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rootis
I may be a new member to this forum, but i am not a new reader.
And after seeing quite a deal of posts (no names) beings closed down because of obvious bashing, and trolling, i will give this Poll-Threading a chance.

As a citizen of Sweden, i have come across quite a deal of Americans, some arrogant, ignorant and obnoxious, some intelligent, friendly and understanding.

One thing, which usually annoys Europeans and other none-American Citizens, is the Jealousy part. Many americans claim that people "are just jealous of us", when they get denouncing comments about the United States.

Unfortunately, this is a topic i never addressed the Americans i have spoken to, and i thought this would be a good opportunity to address the question in a civic manner.
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Christopher
I don't think it's a jealousy thing. It's more of a difference of opinions that at best can only lead to civil debate. At worst hatred.
You know in all honesty Rootis I have typed for quite some amount trying to answer this. It never ends or at least it is a question with so many variables it would take a long time to lay them out.
So I erased it and will try to give a quick version on why I think we have these problems.

One: Yes we have flaws. Some quite serious. But in general we think we are good people. We move fast to aid those in need. Most Americans really wouldn't hesitate to help those in need. Yet all we hear anymore is how mean we are. How brutish, greedy,violent and culturally limited. EVERYWHERE else in the world is so much more sophisticated. We are often called up because we do not pay attention to the cultures of the world. America is a HUGE place. There is literally tons of things to do and explore here. You could spend most of your life just looking around here. Add to the fact that we come from all over the world. We also do not have as much free time as say Europe. The time it would take me to get there sleep off the jet lag and then be ready to go would mean I have to turn around and come home.
Plus as a Swede it doesn't take too much time for you to cross borders and visit for a few days in many cases. We have to cross the ocean and even with modern transportation that isn't a short trip.
There is no nation or culture on this world that is not here somewhere. They all left and came here. So there is a feeling that if the rest of the world is so great why do so many come here by any means possible. If so many come here why in the world would we want to go to where they fled from.

Our culture (food movies tv music clothes) is constantly bashed. Yet all over the world it is either adopted with a voracious appetite OR copied almost to the point of theft. If we are so horrible why is this. Ther are also attempts in some countries to get our stuff banned because it is quickly encroaching on and often replacing local versions hmmm.gif

We are very good at creating more efficient means of doing business. We are often so good at it we can easily overwhelm other nations ways of doing business. Granted we have some corporations that definitely take advantage of more limited economies but at the same time it is also made possible by corrupt govermentsthat allow these businesses to operate so for a cut of the profits. Also some ggovermentsare not set up so capitalistically. Socialist systems cannot adapt fast enough to the rapid pace of the American business models. Their focus is on maintaining an even balance to aaccommodatetheir lifestyle. With a fast changing more global economy they fall behind and their system become difficult to maintain. So we get blamed for their instability. We also do come in with "Guns Blazing" in that we like to win. We do not really like second place and will go all out to win. Many times the social cost doesn't justify the monetary gain.

We also get very tired of those of our own who under the "I have a right to my opinion" clause will take any chance to complain about our country. Bashing everything we do and stand for. Constantly ending their rants with "If we were more like Europe, or Sweden or the French or,,,,,,," So I think we get a little defensive.

We are definitely a proud people. For a very long time we have gotten nothing but criticism. Some is well deserved. We do have a bad habit of sticking our noses in other goverments affairs. This angers me as well. I have a lot of faith and much love for America and her beliefs her way of doing things and her values so I get really annoyed with the cowards who constantly talk about how we must overthrow the "Enemy" before we are destroyed. I think that if we just lead by example others will follow. They may not want to be exactly like us but I think most people in the end want the freedom to live their lives as they wish. Having the freedom to make those decisions.

Did I mention the variables were many? whistling.gif
I hope I came across as honestly trying to answer this in a positive way.
I'll leave it at that and hope the Flamers don't get this debate cancelled.
Paladin Elspeth
Yes, it is generally thought in the United States that people outside the United States are "just jealous of us." That doesn't mean I agree with the thinking. It means that it is what some of our politicians have told us to believe.

Each country has qualities in its citizens or its natural resources or opportunities that may be enviable to others. One of them is food production. One is wages. One is a shorter work week. One is a sense of personal industry. The list goes on.

People of the United States have both more and less of the things that people in other countries want. When the people of the United States show their friendliness and basic sense of fair play, we are liked better by those in other countries. When we trumpet our "superiority" militarily or otherwise disregard the rights and opinions of other nations, of course we are disliked, let alone when we preemptively invade a nation and allege its ties to terrorist organizations when there is no evidence that can be shown to support the allegations.

