America Derangement Syndrome — or, yes, you can call them unpatriotic

While idly browsing the shelves at our local public library, I stumbled across a fascinating book — one that is fascinating on a couple of different levels. It’s called Uncouth Nation : Why Europe Dislikes America, and was written by Andrei S. Markovits, a Jewish man who was born in Romania, and raised during the 1960s in Vienna and America. He is now a professor of comparative politics and German studies at the University of Michigan.

Although Markovits occasionally lapses into the terrible writing of academia (e.g, at p. 28, “To be sure, anti-American sentiments have indeed varied in their manifest expressions both diachronically and synchronically….”), he presents his thesis very lucidly, and it’s a good thesis. Markovitz believes that the anti-Americanism that is increasingly present in Europe is not George Bush’s fault, but that it has been present in Europe since Columbus’s time. Even when America was just a little blink over the horizon, elite Europeans viewed it as a threat to their cultural stability and own sense of superiority. This sense of threat only worsened in the 20th Century as America, along with its siren song of freedom (economic and social), gained the actual power to affect European affairs. Now, Europeans have to deal, not only with their ancient and visceral dislike, but also with the reality that they are dependent on a nation they have historically disdained. In other words, Markovits describes an “American Derangement Syndrome” throughout Europe:

Just like anti-Semitism, so, too is anti-Americanism antonymous. Everything and its opposite pertains: too religious, too secular; too idealistic, too materialistic; too elitist, too populist; too prudish, too pornographic; too individualistic, too conformist; too anarchic, too controlling; too obsessed with history, not having any history; too concerned with culture, not having any culture; too dominated by women, too controlling of women. America, in the view of some Europeans, is so obsessed with freedom and individualism that this obsession impedes genuine individuality and creates what one conservative German critic of the United States tellingly labeled ‘freedom Bolshevism”…. In short, the motto is clear: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. (p. 24.)

I agree and, with every paragraph I’ve read in the book, I think Markovits makes and proves his point about the deep roots anti-Americanism has in Europe.  There’s more to the book than that, though.

What caught me was the way in which Markovits is forced to expose the anti-Americanism that characterizes the American Left, and that cannot be excused by looking to Europe’s long-standing dislike for America.  The topic comes up because Markovits tries to increase his argument’s credibility by establishing his own position.  At least, that’s why I think he is forced to acknowledge that the American Left, like the world Left, is defined by its hatred for America.  After all, if this were a standard rant against the Left coming from someone on the Right, no one would pay attention to it.  The argument about Europe’s chronic, historic dislike for America gains credence only if it’s made by an insider.  And so, in the book’s preface, Markovits is forced to explain that Europe’s almost hysterical anti-Americanism is a coming together of ancient hatreds and modern politics (most that go far beyond BDS), and that this hatred infects the American Left, which has made him something of an outcast.

Markovits begins by pointing out the anti-American and anti-Semitic animus that is becoming the core definer for the Left:

There can be no doubt that anti-Americanism has become a kind of litmus test for progressive thinking and identity in Europe and the world (including the United States itself). Just as any self-respecting progressive and leftist in Europe or America, regardless of which political shade, simply had to be on the side of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s, anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism have become the requisite proof of possessing a progressive conviction today. [Snip.] Over the last thirty-five years, a steady anti-Americanism and an uncompromising anti-Zionism, which occasionally borders on the anti-Semitic, have become key characteristics that both divide and determine political identity absolutely. They are “wedge issues” — clear articles of faith or “deal breakers” — whose importance overshadows, and even negates, many related components of the “clusters” that characterize such an identity. (p. xiv.)

Because the “litmus test” is hatred for America, all the other standard Leftist tropes become secondary if you want to belong to that club.  Markovits uses himself as an example of this fact.  He begins by establishing his Leftist bona fides. Thus, here are the beliefs this comparative politics profession at the University of Michigan holds:

