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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Why People Hate Americans

The American People are entitled to feel aggrieved by the fact that millions of people in South America, India, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East (have I missed a continent?) now despise us. After all, most of us are simply the direct descendants of People From There.

There must be some basis for what is now almost universal hatred for Americans so extreme as to draw sympathy even for wealthy Arab syndicates and obviously pathetic "suicide bombers".

Is the hatred because "foreigners" hold The American People responsible for what the American Government does?

Foreigners of course have NO VOTE in American Elections. Apparently they have heard that The American People have this power, this "election" to choose the leaders in a Government limited by a Constitution which enfranchises the governed.

Perhaps The American People are directly responsible for the things done by those acting in their name.

In India, it was the US Government which forced Indians to buy electric power produced by a private company which dramatically raised the cost of their electricity. In Bolivia, it was the US Government which forced the residents of Cochabamba to buy water from a private company which dramatically raised the cost of their water. In Iraq, it was the US Government which took over security functions and "public utilities" and turned them over wholesale to private "American" [actually "off-shore"] companies.

The American People are paying the costs, but receive none of the credit, none of the profit, and none of the benefits. Our leaders have "privatized" the benefits at the expense of the Government.

The American People can see it domestically: In California, huge profits from selling electrical power produced at Government expense were "gamed" by private interests. Californians have been as helpless as Bolivians to do anything about it, but Californians do know it happened -- they see it every time they pay quadrupled electrical bills. Even "voting" -- throwing out Governor Davis and replacing him with Governor Schwartzenegger -- although it provided a refreshing and entertaining hope, did not change the "net" result. Off-shore private corporations -- run by executives who pocketed billions at taxpayer expense -- had already executed their planned "privatized" piracy.

However, it is hard for The American People to appreciate it when the same piracy happens in other parts of the world. And their own culpability is completely invisible to them -- the pressure which the US Government puts on other governments through its ministers and ambassadors on behalf of Enron, Haliburton, and "private" companies, is virtually invisible. The American People do not realize that foreigners hold the Voting Citizen responsible for the Government which plays such a major "influence" in the rest of the world.

The hatred will only increase. It will be the hatred of the increasingly disenfranchised. The hatred of people who are being taken advantage of. If a pirate jumps your ship and plunders your best stuff, and then uses it to buy things, you do not "envy" his possessions -- you believe deep down inside that what he stole remains your own.

Piracy is not a form of trade or an activity which should be encouraged. Taking over Government functions may enable a pirate to shift expenses and extract risk-free benefits, but this extraction is not the "profit" of a business. It is theft.

People hate Americans today, like never before. Why?