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 As the world views America

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: As the world views America   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:06 am

Interesting.
http://www.alternet.org/world/chomsky-who-wants-be-us
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:43 am

Sounds like Chomsky.  His political philosophy is somewhere in the neighborhod of libertarian/anarchist.

His linguistic theories and his concept of transformational grammar were very much the thing during the 70's.  My linguistics professor relied on him heavily, and, at the time, I was a believer.

That started to change while I was in therapy for a family problem.  My therapist and I got into a long discussion about the validity of applying his concepts to psychology,  She won. (That was starting to happen a lot toward the end of my time seeing her.  I finally strated to notice that she had stopped saying, "when do you want your next appointment" to, "Do you want to come in next month?"  I asked her what was up and she said,"Look, Ann, as much as I am enjoying our discussions, I cannot continue to take money from you when you so clearly don't need me in that way anymore."  At my last session, we exchanged phone #'s so we could start beng just friends.)
Back to Chomsky, his linguistic theories have been pretty much replaced by those of George Lakoff's theories of the primacy of metaphor, especially when they move into political areas.  I have posted many links, Abe, to pages that explain his ideas.  I won't do it again.  If you are interested in refreshing, just gpplge his name. Or not.  Very Happy
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:26 am

The whole point to the post was how America is viewed by others.  We may not like what we hear and can provide arguments against it, but it does not alter the fact that there are negative views or perceptions based on US actions.  We can be self-critical when it comes to the GOP and how they have twisted truth.  The world sees and hears this via the media.  Since the GOP is represented in government, there is a reflection.
There has definitely been a change in attitude toward America.  A survey I saw on TV this morning indicated that 61% of Germans don't trust America since the revelation of NSA's spying activities.  When one cannot trust a friend, the friendship will suffer and that is happening.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:55 am

Yes, it's true that friendships suffer when trust is lost.  That's happening a lot right now.  As far as the NSA revelations go, they don't involve anything that other countries haven't been doing for some time.  We have always had "intelligence" services, and so have countries in Europe and Asia.  What is happening, for better or worse, is that secrets everywhere are being exposed, including here.

Resentful people always look for reasons to back up their feelings, and this is what is happening around the world with the release of these secrets.  It's a bit like the current attacks here on the implementation of ACA.  Conservatives are complaining and acting enraged over problems with a program they don't want to work in the first place.  Secretly, they are pleased, and hope the problems continue.

Noam Chomsky's perspective is based on his philosophy, which is strongly anti-government, so, while the things he's pointing our are not invalid, they are limited, much like the current news sources here are.  They don't tell the whole story - just one side of it.

I will say this in his favor, though.  He still lives and works in the US.  That does give him an insider's perspective to express.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:13 am

Ann, are you saying that those who don't live in America should not express their views?
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:20 am

Not at all, Abe, but the perspective of an outside observer is going to be different from the perspective of those who live here and are actively involved with working for solutions.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:17 am

One can be actively involved and working for solutions in writing, especially via the Internet.  One does not need to live in an area to know what is happening there.  That is a thing of the past.  If that were still true, then living in one State would not give a person the knowledge to know what was happening in any other State, including the Nation's Capital, and therefore any opinion about events would not be valid.  The same is true for events in other countries.  Although we can not always rely on the media to give us unbiased facts, it is still remains a source for our information about local and world events, and we form opinions based on that information, as with "As the world views America."
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:42 am

Knowing what is happening is not the same as being in the immediate experience of it.  It is helpful to be aware of how others see us.  Ultimately, though, the choices and decisions can only be made from the inside, by people who are living the experience on a daily basis.

This is true for individuals as well.  In the long run, we each must learn to define ourselves rather than relying on an outsider's perspective.  In both instances, it is important to know the agenda of the one who is judging the actions.

In Chomsky's case, we have an insider relating his opinion concerning the outsider's perspective.  It cannot help but be tainted by his own personal agenda and point of view.  Having once been a student of Chomsky's work and positions, I have a feel for his perspective.

My post was intended to point it out so other readers might have a better idea of what he was saying, and why.