People are people, regardless of what country they come from. Our ideologies divide us to the degree that we allow them to. Obviously, if we are out to hurt each other, we're not going to get along.
Robin_Scotland
I think we debated the jealousy issue in a thread a while back called 'Why do they hate us?'. Some were of the opinion that people who hated the US did so because they were jealous. While I myself don't agree with that (I think putting it down to jealousy is seriously underestimating the motives of terrorists), I wouldn't rule it out as a minor reason.

But thats terrorists.

I am also from Europe, and have to say I am in no way jealous of the USA. I'm not jealous of any country, or its peoples way of life. This may be partly to do with the quality of life where I live, and the fact that politically, the way elections are run in Scotland (not the UK) fits in more with my beliefs than the structure in the US does.

Of course there are certain things about the US I think are great. Its a beautiful country, and the people for the most part are wonderful and friendly. I am obsessed with movies, and some of the best movies come out of the US. Music also, who can argue that the US hasn't contribute more than its fair share to the evolution of modern music. But why be jealous? The entertainment culture of the US is exported around the world and isn't kept for itself.

I think people will find that, generally, the thinking people of the world rarely have a problem with a country as a whole. I have my problems with the Bush Administration and the corportations who have too much influence over important decisions, but it's nothing against the country or its people. So the things I dislike about the US (which are pretty much the same as the things I dislike about my own country) aren't things I can be jealous of.

In fact I would say I am jealous of New Zealanders! Seems like a fabulous place to live: socially, economically and politically. Hope I get to visit there someday, but not to blow them up because I'm jealous. Jealousy isn't a reason for hatred, its a motivation to visit somewhere and cherish what you are envious of smile.gif
rootis
christopher, i must say, i disagree whit quite a deal of what you are saying, perhaps we could have a private discussion about it?.

But thank you for your input. cool.gif


Paladin Elspeth,
QUOTE
People are people, regardless of what country they come from. Our ideologies divide us to the degree that we allow them to. Obviously, if we are out to hurt each other, we're not going to get along.

From personal experience, i would say that it is usually the way United States act (all to often arrogant and hardheaded), that makes it 'hard to get along'.

Thank you for your input. smile.gif

Robin_Scotland
QUOTE
In fact I would say I am jealous of New Zealanders! Seems like a fabulous place to live: socially, economically and politically. Hope I get to visit there someday, but not to blow them up because I'm jealous


Apparently the kiwis are quite friendly. innocent.gif
Jaime
QUOTE(rootis @ Jan 12 2004, 08:46 AM)
christopher, i must say, i disagree whit quite a deal of what you are saying, perhaps we could have a private discussion about it?.

We don't encourage debating by PM. You asked the question to the public, keep the debate in the public. ermm.gif
Julian
While I don't believe that majority of American posters here would say that foreign disagreements with and oppostion to America, Americans and American policy is motivated primarily by jealousy, and I certainly don't think that jealousy plays more than a minority part in foreign criticism or anti-Americanism (the two are linked but not identical, and the former is far more prevalent than the latter), I do think that most ordinary Americans think jealousy is, a or, the main reason "why they hate us".

So I voted "Yes".

Question: Was 18th, 19th and early 20th century hostility to Britain motivated by jealousy? For most of that time Britain was the world's leading cultural, military, industrial and politcal power - not to mention the richest. It was the closest equivalent to being a "sole superpower" the way America is today since ancient Rome, after all. So it would be reasonable to assume that hostility to Britain was motivated by jealousy, wouldn't it? Weren't the American revolutionaries "jealous" of the political representation they didn't have but felt they were paying for?

I don't ask because I want the debate to move that way, but rhetorically to illustrate how weak the "you're just jealous" line is. Some people may have been jealous of Britain, just as some may be jealous of America today, but most of disagreements or hostility toward Britain had real tangible causes to the people holding them. Whether they seemed real and tangible to the British, or even to disinterested observers, is quite another matter.
Christopher
I have no problem with continuing the debate publicly Rootis. It might be better that way. As I said I think there are several things that bring about this feeling but my initial response was quickly reaching Epic proportions and was losing quality as it began to widen trying to hit all the areas I wanted to express. Maybe you are worried that the Flamers will begin to strike this thread. Possible. Perhaps where you disagree does not actually fit with the point of the jealousy debate, my views on socialism perhaps. In that case we can find a current debate that fits the subject or subjects or even start a new one. (I just tried to start a debate but had it gunned as being too broad crying.gif )
However I think debates such as this one are important especially because it is a touchy subject to many. Their passions can be overwhelming and disrupt their ability to debate past the kindergarten stage of "You are a Jerky Head". However this is the very reason for continued debate. To allow fear of a few with limited social skills to end discourse would be sad. The greatest failure in life is to resort to violence to force others to accept ones's point of view. Whether physical or implied by verbal assault. I believe I am right in what America offers the world and her flaws. I also believe that through debate acting in a respectful manner I can convince others I am correct. I also recognize that I could be dead wrong and am open to that fact and willing to adjust my world view. However that requires one really good argument. So let us continue this debate Rootis.

