Saturday, March 10, 2007

Volume 11: American History, pages 248-251 (America must create enemies without end)

I thought the last pages of volume ten, about America's myopic ignorance, were anti-American enough, but volume eleven's final sentence is easily as bad. Rhie claims that America's great energy stems from America's refusal to lose ever, and that, seeing the exmple of the decadent Roman Empire, America must stay competitive by constantly creating 'competitors and enemies', i.e. China, Japan, and Terror! Read on if you dare.
p248)
In the end the Americans, who left their homelands and traveled 10,000 miles away to a strange land and fought through innumerable ordeals armed only with the pioneering spirit, brought down the Soviet Union and became the world's only superpower. But looking at the example of the Roman Empire, having no healthy competition leads to decline. America is keeping its eyes on a gradually rising China and getting ready. China, land of great culture and great population; in the future it is obvious that it will become an economic powerhouse and a frightening competitor for America. But America has battles to fight before it can tackle China. More than anything it must close the growing gap between rich and poor. One out of ten Americans live in persistent poverty. America must seriously solve the internal disputes among the races as well as its disputes with the rest of the world.
p249)
More than anything in order to do this, if America doesn't learn cultural humility America will never be the world's leading nation. When America understands the world's cultures and gains the cultural humility to recognize and respect them America will be able to truly become the world's watchman.
(Graphic shows a cowboy gawking at a turbaned man)
Cowboy: East Asian culture is 'mysterious'.
Turbaned man: That means 'irrational'. You need to
throw away that prejudice, we're all the same!
We're all the same. I am sure glad that we Americans could learn this beautiful lesson from the likes of you. We're all the same, with minor differences, like Japanese people's buck-teeth and black people's huge pink lips, right Professor Rhie?
But since young America has barely been in existence for 200 years, and even though it's a pluralistic nation that looks like a museum of the races, The problem is that Americans can't understand anything that's not American, and they don't even want to or try to understand. America is the birthplace of globalization, and yet America is the least globalized nation in the world. Unlike Europeans, Americans can't understand the notion of 'coexistence' properly, that coexistence is not merely living together, and that you must respect and understand your neighbors, having the friendship to not discriminate against them. But it is said that America is only comfortable with ruling and leading (dominance).
p250)
Because neighboring Canada's population doesn't even pass one ninth of America's, and since most of its population lives within 100 km of the American border it's as if it's dependent on the U.S.
(Graphic shows an American looking over the border at a Canadian, standing in a corridor defined as 100km from the U.S. border)
American (thinking): America's 51st state?
Canadian: [Beyond 100km from the U.S. border] it's too cold and there aren't any jobs.
Since in the south Mexico can barely come close to America economically and militarily America has always reigned over Mexico like a big brother. It's not just America; when you become a leading nation you can do no different.
(Graphic shows a cowboy and a samurai)
Samurai: The more the rice plant ripens the lower it bows its head [i.e. The greater the individual, the more humble they are]
Cowboy: When corn ripens it stands up straight as an arrow!
We could say that they are in the grips of an obsession with being the world's greatest and strongest in every challenge and test, and that they must never be surpassed as the world's strongest. That's why they endlessly make competitors and enemies. (Graphic shows a racer shouting "Who challenges me? Whether China or Japan, and if not Terror . . .") To fight and win they must never stop moving. This energy is America's biggest prime mover, and they must constantly move quickly and busily making problems and fighting wars in order to make sure they never
extinguish this great productive
engine. (이 에너지는 미국 발전의 가장 큰 원동력인 만큼 이를 생산하는 거대한 엔진을 꺼뜨리지 않기 위하여 미국은 끊임없이 문제를 만들고 전쟁을 하여 바쁘게, 빠르게 움직일 수밖에 없지.)
That's the American secret. Never stop fighting wars, or we'll lose our edge. The thing that I really love about this book is the level of projection that goes on in Rhie's mind. Everywhere he looks, he sees Korea. I mean, Korea's been at war for the last how many years, and it's certainly helped their economy, eh? He's like a rabbit who reads a book about the Hundred Years War and declares the underlying cause to obviously be carrots.
p251)
If there had been no great frontier in the West of America it's possible that America would have been forever consumed by internal strife and troubles.
(Graphic shows explosions of hostility coming out of a well)
I've discussed the well before. This is Rhie's favorite symbol for ignorant America, The frog in a well. The frog in the well doesn't realize there's a whole wide world outside his well, and instead brags proudly about its greatness. again, this is a term that some people tend to use in reference to Korea.

But America's energy went into spreading westward without problem, and it's now spreading limitlessly to the rest of the world. Other ethnic nations that were blocked on all four sides and whose energy had no place to spread out expended their energy in factional infighting and disputes and stand in contrast to America. John F. Kennedy said "The United States has to move very fast to even stand still." America will keep on moving just as he said. If that great body stands still, it will be torn down by fat and the diseases of old age. To produce its overflowing energy, America must create enemies without end.

1 comment:

Tall Teacher said...

"If that great body stands still, it will be torn down by fat and the diseases of old age. To produce its overflowing energy, America must create enemies without end."

I'm not hearing anything here that I haven't heard from ex-pats.