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(16,879 posts)
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 08:57 PM Dec 2014

What Is the Nature of This Country We Have?

The USA was born in violence. We had wars with the Indians, wars with the French, a war with the British, and perhaps worst of all, the enslavement of Africans. This land is soaked in blood. Time and again, we have also been inflamed by people in power to get involved in foreign conflicts as well, although our resolve to finish the work often falters before the task is completed, whatever 'completion' means in each case. We're warlike, but there is also a strong undercurrent that makes us wish for peace. In essence, we go to war in order to achieve peace.

That's what I mean when I ask what is our nature. We're told by the people we elect (and many who aren't elected) that if we go to war one more time, it will be brief and we'll have the peace we've all been hoping for. We have our military stationed all over the world, ostensibly to ensure the peace is kept in one place or the other. Why haven't we stopped once and considered what we've been doing? Can the American people, as a nation, think rationally about our actions and their consequences? Are war and torture our best or only methods to achieve peace? Can we ever look at things rationally or will we always let our emotions carry us from one action to the next without ever thinking ahead to envision the consequences of our actions?

I believe that my neighbors and I want to live peacefully. I believe the vast majority of Americans want to live peaceful lives. I believe that most Americans are good people and really want the world to be a peaceful place. But why are we so blind to the hell we have unleashed on countries all over the world so that they'll clean up their act and do things in a manner that we find acceptable? Are we just a mob of 300 million+ who crash through the world like a crowd of soccer hooligans?

I've been thinking about this for a while and that's all I can come up with. How can this species survive when the best we can do is stumble through the world like a bunch of drunken apes? I'm beginning to think we're going to need another leap forward in the development of our species before we'll be able to make ourselves worthy of this vast universe we've inherited. We're just going to have to become something else.

24 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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What Is the Nature of This Country We Have? (Original Post) LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 OP
Children of Manifest Destiny! nt adirondacker Dec 2014 #1
I wonder how closely the concept of Manifest Destiny is tied LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #9
I often think that religion is invented by the ruling class to herd the flock. adirondacker Dec 2014 #15
"Religion was invented when hifiguy Dec 2014 #21
Not invented by but defiantly used by. zeemike Dec 2014 #23
Something new under the sun is happening nowdays. hifiguy Dec 2014 #2
+1000 JEB Dec 2014 #4
Sadly, I must agree. LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #5
One would think that watching The Hunger Games some may get a clue, but apparently iPhones are a adirondacker Dec 2014 #13
But the people will not rise up WHEN CRABS ROAR Dec 2014 #14
Pretty much sums it up... mountain grammy Dec 2014 #19
+1 eom Odin2005 Dec 2014 #24
America is so past tense WillTwain Dec 2014 #3
Maybe America never was. LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #7
It was, as someone once said of Christianity, hifiguy Dec 2014 #8
In Greed We Trust™ GeorgeGist Dec 2014 #6
The Parable of the Tribes The2ndWheel Dec 2014 #10
Freedom, phooey. If you can't sell it at Walmart, we don't want it. Unlike drunken apes, more like jtuck004 Dec 2014 #11
Humans are lazy, myself included. LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #17
"History supplies little more than a list of people who have helped themselves to the property of Tierra_y_Libertad Dec 2014 #12
And those are the people we hold up as examples and LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #18
How about sinful and unclean? That is a phrase that I grew up with in confession and I have found jwirr Dec 2014 #16
I don't know about "sinful." LuvNewcastle Dec 2014 #20
I get what you are saying. I think the phrase just means that we have a tendency for doing bad jwirr Dec 2014 #22


(16,879 posts)
9. I wonder how closely the concept of Manifest Destiny is tied
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:03 PM
Dec 2014

to the Great Awakenings. Manifest Destiny looks a bit evangelical to me. Anyway, I think America could have certainly done without the First and Second Great Awakenings. Those, I think, set the stage for the Ugly American attitude for which we're famous all over the world. We not only have a right, but a duty to tame the rest of our world and convert the heathens. Evangelical religion -- and any religion can be evangelical -- has been a very destructive force all over the world. Why must so many people insist that things are done their way?


