Today, there was a suggestion that I not post on this blog, a suggestion that I will follow.
In my previous post, I was talking about this comment (April 16): “Ahh yes, the “famous” The Economist. I Wonder when “westerners” will understand that they are a bunch of clowns who enjoy and believe their own propaganda. in dire straits, financially only? How about also “culturally”. Ah nevermind”
In any case, I will not be posting on this blog any more. It’s simply not worth being put in a position to defend the West whom this person labels “a bunch of clowns.” I will reserve my communications for private emails with people from my alumni networks.
Turn the situation around: you put up posts in a blog about American culture in a sincere effort to learn more about America; you get comments dismissing an entire civilization. It’s not worth the effort.
One thought on “Final Post”
Regarding your statement ” … I seek to learn with a fellow Harvard graduate, much in the way that I learned by taking a class on Japan as an undergraduate”, I think that’s why everyone reads postings on this site. I know it is the case for me.
If one’s objective is to learn about BRIC countries, presumably one also wants to learn about the views of people from those countries and the basis of such views. In this context, the comment …
“Ahh yes, the “famous” The Economist. I Wonder when “westerners” will understand that they are a bunch of clowns who enjoy and believe their own propaganda. in dire straits, financially only? How about also “culturally”. Ah nevermind”
… is interesting; primarily because *this is a common view of “Americans” outside the First World*. Is this common view “wrong”? Of course we think it is: We are Americans. 🙂
I personally have learned a lot about the US, and the way the rest of the world views the US, by engaging in open, friendly discussions with people who say things just like this to me. In particular, I have come to understand the Arab view of Americans quite well, and I can now see things from their perspective quite well (and it’s not at all crazy; it’s a very reasonable cultural perspective). I’ve also come to understand how the US causes problems for people in other countries (e.g., my personal belief is that QE1 and QE2 are actually making life more difficult for my beloved housekeeper, Maria).
In the end, I believe Americans have the responsibility to understand well the perspectives of the rest of the world, even if those perspectives are framed in language that we politically-correct Americans find too aggressive and personal. Why should the rest of the world spare Americans’ feelings? I’m not sure that the rest of the world owes us any big thanks for what we do. Ultimately, if we Americans are the great people we believe we are, we can certainly stand up and face our critics–even our personal critics–with courage. And then, hopefully, understand them and arrive at a better joint understanding of each other.
Or, if one prefers a more aggressive approach, if “Peace is produced by war” then shouldn’t we have an open war of ideas and see which ones win? I, for one, have no problems vigorously defending my ideas. I’ve learned a lot this way; usually through trying to defend indefensible ideas.