A tale of two cultures

The demonstrations in the streets of America and Greece are a poignant example of the difference between American individualism and collectivist societies.

The blistering pace of world events and the incessant news coverage make it difficult to maintain a perspective of how ongoing events reflect upon the character of America.  The ongoing demonstrations in the streets of Greece and America provide a snapshot of who we are, or more accurately who we are not, with an exclamation point.

The financial woes since 2007 have put stress upon virtually all the western world.  As it is often observed that a person's character becomes exposed under stress, likewise the character of a country is exposed during crises. 


Greece is going through financial stress resulting from decades of unsustainable government spending and borrowing to fulfill promises to provide for its citizens jobs, goods and services.  They are arguably the least financially sound country in the European Union, and as such they are the first to confront the harsh economic reality that awaits governments that are not fiscally responsible.  The EU is working out a bailout package for Greece that requires some fiscal containment - they have to cut spending.  The spending cuts being pursued include cuts or freezes to government and union employees.  These cuts have enraged enough of the Greek population for them to
take to the streets in numbers never before seen to demand that government spending, at least their portion of it anyway, is not cut.  Simply put, the demonstrators are demanding "their" piece of the pie.  The demonstrations are becoming more and more violent - recently 3 people were killed by street firebombing. 

America is likewise going through financial stress resulting from decades of unsustainable government spending and borrowing to fulfill promises to provide for its citizens jobs, goods and services.  America has a uniquely privileged position as the printer of the de-facto world currency, which for a time will forestall the inevitable consequences of the lack of fiscal responsibility.  Many Americans understand the looming crises and have taken to the streets as the TEA Party movement in quantities perhaps never before seen, but unlike in Greece the American
demonstrations are non-violent and downright civilized.  The TEA Partiers are not a collection of people who demand the continuation of their cushy government provided income or benefits - quite the opposite they are typically financially responsible individuals.  Their demands are exactly the opposite of the Greek demonstrators - the TEA partiers demand less spending and smaller government - a far cry from fighting for a bigger piece of the pie for themselves.

America is proudly different than the rest of the world and vive la différence!  The American culture of individualism and liberty has produced the highest standard of living in the history of man for itself and even for the rest of the world, and the protectors of that culture are pushing back against collectivism with non-violent revolt. 


Collectivism on the other hand is inevitably enforced by violence - it always has been, and always will be.  By creating supposed "rights" that consist of one person being provided with a good or service, the collectivist necessarily creates virtual enslavement of some to provide those "rights" for others.  People do not take kindly to slavery in any form, hence the need for violence to keep the producers producing "rights" for the consumers to consume.

Where the people of Greece may be headed in their crisis cannot be predicted with certainty, but ultimately they will decide one way or another what their core values are and what type of country they will be moving forward.  Likewise where we're headed in America also cannot be predicted with certainty.  Will we choose to renew our dedication to liberty and limited government, or will we continue on the road to serfdom?  If history repeats itself Americans will not be silent until our path is corrected.  Let us hope and pray that Americans' love of liberty will be re-awakened to prevail.

One thing is clear - the differences between a collectivist and an individual-based culture are on live display for anyone observant enough to notice.


The demonstrations in the streets of America and Greece are a poignant example of the difference between American individualism and collectivist societies.

The blistering pace of world events and the incessant news coverage make it difficult to maintain a perspective of how ongoing events reflect upon the character of America.  The ongoing demonstrations in the streets of Greece and America provide a snapshot of who we are, or more accurately who we are not, with an exclamation point.

The financial woes since 2007 have put stress upon virtually all the western world.  As it is often observed that a person's character becomes exposed under stress, likewise the character of a country is exposed during crises. 


Greece is going through financial stress resulting from decades of unsustainable government spending and borrowing to fulfill promises to provide for its citizens jobs, goods and services.  They are arguably the least financially sound country in the European Union, and as such they are the first to confront the harsh economic reality that awaits governments that are not fiscally responsible.  The EU is working out a bailout package for Greece that requires some fiscal containment - they have to cut spending.  The spending cuts being pursued include cuts or freezes to government and union employees.  These cuts have enraged enough of the Greek population for them to
take to the streets in numbers never before seen to demand that government spending, at least their portion of it anyway, is not cut.  Simply put, the demonstrators are demanding "their" piece of the pie.  The demonstrations are becoming more and more violent - recently 3 people were killed by street firebombing. 

America is likewise going through financial stress resulting from decades of unsustainable government spending and borrowing to fulfill promises to provide for its citizens jobs, goods and services.  America has a uniquely privileged position as the printer of the de-facto world currency, which for a time will forestall the inevitable consequences of the lack of fiscal responsibility.  Many Americans understand the looming crises and have taken to the streets as the TEA Party movement in quantities perhaps never before seen, but unlike in Greece the American
demonstrations are non-violent and downright civilized.  The TEA Partiers are not a collection of people who demand the continuation of their cushy government provided income or benefits - quite the opposite they are typically financially responsible individuals.  Their demands are exactly the opposite of the Greek demonstrators - the TEA partiers demand less spending and smaller government - a far cry from fighting for a bigger piece of the pie for themselves.

America is proudly different than the rest of the world and vive la différence!  The American culture of individualism and liberty has produced the highest standard of living in the history of man for itself and even for the rest of the world, and the protectors of that culture are pushing back against collectivism with non-violent revolt. 


Collectivism on the other hand is inevitably enforced by violence - it always has been, and always will be.  By creating supposed "rights" that consist of one person being provided with a good or service, the collectivist necessarily creates virtual enslavement of some to provide those "rights" for others.  People do not take kindly to slavery in any form, hence the need for violence to keep the producers producing "rights" for the consumers to consume.

Where the people of Greece may be headed in their crisis cannot be predicted with certainty, but ultimately they will decide one way or another what their core values are and what type of country they will be moving forward.  Likewise where we're headed in America also cannot be predicted with certainty.  Will we choose to renew our dedication to liberty and limited government, or will we continue on the road to serfdom?  If history repeats itself Americans will not be silent until our path is corrected.  Let us hope and pray that Americans' love of liberty will be re-awakened to prevail.

One thing is clear - the differences between a collectivist and an individual-based culture are on live display for anyone observant enough to notice.


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