Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Arrogance – Why Should The World Worship America?

I have personal pride living in the United States of America. I have even greater pride being a citizen of the World.  But more importantly, I consider myself a citizen and a servant of the universe who just so happened to be born in Los Angeles, California.  Unlike what some Americans believe, we are really no better than other people of the world. If we are actually children in “God’s eyes” what makes us so different or superior than people in other countries? In His eyes, we should all be equals. Apparently, some people here in this country don’t believe so. And, their beliefs often influence their behavior. According to many Americans, “we” are the strongest and the best. Such thinking has certainly affected their pride and egos.  

On the flip side of the coin, we have just as many weaknesses as other countries. Not to mention a weakened economy that has affected the entire world, but people in this country have the poor habit of pointing out human rights violations in other countries and totally ignoring atrocities committed in this country. Take for example our complaints against China for child labor. Yet, nobody blames the rich corporate executives who laid off millions of people in America causing them to lose their jobs and livelihoods, be displaced from their homes, destroying families all for the sake of exporting jobs in favor of getting “cheap labor” and maximizing their profits. The blame cannot be pinned on the Chinese government; it has to be saddled squarely on Corporate America!

There have been complaints regarding Spain’s recent investigation and the possibility of filing war crimes against officials in the former Bush administration who carried out and implemented torture and supported polices that were totally contradictory to international laws and the Geneva Convention. The Obama administration is being reluctant to press for extradition of these people to face trial in an international court.

Why do Americans continue to put themselves on pedestals and think that they are so superior to the rest of the world that they can commit such atrocities and get away with it? The Spanish complaint, in my view, does not go far enough. I think its courts should ultimately file charges against both the former President and Vice-President of the United States. If they are not guilty, then let them prove it before an international court. The law is the law, regardless if it was written in and for a country or written and for the world. This was the purpose of the Nuremburg Trials. International law must be applied equally to war criminals no matter what their country of origin is without exception. If Americans committed war crimes and are guilty of it, then they too should suffer the consequences as did the war criminals of World War II. What is good for one country, is good for the other. Being the United States of America is not an excuse.

Therefore, getting to the question, “Why Should the World Worship America?” The answer is, it really shouldn’t nor should it be expected to. Nations need to bring themselves down from their pedestals of superiority and unite with the world. We need to come together as a world community – not as one country more superior than others. We certainly have a lot to learn from each other. American has a lot to offer to the world. Yet, it also has a lot that it can learn from the world as well. In adult education we encourage adults to continue their education – never stop learning. This principle holds true for a nation as well. If a nation comes to a point where it has quit learning -- especially learning new ways of doing things – then, the whole world needs to be concerned. Once a nation has stopped learning, self-centeredness settles in, there is a feeling of invincibility, and a sense of superiority. But as the Buddha teaches, everything is impermanent. Eventually, everything starts to implode. The empire starts to crumble. If this be the case of the US, there will be black hole effect, and the devastation will affect the entire world community.

So like in the good old days of Don Quixote, let the “Spanish Inquisition” begin.

Recommended Reading: “The Arrogance of America” by Joe Goodson (

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