(2,921 posts)
15. I often think that religion is invented by the ruling class to herd the flock.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:10 PM
Dec 2014

Having traveled abroad somewhat extensively, I never realized "the Ugly American" until i came across a few while being in other countries. The xenophobia, self importance and closed mindedness oozes from many and perhaps it originates out of fear or their narcissistic upbringing. I do know that in every country, if there is a fistfight it's typically an American, Brit or Australian that is involved. It's one of the reasons I flee the tourist traps and seek out my own adventures. I'm typically congenial and accepting by nature and I've met some wonderful people in a variety of places.


(18,998 posts)
23. Not invented by but defiantly used by.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:49 PM
Dec 2014

It is the enlightened one who "invents" religion, and as soon as he is gone the ruling class co opts it for control...Christianity for example was hijacked by Rome for power and control.
And today the right wing has hijacked it for the sake of Ayn Rand philosophy.

Buy you are right about the ugly American...We have been trained in confrontation and conflict in dealing with the world...and that was not the principles this country was founded on, but what we have become.



(33,688 posts)
2. Something new under the sun is happening nowdays.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 09:09 PM
Dec 2014

We are seeing the evolution of what I call the New Fascism.

It's a technologically based, authoritarian/propaganda state. It relies principally on the utter garbage that is pumped out of the M$M 24/7 to lull the sheeple into a numbed state where they think all is well, but there is still as a part of that message to be FEARFUL of the other - blacks, gays, uppity wimmin, terrists - at all times. The fear distracts from the fact that the constitutional guarantees Americans have relied on for generations no longer exist unless you are in the 1%. That media also constantly repeats and reinforces the message that our Great American Capitalist Masters can do no wrong. Ever.

What is new about it is the combination of feudal economics with a fascist power structure. Past fascists, from AH to Peron to Pinochet have relied on a strong, relatively prosperous (albeit frightened) middle class as the bedrock upon which to build their rule. Not The New Fascists.

The New Fascist economic project is to literally put all of the wealth of the society into the hands of the top 1% or so, leaving the masses an impoverished peasantry. The fascist elements of the propaganda/police state are there to confuse and distract or punish brutally, that peasantry. The New Fascists believe to the marrow of their bones that one dime in the hands of someone not in the 1% is a dime that is rightfully theirs and they intend to get it and keep it by any means possible, with force being an immediate option should the peasantry not like it.

They want all the Money in the country, and probably the world, and they want all the Power necessary to safeguard THEIR Money by any means necessary. They stole it fair and square, by Christ, and IT IS THEIRS BY DIVINE RIGHT. If propaganda and veiled threats work, that is for the best because those are comparatively cheap methods. But force is the only option beyond propaganda in their minds. And it will be used with a Tienanmen Square-like brutality if it comes to that. In fact Tienanmen Square will look like a Girl Scout picnic if the dullard US masses ever figure out what has been done to them and rise up. The NEw Fascists will never cede an inch or a penny. Ever.

George explains it all here:


(16,879 posts)
5. Sadly, I must agree.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 09:41 PM
Dec 2014

Humanity's future is looking grim. All I do is try to think of ways to make it better. I know that what we've always done will not work. Let's all do something differently, or at least do no harm


(2,921 posts)
13. One would think that watching The Hunger Games some may get a clue, but apparently iPhones are a
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:40 PM
Dec 2014

great distraction to what is really taking place.


(3,813 posts)
14. But the people will not rise up
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:43 PM
Dec 2014

they have been conditioned from cradle to grave, though effective propaganda to believe in "America land of the free and home of the brave."

They cry patriotic tears and lay down their lives for what they believe to be the best and only country in the world to live in, they have lost their ability for critical unemotional thinking.

They have lost their ability to say NO, no more of this, no more pledging allegiance to this corporation run government.



(1,489 posts)
3. America is so past tense
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 09:17 PM
Dec 2014

They view us as a relic in the arc of history. We are an innefficient lot. The cost benefit analysis has been done and they need to cut their losses.


(16,879 posts)
7. Maybe America never was.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 09:54 PM
Dec 2014

Perhaps it was a noble concept that never quite got off the ground. It was a nice pretty cake, but it fell when they pulled it out of the oven.



(33,688 posts)
8. It was, as someone once said of Christianity,
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:00 PM
Dec 2014

not tried and found wanting, but never actually tried at all.


