Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Monday, June 02, 2003

Why does everybody hate America?
NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman attempts to analyze what is it that makes countries around the world hate America... especially now... after Afghanistan and Iraq. He comes up with A Brief Theory of Everything [NYTimes registration required]. And he makes some interesting and valid points. He claims after the fall of the Soviet Empire and the emergence of the Internet-technology revolution in America...
The net effect was that U.S. power, culture and economic ideas about how society should be organized became so dominant (a dominance magnified through globalization) that America began to touch people's lives around the planet — "more than their own governments," as a Pakistani diplomat once said to me. Yes, we began to touch people's lives — directly or indirectly — more than their own governments.
This is quite true. I mean people around the world felt that they were losing control over how their lives are shaped… not on a personal level but as the citizens of their respective countries. As a result, America came to be viewed as a hegemon trying to meddle in affairs not their own. This caused varying degrees of resentment in various countries around the world. While in some countries, anti-Americanism became a raison d’etre of that country’s existence, in other countries, like India, anti-Americanism was restricted largely to vitriolic pronouncements by the obsolete leftists and narrow-minded xenophobic policies of the ultra-nationalists.

Friedman also tries to explain why nations did not rise militarily against America.
Why didn't nations organize militarily against the U.S.? Michael Mandelbaum, author of "The Ideas That Conquered the World," answers: "One prominent international relations school — the realists — argues that when a hegemonic power, such as America, emerges in the global system other countries will naturally gang up against it. But because the world basically understands that America is a benign hegemon, the ganging up does not take the shape of warfare. Instead, it is an effort to Gulliverize America, an attempt to tie it down, using the rules of the World Trade Organization or U.N. — and in so doing demanding a vote on how American power is used."

That is an interesting metaphor... Gulliverizing!! :-)

Friedman says that he will try to refine this theory (though, I don't really think that this is a new theory!) and come out with sequels to this article. Lets see... at least this article was balanced and rational.


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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.