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  1. #1
    Senior Member Opaque's Avatar
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    What does it mean to be an American?

    I have always wondered about the United States of America.
    I have never visited the place (but would like to in the future).

    I gather that most of the MGTOW on this forum are from the states.

    So I wanted to ask a question about the American Way.
    What does it mean for you guys to be an American?

    Is it notions like freedom? Is it a staunch sense of individuality? Innovation? Meritocracy?

    I felt the need to ask this question because after living in the UK (and Saudi) for most of my life, when I encountered people from the states, they seemed different.

    Well spoken, strong sense of self (sometimes argumentative), a general distaste for group-thinking and sense of freedom and liberation which I felt quite refreshing compared their European counterparts who are so stuck in their glorious past and can't seem to get out of it.

    One thing I noticed, Americans are very 'future focused' - they tend to talk a lot about the future, what they want to do, achieve, see and so on.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Administrator Unboxxed's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    I'll preface by saying that as a young boy in school they had us recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag every morning. Every classroom had a flag in the corner of the room either on a floor stand or mounted to the wall.

    As a boy, we students read a short story called, IIRC, "The Man Without A Country" where the man rebuked his country and was forced in exile to live on a ship at sea for the rest of his life. Ultimately he came into great regret and sorrow.

    That's all I can remember of the story. It may be a version of Edward Everett Hale's 1863 article written for the Atlantic Monthly but edited for school children's consumption. It had immense impact on me. As a boy, I took most education seriously anyway, but that was something that transcended one-plus-one-equals-two. It was about appreciation, and respect, and unity, and loyalty, and country, and contribution, and all of that stuff. It spoke to me. That short story hit home as to what "love it or leave it" looked like.

    Perhaps it is useful to mention that my father was in the military and we move around a lot not by choice. I view the obligations placed upon our family for this as support services for what it takes to manage defense of our country. Often, I sit back and wish my complaining civilian peers could demonstrate the appreciation and mindfulness obtained from exposure to military obligations. Ha, a mandatory draft registration would be only the smallest step to wake up the appreciation in some of us.

    So, being an American foremost to me is vetted membership known as being a legal citizen. And, tied to that, I'd say geography. It's a plot of land defined for its legal citizens. And, tied to that, a defense and protection of the first two. Because without them, our kids would eventually be pledging to something else that would be much less than what this country has built.

    I maintain a perspective and loyalty using those criteria while many others stratify using other criteria that subverts my values. For instance, every time I hear John Lennon's Imagine, I think of a dysfunctional world we'd have under the veneer he offers. But, we defend his right to sing it.
    The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why. - Mark Twain

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
    - Henry David Thoreau

    There are 10 types of people in the world - those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    The United States is enormous! You can drive from NYC to points north and not see anything but forest and wildlife, out west there's entire mountain ranges and valleys without a soul, it takes 4 days to cross the US on interstate highways and that's nonstop with two drivers, takes about about 30 hours non stop to drive the east or west coast. As for the politics it's all gone to hell as the people become more and more polarized between our roots in freedom and the roots of socialism and communism that have been allowed to grow. It was a better place before the decline over the past 40 years, some parts are like a war zone while others are ultra affluent in billion dollar neighborhoods on the inter coastal waterway rte. A1A. Ferrari out front, yacht in the back and $20 million between. I'll dig up some pictures I took....

    South Miami



    Chittenden VT.

    Green Mtns. National forest, night ride. Thousands of miles of trail systems interconnected throughout the north, you could ride coast to coast if you had the time!
    When the law becomes so corrupt that nobody dare question it (in fear of reprisal), there tyranny has spawned and seeks to devour endlessly and relentlessly.MGTOW: Escaping and evading the jaws of injustice and tyranny, choosing liberty instead of a perilous death march through living hell!

  4. #4
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opaque, it's not a simple answer. There are at least two Americas, with a third coming on fast via open borders. The glue that once held the country together is gone. Has been for decades.

