Why is America more conservative than Europe?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 12:37 AM GMT
    This is absolutely not criticism of America, which I think is a great country. (Edit); and coherent conservatism is a valid ideology which I respect.

    I'm also aware that, my country at least, England, is a long way away from electing a black Prime Minister

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2008/nov/12/barackobama-race-abritishobama

    Generally, however, America is more conservative than 'old' Europe with regards to.

    1) Gay rights and civil unions
    2) Abortion
    3) Religion in politics
    4) Provision of state welfare.

    Why do you think this is? What's the cause of the cultural difference?
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    Nov 14, 2008 12:44 AM GMT
    Too many hicks out in the sticks that are sheltered/isolated from information and education and get wacky religion and local culture stuffed into their heads to where they can't think for themselves any longer.
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    Nov 14, 2008 12:57 AM GMT
    msw1Too many hicks out in the sticks that are sheltered/isolated from information and education and get wacky religion and local culture stuffed into their heads to where they can't think for themselves any longer.



    Bingo! Often, that isolationism and willful ignorance is worn like a badge of honor. Hello, Sarah Palin.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Nov 14, 2008 1:02 AM GMT
    Lost_In_Space saidThis is absolutely not a criticism of America, which I think is a great country.

    I'm also aware that, my country at least, England, is a long way away from electing a black Prime Minister

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2008/nov/12/barackobama-race-abritishobama

    Generally, however, America is more conservative than 'old' Europe with regards to.

    1) Gay rights and civil unions
    2) Abortion
    3) Religion in politics
    4) Provision of state welfare.

    Why do you think this is? What's the cause of the cultural difference?


    huh?

    1) Not all of Europe have Civil Unions or Open Marriage. Austria, for one.
    2) Abortions are easier to come by in the US than in Poland, Spain, Ireland, Finland and Germany.
    3) You mean like Italy?
    4) After WWII many Western European nations couldn't help but provide subsities to both their company's and their citizens. In the US we get a bad taste in our mouth from both. People usually don't like one or the other, but if you do one, you really need to do the other- thus nothing moves, until it has to. The east, being ex-communist, I hardly find this shocking.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Nov 14, 2008 1:22 AM GMT
    Well, if you zoom into such a tiny area of Europe, you need to zoom into a similar way for the US... and then you get New England, and similarities.
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    Nov 14, 2008 1:22 AM GMT
    You mean, like France? Where insulting the flag is a criminal offense, where the level of opposition to affirmative action would delight any card-carrying Republican, and about 20% of the student body attend religious schools (double the American percentage)? Or how bout Italy where the Catholic Church runs the show? Europe ISN'T Holland. Contrary to popular belief, I believe gay marriage is only legal in four countries in Europe; Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, and Spain. Europe is miserably regressive on the issue of immigration. Ever heard those racist chants during Spanish soccer games? Ever heard of Silvio Berlusconi?

    A "Gay Rights" Mecca? http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,733764-1,00.html

    I think alot of people (especially Americans) believe this myth simply because women show their boobies on the beach "over there" and eat supper later in the evening...icon_rolleyes.gif


  • wvdave

    Posts: 20

    Nov 14, 2008 1:26 AM GMT
    I think it goes back to the puritanical roots in which this country was founded on.
    There are many that hide behind religion for their reasons for their prejudice and oppression. I think many voted Barack Obama because he offered change from the past 8 years. People were afraid McCain would continue with GW's policies.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    European societies are more developed, or rather they developed more slowly.

    America (and Ireland, Australia) were former colonies which were founded under foreign rule, still express strong nationalism, were cut loose and developed into independent countries faster than all other societies.

    Society developed faster than Americans could change their ideals, this scared them and they want to hang on to what was, for as long as possible out of fear of change.

    I think some Americans are still subtly against Britain and fighting a war of independence in their minds. We just have to realize "wars" are so last century and wait for these people to die icon_lol.gif

    We also need this your either with us or against us mentality to die out
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Nov 14, 2008 1:31 AM GMT
    AMT87 saidEuropean societies are more developed, or rather they developed more slowly.


