[thechat] Flaws in Cultures

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Sat Sep 28 12:50:00 CDT 2002

On Fri, 27 Sep 2002, Erik Mattheis wrote:

> The average American has more purchasing power than the people of any
> other country in the world
> <http://www.worldbank.org/data/databytopic/GNIPC.pdf> except for a
> couple dinky (and very Westernized) countries.
> Do you think Americans became so rich from being LAZY?

There's a great line in Julian Mitchell's Another Country,
(Background - it's a wonderful play set in an English fee-paying school in
the 1930s. Think Eton, although it's not actually that one), where the
school Communist comments on the school bully "He's exactly what this
school was designed to produce. Not Empire Builders -  my goodness no,
empire building requires imagination - but Empire Rulers"

I think much of the criticism of America is based on  despite having
started off with high ideals and high energy, and still claiming them both, the
shine has been allowed to tarnish. That economic success was built a
hundred years ago and maintained through military power.

I'm also sure that much of the economic wealth was fairly inevitable once
a large, united economy was established. Credit is due for not screwing it
up (qv Russia).


"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

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