Can America Learn From Other Countries

I have just been upbraided on another thread for supporting a European approach to Crime and Criminals.

I was told that I was wasting my time posting this ‘on an American Board’.

Is the only knowledge worth having that of a particular nationality.

I was educated in the US and return regularly (I shall be back next month) and one impression I took away was the difference between the American Exceptionalist view of the world (God’s Own Country, Love it or Leave it, All other countries really wish they were us, We are best at everything in the world) and non-super-powers where there is greater awareness of how things are done differently in nearby countries of similar or differing types, and more tolerance for such differences. The European mindset is quite open to differences in methods of carrying out similar tasks within a country, and often learn quickly from each other; none none feels that they have the single answer (except swivel eyed Tories).

I believe that this is worth discussing as anything that helps people understand difference without threat is good in my opinion

Or is this an American Board for Americans?

A link to the thread and that particular post would help.

So the argument is that Americans are different than other people because they think they’re different than other people? And the reason Europeans are better than Americans is because Europeans don’t think they’re better than anyone else?

Well, I can’t see any logical holes in these arguments.

There are SO many things we could learn from other countries, especially EU countries. But that goes vice versa, there are many things the EU does poorly and because of the same stubborn jingoism and pride that causes Americans to reject anything foreign, Europeans tend to reject American ideas.

I prefer the US’s approach to crime. It’s gotten results. Crime is down. Crime is up in many parts of the EU.

But one thing I think is better about Europeans is their social solidarity. Now as a right-wing American dude I don’t have much use for the European welfare state, but I am impressed that Europeans tend to be adults about paying higher taxes to fund that welfare state. Over here in the US, a lot of Americans want more benefits from the government, but want someone else to pay for it. Every American with means(and I mean middle class and above) should pay taxes commensurate with the services they demand from government. Europeans do that, cheerfully.

One extremely conservative poster says that, and from there you extrapolate to “Americans”? Seems like your beef is with Shodan, not Americans. And I doubt even he would make the statement that we can’t learn anything, in general, from other countries.

That’s because you’re an American, if you were European you’d be smart enough to spot the hole.

Speaking of which, any comment on where this inherent European superiority comes from seeing as most Americans are of European ancestry?

Pjen, the entire premise of the thread in question is that your system is the correct one and all other are wrong - or at least, you seem to imply this from your tone. Why do you expect posters to respond any differently?

Besides, if you didn’t want to criticize the British system, why did you start the thread in the first place?

We’re the provincials.

It’s sort of like a weird passive aggressive form of jingoism. We’re better than you because we don’t think we’re better than you.

“We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts!”

you have to be kidding.

The USA has 5 times the pro-rata prison population of the UK, do you have 5 times less crime? (and we are far from the most crime-free country in Europe)

The UK has lower crime rates than a decade ago in every category apart from drug-related offences.

I’m really not sure what your definition of “working” is.

I don’t think there was anything implicit about it in that thread. Per Pjen, the UK is the humane society dedicated to a moral standard we less-advanced cowboys here in America reject.

Scanning the thread, it’s also obvious that is precisely the response the OP sought. Having exhausted outrage there, he now seeks to renew it in a new thread (plaintively—and oh-so-sincerely—wondering, “Are Americans the only ones who count?”) with new participants and new psychodrama. I say we not take the bait.

Crime is massively lower in the UK despite reductions in real sentences.

You’d be surprised how many Americans are willing to admit that we are not nearly as enviable as we’d like to be. The last 15 years have been pretty rough, and we aren’t all jingoistic nationalistic morons. I don’t know if the OP was trying to paint a black and white picture, but the jingoism has gotten to be a lot less popular here. In between our economy failing, the nakedness of our plutocracy being obvious for all to see anymore, our terrible foreign policy, etc. we aren’t as proud as we used to be.

I do think the Chinese will become major innovators in the next 30 years in various areas.

For one, the Chinese are taking a leadership role in alternative energy, I’m sure a lot of new and cheap technologies will come from them.

Due to their own internal poor and the global market for devices for the poor and global middle class, China will probably innovate a lot of things that catch on in Africa and Latin America.

China is growing old before they are wealthy enough to support the elderly. So they’ll probably innovate cheap chronic health care for the elderly, and find affordable ways to house their elderly.

I’m sure they will try to become world leaders in medicine, science and technology R&D too for devices to export to the wealthy west.

I wouldn’t say this century belongs to China by any means, but I do think the Chinese will show themselves to be pretty ingenious innovators over the next few decades.

Screw Americans and Europeans.

Canadians are best.

At what



The Europeans are all so wise and enlightened. We have much to learn from them.