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E4MO-US les 1

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  E4MO-VS Les 1 American Identity …  American exceptionalism America = different than any other part of the world made of certain concepts: individualism, egalitarianism, populism, laisser-faire, liberty qualitively different, not quantity between the States and other communities: cultural, social, historical, political Liberty: Freedom is a two-inch sword, it is free to do sth and freedom from stuff Freedom to what?   religion, speech, from want (from being hungry, homeless, destitution,…), from fear  (security) Do americans have more freedom? (36:00) They say they have but they don’t, because of self reliance gives them a sense of freedom What is true about that argument, generalizing we Europeans are closer to the government than Americans, even though we dislike our governments, when we fall over, unemployed, sick, the government will be there to help us and support us. That’s not so in the US. Argument has some degree of truth. The fact that I’m closer to the government makes me freer.   Why wouldn’t   I trust the government? Philosophically great difference here in terms of freedom Sense of libertarianism (=ultimate freedom, away of all rules) in the US that does not exist in EU. In reality, the US have never been a confident state. US = oral society (talkative)   sense of confidence   helps this posit/negative image Ever since 1776 they lack confidence (question of who they are, what they are, ...) Constitution was written for white protestant guys in the beginning. big change has come with the Hispanics, 14%black people, 17% Hispanics In the future the white people will be in the minority That’s why there is the Tea Party, …  Whether they like it or not, their life, country is changing, and they cannot stop it. The question is: How are we gonna deal with that change? Egalitarianism: Argument = in the US they provide the opportunity, and this gives them chances that the other nations cannot provide. E.g.: Ease of mobility, flexibility (less protections for the worker, employer pays lower taxes,…) but in fact that means the industry can change very quickly (can broaden their workforce immensely) whereas in EU its very difficult to do that. More expensive to employ people in EU than in US. In US you can be fired very quickly as well because of that flexibility. The question is: how long will you have those opportunities? (secure?) Growing sense of inequality, very expensive healthcare system, (54:00)…   The ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’    Disconnection/lack of communication of the bigger chunk of society who don’t dare to talk to the other part. this gap is growing quicker and quicker   First signs of a society that can no longer control itself! Wrapped in in this: equal opportunity Interlinking of freedom and opportunities Individualism/ self reliance: A ll I care about is what I want…  Comes from history   when the States were founded there were 13 colonies/states and now 50 states They didn’t believe in central government, they believed in state rights, in different laws in different states. Up till today that is true to some extent. 13 srcinal states wanted to keep their different identities, and later the rest of the states as well, they have their own flags/state flowers…   that’s why the federal government is much stronger since the 13 srcinal states.  Individualism is born out of mistrust In 1800s: the American Frontier, a land of lawlessness, where the law had yet to catch up, …this provides this deep felt individualism.  In Belgium people left their country for the US (Antwerp –  White Star Line) because of the oppressive government and the church (monarchy). They had to be reliant on themselves after the dangerous trip. Laisser-faire = free market: The ability of not only producing/making stuff but also taking that money for investment to provide more money. the notion of investing in banks, shares, currency exchanges, …  After the turn into the 1900s   use of money but also abuse of money US = the most powerful nation state of the world, because of its relationship with the rest of the world: born out of economy (negotiations) Because of technology   much more was produced but there were not enough people to consume all of the produced stuff   trade was developed with the world. Using money and invest in other stuff (research and development was boosted) That’s why they are a very strong nation alongside the flexibility (see before)  Capitalism fits with their economic understanding, with this self-reliance Go ahead and create, invent, …  Capitalism goes well with being Protestant   work ethic (work hard)many americans are confused: they think they live to work rather than work to live Interlinking of individualism, flexible markets, capitalism, … all what drives forward this notion of society (…)  Populism: Continual voting system: Voting for the House of representatives, senate, every 2 years on average mid term elections   to elect the president voting for your own state   unique sense of democracy that does not exist anywhere else is voting democracy?    it’s just a progress    if only 20-30% votes, is that democratic? All about the opportunity to vote for someone who represents what you like. But in the US you would be an outlaw then. US promotes 2-party-system (…)     these 5 notions   clear distinct identity from other nations
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