Sorry guys, brace yourself for an essay because I’m annoyed with some recent stupid conversations with the conservatives in my family.
They usually conflate socialism with communism, and believe that socialism is destined to erode into totalitarian government, and government debt, meltdown, and anarchy. (But try comparing our blossuming debt under their form of capitalism to half of those democratic socialist countries and the difference evaporates.) Conservatives here look down on Europe which they perceive asbeing full of political chaos and riots, (they often actually say I prefer having 2 pastors, and two choices). They’re oblivious to it being the same as when less free Chinese and Russians I meet have looked down on the American system because they see we have more chaos from having more political parties and views that can dissent, instead of precious centrist harmony and a smaller overton window.
I think it is often a more efficient system. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to live in America where reading about how other countries do things better (such as healthcare), and then suggesting we should do things like another country is seen as radical and unpatriotic, especially by conservatives. My major was international business, but it makes no difference, they fall into physiological projection and tell you’ve been brainwashed by Marxism at the University, and should have gone to a Christian one, etc. Which is bogus because, our textbooks frequently cited articles from the WSJ (founded by Robert Murdoch who alsoppose founded Fox), the Financial times, and conservative think tanks. Our finance textbooks were part right-wing propaganda, our professors often were former CEOS and presidents.
That said, within the classes of my concentration which they had recently created due to morexcessive globalization/international trade, the curriculum was more balanced because it was neccessary to provide an international perspective the other business majors only glimpsed in order to work with other cultures and realities.
We were presented with a ton of statistics, and comparisons between countries and told to memorize as many detailed facts as we could about regions because anything could become a crucial fact at any time if you do business with that country or move there. A side effect of looking at real data and being encouraged to be prepared to draw your own conclusions to instantly regurgitate if a professor or future executive called on you, is that you tend to start questioning how your own system is run. Conservatives hate being told that their system isn’t as good as some tiny countries they look down on. They unquestioningly believe in American exceptionalism.
They also seem to think I must have lost my mind and done poor research to wind up believing in socialism after majoring in business. And they take it less seriously because I’m already crazy for giving up on Christianity because ‘you took one class,’ though changing my mind wasn’t nearly that instantaneous. Honestly, I don’t really want to stay where I live and deal with Americans anymore. Americans love watching the national news like it’s entertainment, and talking about politics like sports teams, but listening to the idiots talking to one another with incorrect facts and fallacious arguments gives you a headache and makes you grow stupider just like banging your head against the wall.
I’ve also traveled more than most Americans, and tried to seek out foreign friends and exchange students ever since college. The sad reality is that other Americans are not nearly as curious about things outside of their bubble, and are amazingly intolerant of skepticism. Hell, American passport ownership is amazingly low, alet hough when you only have 2 weeks of vacation a year I almost understand why theyou hardly vacation outside of the US. When they do, they still tend to do the Chinese guided tour on a bus thing out of excessive fear of being kidnapped by ordinary people living their lives.
I disagree with most of my country on religion and politics, and they’re definitely not motivated to listen patiently or give what I say a fair chance or do their own research, or investigate my claims even though I do that when something contradicts me. I was amazed Bernie Sanders got as far as he did, maybe in a couple more decades when he is dead we can finally fix our system or at leasthe make 3rd parties viable, though our reforms will be decades behind the functioning socialist countries at that poont.
Then again, I don’t know own how much we corruption can fix if we insist on operating as an empire that covertly engages with other countries and unleashes war on distant third world countries for our own interests and our allies. We might have to fall a bit and turn non-interventionalist out of neccessary before we can become more democratic.
I would rather have been born in a small peaceful country with more democracy, and the idiotic hostily I receive here for my views makes me not take much pride in being American. Australians and other countries don’t have to deal with that shit when they travel, and I would give up citizenship and switch to a Scandinavian country or Japan in a heartbeat if it were easy.
I do like hearing the European perspective for balance, although I still hate dealing with the majority of European or Australian travelers when they usually turn anti-American an at the drop of a hat for no reason other than that they have an opportunity to do so with an American. They usually treat me like I’m another American idiot that supports the America’s current XYZ proposition they dislike, and indirectly scold me or my kin for electing Bush, or Trump, and want to persuade me to think like they do about whatever. They like to point out how America fucked up Latin America and prod me about how America is losing global influence to China and we need to give way gracefully, as if I haven’t heard the same thing from a dozen other Europeans already and need to be a therapist or ambassador to every European with an axe to grind around Americans because they’re no longer colonial powers that dominate the world.
They’re used to picking on Americans at home, and more proud of where they’re from than I am, so when the conversation turns darkly familar, I like to wrap it up fast, and then rely on what I’ve read to answer them with their own obscure providential problems when I can, or just steer it to their Muslim immigrants.
in my family.