  5. #5

    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    I am a 2nt generation American, which is kind of a misnomer. America is not only the US, but Canada and Mexico.
    Growing up here I would say it was all about that rugged individuality. Drive and ambition you could achieve Towers posts of the fine car and boat. Also a pride in self that would be so strong no matter how bad it got no hand out would be accepted. Attack one of us you attack all of us and we would come with rage and fury.

    That is the past.
    Communist/socialist yes, but also globalism and a political elite that are damned close to making this country a fiefdom. With most of the major media controlled and the education system spreading the propaganda. A recent event Epstein suicide, no one with 2 IQ points thinks the man took his own life. 6ft tall and tied a bed sheet to the top bunk and broke the bones in his neck,... Suicide it is and it will not go anywhere from there.

    When you come to visit avoid the major cities. At least for now the heart of the country is still beating in the small towns and rural areas. You can still get a sense of what we were or still might be.

  6. #6
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    You got your city's, burbs, and rural country. You got north and south, east and west. There's mountains, foothills, plains, deserts and swamps. Some of us are filthy rich, others just getting by, with a whole bunch of us in the middle. People wise there's all kinds, though in many regions we got little diversity. Except for some Mexican's and Middle Eastern hotel owners, rural Oregon's still mostly honkies.

    So like everyone says, there's many different America's. You not only have to pick a region your interested in, you need to pick the proper time of year to go.

    I wouldn't say that all Americans who travel are smart, nor that everyone who stays home is dumb. But the ones you see are likely above average. Most Americans don't do international travel cause they have no need, nor can they afford it. But there are also many people who could swing it, but don't because their minds are closed.

    As for idealistic Americans saving the world, well the rich aren't interested anymore, nor are many of the rest of us. Sorry, the good old days is mostly gone.
    Every day I make the world a little bit worse.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoppes#9's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Opaque I was born in 1959 on the Southern most coast of Carolina. I am 1/2 Native American. I was born to a blue-collar working family of modest means. My mom had a 4 door Rambler and dad had an old 54 Chevy truck. We always had something to eat and we had clean clothes to wear. I remember Robert Kennedy being shot,...Martin L King as well. I remember the race riots of 1968.....even though most of it happened up North in big cities, some made the way south. We had social problems...and we had a basically good population of people who shared in commonality.....as far as morals, decency and fair play. We were a giving people that would lend a hand to anyone that was trying to better themselves. We helped peoples in other nations that had experienced calamities and disasters.
    Our biggest problem was we trusted "Govt." We thought America was righteous and our ways were better than the strife and poverty we heard about from other parts of the globe. We were blind to our own short comings but the commies, Gays, Trans and LGBT types were like sewer rats that scurried away from the lime light.
    We had a sense of adventure....of exploration and discovery,...shit we had just been to the Moon,..or so we were told!.
    New inventions were coming along every week it seemed.......America was a shinning light for what was possible in the world...

    Until......The masses sold their sold to the devil for trinkets and me-first greed....now this used to be united nation is divided in so many ways it can't be fixed..

    But,..if you did ever come here,....and were able to spend time and travel around I am sure you would find many many places where you would feel welcomed and empowered

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joetech's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    I was raised in Western New York (not upstate) and spent every summer in South Carolina for fourteen years, so I got both histories of the Civil War growing up. I spent my youth in the civil rights movement (we all did back then) watching it unfold under my nose. I learned about World War 2 from teachers who lived through it and wondered why no one could see that that sort of thing could too happen here...the Nazis, I mean. I heard stories about the KKK from my mother, and listened to Billie Holiday's jazz classic "Strange Fruit". We had race riots in my high school every year I attended. Viet Nam was in the news and my brother was sent there for his obligatory year in hell.