I am an advocate of affirmative action in all realms of public life; a supporter for decades of numerous civil rights organizations, in favor of complete equality for women and discriminated ethnic groups, especially blacks, in the United States; an opponent of the death penalty. I favor legally recognized marriages for gays and lesbians; support the right of all women to complete and exclusive autonomy over their bodies, in other words, the right to an abortion; support unrestricted stem cell research [snip] and favor the Kyoto Climate Protocol, the International Criminal Court, the Ottawa Conventions on the ban of land mines, and the International Biological Weapons Convention. I do not want prayers in public schools and oppose charter schools; I favor strict gun control laws and — as an animal benefit activist — oppose hunting for sport. I have always supported trade unions in their difficult struggles, always favor increases in the minimum wage, have never broken a strike or crossed a picket line, even when I did not agree with the striking union’s demands; I welcome the legalization of marijuana, advocate a more just and socially conscience health care system, and desire progressive taxation and a much greater role for the public sector in economic matters. I am a decisive opponent of subsidies for rich American (and European) farmers, deride th exclusivity and price gouging of the pharmaceutical industry, oppose trafficking in women and exploitation of children, and am appalled by the erosion of civil liberties in the United States as well as by the shameful, completely illegal situation in Guantanamo and the outrageous abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. [Snip.] In terms of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, I have always supported the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state and have held views that have been akin to the Israeli peace camp’s. I have regularly condemned and opposed certain measures of American foreign policy, regardless of which party needed to be held responsible (whether the Vietnam policy of Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson or the Iraq policy of Republican George W. Bush), and I have therefore — as should be obvious from the above list — positioned myself quite clearly on the left side of the political spectrum in America (and Europe as well). (pp. xiv-xv.)

Prof. Markovits Leftist bona fides are as impeccable as they come. He has a problem, though, which is that there is a thread of innate honesty and intelligence running through him, and it is this that leaves him unwilling to accept mindlessly the anti-American and anti-Semitic hostility that is now becoming a dominant trait on the Left at home and abroad. Thus, after reciting his sterling Leftist credentials, Markovits had this to say:

Yet I am increasingly avoided by leftists on both sides of the Atlantic owing solely to the two wedge issues mentioned above [anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism].  As a reaction against this, I find myself having withdrawn from the established American and European lefts in whose presence I feel increasingly misplaced.  I am not writing this to elicit sympathy for my increasing political marginalization but rather to make a point of how central anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism have become to virtually all lefts on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.  (p. xv.)

In other words, from a die-hard Leftist, you hear that, yes, the American Left is indeed unpatriotic because to hate America is the test for admission into the progressive club.

I’m rather impressed with Prof. Markovits’s ability honestly to confront the fact that the anti-Americanism that oozes out of Europe and keeps popping up at home is not just a figment of the Right’s paranoid imaginings.  Instead, it’s real and it’s rising.  It is, as I’ve captioned it in this post “America Derangement Syndrome” (“ADS”).  Just as with Bush Derangement Syndrome, it exists at an emotional level that has no need for facts.  America is evil because it’s evil.  Bush is evil because he’s evil.  No further proof needed.

What’s sad is that, even as Markovits has been able to break away from the ADS, even to the point of becoming shunned by his former Leftist compadres, he’s still in the grip of an unreasoning BDS.  Every few pages, he feels compelled to blame Bush for something, only to back away and acknowledge that, whatever Bush did, it doesn’t excuse the European (and, by extension, American Leftist) animus to America and Israel.  For example:

George W. Bush and his administrations’ policies have made America into the most hated country of all time.  [Wow!  Because apparently everyone loved the Mongols, the Romans, the Ottomans, the Nazis, the Nationalist Japanese, etc., etc.]  Indeed, they bear responsibility for having created a situation in which anti-Americanism has mutated into a sort of global antinomy, a mutually shared language of opposition to and resistance against the real and perceived ills of modernity that are now inextricably identified solely with America.  [I think this paragraph was written before some recent European elections.]  (p. 1.)

After reading the above, I almost felt like snarling, “Smile when you say that, Pardner.  Them’s fighting words.”  If that’s not unanchored BDS, I don’t know what is — and Markovits is completely unaware that it exists.  Even as he’s castigating the Europeans for their unreasoning American hatred, he’s engaging in precisely the same type of thinking vis a vis Bush.  There’s hope for him, though.  That same inconvenient honesty that finally broke him free of the Left’s strangle hold about America, forces him to acknowledge that Bush is not the culprit in failing American-European relations:

While the politics, style, and discourse of the Bush administrations — and of George W. Bush as a person — have undoubtedly exacerbated anti-American sentiment among Europeans and fostered a heretofore unmatched degree of unity between elite and mass opinion in Europe, they are not anti-Americanism’s cause.  Indeed, a change to a center-left administration in Washington, led by a Democratic president, would not bring about its abatement, let alone its disappearance.  [Take that, John Kerry!]  (p. 5.)