    According to that theory India should be the most liberal country on Earth, followed by Iraq and Egypt.
  • beaujangle

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    Nov 14, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    I observe that USA is a land of extremes, in every sense.
  • DCEric

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    Nov 14, 2008 1:50 AM GMT
    beaujangle saidI observe that USA is a land of extremes, in every sense.


    Such as Communism, and Fascism?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 1:54 AM GMT
    Europe had hundreds of years of wars based on religious differences. Century after centruty, whole swaths of the population were regularly decimated, which held them back intellectually, since some smart and otherwise productive minds were snuffed out, agriculturally--since many of those who would otherwise provide farm labor died--and with many other effects as well. And since most European countries evolved to have a state religion (many still do), scorn for the rulers frequently translated into scorn for the symbols of religion, which were mixed up with symbols of the state.

    We had none of this. Despite the best efforts of the Loony Right, we don't have a state religion, so there has been no legacy of hating the state and therefore its religion. And aside from the Civil War, which was secular, we've had very little warfare on our little slice of the planet. So our appetite for war is still (unfortunately) large, because our institutional memory is that 1) we WIN wars, and 2) we wind up benefitting from wars, as we did hugely from both World Wars.

    This is one reason why losing in Vietnam was so traumatic. It went against everything we told ourselves. We didn't win that war (and to this day the Loonies think we were stabbed in the back, which is also what Hitler told the Germans in the 1920s), and we certainly didn't benefit from it. It started the inflation that spiraled out of control under Carter.
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    Nov 14, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    DCEric -

    You are right on a lot of points, Europe is no utopia for gays or in general and I know just as many ignorant people and religious nuts populate cities as they do rural areas.

  • kinetic

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    Nov 14, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    apples and oranges.
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    Nov 14, 2008 2:04 AM GMT
    DCEric said
    AMT87 saidEuropean societies are more developed, or rather they developed more slowly.


    According to that theory India should be the most liberal country on Earth, followed by Iraq and Egypt.


    I'm going to thank technology, particularly during the enlightenment/ Renaissance followed by the industrial revolution, movable type, establishment of universities, influx of other cultures, a much greater push towards the economic benefits of diplomacy following on from WWII establishment of the UN, EEC etc.

    Basically Europe has had a long time to learn from it's mistakes

    Not to mention we ruled India for 50 years not the other way round.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Nov 14, 2008 4:04 AM GMT
    McGay said
    msw1Too many hicks out in the sticks that are sheltered/isolated from information and education and get wacky religion and local culture stuffed into their heads to where they can't think for themselves any longer.



    Bingo! Often, that isolationism and willful ignorance is worn like a badge of honor. Hello, Sarah Palin.


    Exactly. If you look at progressive states or even progressive cities in the United States, they're all around major population centers -- lots of people coming and going, dynamic economies, international commerce, tourism and universities. There's an influx of new people and ideas. In the red states, marooned in the middle of the country, it's a backwater -- the same people and the same ideas reigning unchallenged and unquestioned year after year and nothing ever changes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 4:05 AM GMT
    JESUS
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 4:11 AM GMT
    all the annoying conservative bible huggers got chased out of england and settled here, using the bible as the law and moral code..blowwsss
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    Nov 14, 2008 4:23 AM GMT
    Funny the founding forefathers of America, were Pammie Puritans, who left England to start a new life in the new Americas, as they though England ha become to corrupt and liberal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 4:50 AM GMT
    Try to go to college if you are not of the upper class if you think Europe is so liberal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 5:04 AM GMT
    The "founding fathers" of America were far from conservative, but radical and liberal contrary to what modern religious groups say. In fact the U.S. is considered the first modern liberal state ..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiberalismThe first modern liberal state was the United States of America[8], founded on the principle that "all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to insure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."[9] Pioneers of liberalism such as Adam Smith conceptualized free markets, free trade, invisible hand, spontaneous order, and claimed that they lead to prosperity. Liberals argued that economic systems based on free markets are more efficient and generate more prosperity.[10]