Chomsky's article is about how he views "America," using the persona of the outsiders to give more credence to his stand.  It may or may not be valid, but if we are going to read his article, we need to know where he is coming from in order to evaluate its relevance.

Just sayin'
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:22 am

You guys are too deep for me.  The U.S. is a large, diverse, powerful country with a history that includes things for which we should hang our heads and others for which we can stand up straight with pride.

As a country, the U.S. is not loved.  It grew to power without the history of other powers, without "paying our historical dues."  While other countries suffered we developed an automobile society and one of cheap, disposable "stuff."  We created hollywood and sport celebrities with lifestyles not before advertised to the world.  Diversity and ingenuity and innovation sent us shooting high for economic viability for everyone that came here and worked hard.

The rest of the world had envy and a bit of annoyance for an upstart with so much economic and military power that proclaimed "freedom" for its citizens.

We've crumbled a bit along the way, but our arrogance leaves us with few real friends.  That's just the way it is.  It's some human trait that revels in the downfall of someone greater than us.  The rest of the world just watches for our crumbles, but we dust ourselves off and move up again.

This time so no one forgets, the Bush years threw us into such a recession at a time when manufacturing jobs that supported the middle class were already shipped overseas that recovering is very difficult.  This time the domino effect incorporated other countries of the world where their economic bubbles also burst.

This is a time of unrest and suspicion and looking over the shoulder.  The U.S. remains suspect for its wealth in spite of the poverty and declining incomes for working class people.  Remember, the very wealthy have become even more so and gained power to go with it.  They represent this greedy U.S. - not a pretty picture to a world mostly bogged down in their own economic slumps.

You think it looks good for our corporate giants to enslave workers in other countries to pump out cheap clothes for the U.S. market?  I saw the dormitories in S. Korea when the chip industry first began its exploitation of undeveloped countries and their newest resource, cheap labor.

Everybody still wants to come here.  The poor have better lives here than in undeveloped countries.  They fair far better in some northern European countries, but they limit immigration even more than we do.  Opportunity still exists here; but the jobs that made the middle class are gone - gone forever.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:56 am

Gone, yes.  Forever, I'm not so sure, which doesn't mean that your analysis of our current situation is not astute.  I believe that everything that has been happening these past few months are a sign that things are changing.  I'm not sure what the future will be, but I'm convinced it will be different.  The middle class will be a big part of the change.  As more and more of the secrets are exposed, the more the general public knows about what has been happening, the more the middle class will regain power.   What is happening now is due to the dissolution of the old paradigm.  The lashing out at women, at racial and ethnic minorities is a part of the panic being experienced by those who want desperately for it to continue as it is now.  But that isn't going to happen.  Look back.  This pattern has been developing for some time.  the patriarchal mindset that rulled during the industrial era, the mindset that put science and technology over  the arts, and still does for the moment, to the detriment of our educational systems among other things, is fading as the power of the age of information grows stronger.  The term itself, "middle class," will be a thing of the past, along with the whole concept of class, which is what has been holding back the growth of women and of the racial and ethnic groups which have beeen deemed inferior.

what do you want the future to look like?  Envision it, focus on it, and work to make it happen.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:34 pm

Yes, the future will be different.  Scientists predict that in 50 million years North America, Europe and Africa will be one land mass as the continents move together.  When we talk of the future it is relevant to talk of near future or the future beyond our future. 
 