Perhaps, as time goes by, and as Markovits peels away the unthinking allegiance he has to Leftist doctrine, he’ll begin to take stands on matters that are informed and principled, and not driven simply by ideological loyalty.  Certainly to leave the ideological trap will make him a more honest thinker and, I’m willing to be, a better teacher (and that’s without regard to how good a teacher he may already be).

40 Responses

  1. I believe it might have been George Bush who caused the WWII era Brits to complain about the Yanks… Over-fed, Overp-paid, Over-sexed and Over Here.

    Seriously, though… While on exchange with the Royal Navy I saw the anti-Americanism from a different perspective… On “runs ashore” my “mates” admittedly, frequently forgot I was American and opened up with their prejudices… Hatred? not so much, but not friendly either. I’d always be met with an apology and a “Glad you’re not like that lot, mate.”

    Reagan was President at the time. I’m sure you remember the disrespect and derision the country looked at him. I even ran the gauntlet of the “Greenham Women” a few times to keep my pantry supplied with duty free booze. There was quite a bit of overt anti-Americanism, to the point that my Commanding Officer directed me NOT to adhere to American haircut standards in order to better blend in. I find it hard to believe that it is anymore blatant today than it was in 1985.

    I think I’ll take a pass on Markovits. I’ll trust your summary, and add that setting aside ideological loyalty will have no affect on the anti-Americanism born of jealousy.

  2. Prof. Markovits Leftist bona fides are as impeccable as they come. He has a problem, though, which is that there is a thread of innate honesty and intelligence running through him

    You mean he has a spine, Book.

    What’s sad is that, even as Markovits has been able to break away from the ADS, even to the point of becoming shunned by his former Leftist compadres, he’s still in the grip of an unreasoning BDS

    Old folks don’t like to change their fundamental beliefs. Trying to maintain one’s integrity by not buying into anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism is one thing. Trying to update one’s core philosophy with the methods of war, violence, non-expansionist imperialism, and the state of the modern world is quite another. Not impossible, but not easy either.

    After reading the above, I almost felt like snarling, “Smile when you say that, Pardner. Them’s fighting words.”

    That’s definitely a period shift, Book ; )

  3. Gordon Brown, of course, has taken over since Blair left — pointedly, without calling a general election. Although Brown does not have to call a general election until May 2010, the longer he waits, if his party is unpopular, the more desperate his situation becomes.

    Book, don’t you just love how the British can call for elections or hold them off whenever they want? It’s sort of like the President of France being immune to prosecution, for anything.

    These European systems have so many holes in them that you can exploit, it is a wonder they ever even got to where they are. Oh, right, America stepped in in 1950 and froze European aggression. I forgot about that.

  4. Btw Book, don’t forget to read the Essential Library of Den Beste.

    Link

    Harris demonstrates that one of the big reasons “why they hate us” when it comes to European intellectuals is that America’s successful capitalist system is clear proof that Marx was wrong. The theory was that miserable workers would rise in revolution to replace the system, but because the workers in America were prosperous and confident, they seemed little interested in doing so. The new theory is that in fact the US will still face such a revolt only it will come from outside as “exploited people” in other nations revolt against the US. For believers in this theory, the 9/11 attack was the true beginning of the end for the US, which has only been able to be prosperous by impoverishing the rest of the world in the economic zero-sum game. (Which means that they think it really was our own fault, after all.)

    “Furthermore, this is no less true of those who, like Chomsky, have focused on what is seen as American military aggression against the rest of the world, for this aggression is understood as having its “root cause” in America’s systematic exploitation of the remainder of the human race. If American exploitation did not create misery, it would not need to use military force. It is the global immiserization thesis that makes the use of force an indispensable tool of American foreign policy and that is responsible, according to this view, for turning America into a terrorist state. This explains the absolute centrality of the global immiserization thesis in the creation of the specter of America now haunting so much of our world.”

    It’s a good companion piece.

  5. http://www.travelbrochuregraphics.com/extra/a_genealogy_of_antiamericanism.htm

    This also gives you a solid recap of historic anti-Americanism coming from Europe.

  6. Greetings:

    A while back, there was a program on the local PBS station (KQED) about anti-Americanism in Europe. The assessment that I most enjoyed was by an interviewee who said that the reason why so many Europeans disliked America “was because they know America won’t do anything to hurt them.”