    After I graduated high school I joined the Navy and moved to southern California. I spent the next twenty years living and working there. I married and divorced my first wife there. In '97 I moved to the Northwest. I lived there another twenty years and then retired to my mother's hometown in South Carolina. I've lived in all four corners of America, and driven across it several times in my life. To me America is just one big town with common threads of American culture mixed with cultural deserts and foreign lands...i.e. "Chinatown" or "Little Italy". But to "be" American and what it means to me? I guess I'd have to say I'm still trying to figure that one out. I'm more attached to being a man than I am to anything else. After all, tomorrow America could be called something else...right?
    "Don't follow in my footsteps. I stepped in something."

  9. #9
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joetech View Post
    I was raised in Western New York (not upstate) and spent every summer in South Carolina for fourteen years, so I got both histories of the Civil War growing up. I spent my youth in the civil rights movement (we all did back then) watching it unfold under my nose. I learned about World War 2 from teachers who lived through it and wondered why no one could see that that sort of thing could too happen here...the Nazis, I mean. I heard stories about the KKK from my mother, and listened to Billie Holiday's jazz classic "Strange Fruit". We had race riots in my high school every year I attended. Viet Nam was in the news and my brother was sent there for his obligatory year in hell.

    After I graduated high school I joined the Navy and moved to southern California. I spent the next twenty years living and working there. I married and divorced my first wife there. In '97 I moved to the Northwest. I lived there another twenty years and then retired to my mother's hometown in South Carolina. I've lived in all four corners of America, and driven across it several times in my life. To me America is just one big town with common threads of American culture mixed with cultural deserts and foreign lands...i.e. "Chinatown" or "Little Italy". But to "be" American and what it means to me? I guess I'd have to say I'm still trying to figure that one out. I'm more attached to being a man than I am to anything else. After all, tomorrow America could be called something else...right?
    Great post, Joe! Same here, riots in school, some of the worst in the country over busing. I was due for my swearing in ceremony (Navy) but a couple days before was the botched helicopter rescue of the hostages in Iran, atop that was a news documentary showing how antiquated and outdated our military was soup to nuts. At that time we were still using Jeeps from Korea and Vietnam. I opted out feeling I was going fall due to bad equipment and poor moral, At that time spitting on service members was still a recent event in my mind and was just another straw to break my back about entering the service.
    As for America, I'm locked in a life long battle thrust upon me via the corruption of government through hostile and ill will towards others and the outcomes and ramifications for allowing such tragedies of justice to exist.

    Property rights and Men's rights have been thrown on the alter of change, therefore I question, what America? A land where tyrants thrive while mocking and breaking the law? Shiver me timbers!
    When the law becomes so corrupt that nobody dare question it (in fear of reprisal), there tyranny has spawned and seeks to devour endlessly and relentlessly.MGTOW: Escaping and evading the jaws of injustice and tyranny, choosing liberty instead of a perilous death march through living hell!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Opaque's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Growing up here I would say it was all about that rugged individuality.
    This is what I was inquiring about. How does this sense of rugged individuality come? Is it taught in school? That you have to always think for yourself? and how early? From what age?

  11. #11
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opaque View Post
    This is what I was inquiring about. How does this sense of rugged individuality come? Is it taught in school? That you have to always think for yourself? and how early? From what age?
    It certainly isn't taught in public schools, perhaps it's from centuries of taming this hostile land, nature tends to be brutal and majesty over it an epic struggle, if anything america has a hard side that tempers the soul, we have a disdain for oversight by others that don't walk in our shoes! My greatest fear is this has been obscured by 100+ years of progressives and their opposition crony capitalism and government corruption all having an orgy on our freedoms and our dime. Uphill mobility stalled two generations ago, people are living paycheck to paycheck held hostage by government, banks, austerity, and the speed money evaporates feeding these parties that only preserve themselves at any and all cost. It's too easy to be swindled and abused by government on a mission all it's own.

    The grassroots of this nation suffer from a disconnect and alienation that through greed and corruption was allowed to form. It's called the swamp and it's as real as the taxes you pay with food pulled from your mouth!