Where do you disagree?

QUOTE
Americans and American policy is motivated primarily by jealousy

Uhm Julian? jealousy? Most of us pay very little attention to the world outside our borders. Exactly how do you get jealousy? Isn't the main gripe about Americans that we are too arrogant too proud of who we are? Illuminate me please Brother Julian
rootis
I can only speak for myself, and i don't feel any jealousy against United States.
Mostly because i don't see anything to be jealous about.

I think the disillusion most americans have, have created any statement of jealousy. Most americans get fed everyday, that they're are the best, they're richest, they're the most powerful.

I also understand quite well, that the americans on this board aren't the average-american type of people.

christopher, the disagreements i had is not part of the debate, hence the cause of my point to a private discussion about it. (We would simply stray away from the topic)
Christopher
Actually Rootis I think we are the average americans really.

QUOTE
I think the disillusion most americans have, have created any statement of jealousy. Most americans get fed everyday, that they're are the best, they're richest, they're the most powerful.

Personally i think this is a root cause of tension between us and everyone else. Our standard of living is good. Our "Poor" live very well compared to most of the world. Often better than the "Wealthy" of some places I guess. We are called ARROGANT but beleive we are merely CONFIDENT. We also have great wealth in this country and even though many will argue about how it is created or the phantom "RICH POEPLE WHO SECRETLY RUN THE WORLD" we have an amazing number of people who became wealthy simply from hard work.
Personal example my neighbor. Dropped out of school his Junior year became an electrician, started his own company, Guy is loaded. I would love to live as he now does. I am jealous of his Jetskis sour.gif .
Do we have alot of snobby people who are spoiled rotten and ruder than all get out with a heavy dose of ignorance. Yep! They seem to be the ones everyone remembers. Perhaps this is the biggest downside of we don't travel. You don't get to meet a broad enough spectrum of us.
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Billy Jean
I look at the Worlds perception of the US kind of like the Dark Side of the Force:

Fear, anger, jealousy are all different sides of the same coin. sad.gif
Julian
QUOTE(christopher @ Jan 12 2004, 02:39 PM)
QUOTE
Americans and American policy is motivated primarily by jealousy

Uhm Julian? jealousy? Most of us pay very little attention to the world outside our borders. Exactly how do you get jealousy? Isn't the main gripe about Americans that we are too arrogant too proud of who we are? Illuminate me please Brother Julian

I shall repeat myself with emphasis for clarity:

QUOTE
While I don't believe that majority of American posters here would say that foreign disagreements with and oppostion to America, Americans and American policy is motivated primarily by jealousy


The bold "is" should have been an "are" first time around. I wasn't trying to imply Americans are jealous of anything, although the ease with which you wind yourselves up over European airs of "superiority" sometimes implies an unconscious sense of inferiority among you. mrsparkle.gif

Of course, the fact that it always gets a rise out of you is the main reason that we do it. wink.gif mrsparkle.gif

It's like when the British say that Americans "don't understand irony" or that American actors can't do British accents very well (out of fashion since the likes of Renee Zellweger, Gwyneth Paltrow and James Marsters have done it so well, albeit with standard-issue estuarine RP). We know you do, but we also know you will get reliably indignant and begin to list all the reasons why the accusation isn't true, completely ignoring the way we are all laughing at your predictability.

You do the same to us about teeth and the Royal Family, so it's okay. tongue.gif thumbsup.gif
rootis
QUOTE
You do the same to us about teeth and the Royal Family, so it's okay.


The teeth issue i would like to ask about dry.gif
Christopher
QUOTE
Of course, the fact that it always gets a rise out of you is the main reason that we do it. wink.gif mrsparkle.gif

laugh.gif Ah Julian you should be an American. I misread.
And I for one shall not fall for it again whistling.gif
Ya know Rootis. Think Austin Powers. the really bad teeth.
DreamPipEr
When I have heard (and not that often) the statement that "they are just jealous of us" I normally view that sort of comment in the context of "I am angry". Meaning a statement that is spewed out when someone is angry about other countries opposing our actions. So I don't think American's think others are jealous. It, though, is an easy comeback when they can't understand why there would be opposition.

