Join John Adams, world renowned Intl Matchmaker, Monday nights 8:30 EST for Live Webcasts!
And check out Five Reasons why you should attend a FREE AFA Seminar! See locations and dates here.



View Active Topics       View Your Posts       Latest 100 Topics       FAQ Topics       Mobile Friendly Theme


The Paradox of American Individualism

Vent your rants and raves here about whatever makes you mad, angry or frustrated.

Moderators: fschmidt, jamesbond

Post Reply
Krakenguard
Freshman Poster
Posts: 19
Joined: June 10th, 2017, 12:14 am

The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by Krakenguard » June 28th, 2017, 3:17 pm

America is generally thought of as an individualistic society, but that is not exactly true. America is only individualistic in a material sense. You are expected to be "self-sufficient," and exploiting others for massive material gain is okay.

However, America is actually very totalitarian in a deeper sense. You are expected to conform and follow the herd, which includes adhering to the "materialistic individualism" described above. Any independent though that is too "different" will instantly get you labeled as an outcast, and you will be scorned.




Check out our Dating Sites and International Romance Tours!



User avatar
jamesbond
Elite Upper Class Poster
Posts: 8223
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 6:45 pm
Location: USA

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by jamesbond » June 28th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Krakenguard wrote:America is generally thought of as an individualistic society, but that is not exactly true. America is only individualistic in a material sense. You are expected to be "self-sufficient," and exploiting others for massive material gain is okay.

However, America is actually very totalitarian in a deeper sense. You are expected to conform and follow the herd, which includes adhering to the "materialistic individualism" described above. Any independent though that is too "different" will instantly get you labeled as an outcast, and you will be scorned.
Exactly, the religion in America is materialism and the way to buy lot's of things is to be a workaholic. Pop culture rules the conversation of most young people (especially young women).

Conforming and following the herd is be expected. If you think outside the box you are considered a "weirdo." :roll:
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

Eric
Experienced Poster
Posts: 1297
Joined: March 20th, 2016, 4:07 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by Eric » June 28th, 2017, 7:51 pm

There has to be some way to get to these ruling cabal members who have done all this pain. How much will we suffer? Can't we just kill these a-holes already...? We've been under a technocracy for about 200 years now. Can't you all see how the Industrial revolution tore families away from eachother, herding us into bins and situations that aren't natural.... Making fathers leave the home to leave parenting and fathering behind, for pursuit of money. Separating and fracturing the family, and messing everything and everyone up.

Who's doing this and why aren't people raising up to stop it? Haven't things gotten bad enough.
Why do we allow this? Why can't we have a return to the old ways of family, life, love and a community. Instead of being a bunch of individualistic lonely, wage slaves addicted toward materialism?

I hate it. It's about high time we have a revolution and target and find these people, this "cabal" doing this to humanity and the world. I don't know how that's possible, but it has got to be.
Misery and happiness are only states of mind.

onethousandknives
Freshman Poster
Posts: 483
Joined: January 26th, 2013, 12:35 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by onethousandknives » June 29th, 2017, 6:12 am

I think the difference of USA, in the individualism vs collectiveism mindset, is mainly cliques, actually. In that America itself is deeply divided, and there's not a lot of national identity or unity anywhere. So everything is based upon positioning yourself in a clique, or as called in socially acceptable language a "subculture." This is a post from Reddit by a guy from Italy who moved to USA, and strangely liked the clique system here, but what he described I think is really very much one of the best descriptions regarding individualism.

My answer isn't quite as literal as some of the others, but I still feel like it's worth saying
Unlike other people here, I moved to America being completely fluent in English, had many relatives in the country, and came from another well-off country (Italy). And since I had visited often, nothing like serving sizes or showers surprised me

What surprised me was the social circles that existed in schools and in life. Back in Italy, schools didn't have the nerds, the jocks, the skater kids, emos, or what else have you. People were all basically the same, with minor differences in interests. Most everyone played soccer, was a casual gamer, and hung out in the town square at night. That's it. It may sound like an exaggeration, but 95% of my friends there were exactly like this.
So when I came to school here, I was amazed by how the jocks would hang out at gyms and play 4 different sports after school, while the skaters headed off to find a park. It was so different. And I loved it. Because while I could fit it back in Italy, I was always much more introverted and interested in nerd stuff, and in the US I finally found people who were really like me. It was really unexpected, and you only notice it after spending a lot of time in America
He looks at it as a positive, but I find really hard to look at it positively here in USA.