    Similarly, I have long thought that a good part of the motivation comes from the state of socio-political adolescence resulting from Europe’s dependence on the US in the post-WWII and Cold War periods. It’s a condition, seen in many teenagers, that results from too many hormones and not enough wisdom.

    Happy 2008

  7. I think that it is also important not to overlook that most Europeans (or Asians or Africans…) have no clue about what it is they “hate” about the U.S., as they are fed a constant drivel of anti-American propaganda from their own Left-dominated media and, more importantly, Hollywood. Once they see and understand the reality on the ground, here, they tend to have a very different opinion.

    I have a European relative who acknowledged as much. He told me that one of the things that he couldn’t accept about the U.S. was our approval of the death penalty. I turned to him and asked, “And, if one of your murderers was allowed to go free and murdered again, would you accept responsibility for his victims?”. He stopped for a moment, then turned to me and said, “Thank you, now I understand”.

    The same happened with me and a Japanese colleague when she complained to me about America’s “fascination” with owning arms. I explained to her that if you deny an individual the right to self-defense (as they do in Britain and Japan), then you cede to your government your right to decide whether you live or die and that no government should have that right. At that point, you are no longer a free-standing citizen but a “subject of the crown”. BTW, I had also just taught her how to shoot a pistol. What had amazed her was to see so many ordinary Americans and even families with kids on the gun range.

    A year later, on one of her trips back to the U.S., she turned to me and said, “Do you remember that conversation, Daniel-san?” I responded that yes, I did. She told me that she and her husband had discussed what I said and that they both agreed with me. They had just never thought about it in those terms before.

    Sometimes, all they lack is a different way of looking at things. Unfortunately, with domination of Hollywood and the media by the Left, there is precious little way of sharing that alternate world view with the rest of the world.

  8. Maybe the Western European elite consider America an Israel in your face pushy a little much(where would they ever get that idea?) when deep down the real problem is that Europe is guilt ridden . . . . if you know what I mean and may i add jealous of their successful little brother America. A cute little trick of displacement by the Euros when in reality if truth be told the Euros don’t much like themselves.Furthermore it must irk the Euros when Israel continues to battle for its existence better than they as Europe unravels or rolls into something else(EU).

  9. The same happened with me and a Japanese colleague when she complained to me about America’s “fascination” with owning arms. I explained to her that if you deny an individual the right to self-defense (as they do in Britain and Japan), then you cede to your government your right to decide whether you live or die and that no government should have that right. At that point, you are no longer a free-standing citizen but a “subject of the crown”. BTW, I had also just taught her how to shoot a pistol. What had amazed her was to see so many ordinary Americans and even families with kids on the gun range.

    If she has any knowledge of old style Japanese feudalism in the 15th century or samurai codes of honor, then an American’s duty to protect one’s family is the same as a samurai’s duty to obey his lord in all things, whether life or death.

    A family member that fails to protect himself or his loved ones, is about the same as a samurai that has dishonored himself and now needs to committ hara kiri.

  10. Also an even better analogy is the japanese cultural motiff of “senpai” in which the older classmates have a duty to look out for the younger classmates and older brothers have a duty to look out for their younger siblings. It is a distinctly Japanese hierarchy that concerns itself with the Circle of Justice as taught by Persian and Zoroastrian scholars for their princes. Nevermind what the Circle of Justice is, just remember that the powerful and wise have a duty to protect the young and weak.

    Thus the same is true in America. Those that can use firearms, that can buy firearms, and that can carry firearms have a duty to protect those that are not armed against those that are armed criminals and murderers.

    Go look up that Church “attempted” shooting spree.

  11. Sorry Danny, but

    she turned to me and said, “Do you remember that conversation, Daniel-san?

    that almost bust my gut cause it was so funny.

    That -san suffix and the phrase you picked, reminds me of the numerous anime I have watched in which the female anime protagonist speaks in similar tones about similar things.

    As I said, don’t mind me.

    Unfortunately, with domination of Hollywood and the media by the Left, there is precious little way of sharing that alternate world view with the rest of the world.

    Well, nobody sane or wise would ever say that Hollywood is full of cosmopolitan individuals or even individuals that can respect cultures other than their own.

    For one thing, you sort of have to have self-respect before you can respect other people as they deserve. If you hate yourself, it’s kind of hard not to smash other people’s skulls apart ala Cartoonjihad, ya know.

  12. What you describe is a Japan of long ago, YM. According to my friend, even steak knives must be registered with the police in Japan these days.