I believe that The Future is Now.  We are living the future.  We create our own future by the decisions and actions we make today.  We can turn a blind eye to how others view us, but that does not change the views.  Those views may be considered opinions, but I believe they also become active and produce actions that affect us.  The word arrogance was mentioned in DK's post.  That is valid.  Arrogance is not just words one uses, but also actions.  To tell the world that "we are the best and the most powerful" is a bit arrogant.  Even if true, it does little to build relationships/friendships that are so needed to live together in peace.  On a personal note, I hate it when one tries to impress me with how much better he/she, tooting their own horn.  I also find that a problem with self-promotion. 
I realize that my views/opinions differ from many, but they are my views based on current/active input I receive and from my experience.  Sometimes I don't even know why I feel a certain way.  My gut feelings may be telling me what my sub-conscious has stored and processed that information providing me with a summary of that input.  
The older I get, the more I realize how little I know.  We are inundated with new information on a daily basis.  Trying to ascertain what is right and wrong or what is important to retain is a constant battle.  I have found that letting the information sink in and not trying to form an immediate opinion provides me with the sense I need to function.  Expressing that feeling provided by the processed information can lead to conflict with others, especially when challenged as to the source.  Trying to explain the inner source is futile. 
Following our instincts can be a sensible way to live our lives.  It could be the animal in us that provides the security we need.  What is right for me does not have to be in agreement with anyone else and I often wonder why I feel the need to respond to some posts.  I'm working on that.  If someone wants an opinion, they should ask for it.  What is given freely is seldom received well.  It may cause one to wonder if there is some agenda involved, as Ann mentioned.
Now that I have said what I did, I wonder why I did it.  Did I feel the need to express my views?  In any event, I acted on my gut feeling.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:43 am

From the beginning I acknowledged that Chomsky's views were not invalid.  That means that they are accurate from a certain point of view.  The perspective is that of a political linguist who is known for his strong anti-government feelings. I believe that is an important thing to be aware of in order to understand the slant of the article and its author's agenda.  Are there arrogant people in the US?  of course there are.  There are arrogant people everywhere.  There are also more and more individuals who have moved into that future and are working to make it a place where inequities no longer exist. We saw evidence of the changes in the elections just this week.  By this time a year from now, I believe they will be even more evident.

Yes, we create our reality, and the future is here. as I have been saying for some time now.  The old  regime is crumbling, as are old friendships and alliances, and those who would see that old world continue are becoming more openly angry and hateful and clinging to an extreme view that is no longer viable in a growing number of people, both here and in the rest of the world. Anger and hatred breed war. Competition for power breeds war.

Yes, we create our reality, and the more we focus on what is wrong, the more we reinforce its continuance.  The more we focus on the possibilities for a better world - not just a better USA or Canada or Europe or even Germany, the more we work for ithe power of the individual rather than being concerned about which country is the most powerful, the fewer wars we will have.

Responding with more anger and hate will not fix anything. The concepts of "best" and "most powerful" are concepts belonging to that dying worldview.  Hatred and anger are bred by fear, as is arrogance, the arrogance of believing one's position on an issue is the right one, and that any other perspective is wrong.

I did not say Chomsky was wrong, only that his perspective was limited.

No one - no thing, is either bad or good. Being whole means accepting the presence of both within ourselves, and recognizing that it is not about eliminating one force of the other but about holding them in balance.  That is how we become effective, and realizing that we can have an effect give us a sense of personal power that is not arrogant or self-serving, but an be applied in a positive way.  Being judgmental is not going to change anything or anyone.  I am not judging Noam Chomsky for holding his perspective.  I am only pointing out that he is expressing one - one of many.

I do, personally, see it as a negative point of view, and I have concerns that too much focus on the negatives will bring them about.

It is also true, as DK and I were discussing on another thread, that what is positive from one point of view can be seen as negative from another, Open discussion which is willing to explore all sides of an issue can only come about if we are willing to let go of the arrogant need to be right and the need to judge a different way of seeing things as invalid.

When we each make peace with ourselves, we can let go of the need to be right; we can let go of ange and the fear that causes it, and from that place, we can work to bring peace to the world.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:16 am

My favorite church hymn - "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me..."
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:01 am

11/14/2013

                     It's embarrasing that our govt. that has a bunch of jackasses running it,
                     and the world is laughing it's ass off because the American public is
                     allowing them to destroy this country ! Our name is MUD around the world.

                                                   Cheers..Joe..
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:52 pm

Abe is correct...you can live anywhere, and know the whole world. Governments are out of date. We only need one. If the world becomes under one government, then it will be, race against race. If we mix all the races, and get one race, it will be the tall against the short. If we fix that, it will be male against female. if we fix that we will be gay..."Hell, better to leave things as they are.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: As the world views America   Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:57 pm

good points, Domenic.
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