    Only the government, banks, and big business enjoy uphill mobility while the rest of us are made fools to run around.
    When the law becomes so corrupt that nobody dare question it (in fear of reprisal), there tyranny has spawned and seeks to devour endlessly and relentlessly.MGTOW: Escaping and evading the jaws of injustice and tyranny, choosing liberty instead of a perilous death march through living hell!

  12. #12
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opaque View Post
    This is what I was inquiring about. How does this sense of rugged individuality come? Is it taught in school? That you have to always think for yourself? and how early? From what age?
    Old established nations may say different, but they don't really want their citizens doing much independent thinking. I would throw present day America in with this lot any day of the week too. But it used to be different. It's funny Opaque, how you see the echo's of what made America.


    To gain independence from the old world while taking over a new one at the same time demanded independent thinking, and lots of it. It became an American thing. This only got stronger as time went on and the country expanded. Pioneers who couldn't think outside the box and embrace new ways didn't last long. Then came the great depression and WW II, the era that shaped my parents generation. More free thinking.

    Though not officially encouraged by the government anymore, independent thinking still runs deep in America. True, it's a leftover from an earlier age, but what isn't now days? Anyway, the reason we we're good at independent thinking is cause we learned. It's not something your born with. Or maybe we were born with it, but society takes it away? Who knows? At any rate, not everybody has it.
    Last edited by frog; August 23, 2019 at 12:35 PM.
    Every day I make the world a little bit worse.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Opaque's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    It's funny Opaque, how you see the echo's of what made America.
    I just find it so fascinating. Where I come from - people think like slaves; and they are proud of it. They always say 'Yes, I am slave - a slave of god'.

    Which is fair enough but it has massive negative effect on the progress of the country/culture/mentality.

    In the UK, it isn't much different. A typical Englishmen would rather keep his old ways (old buildings, greenery, attachment to the past) rather than move forward and think for himself.

    That is why America excels in industry/science/tech - they constantly question and think for themselves. I wonder how Americans resolve conflicts at work if they are so individualistic? Is it very much the case that 'the best idea wins?'

    In Saudi, the oldest employee wins, even if his/her idea is shit and could bankrupt the company.

    Must be interesting to hear the cultural difference in way corporations function.

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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Don't think we always get it right, there's a hundred ways the best thinking gets left in the dust.

    Nepotisms a big one. There must be family company's who treat outsiders fair, but I have yet to hear of one. Then you got your cliques, networks, groups and individuals who aren't willing to share, along with a few random assholes who just like to screw things up. It's a wonder anything new gets thought up.
    Every day I make the world a little bit worse.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Knarley Bob's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opaque View Post
    This is what I was inquiring about. How does this sense of rugged individuality come? Is it taught in school? That you have to always think for yourself? and how early? From what age?
    I was born in'58. I grew up watching old westerns, mostly John Wayne movies. John Wayne reminds me of my father. Dad was a fighter pilot in WWII, was shot down, escaped and made it back to his outfit. Here in the states we have the right to own firearms, one doesn't need to be "Noble" to own one or hunt. Owning one IS a responsibility, and demands respect of the power one wields.
    Our history of defiance, the lack of Kings, Queens, and royalty. The meer idea of going out and building ones own empire, and the opportunity to do so. One isn't born into a "cast system" where you were born a pauper, therefore that's what you are .
    It's like rumbling down the highway on a Harley. Just following the front tire. Like launching a fishing boat on a new lake. Or letting the "pup" out to walk a new field for birds.
    The possibilities are endless, if you want them to be.
    Sure, the politicians have lost their collective minds. But then again, when the people of this country have had enough, we have the power, and the means to put an end to it.
    Unarmed serfs WE ARE NOT.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member JaydenJazz's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    For me, being an American gives me a sense of privilege. It certainly isn't a perfect country but it is far better than being cooped up in some third world country of sorts. This country has a lot of blood in it's hands through the course of history but then again which country doesn't? That's why I don't dwell on the past like the majority of my peers, complaining about slavery, racism, heavy prejudice when I'm basically proof that if you work hard enough, you can put yourself in any promising situation as well as get out of a troublesome one.

