The Legacy of Empire
  • Rexasaurus
    January 10, 2009

    ‘Aint that America.

  • M
    April 21, 2009

    I think I want to move to Canada even more than usual.

  • Rory
    April 27, 2009

    The ability to reject affluence because it doesn’t necessitate death in a hostile environment?

  • Geoff
    June 26, 2009

    Rory, I would venture to say that what you’re describing can and does occur in any of the post-industrial nations today, and I’m not convinced that it started in America either. Hell, Marx did it in the 1850s and he was married to aristocracy.

    I think there was always a social class that had the luxury of seeking shabbiness if it wanted to, (ie the landed gentry, who were sometimes highly eccentric) but maybe in the last 50 or 60 years it’s become easier for the middle-class to do it too.

    And I’ll concede that it’s been popularized most visibly in the last half-century by Americans: the Beat Generation and the hippies, especially.

  • KChris
    April 2, 2010

    Sorry Geoff, the beats were inspired by the Byronic ideals (as in Byron and the romantics) popularised by artists, mainly in France and Spain, in the first decades of the last century.

    All culture is European, except Other cultures.

  • Francois Tremblay
    May 17, 2010

    As a non-American who has lived in the US, believe me, there IS an American culture.

  • greg
    February 17, 2017

    Guns and Cowboys.

    And yes, you can point out that other countries have a history involving firearms and ranch workers, but the American version is distinctive.

  • Johnny Austin
    February 6, 2019

    Selling the means to commit genocide to people so that you have an excuse to invade thier country and impose unrealistic social conditions that would be illegal in your own country.

    That is pretty unique.

  • Clem
    April 26, 2023

    I’d posit that selling the means to commit genocide to ease a future invasion is not uniquely American either.

    If I recall correctly, some of the colonialism practiced by the British/Dutch/Belgians/etc started that way, particularly against African nations. Arm one side of a conflict, then eventually take over the nation anyway. What’s losing half the population when you can get rubber, jewels, ivory, etc?

    Throw in the arms races that started in the late 19th century with the Maxim gun and other weapons of mass destruction and… yikes.

    But yes… the U.S. has definitely mastered the art since then.

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