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David Stafford
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Student of markets, enjoys following their course.
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  • Interesting Dynamics Shaping EU Votes, And US Cultural Conversations. 0 comments
    May 23, 2014 7:01 PM

    Perhaps similar to but in an inverted relationship to the Ukraine, various EU countries are taking to the polls per se for a variety of measures in the coming days and weeks ahead. Various news sources have mentioned a developing interest in sort of local-centric political parties as opposed to pro-EU parties. Perhaps Ukrainian protestors felt the same way and felt that the EU could be a bulwark against a hegemonic force they felt spreading across their borders(or were just tired of corruption in general in the local govt.). Either way there's perhaps an interesting new focus on localism, or perhaps more specifically "self-determination" sweeping the "western world" perhaps, all the whilst however, where is the US in all of this.


    The US has often been noted as being a little different from other Western countries for a variety of reasons. The US has been noted as not really having a sort of exclusive national identity, and instead has been sort of the home of various sorts of "for fun" nationalisms over the years. Little Italy's, Irish parts of town, Boston for example, is perhaps an interesting example of all of this. With nationalism or localism adding a sort of spice to a particular region or quarter, but not really changing its overall "American-ness", or "Boston-ness" per se.


    So why is America not going to the far right, one might ask, or wonder. Well, perhaps there are a variety of reasons for this, but perhaps an interesting reflection upon "messianic" or pseudo-messianic movements in the US, may help us to shed some light on the sort of unique flavor of American nationalism.


    Ever since the various discussions of spirituality, or agency based freedom have graced the lips of American civic-leaders, the US has had a sort of brand of varying dynamic sort of pop-culture nationalism, that is not really as hard or as "exclusive" as other country's forms of nationalism perhaps. An interesting look at this can be seen in Andrew Delbanco's "The Real American Dream", which seemed at times almost like a sort of play-book for the ambiguous but seemingly captivating messages of "hope and change", and "yes we can" which brought many Americans to the polls in the past couple of elections.


    Though the US is no longer a country of ever expanding borders, and dreams of grandeur, just over the next hill per se, perhaps it still maintains this sort of soft-nationalism identity based political discussion per se.


    Perhaps at the moment we don't see these sort of far-right, or right leaning, political movements taking sway in the US, for the sort of ambiguous nationalism of the US as mentioned earlier, and also perhaps because perhaps nationalistic tendencies are sort of caught in a sort of thumb-war at the moment in the US, over what really is the nature of the US's current "hope and change" ideology.


    Terrorism, or a sort of "Indian War" moment, seemed to grip the country in the wake of the various terrorist events, and wars of the past decade or so. However, now as this phase sort of winds down, it seems as though once again, the US is now swinging back towards its sort of other pole, namely the transcendentalist side per se of the US's hard to really define national psyche per se.


    Perhaps it was the utter crushing of the occupy movement, and the kind of pitifulness of that whole moment in the US, in so far as the disproportionate force that was brought against it per se is concerned, or maybe it's also the ilk of people like Snowden making national headlines, or maybe its the semi-recent gulf-oil-spill events, or maybe its the sort of loss of our "nation-building" adventures to local "tribalism" or nationalism, but it seems as though the sort of expansionist phase, is now coming to a close and now the spiritual side is once again reappearing in the US gestalt's rear view mirror per se.


    The US is interesting in that these clashes are never sort of "hard" per se. There were some congressional hearings about the excesses of the "Indian War" phase typified by elites fighting over their bureaucratic fiefdoms(see Senators from Cali. vs. Intelligence svcs.), however, it seems as though this sort of infighting, and the widespread later question of the congressional testimony of the whole affair and related issues, has perhaps lead to a sort of tacit understanding and acceptance that this phase is sort of a dead-horse at this point. That perhaps the secret-military build up of this most recent "Indian War" phase, has sort of burned its self out, it has come to light, and though unexpected, it's not really perhaps captivating enough to really propel/motivate the American gestalt into an acceptance of further expansion per se(perhaps).


    Perhaps for the US's future political movements hence we will begin to see more and more of a sort of fraying and fusing of the "Indian War" excesses into the more idyllic, utopian-vision-guided future , and more and more of a returning of sort of plural-spirituality based arguments driving the US in the future.


    As sort of an interesting dovetail to all of this, the "Indian War" phase is perhaps even beginning to be questioned on a very subtle level, with for example the hitherto-not-so-problematic name of the "Washington Redskins", coming into the frame of the cultural lens of the US.


    Perhaps this end of the expansionist phase, can also be seen in more and more US locals, are starting to feel as though foreign invasions are not ok, especially most recently in regards to Libya, and Syria. This can also be seen in various Pew polls, whereby US'ers who when asked about about eh US's "global policeman" roll, and there thoughts thereof, most often responded neutrally or negatively to notions of the US being a sort of far-reaching military hegemon per se.(poll results cited at bottom of post)

    Hence, perhaps as the expansionist phase of the US's cultural conversation dies down, will see more of an emphasis on the sort of "green" or "renewable" themes, that were perhaps trendy but not necessary per-se, or fundamental, to the past decade's discussion of commerce and energy, and hence perhaps we can already begin to see this with new sort of condemning regulations being hoisted upon the US Coal Industry as of late as well.


    Either way, it seems that, though the US's economy is not exactly 1980's mode per se at the moment, that perhaps in the future, US society will become more sort of, pleasant, or Vermontian if one will in the next few decades. If one visits the hinterlands of Vermont, which are quite nice this time of year and over the summer, one can get that sort of sense of the enlightened parochial-ness that US transcendentalism was birthed from, and which is still sort of a guiding muse of the US to varying extents. With sort of unique sorts of shops like little farmers' co-ops, nestled amongst Bostonian's country-retreats per se, one can sort of get that sort of spiritually, or community guided spirit, that represents perhaps the other poll that we may begin to perhaps swing towards to a greater extent here in the US over the next few months, and years.


    Hence, though there are still sort of prickly-vestiges of the "Indian War" expansionist phase left, like sort of unusual security procedures(from an international perspective) etc., remaining, perhaps things will sort of languidly, and almost un-noticeably drift more towards that spirit, of tolerance, and of the pursuit of a more-ideal/utopian future, that perhaps enlivens(whether knowingly or not) the US's collective conscience every so many decades, and hence, perhaps even though there isn't as much "excess" in the US as there used to be perhaps, perhaps the US will still be a happy place guided by that other pole, which guides us to the other niceties of life per se.


    Either way, if there is a sort of transition hopefully its an imperceptibly smooth one, and hopefully its great for everyone's investments one way or another. Thanks again for reading, hope everyone is doing great, and feeling their inner "Vermontian" these days.(haven't been myself in years, but hopefully others have gotten that Vermont vibe, or whatnot)

    Ye Olde Vermont;


    Source for picture 1;

    http://www.orbitz.com/public/ANS/Dynaflex/Images/ TravelGuide/Vermont_Intro-Hills_345x225.jpg

    Source for picture 2;

    http://www.concierge.com/images/destinations/destinationguide /usa+canada/usa/northvermont/new/vermont_035p.jpg

    (Links below(references etc.))



    US's estimated opinion concerning desired involvement level in foreign "adventures" etc.;




    Sen. Feinstein angry at CIA;


    Andrew Delbanco's; "The Real American Dream; A meditation on hope"


    Some interesting reporting on Ukraine by NHK World; more in depth and exploratory pieces on Ukraine, can be seen on NHK world's television station's if one can get a hold of it per se. A few brief excerpts;



    Senate leader's not happy about "Redskins" name;


    Tougher regulations for the Coal Industry;



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