  13. As Denis points out, not only is it ‘safe’ to verbally attack America, but many of those who we assisted and bailed out of crisis (France, Germany after WWII) seldom appreciate the assistance. They’d probably be speaking German in Normandy and Paris if the U.S. hadn’t assisted. . . but that is easily forgotten. They needed help, we gave it; but the fact that they needed the help is a direct blow to the cultural self esteem. And we will help them again when this current crisis comes to a head. No matter what they say about us now.

    No one ever really ‘likes’ the strongest country. Why do we need to be liked? We assist in tsunamis, earthquakes, invasions, medical emergencies with a generosity unknown in history, AND we don’t claim national treasure or property from other countries for our assistance. Japan isn’t a colony of the US as a consequence of Pearl Harbor, but an independent country with a thriving economy that we helped establish. That’s a first in the history books.

    As for the ultra- Left, having been educated in that world, it’s a matter of superiority- ‘because I read the NYTimes and have an European leanings in policy, I am inherently smarter (cooler, better educated, etc) than you who don’t share the lemming left world view’.

    Few of us have ever suffered the loss of freedom and the loss of its inherent advantages, nor do we appreciate its fragility. It’s interesting because the freedom to hold the the lefts’ extreme and progressive views and to enjoy their affluent lifestyle is dependent on that America they distain.

    Seldom do they question their position or wonder if the view they have held may need some update. Well, that’s not completely true, some of us have reevaluated reality since 911.

    Strength is what keeps the peace.

  14. Davis Medienkritik has several videos of Markovits you may want to look at. Also, Ray Drake is moving on because he feels he has said what he had to say. He will keep the site open as an archive.

    Check out this Jacob Heilbrunn piece (Germany’s Illiberal Fictions, 06/01/2000 issue) in National Interest. It is description of the postwar intellectual battles within Germany and makes a good supplement to ymar’s link.

    http://www.nationalinterest.org/General.aspx?id=92&id2=10750

    Use the archive search at National Interest if this address doesn’t work.

  15. BW – Your analysis is superb and so elegantly arranged that here I am reading when I need to be out of the door and my only comment is they’re all jealous and if not for all of our billions (zillions?) of dollars in aid around the world they’d REALLY hate us!

  16. [...] Bookworm Room, “America Derangement Syndrome — Or, Yes, You Can Call Them Unpatriotic” [...]

  17. Perhaps it is time to consider a foreign policy of “benign neglect”, what say you all?

  18. What you describe is a Japan of long ago, YM. According to my friend, even steak knives must be registered with the police in Japan these days.

    Which makes it even more important to be able to use Japanese culture and history in order to explain American traditions and actions.

    There is a far higher chance of them being familiar with Japanese history than with the history of America and what that provided in terms of the 2nd Ammendment, WWII, US Civil War, US Revolutionary War, etc.

  19. Oh btw, didn’t the Meiji Restoration or Era seek to ban the use of all bladed weapons in the streets?

    It was a reaction to the Shogun Wars and other instabilities, I believe. I’m far more familiar with American, Ancient Roman/Greek, and European history than Japanese/Chinese.

    On the note of anti-Americanism, check this out. link

    Imagine you are an American correspondent in Germany. You are encouraged by your editors to report only the most extreme, outrageous, strange and dark sides of German society. Your publication chooses to ignore the 97% of issues that bring Germans and Americans together and instead focus on the 3% that most divide the two nations – such as attitudes towards prostitution, social welfare, guns, etc. This seedy sensationalism sells – and that is exactly what your editors are after. For that reason, they also strongly encourage you to write whatever you can on Neo-Nazi violence – not because the issue is genuinely troubling – (and it is) – but because it brings good ratings and reaffirms your readership’s dark stereotypes of the Vaterland.

    Beyond that – your editors oblige you to bring stories only on a narrow band of pet issues that they have predetermined are of “interest” to the readership. (In fact, you may have been specially selected for your job because you have a an ideological propensity to dislike Germany and favor stories that make Germany look bad.) When you arrive in Berlin, you discover that Germany isn’t quite the awful place you expected and – because you are a free spirit – the urge is great to report on the many complex aspects of German society. Predictably, however, your editors discourage any independent ideas that might shed a different (you might say balanced) light on things.

    The pet issues and big politics are all they want. In particular, the editors want to demonstrate that Germany is a nation infatuated with pornography, cursed by extreme alcoholism and blighted by racist attitudes towards non-Germans. Every other week – if things are slow – the boss pressures you to bring a story on another hopeless unemployed wretch in East-Berlin desperate to get out of the country. He just won’t publish your more “upbeat” stories or even critical stories that fall outside the narrow band of pet issues.