    Here is a history of liberalism in the U.S.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism_in_the_United_States
    And here is a history of Conservatism in the U.S. and how if developed:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservatism_in_the_United_States
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    Nov 14, 2008 5:51 AM GMT
    Colbert_Hussein_Nation said
    McGay said
    msw1Too many hicks out in the sticks that are sheltered/isolated from information and education and get wacky religion and local culture stuffed into their heads to where they can't think for themselves any longer.



    Bingo! Often, that isolationism and willful ignorance is worn like a badge of honor. Hello, Sarah Palin.


    Exactly. If you look at progressive states or even progressive cities in the United States, they're all around major population centers -- lots of people coming and going, dynamic economies, international commerce, tourism and universities. There's an influx of new people and ideas. In the red states, marooned in the middle of the country, it's a backwater -- the same people and the same ideas reigning unchallenged and unquestioned year after year and nothing ever changes.


    Wrong.

    As if urban dwellers don't have wacky religions and superstitions...

    "Scientology," "organic foods," "lysenkoism,"homeopathic medicine," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    The fact is that most "new ideas" are wrong. New ideas are the fodder of science: in that process, they are tested empirically and the vast majority are rejected. However, the lunatics of the left tend to eschew the hard part and move directly to religion-ization and legislation. The result has killed hundreds of millions of people.

    A little conservatism is a good thing. People who actually work the land and make real things are steeped in empiricism. (Though they may be a little weak on theory.) They are resistant to wacky new ideas for a reason.

    I suppose one could make the argument that city dwellers are more steeped in the empiricism of social relations, as opposed to physical reality. There would be far more opportunities for social experimentation and evaluation in cities. (Of course, it doesn't seem to matter how many times socialism is tested to failure. Someone always wants to try it again.)

    But back to the original question: my observations, though limited, are that Europeans are more conservative than Americans in many ways. I've worked with a fair number of them, on both continents. There seems to be a certain "can't do" attitude over there. For example, I've worked on projects where my European colleagues literally sat around doing nothing for weeks, waiting for factory reps to come set up their (relatively simple) equipment. They were shocked when Americans arrived on site, opened boxes, and started working. One time, I almost got dog-piled on, when a pump arrived with the wrong end fitting. I cut it off and put the correct one on. "How do you know to do that? Shouldn't you send it back to be done at the factory?"

    ...

    ...
    Hmm... need a succinct conclusion here, but I'm tired.
  • beaujangle

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    Nov 14, 2008 6:30 AM GMT
    But back to the original question: my observations, though limited, are that Europeans are more conservative than Americans in many ways. I've worked with a fair number of them, on both continents. There seems to be a certain "can't do" attitude over there. For example, I've worked on projects where my European colleagues literally sat around doing nothing for weeks, waiting for factory reps to come set up their (relatively simple) equipment. They were shocked when Americans arrived on site, opened boxes, and started working. One time, I almost got dog-piled on, when a pump arrived with the wrong end fitting. I cut it off and put the correct one on. "How do you know to do that? Shouldn't you send it back to be done at the factory?"
    Hmm... need a succinct conclusion here, but I'm tired.[/quote]


    I agree; I see that Americans have a 'can do attitude'; even our famous Australian scientist, Alan Trounson, who has moved to California last year to head a big stem cell organisation said that a few weeks ago!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2008 8:00 AM GMT
    [quote][Not to mention we ruled India for 50 years not the other way round.
    [/quote]

    250 years more like!
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    Nov 14, 2008 8:34 AM GMT
    American is also FAR more conservative than Europe when it comes to nudity. Janet Jackson shows a tit and people think it's the Holocaust for children. Meanwhile, there's a magazine in Germany FOR TEENS featuring a full frontal naked teen guy and girl in every magazine. No one cares. Fucking stupid America.