Our 'national character' obsession.
Expect the Big Break next winter.
Once Ukraine is handled, will tell the EU close US bases and NATO, or let your citizens starve as they freeze to death in the cold.
Why should long-suffering Russians continue providing abundant, affordable, reliable energy to countries that conspired to destroy them and lied about Minsk II for seven years?
I think you are overthinking this.
Consider what conditions likely caused the vast majority of people to migrate to the New World. They were the expendables of wherever they came from. Even the Africans sold into slavery weren't princes and princesses swept up by white slavers, but the expendables sold into slavery, rather than being massacred, as so often was the fates of lots of those on the losing side of history. All the refugees of wars, revolutions, counter revolutions, etc. Then they come here and their descendants generally prospered over the last couple hundred years of parabolic economic growth. I don't know that I'd call them geophobes, so much as econophobes. It's not like they had any reason or desire to look back.
Meanwhile those cultures in the Old World have millennia of cultural, tribal and national successes and failures to teach them some degree of circumspection. As the Greeks would say, "Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, first they make lucky."
Heck, when the country had the choice of Jimmy Carter saying to put on a sweater, or Ronald Reagan saying to put it on the credit card, there was no looking back. We only know forward.
This doesn't just apply to the average American, but to those who think they know better. We only play checkers, where the only moves are forward, until you get to the other side of the board and are crowned a king.
When all is said and done, we won't be any geographically wiser, because when the dollar finally breaks, the states will start issuing their own currencies and foreign policy will be between Texas and California, not the US and the rest. Then we come back down to an earth that is quite local.
Nature is cycles. Expand, consolidate. Like rings on a tree. It's just some people who are linear and goal oriented.
Sviatogorsk, last major milestone towards Russian southward advance on Slaviansk, abandoned by Ukrainian forces; **HUGE** sea change in last 24 hours in Ukrainian war outlook & propaganda—mood turns negative, resigned to more bad news, no more “rah-rah”; quasi-neocon Edward Luttwak throws in the towel, says Russia will win and Donbass should have a say in its own fate (…..sorry, it’s too late to “hand over” ONLY the Donbass.)
Dreizinreport --- June 7, 2022 https://thedreizinreport.com/author/dreizinreport/
Thank you Mr. Lawrence. #GeoPhobic my new favorite hash tag. It goes well with my standard #EndTheEmpireOfLies. This essay aligns well & has brought clarity to my thinking on the issue.
The problem with your writing, Patrick, is that it prompts so many thoughts as to make it difficult to focus on one. So, in addition to the one you have on CN, Here's two more. Sartre's point: "how they act are determined by the choices they make in response to the conditions of their lives" really means that the society they inhabit will drive the choices they have to make and will make. The society that you inhabit may not be the same as the society that I inhabit and the likelihood that those societies will diverge increases as our society becomes more unequal. That sort of situation can make having a reasonably consistent world view much more difficult.
The second thought is that most of our problems in this world result from people trying to force their opinions, desires, etc on other people who for the most part would prefer that people kept their opinions and desires to themselves. My respect for Zhou En Lai has only increased over the years as I consider his five principles for peaceful coexistence which, among other things, militates against what would be called in people, co-dependency.
But the real problem is to get people to step out of their milieu and consider other people's milieux, innit?
Interesting lens, this idea of geophobia.
But how does one reconcile the classification of the national character of the US as geophobic, which makes for an inconvenient irony at the heart of the argument?
It seems like you’d need to explore the nuances and origins of geophobia more deeply to find a way around this (if it's even possible to get around, which I'm actually not certain it is).
Still, an interesting and thought-provoking idea, nonetheless.
Excellent analysis - of US geophobia. Politicians love to play this fearmongering "game" in Australia.We have just had a change of government (Hurrah!) but our immediate past Defence Minister Peter Dutton just over two weeks ago was frightening the country with announcements of a Chinese naval vessel a couple of hundred km off the north-west Indian Ocean coast of the country. It was Chicken Little - "The sky's falling! Squawk!" geophobia. He actually said the Chinese ship was "hugging the coast" which would be like saying that a ship immediately adjacent to the Algerian coast of North-west Africa was hugging the French Mediterranean coast. And, at the same time - Australian naval vessels and Airforce planes have been hugging the South China Seas coastline/airspace - in provocative acts (to serve Australia's imperial Masters - the US) against China! Hypocrisy at its most blatant. Well, Peter Dutton's party (in coalition) was obliterated in the Federal elections 15 days ago. The LNP's former Pentecultist PM Scott Morrison - as devious as any politician/PM we have had - wept in his cult's assembly stadium the following day. And some days later - Peter Dutton became his opposition party's "leader" - still bleating in geophobic ways - having learnt nothing about the changed mood in a largely non-geophobic and very culturally/ethnic immigrant society... I relished your essay, PL - having travelled widely and lived in various countries (Spain, Germany, Japan) for extended periods - coming to terms with their own views of themselves and of others - and very fortunately in some respects - never within the bubble of diplomatic or major corporation boss level - but at the "ordinary" level - able to become close to people who wanted me to know about their land - "married" with wide reading and listening... Thanks for this thoughtful and insightful analysis...