(7,947 posts)
10. The Parable of the Tribes
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:12 PM
Dec 2014

In nature, all pursue survival for themselves and their kind. But they can do so only within biologically evolved limits. The living order of nature, though it has no ruler, is not in the least anarchic. Each pursues a kind of self- interest, each is a law unto itself, but the separate interests and laws have been formed over aeons of selection to form part of a tightly ordered harmonious system. Although the state of nature involves struggle, the struggle is part of an order. Each component of the living system has a defined place out of which no ambition can extricate it. Hunting- gathering societies were to a very great extent likewise contained by natural limits.

With the rise of civilization, the limits fall away. The natural self-interest and pursuit of survival remain, but they are no longer governed by any order. The new civilized forms of society, with more complex social and political structures, created the new possibility of indefinite social expansion: more and more people organized over more and more territory. All other forms of life had always found inevitable limits placed upon their growth by scarcity and consequent death. But civilized society was developing the unprecedented capacity for unlimited growth as an entity. (The limitlessness of this possibility does not emerge fully at the outset, but rather becomes progressively more realized over the course of history as people invent methods of transportation, communication, and governance which extend the range within which coherence and order can be maintained.) Out of the living order there emerged a living entity with no defined place.

In a finite world, societies all seeking to escape death- dealing scarcity through expansion will inevitably come to confront each other. Civilized societies, therefore, though lacking inherent limitations to their growth, do encounter new external limits – in the form of one another. Because human beings (like other living creatures) have "excess reproductive capacity," meaning that human numbers tend to increase indefinitely unless a high proportion of the population dies prematurely, each civilized society faces an unpleasant choice. If an expanding society willingly stops where its growth would infringe upon neighboring societies, it allows death to catch up and overtake its population. If it goes beyond those limits, it commits aggression. With no natural order or overarching power to prevent it, some will surely choose to take what belongs to their neighbors rather than to accept the limits that are compulsory for every other form of life.

In such circumstances, a Hobbesian struggle for power among societies becomes inevitable. We see that what is freedom from the point of view of each single unit is anarchy in an ungoverned system of those units. A freedom unknown in nature is cruelly transmuted into an equally unnatural state of anarchy, with its terrors and its destructive war of all against all.


(15,882 posts)
11. Freedom, phooey. If you can't sell it at Walmart, we don't want it. Unlike drunken apes, more like
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:14 PM
Dec 2014

lazy bastards who can barely muster the energy to pick one plantation owner over another before getting back to $erving the banks.


(16,879 posts)
17. Humans are lazy, myself included.
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:16 PM
Dec 2014

It's a shame that we spend so much time in life acquiring things to wear or put in our mouths. I wish our species had as much of a thirst for knowledge as they do designer clothes and fattening food and good-looking sex partners. Knowledge is the only thing that will lift us up out of this mire we're in, and we can never run out of it. There are so many places we could go if we would learn and cooperate with each other. Like I say, if our descendants ever get out of this hole and truly grow in knowledge, those descendants will probably have evolved into another species already. I don't hold out a lot of hope for this species as things stand now. I can try to do my part to make things better, but if I were playing our odds in a casino, I wouldn't bet on us.



(50,414 posts)
12. "History supplies little more than a list of people who have helped themselves to the property of
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:36 PM
Dec 2014
"History supplies little more than a list of people who have helped themselves to the property of others." - Voltaire


(39,215 posts)
16. How about sinful and unclean? That is a phrase that I grew up with in confession and I have found
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:11 PM
Dec 2014

that it pretty well defines us at some time in our lives and apparently the world we live in.


(16,879 posts)
20. I don't know about "sinful."
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:24 PM
Dec 2014

I guess it's a matter of terminology. I don't call people "sinful," but I do avoid people with characteristics that I don't like. I would avoid murderers or rapists, of course, because those are heinous acts. I suppose a person could call those people "sinful," but I just call them bad. I do believe in the existence of evil, though. I have seen it and felt it.


(39,215 posts)
22. I get what you are saying. I think the phrase just means that we have a tendency for doing bad
Thu Dec 18, 2014, 11:46 PM
Dec 2014

things. The other half of being able to do good.

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