User avatar
jamesbond
Elite Upper Class Poster
Posts: 8223
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 6:45 pm
Location: USA

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by jamesbond » June 30th, 2017, 4:03 pm

onethousandknives wrote:I think the difference of USA, in the individualism vs collectiveism mindset, is mainly cliques, actually. In that America itself is deeply divided, and there's not a lot of national identity or unity anywhere. So everything is based upon positioning yourself in a clique, or as called in socially acceptable language a "subculture." This is a post from Reddit by a guy from Italy who moved to USA, and strangely liked the clique system here, but what he described I think is really very much one of the best descriptions regarding individualism.

My answer isn't quite as literal as some of the others, but I still feel like it's worth saying
Unlike other people here, I moved to America being completely fluent in English, had many relatives in the country, and came from another well-off country (Italy). And since I had visited often, nothing like serving sizes or showers surprised me

What surprised me was the social circles that existed in schools and in life. Back in Italy, schools didn't have the nerds, the jocks, the skater kids, emos, or what else have you. People were all basically the same, with minor differences in interests. Most everyone played soccer, was a casual gamer, and hung out in the town square at night. That's it. It may sound like an exaggeration, but 95% of my friends there were exactly like this.
So when I came to school here, I was amazed by how the jocks would hang out at gyms and play 4 different sports after school, while the skaters headed off to find a park. It was so different. And I loved it. Because while I could fit it back in Italy, I was always much more introverted and interested in nerd stuff, and in the US I finally found people who were really like me. It was really unexpected, and you only notice it after spending a lot of time in America
He looks at it as a positive, but I find really hard to look at it positively here in USA.
Americans don't know how to relate to people out of their "clique" and don't want to be friends with anyone who is not in their "clique." Winston said he noticed how much more open and friendly people where in Russia, Ukraine and Poland compared to the US.
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"

"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."

Eric
Experienced Poster
Posts: 1297
Joined: March 20th, 2016, 4:07 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by Eric » July 1st, 2017, 4:59 pm

Actually,these are none of America's real and MAIN problems. The main problem here as I see it, and my own brother made this observation...as did my father, was that America's become all about luxury, avoidance, feeling good, minimizing pain while making everything perfect. That is basically a problem because you need to maintain certain hardiness to thrive and even function. You'll slip into various neurosis and mental dysfunctions while losing the vigor in your life. I believe the whole country''s affected by this, while it is human nature - for some reason in America ''luxury' is given an all time high priority; this is especially dangerous for men...while men are the 'active' ones going out and doing, it is toxic and antithetical to life.
Combined with the materialism that's offered, instead of real satisfying and fulfilling goals...America's just a depressing overall place.

It's however a playground for women though, who do well and seem to love this pilfered, luxurious environment. Look around at how many vibrant women you see -now look around at how many vibrant men.
I rest my case.I believe this place has actually been manufactured to be a "p***y bin", if that makes sense. ...And it really is.
Materialism is definitely a religion of America.
Last edited by Eric on July 1st, 2017, 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Misery and happiness are only states of mind.

Eric
Experienced Poster
Posts: 1297
Joined: March 20th, 2016, 4:07 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by Eric » July 1st, 2017, 6:04 pm

Basically, and I don't think that I'm at all alone in this - any intelligent person living today, especially if you're born after the 70's or 80's, it's hard to handle the level of SHIT going on out there. It is overwhelming, it is too complicated and too much. For any reasonably intelligent person, it boggles the mind; this can trigger a fight or flight response and basically, it is extremely hard to cope with and find realistic ways of dealing with all this overload. That's how I feel, at least and I know I can't be alone. Overwhelmed, is the way that I feel most of the time. Basically, I think don't be fragile. The way things are interacting - between Christianity and modern materialism, porn etc, there is dissonance. And when communication stops you can feel out alone and helpless when the gulf is too far change from what's used to as "normal". What's basically it is not freaking out and finding ways to cope. I used to have a horrible tendency to freak out and not cope, because partly nobody teaches you how to do it here. Nobody talks, you're supposed to just handle it on your own, even as a kid...
You just have to find ways to cope with this crazy society as best you can somehow using common sense.
Misery and happiness are only states of mind.