    I was born in East New York during the FREAKING 80's. At that time crime in NYC was at high levels and Brooklyn was NOWHERE near the gentrified utopia that it is now. Also gives me a sense of pride that I can say 'I didn't come up from the Hipster state of Brooklyn today, I grew up in the same Brooklyn that Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z grew up in. East NY was the 2nd worst part of Brooklyn only behind Bedford-Stuyvesant and most young men coming up my age only had 2 destinies to choose. They were either Judged by 12 or Carried by 6, thankfully for my parents being in my life, I had a third path of promise and fulfillment.'

    It's pretty much the main country in the world that a Black Man can start with nothing and make it into something because lets be real, chances of that happening in Mother Africa are slim to none. People sure are using their 1st amendment rights to their fullest bitching about shit because you might not have that right in any other country, especially a war torn one. As Americans we strive to be goal driven because it gives us the highest chance of wealth and for some others, fame. To me that's what it means to be an American, you get what you desire if you grind hard and dig deep for it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Joetech's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opaque View Post
    I just find it so fascinating. Where I come from - people think like slaves; and they are proud of it. They always say 'Yes, I am slave - a slave of god'.

    Which is fair enough but it has massive negative effect on the progress of the country/culture/mentality.


    In the UK, it isn't much different. A typical Englishmen would rather keep his old ways (old buildings, greenery, attachment to the past) rather than move forward and think for himself.

    That is why America excels in industry/science/tech - they constantly question and think for themselves. I wonder how Americans resolve conflicts at work if they are so individualistic? Is it very much the case that 'the best idea wins?'

    In Saudi, the oldest employee wins, even if his/her idea is shit and could bankrupt the company.

    Must be interesting to hear the cultural difference in way corporations function.
    How do Americans resolve conflicts at work, you ask? Read the news. After they get fired, they show up at work again and shoot everybody. I'm sorry if it sounds crazy, but no one ever accused America of being sane. At least, not lately.
    "Don't follow in my footsteps. I stepped in something."

  18. #18
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joetech View Post
    How do Americans resolve conflicts at work, you ask? Read the news. After they get fired, they show up at work again and shoot everybody. I'm sorry if it sounds crazy, but no one ever accused America of being sane. At least, not lately.
    I'm more the armored Killdozer type.
    When the law becomes so corrupt that nobody dare question it (in fear of reprisal), there tyranny has spawned and seeks to devour endlessly and relentlessly.MGTOW: Escaping and evading the jaws of injustice and tyranny, choosing liberty instead of a perilous death march through living hell!

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    Re: What does it mean to be an American?

    Ted Mason was a radioman on the California at Pearl Harbor. With the "prune barge" in the repair dock, Ted eventually served on the Pawnee, a seagoing salvage tug. This is his take on how the Pawnee survived. Its from his book We will stand by you.

    We didn't have enough guns to fight back with any hope of success, and we were too slow to run away. Our best defense was not our limited firepower, our sonar gear and depth charges or night lookouts with their night binoculars. It was, I thought, the rigid authoritarian mind of our adversary.


    The Americans, as befitted their national character, were opportunist's, willing to assault any available target rather than return home empty handed. Had Pawnee been flying the flag of the rising sun, she and her crew would not have lasted a week in the Solomon's. If the PT's hadn't sunk her (as indeed they very nearly had on June 30th.), a dive or torpedo bomber, a destroyer or cruiser would have painted another ship silhouette on their bridge wing. The Japanese, on the other hand, repeatedly ignored easy targets to concentrate on combat ships. It was, I believed, a very foolish policy and for which I devoutly thanked Emperor Hirohito and the militarists who ran his government. My fear was that, on one of those twelve hour nights, we would encounter an enemy pilot or ship commander who thought like an American.
    Every day I make the world a little bit worse.


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