On the other hand, politics affects the War on Terror.
Abolish Money!An AP story reported that there's a protest on in London, England. The G-20 summit, attended by President Obama, is what drew the demonstrators. Either that, or we're looking at a colossal coincidence there.
At least some of the protesters are shouting "Abolish Money!"
I can almost sympathize: My household has bills to pay, and the grocery expects to be paid for the food we take. It would be so much nicer, if people would give me the things I want, because I'm such a nice guy.
But, that's not how things work.
Even the barter system involved the exchange of goods and services: and there's a reason why that's a minor part of just about everyone's economy by now.
And, yes: I know that there's more to the "Abolish Money!" crowd than that. I've done time in colleges and universities, and know about Marxism, socialism, and all that.
Back to the G-20 and "Abolish Money!"
Just See How Unpopular America is!There's little doubt that some people just plain don't like America. America exists, is relatively prosperous, is a source of aid for many nations (yes, I know - foreign aid has strings attached, and is controlled by the military-industrial complex), and has a habit of sorting out bad situations.
That last is dependent on what one regards as a "bad situation." For those who believe that Iraq would be better off with Saddam Hussein in charge, and that Afghanistan was doing fine under the Taliban before those Americans messed it up: America is a danger to peace, love, and grooviness everywhere.
I think that the shouts of "Abolish Money!" are a reminder that anti-American sentiment pre-dated either of the Bush administrations; and that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not the only groups that quite simply don't like America, and the sort of individual opportunities this country offers.
We Can Learn So Much From [Insert European or Eastern Country]I haven't heard that phrase, "we can learn so much from [the French, generally]" for decades. Cliches change.
I think the sentiment is still strong, in some circles: the idea that America is a rude, crude, unsophisticated place: desperately in need of culture and enlightenment. The people who believe this were, in my experience, convinced that they, although born in America, unlike the common sort: but that's another topic.
There's some truth to that assertion. Museums like the Louvre house collections of art from centuries past, and Europe abounds in monuments to great accomplishments. Europe's history is much deeper than America's - and there's something to be learned from that.
But, if America was ever a backwater, inhabited by unsophisticated people (like Franklin, Jefferson, the various Adams??): that was then. This is now. A thousand years from now, some other place may be where 'things are happening.'
Today, a great deal of technology and culture is being produced in America, Japan and India. What we're doing isn't exactly the way Europe does things: but it works.
Freedom to Complain: Enjoy itIf you live in a place that's run along vaguely 'American' lines, you're free to complain about the prosperity and freedom. And, if you've got the wherewithal, you can hop a plane to Paris, stake out a table on the Champs-Elysees, and discuss how revolting America is.
- "Who Knew? Assertions and Assumptions from All Over"
(April 2, 2008)
- "G-20 protesters jam downtown London, target banks"
The Associated Press (April 1, 2009)