QUOTE
As a citizen of Sweden, i have come across quite a deal of Americans, some arrogant, ignorant and obnoxious, some intelligent, friendly and understanding.


See I have a problem with this statement. It assumes that there aren't any arrogant, ignorant and obnoxious people from countries other than the US. Yes we have them and so does the rest of the world. I have, on more than 1 occasion, been in the presence of people outside the US that fit this statement. I choose to not judge those people's nations as a whole based on my encounters of some. I would hope that people outside the US would do the same.
rootis
QUOTE
See I have a problem with this statement. It assumes that there aren't any arrogant, ignorant and obnoxious people from countries other than the US. Yes we have them and so does the rest of the world. I have, on more than 1 occasion, been in the presence of people outside the US that fit this statement. I choose to not judge those people's nations as a whole based on my encounters of some. I would hope that people outside the US would do the same.


My statement was to point out just that fact, we have them everywhere. Just so i don't get accused for trolling or anything like that.


looks like the yes side is getting stronger
campbejm
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Jan 12 2004, 07:58 AM)
Yes, it is generally thought in the United States that people outside the United States are "just jealous of us."

How can you say that? Do you have evidence that this is the case? Saying something like this is just as presumptuous as saying "foreigners are jealous of the U.S."
rootis
QUOTE(campbejm @ Jan 12 2004, 04:27 PM)
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Jan 12 2004, 07:58 AM)
Yes, it is generally thought in the United States that people outside the United States are "just jealous of us."

How can you say that? Do you have evidence that this is the case? Saying something like this is just as presumptuous as saying "foreigners are jealous of the U.S."

I would'nt say its presumptuous to say that.

If most people he spoken to thinks this, he has the right to make this statement.

If not, then we can't possibly discuss anything, because someone have a different opinion.

I can on the other hand not say this, as im not living in the United States.


Please change all the "he" to "her", i do apologize Paladin Elspeth
TheCook
I've been living overseas for the past 15 months, so I may be a bit out of date, however the most vocal point-of-view right now seems to be one of foreign hatred of the US being the result of the current US administration and its foreign policy (note: I'm not saying that the majority of Americans feel this way nor am I implying anything as to the correctness or lack thereof of this view, I'm simply saying that right now, variations on this theme seem to get a good deal of press coverage and attention). I guess I'm curious as to where these various expressions of belief in the jealousy of the rest of the world are being put forth (I'm sure they're out there, I just can't find them)?
rootis
QUOTE
I've been living overseas for the past 15 months, so I may be a bit out of date, however the most vocal point-of-view right now seems to be one of foreign hatred of the US being the result of the current US administration and its foreign policy



So you see Hatred and Jealousy combined here?
TheCook
QUOTE
TheCook Wrote:
I've been living overseas for the past 15 months, so I may be a bit out of date, however the most vocal point-of-view right now seems to be one of foreign hatred of the US being the result of the current US administration and its foreign policy 




QUOTE
then Rootis replied
So you see Hatred and Jealousy combined here?


I think I may have expressed myself poorly. I didn't mean to suggest that I see jealousy or hatred expressed in Europe (although I have met some with some expressions of anti-Americanism, anti-Americanism has never been the predominant way in which folks in the UK or Holland have interacted with me). Rather, in reading newspapers and watching CNN, I get the sense that many of the stories written about US/Europe and US/World relationships seem to focus on problems (or perceived problems depending on the editorial slant of the paper) with the US administration or US foreign policy. This certainly seems true in some of the UK papers; the Financial Times ran several editorials about 6 months ago on this subject (I'll link to them if I can find them). I also seem to remember similar articles and editorials in The Independent and The Guardian. Stories out of CNN and magazines like Newsweek along with the Editorials from the NY Times and the Boston Globe also seem to express this sentiment. Even the Economist report on America's "place in the world" from about 3 months ago mentioned drivers such as increased competition between the US and Europe and differing philosophies about foreign relations but didn't, to my recollection, suggest that jealously played a role in the current difficulties between the US and the rest of the world. Are some of these editorials vitriolic? Yes, however I don't see many examples of "hatred" expressed for America in the popular media here nor do I see many expressions of "hatred" for Europe expressed in the popular media in The States (there have been a few, of course, but I'm generalizing). The closest thing I've seen to the jealousy argument has been thoughts that world feelings about the US are influenced by the US' military and economic power. I guess this could be read as "folks hate us because they're jealous", but it could also be read as "the more powerful you are, the more your actions cause strong reactions in response."