    The editors supplement your work by sprinkling-in stories cut-and-pasted from news wires on Germans behaving badly worldwide. You eventually realize that intellectual honesty takes a distant backseat to the pet-issue template devised by your editors. Making Germans and Germany look bad at all costs – to reaffirm the stereotypes and political leanings of readers – is no longer something you can question without risking your job.

    One week – your publication runs a cover depicting a giant spider drapped in a German flag and wearing lederhosen sucking the blood of a lifeless blue collar American trapped in its web. You realize that this crude reference to recent lay-offs of American automobile workers by a large German multinational is appalling and unfair. The cover sparks a slew of hateful and irrational letters-to-the-editor by readers. You want to speak out against what you now believe is hate-mongering for profit – but again – you fear for your job.

    Not surprisingly, the most “self-critical” Germans – those with a particular talent for shamelessly bashing their own nation and people – are held up as heroic dissenters and showered with awards by your publication and others like it.

    Finally – because quite a few other publications share the same general ideology of your own and follow the same pattern of reporting – it is not beyond the pale for your editors to proclaim that you represent the “mainstream” of American media and that you are largely fair and unbiased in reporting on Germany.

    Turn the mirror around…

  20. #
    Danny Lemieux, on January 2nd, 2008 at 10:06 am Said:

    Perhaps it is time to consider a foreign policy of “benign neglect”, what say you all?

    American logistics must be simplified in order to ensure that any soldiers or Marines that need supplies, bullets, bread, and butter can get it. In 2003, we saw that Turkey could delay US operations, in cooperation with US diplomats and Presidential laxity, to our detriment while TUrkey haggles over how much money they can squeeze from us.

    It should be the other way around, Danny.

    Germany and other countries, like Italy, no longer need us or our bases. However, it will not be easy or quick to turn a central node like Rammstein and transfer it to Kurdistan or Afghanistan. Some of the infrastructure is not available in the Middle East for high tech transportation, munitions, fuel, and medical technological support (such as electrical power). But Kurdistan has what we need.

    There is an old saying around. Amateurs study tactics while professionals study logistics. It is precisely why America must think about improving our logistics, not just our COIN tactics or strategy against Al Qaeda/Iran. None of it will matter if our logistics are too weak or easily disrupted.

    The closer our logistics are to the war front, the easier of a time that we will have in sustaining defensive and offensive operations. This means that when we choose to attack, we won’t have to wait on the approval of others because we are spending months “flowing forces in”. The forces should already be there, in theater. Also America’s air transport capabilities suck at the moment. We can circumvent some of that by caching supplies directly around or near the site of battle. With indigenous auxiliary support, ala Roman Empire, we can support an extended logistics network without the need for hardened bunker style places like the Green Zone or Kuwaitt or Sudain.

    Logistics is the hardest thing to acquire for a war. Such things as tactics and strategy are orders of magnitude less in difficulty and complexity. Currently the Iraqis depend upon the US for logistics. The Kurds already have a support structure in place, but they can only support their own Peshmerga forces.

    The US has recently closed bases here in America as part of BRAC. You don’t win a war to the knife by pulling into your little cocoon and hoping nobody will try to hurt you.

  21. In his speech Walser announced that he had “learned to look away” from terrible events. “I have many corners that I flee into”, he continued. “I think my stance is reasonable. One does not have to endure the unendurable. I’m also practiced in forgetting about things.” Walser maintained that he would not make it through a single day had he not become a practiced expert at suppressing unpleasant memories.-
    From Expat’s link

    Give this man an award, he has found the secret, not, to Double Think?

  22. Humans like to hate, and since westerners can no longer
    hate blacks, homosexuals or in the case of men,
    hate women,
    then the hatred has been redirected towards
    Americans.

    Look at the history of the world,
    Not one nation on this planet has not at one time or another
    oppressed or hated another people or a group.

    Sorry but I just don’t have such a high opinion of the
    average human; humans like to hate or
    maybe they need to hate.

    And the only “acceptable” or “politically correct” hatred
    these days is the hatred of the USA.

    Well hatred of Jews also but this is not new, Humans have directed their hatred at Jews for centuries.