MrMan
Veteran Poster
Posts: 2436
Joined: July 31st, 2014, 3:52 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by MrMan » July 3rd, 2017, 5:52 am

Responding to the OP, I think in terms of cross-cultural psychology, where the opposite of 'individualism' on the spectrum is 'collectivism' rather than totalitarianism.

onethousandknives
Freshman Poster
Posts: 483
Joined: January 26th, 2013, 12:35 am

Re: The Paradox of American Individualism

Post by onethousandknives » July 5th, 2017, 8:56 am

Eric wrote:Actually,these are none of America's real and MAIN problems. The main problem here as I see it, and my own brother made this observation...as did my father, was that America's become all about luxury, avoidance, feeling good, minimizing pain while making everything perfect. That is basically a problem because you need to maintain certain hardiness to thrive and even function. You'll slip into various neurosis and mental dysfunctions while losing the vigor in your life. I believe the whole country''s affected by this, while it is human nature - for some reason in America ''luxury' is given an all time high priority; this is especially dangerous for men...while men are the 'active' ones going out and doing, it is toxic and antithetical to life.
Combined with the materialism that's offered, instead of real satisfying and fulfilling goals...America's just a depressing overall place.

It's however a playground for women though, who do well and seem to love this pilfered, luxurious environment. Look around at how many vibrant women you see -now look around at how many vibrant men.
I rest my case.I believe this place has actually been manufactured to be a "p***y bin", if that makes sense. ...And it really is.
Materialism is definitely a religion of America.
I think this is partially true, and partially not. USA is sort of schizophrenic in this regard, and in some ways it goes back to individualism or not. USA actually has one of the biggest DIY markets around, and in other countries large stores like Lowes, Home Depot, etc, don't exist. Albeit in general large department stores also don't exist, but those same countries, Costco might be popular. As a society, we actually do take quite a bit of pride in doing our own home, car, etc, repairs quite a lot, and we do them a lot more than other societies, not due to high labor prices per se, but high business prices due mostly to regulations businesses need here compared to other countries. But I do think on some level, psychologically we do like to do this kind of stuff out of an individualistic mindset. Truthfully, a lot of people in Asia, etc, are totally clueless about how to fix anything. It's not their job, pay someone else, oh well. This is not to say life is easy, or has always been easy for said people, but I think comparatively, life in USA can be stupid hard, especially compared to life in another higher income industrialized country. We're one of the few countries that needs DIY... everything, or else you go bankrupt unless you make very serious money. So then when you get home from work, you then need to work on your family members' cars, fix the house, whatever, thus you're basically working every waking hour at times with said projects.

I think in a lot of ways, though, there's a sort of divide between the "luxury class" of people, and the "worker class" of people. In that seemingly, even aside from income made or not from working, or not working, there's desk jobs vs physical labor jobs or businesses. And on both sides, there's a sort of disdain for each other. I feel in my field, as a "construction worker" I'm looked down upon, actually oddly enough by people specifically in coding and software development, who think they're the smartest ever but couldn't even install a RAM stick in a computer, since their knowledge of basically doing work in the physical world with real life objects is so little. I mean, shit, maybe I'm dumb for not being able to code 'hello world' or something. Who knows. But one interesting point is seemingly, this class of people are almost aristocratic, and have the pampered luxury life of ease you describe, even if it's financed by endless streams of debt. And their life of the easiest thing even goes onto kind of absurdity, with people I know now spending their time not even playing video games, but watching livestreams of other people playing video games for hours on end.

As far as I understand it, the class divide between physical laboring working people, and this aristocratic class wasn't always so great, as in, during the times when most people were doing physical labor in factories, etc. But I think now without this unity, there is a class divide happening now in USA, with disdain on both sides for both types of people and their perceptions, right or wrong, about their work and intelligence.

That said, the biggest thing I notice in USA, actually isn't the youth, but the "Baby Boomer" population and actually their laziness. Most Boomers I know think walking a hundred yards is like asking them to run a marathon or something. And the obsession with even parking spots here in USA. I remember vividly people messing up my driving to park on the street to go to a gym, when they had a giant mostly empty parking lot, simply as street side was closer. Which is hilarious in the context of a gym. In Taiwan and Vietnam you see 70+ year olds happily riding bicycles and walking miles everyday. In this way, yes, I do agree about the laziness and neurosis it causes. I think about my church, and our community center we used to have before we sold it. It was about a quarter mile or so walk from the church. When it was built in the 1920s, this was considered a totally reasonable walking distance from the church. But no more, and it was sold in large part as the walking distance was too far, and my fellow church members looked at me as if I was insane for walking said quarter mile rather than moving my car there and trying to play with parking it in a somewhat complex manner. But on a lot of levels I actually do wonder if it's a nutritional thing or something, as I notice in myself terribly low energy and motivation in the states compared to overseas. I'm guessing it's fluoridated water, but hey.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Rants and Raves”