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Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

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"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
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Friday, July 15, 2005

The "sophisticated" French

Ok, this article I'm going to reference is not entirely about the French. But, one excerpt is really great about the supposed superior "sophistication" of France, compared to the United States (in bold).

Understanding America by Qwen Harris

The fact is, though, that the United States is an older country than Germany, Italy, and a dozen other European states, not to speak of Latin America, Africa, and most of Asia. It is the oldest extant democracy on earth, the oldest republic, and the oldest federal system—as well as the largest, most complex, most open and most tested (something that one might not readily have grasped from the facile attempt to ridicule and patronise America during the last disputed presidential election). Consider that during the time that this supposedly young country has existed, France, that epitome of European sophistication, has gone through five different republics, two emperors, two monarchies, and a puppet regime. How sophisticated can you get.

Another good point (emphasis added):

Certainly the United States has been fortunate in some important respects: in having wide oceans on either side of it; in having pretty harmless neighbours to its north and south; in having, for a long period when it was potentially vulnerable, a non-threatening British navy between it and Europe. It was probably this combination of advantages that Bismarck had in mind when he once remarked that God seemed to have a special place in his heart for drunkards, idiots and Americans. History is replete with examples of countries that were well endowed with advantages but who blew their luck (think of Brazil and Argentina). There should be a strong presumption that Americans did not compile their record of success merely due to a remarkable run of good fortune, that they have been getting some important things right.

Do read the entire article. It is quite interesting and worthy of thought and discussion.
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