The Best Place and the Worst Place to Be
This was the country I grew up in – America.
Americans do not mind admitting they are the best (although they have no idea how they are best). But they have not the foggiest idea of how they are the worst.
I am listening to an excellent course on the Foundations of Western Civilization. This course itself is a good example of what is going on. The company, the Great Courses company, does pick the finest courses available – all from American universities. Because the best scholarship in almost any field is usually in found in America.
The reason for this is simple – America has the most money, and some of that money has been spent on Higher Education. Not too long ago, this was true of Great Britain, when it was the richest country on the earth, and had the best universities.
In this course, I am listening to the history of the Roman Republic and then of the Roman Empire. Back then, all roads led to Rome, for hundreds of years. Rome was not a nice place to be, far from it. But it was, quite simply, the only place to be.
Back then, if you asked one of the people, in one of many countries, in the Roman Empire, if they liked being in the Empire – they would have considered that a silly question. They didn’t choose to be part of the Empire, they were conquered by it. But being in the Empire, once they were there, had been good for business.
The same could be said of any of the conquered people in the British Empire – especially India. They were exploited, no question about that – but they ended up being much like the British themselves – people with serious social difficulties.But with plenty of Railroads.
This was also true of the American Empire. Like the British, it blundered into owning an Empire – and now it has it, it doesn’t know what to do with it.
The people in its empire, such as the people in Latin America – have not been treated very well. Its economic elite have been treated well, their businesses (their banana plantations, for example) have prospered – but its poor have been treated badly.They have tried desperately to immigrate to the States – and could do that for while, but not any more.
And of those from Costa Rica who did succeed in living there for while – many of them came back – unable to stand living up there. Costa Rica does not have much money – but it is still likes people.
This leads me to my second point – that America is not good for people, including its own people. They have plenty of money – but cannot be human, with normal human interactions. The people on top, think they are better than anyone else, and can treat them anyway they please. And the people under them, for the most part – agree.
This is what I mean when I said America was the best place – and the worst place to be.