  23. Why is it that liberal criticism of American policy, American leadership and the current president and Congress – whose overall approval ratings are abysmal – is considered hatred of America? In this country, it’s not just our right to criticize our elected leaders when they champion causes we find nauseating, it’s our duty as citizens to do so. Liberals and progressives criticize and complain and protest because they love America, and they want to see a return to the values this country used to hold dear: true patriotism, a strong and yet peace-driven foreign policy, trade agreements that don’t destroy American jobs, an end to the glorification of wretched excess, compassion for the poor and all the “Judeo-Christian” ideals that neo-conservatives worship on Sundays and ignore the rest of the week.

    It’s all well and good to talk about hatred of America, but listen to Bill O’Reilly talk about liberals and progressives. Or Rush Limbaugh, who recently told us he doesn’t want to watch a woman get old in the White House. Are these representative of a love of country?

    There is no extremism more hate-filled than that on the right, where people love to talk about religion but have no use for its tenets and values in their speech or daily lives.

  24. 2008.01.02 Politics and National Defense Roundup

    Sorry for the late start today, folks. Between frozen faucets and busted water tubs taking care of the horse took up more of my day, and will continue to, than normal. Global Warming my ass. Quick hits: America Derangement Syndrome — or, yes, you can…

  25. Well, unrulywoman, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

    We aren’t talking about “criticism” of or complaining about policies or elected officials, we are talking about sheer unvarnished hatred and contempt for this country, elected politicians (including Presidents) and everything they stand for. And as for your right to criticize, I don’t recall that being in any way infringed, unless you object to other peoples’ right to criticize your own views (oh…the haaaate!).

    As far as a ‘return to values this country used to hold dear,” I don’t recall anytime when leftwing socialism was considered either an “American” (versus European) value or “held dear.” Please don’t talk up ownership of the Constitution if you neither know it nor understand it. I personally don’t know any neo-conservatives that lack compassion for the poor or oppose a “peace-driven” policies or trade policies that destroy American jobs (seems like we still have record unemployment in the G.W. Bush economy).

    However, I do know plenty of neo-cons who don’t believe that you solve poverty by enabling it or creating a welfare dependency state but do believe that the historical record amply documents that the road to peace is through strength, not weakness, and that any person who believes that making fun of Lefties (as Limbaugh does) or criticizing their views is engaging in “hate speech”. Neocons recognize that the best way to deal with poverty is by giving people the self-respect and tools of employment. You, however, are free to give compassionately to the poor as you see fit. There is no need to forcibly expropriate other peoples’ money (Definition of a “Liberal”: someone who claims the moral high ground for being exceedingly generous with other peoples’ money).

    Furthermore, I don’t recall any neo-con or “right winger” wishing that Democrat leaders would have heart attacks or have their families stoned, or coming up with cute phrases “ChimpyMcHaliburtonHitler”, nor do I know of any conservative talk-show hosts or websites that come anywhere close to the pathological hatred or anti-semitism expressed on MoveOn.org, DailyKos or HuffingtonPost. Anti-semitism? For that matter, I am not sure from your rant that you really know what exactly a neo-con is, other than something dark and mysterious to be found under your bed late at night. Would you like to propose a definition?

    Frankly, my dear, you really don’t know what you are talking about when you warble on about hate speech. Why don’t you listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Medved, Hewitt, Prager, Ingraham and the others and get back to us with specific examples?

    And, please, in anticipation of your possible response, spare us the meme that people who wish to overthrow the political and economic system of this country represent true patriots. The Norwegian Vidkun Quisling loved his country, too. He just happened to believe that it would be better off with a totalitarian government. The Norwegians of his day certainly recognized a duck when they saw it.

    Whooopsie! Was I ranting? My bad.

  26. I also cannot recall a time – and can’t really find one as a matter of history, when the US was not, if not positively “hated” then at least “actively disliked” almost since its inception. Markovits at least has the wit to recognize that, which is, I suppose, impressive for someone of his orientation. Makes it kind of tough to blame it all on Bush and events of the last six years, though.

    I’ve read Markovits. He’s good at stating the obvious, and doesn’t even drift into academic tendentiousness all that often – but he isn’t really very interesting. And, as you pointed out with regard to his remakrs about America being the most hated country of all time, history is evidently not his thing, either.

    I had too many relatives in WWII who, five minutes after they’d liberated Paris, were being robbed, cheated, and spat upon by the ever-grateful French. It’s just part of the deal.