In the end, I was attempting to show my curiosity as to the sources of the perception that Americans think that the citizens of other countries are "jealous" of us. I've not seen such an opinion in the things I read, but that doesn't mean such an opinion doesn't exist. I would like to see some examples to broaden my understanding of what's happening back home.

Sorry if I was unclear.
nebraska29
I doubt it's jealousy-they match us in terms of social development and progress. Some even better us in my opinion when it comes to health care and social policy-but that is another discussion. I'd say what really bothers people is a kind of chauvenistic behavior. A boorish-nationalism that others find to be just obnoxious. I have friends from Europe who are just amazed by the flag waving, the adulation of the military, as well as the notion that "we're #1!" behavior. Perhaps it's a smugness that we'd rather not learn a foreign language(unlike a friend of mine from the Netherlands who speaks four languages) or to even have a bit of knowledge about world history. Consider that in some states, a high school course in world history is not required, and you have the makings of Americans who for a lack of a better word-grow up with a sense of nationalistic narcissism.
Venom
QUOTE
Consider that in some states, a high school course in world history is not required, and you have the makings of Americans who for a lack of a better word-grow up with a sense of nationalistic narcissism.


I'm not saying you are wrong, but I find that had to believe. I went to high school in New York and we had to take two full years of World History.

As far as the debate question goes, I don't know if I would call it jealousy. I think envy would be a better word. I think a few European countries are envious of our position in the world and its the main reason France and Germany are trying to create a new superstate in and of Europe. They want more power in the world and with an integrated Europe (which they are trying to control the building of) they feel they will get it.

I've tried to debate this issue (the EU and what the motives are) with a few threads here and it never sparks any interest, but I feel its a huge issue. Right now the world is unipolar, however with the possibility (however the full integration complete with military is looking more and more unlikely) of an integrated Europe and a growing China the world could return to bipolarity or multipolarity. If that happens the world becomes a more dangerous place when these poles clash and its only natural that they would.
rebelkate
QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE
Consider that in some states, a high school course in world history is not required, and you have the makings of Americans who for a lack of a better word-grow up with a sense of nationalistic narcissism.


I'm not saying you are wrong, but I find that had to believe. I went to high school in New York and we had to take two full years of World History.


I think the problem really is the type of world history. I don't know about NY, but in VA, there was one year of world history required, and it was ancient world history. We got to the American revolution and stopped. The world is somewhat different since then, and I think when kids in the US get some more recent history (like, learning why the world is the way it is), it helps with at least understanding why another country doesn't think its interests are the same as American interests. It might also help dispel any delusions of jealousy. (I generally think no whole country will be jealous of another country - maybe they will see another's country position as a threat, but not be jealous.)
AuthorMusician
I voted "yes" that most Americans think things like 9/11 happen because others are jealous of us.

My source of evidence for this conclusion is my oldest brother. When we talked shortly after 9/11, he in fact did say that whoever did it was acting out of jealousy. He's a pretty good indicator of what might be called "conventional wisdom" in that virtually ever fad that's ever come along, he's been right there at the forefront.

For example, health clubs. Right in there until he blew a knee out. Before that, running. That helped the knee to eventually blow. Mutuals for retirement, digital cameras, massive 4x4s -- all before they became fully established fads.

He did not do piercing. Too old for that.

Whatever. I just imagine the typical American suburbanite watching the McNews on TV and shaking the cheap domestic beer clouded head with the thought that they are all jealous of what we have: houses in the 'burbs, SUVs in the driveway, flat-panel TVs with hundreds of junk channels, Jetskis, snowmobiles, and Harleys.

You betcha. And supersize *everything!*

Now there's something to be jealous of, right? Hey, the one pound mad cow burger is coming out! I think Carl's is doing it. You might need to be driving a Hummer to get one.

So that might be what a majority of Americans think, just judging from my brother's bellwether. I hope not. I hope we might be a little more sophisticated than that, or becoming so.

Personally, I think "resentment" fits better than jealousy.
GoAmerica
QUOTE(rootis @ Jan 11 2004, 06:49 PM)
As a citizen of Sweden, i have come across quite a deal of Americans, some arrogant, ignorant and obnoxious, some intelligent, friendly and understanding.

That can be because of egotisticalism. We Americans think we are superior in every way to other nations and a slight majority flaunt it by acting egotistical and just plain obnoxious.
Jaime
CLOSED. Since this topic was started by a now banned member, perhaps we could start something fresh. smile.gif
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