the U.S. after 1865 is puerile, and you know it. The example of Jim Crow laws is instructive: They were social class codifications -exclusions and inclusions- based on racial lines... However reprehensible, they were not slavery.
So you do not want to call it slavery, but apartheid is fine? Okay, let's go with that. And note that it is not just de facto, but also de jure according to some Supreme Court decisions.

And -you don't seem to know- that slavery existed on the North American continent before the Spaniard, Portuguese, Dutch, English and French arrived; the Indian Nations weren't the Noble Savages children's stories depict.
The "others did it too" argument really does not mitigate the fact that USA also did it. Let's face it: USA did it.

Do you really contend the phasing out of chattel slavery in Europe-proper made serfdom a nice and proper institution? (Russia too maintained medieval social institutions, until it found something worse!)
No, serfdom was not nice either, particularly Russian style of serfdom. And people of course recognised serfdom for what it was and named it accordingly: Slavery. Still, everywhere in Western Europe serfdom was absolutely gone by the times of Napoleon. In the most progressive provinces of Russia, serfdom was abolished in 1820s - decades before USA. That was in Russia, the most backward country in Europe.

Anyway, you are keeping up "tu quoque" very well there. Good job :up:

The Ancient World's experiments in Republicanism and Democracy were short-lived.
Swiss and Hanseatic federalism were rather long-lived. Nearly all countries and governments in Europe got reset by Napoleon and then by the world wars, but these cataclysms purified the internal geopolitical picture by getting rid of almost all national claims over other nations, such as German claims in Baltics, Poland, Czech and elsewhere, Austrian claims in Balkans, etc. Ideally, it should dawn to everyone involved that self-determination is best.

Contrast this with USA who sees its own "interests" absolutely anywhere and everywhere, be it Kuwait or Afghanistan or Iraq or Libya, and does not hesitate to start wars over such "interests". There's barely a moment when USA is not in a colonial war. From the historical point of view it is easy to see why this is: USA has always been doing colonialism, more effectively so than even Britain. There's no way USA can stop itself.

As for America, the U.S., we have longest-lived Republic in history...
Rome, just the republican era, still beats it by twice the age of USA. Venetian republic lasted over a thousand years. San Marino claims to have had continuous existence for over 1700 years (as a republic) and keeps on going.

This is what I mean by irrational faith in America's uniqueness: Utter ignorance that it is far from unique.

If your only complaint is that our laws and institutions don't function perfectly, welcome back down to Earth! :)
I would not mind the "not perfectly" if you'd appropriately agree to it - that USA's laws and institutions don't function perfectly and that they are doing in fact worse than Europe is doing right now.[1] The problem is your irrational faith that USA's laws and institutions function uniquely well, despite ready evidence to the opposite.
Europe is behind in one thing and one thing only - the military. And it's probably good that this is so.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #40
This is what I mean by irrational faith in America's uniqueness: Utter ignorance that it is far from unique.
Other republics -ancient and modern (and contemporary)- are basically city-states... By that rubric the Vatican is the longest-lived monarchy!
Rome soon ceased to be a republic as it transitioned to empire.... That remains the greatest fear among conservatives in America: That the exigencies of empire will destroy our Republic. (Well, among the paleos, anyway.)

Europe is in many ways dysfunctional, no? The EU has some life left in it and some hope, thanks to the infusion of optimism from the Baltic states (yours included, ersi!).
There's nothing like a newfound freedom from foreign domination to bring out the best in a people! :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
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Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #41
Rome soon ceased to be a republic as it transitioned to empire....
Rome - as a republic - lasted twice as long as USA has until now. From early kingdom to late empire it lasted much longer still.

That remains the greatest fear among conservatives in America: That the exigencies of empire will destroy our Republic.
Yes, Trump almost did it. It would be a good idea not to let clowns and criminals run for president. Also foreign agents or puppets, just in case. Trump was all of it - and everybody knew it. He put government to a pretty rough test. But things will surely get rougher if he is not going to get justice for his actions.

Europe is in many ways dysfunctional, no?
Was. Right now it is doing perhaps even better than Japan.

I can tell you how USA is doing. My children's life dream was to get to see New York. So I took them there, booked a hotel near Times Square, visited Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue, got a photo of Trump tower too. Dirty streets. Beggars and hustlers on the streets, piles of trash and rats in the subway (Wall Street Station no less). And many other things you do not see in Europe. They returned severely disappointed and don't ever want to see the place again.

I myself have visited USA three times. Maybe I am going to visit it again. I know how to set my expectations. I have visited Russia during its lows, so shock tourism is not unfamiliar to me.

Re: (Not) All about Biden

Reply #42
Rome - as a republic - lasted twice as long as USA has until now. From early kingdom to late empire it lasted much longer still.
Lasted/i], past tense. Early Kingdom, Empire, beside the point...
Trump almost did it
TDS is -I fear- an incurable malady, a disorder that affects all the higher functions... (Closest diagnosis listed in DSMs is hebephrenia.) :)

My apologies to you and your children... (You must have visited during some Democrat administration[1]. :) What did you expect?)
At least -if you can set your own partisanship aside for the nonce- you know a crucial attribute of Republican opposition to recent Democrat power: Their motives notwithstanding, they seem always to turn gold into dross! The Rs think that's a crying shame...
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman
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