    I’m sort of with Eli: why do we need to be liked? DO we need to be liked? Do I care if some yahoo in Toulouse or in Birmingham dislikes me because I’m American?

    Easy questions to answer.

  27. Who is deranged the Americans or the rest of the world ? Who is deranged the Thugs or Donkeys ?Always two sides to a story and then there is comon cents(pun intended money to be made – Madhatter onward . . quickly choose a side . . no time to waste . . buy a stop watch . . hurry hurry !
    Seriously some Americans left or right may have national issues,conditions or disorders but there is no full blown “Syndrome” Okay they may be a wee crazy in allowing China to use them but heck whose perfect ?

  28. People who know that they are weak and feckless wish to follow others and seek safety in numbers. Like a group of sheep. Safety in numbers, you know. That is why they consider being liked so important to their survival.

  29. Also a fundamental aspect of reality that isn’t recognized by the Left is that their “criticizement” of US policy is not against policies that they themselves would never do. If the Left believed that water boarding would give them power, they would do it. Just like Pelosi authorized waterboarding when she felt it was in her interests after 9/11.

    No, what the Left is criticizing is the fact that people other than them have the power of life and death in their hands. Leftists truly believe that they and only they were the only ones capable of ruling and governing. They are ready to rule, thus spake Pelosi, because they understand that this is their ultimate destiny and gift to humanity.

    The ability to manipulate human beings, like unruly, is one of their greatest and most deadly abilities. However, the Left sorely lacks abilities in positive growth and construction. Most of their abilities center around deception, cruelty, destruction, and the killing of human beings. You really can’t do anything about that.

    So obviously Leftists believe that they are the Good and doing good just like Hitler believed he was doing everybody a favor. And that is why they tried to crucify Will Smith for saying so. They know it is the truth and they, the Left, know that it is their dark secret in their heart of hearts. However, just because someone that wants to progress human civilization towards ultimate entropy, despair, death, and destruction believe that they are doing the “Good”, doesn’t mean that they are either Good or doing Good.

  30. Here is Medienkritik on award winning German journalist Markus Guenther and ignorant/lying anti-American to boot

  31. When people of nations have been shamed (Germanyy WWI) and then been wrong done too real or imagined (Versailles) it created an atmosphere of uncertainty and bewilderment and when you add in economic deprivation(depression) to the mix you get fear creating the ideal breeding ground for manipulation of the sheep.HITLER NEW EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS DOING that #$%$#@ ! The same thing happened after the creation of Israel. Nasser et al and then Arafat pulling the strings of the Palestinians.It continues today with Hamas et al. I guess it creates jobs .Wasn’t Hitler popular for job creation ? But to place the American Lefts attempt in doing good for the American people in the same league as Hitler and Hamas etc. is silly. Y you are slipping. Put the bottle down..What happened to your resolutions ?

  32. Derangement thy name is swamp.

  33. Forget your pill . . er I mean pills today ZZZZZZ (snore) !

  34. I agree with Swampacreage. What the American Left attempts to do to the American people is not in the same league as Hitler and Hamas. It’s more like Mexico or Argentina.

  35. Ah thank-you DL(designated left . .well least of Hitler and Hamas) if you choose to bask in the sun beaches of Mexico or take a trip to Southeren Argentina and watch huge chunks of ice fall into the Antarctic Ocean the left wishes you well. Just be sure to drop your tourist dollar lavishly they being poorer countries and all..Educating you about developing third world countires and world issues is what the left wants for you.Or you could say it is more like Mexico and Argentina. Be careful of the water (sharks,drinking,chunks of ice) ! ! !

  36. [...] Council post was Soccer Dad’s post, “The Freddys Seven”. Second place honors went to Bookworm Room’s post, “America Derangement Syndrome — Or, Yes, You Can Call Them [...]

  37. This Markovits fellow is either a crass propagandist or a retard. Since Bookworm is quoting him I’ll go with the former.

  38. [...] to — me! Yup, my fellow council members were kind enough to give their second place votes to American Derangement Syndrome — or, yes, you can call them unpatriotic, the post in which I looked at Andrei Markovits’ Uncouth Nation : Why Europe Dislikes [...]

  39. [...] The votes are in from last week’s Watchers Council and the winner in the Council category is “The Freddys Seven” by Soccer Dad. Finishing in the runner up spot was “America Derangement Syndrome—Or, Yes, You Can Call Them Unpatriotic” by Bookworm Room. [...]

  40. Great analysis. Shows how disgusting the far left is.

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