Friday, June 18, 2004

Status Anxiety, The American Dream and the Decent Society

I see No Right Turn has already posted an item on this subject but I was also inspired to write about the Status Anxiety program on TV One last night. The program explored the link between the transition from monarchy to democracy (or "meritocracy") with a growth in unhappiness arising from increased expectations. People living under a monarchy had no or little hope (and therefore no or little expectation) of advancement. People living under a democracy know that anything is possible and that it's their own fault if they don't achieve it. That seems more than a little facile - the logical extension of this belief is that slaves are the happiest of all men. In fact, people living under a monarchy do have aspirations (however modest) and succeeded or failed in meeting them according to their luck or ability. English (or Scots) men who succeeded far beyond reasonable expectations for their social standing include Oliver Cromwell, William Shakespeare, Francis Drake and Robert Burns. Others tried but failed tragically (Wat Tyler, the Tolpuddle Martyrs). In focussing on the USA as the sole example of "Democracy" the program used a grossly non-representative sample.

Is the USA really less class-ridden than the UK? Even in the early 20th century the British aristocracy had little difficulty determining which American heiresses were suitably bred to rejuvenate their flagging family fortunes (Van der Bilt Yes, Simpson No). And what are the odds on the USA electing a humble grocer's son (much
less a grocer's daughter) president.

Are the (unnamed) European democracies more compassionate than the USA only because they remain aristocratic? England and France gave their monarchs the ultimate facelift 127 years before and 17 years after the American Declaration of Independence respectively. The constitutional monarchies in the Netherlands and Scandinavia have values very close to those of the New Zealand "Decent Society" which Jim Bolgier never quite got us back to and to describe them as "class-ridden" or "aristocratic" is bizzare.

Is democracy the only thing leading to increased expctations? What about the role of mass consumerism? Does the bombardment of our airwaves with an endless stream of images promoting unattainable aspirations (the "content breaks" as well as the commercials) have no role in this contagion of discontent? Does the difference between the BBC and Fox account for any of the differences between Britain and America? Are the non-Anglophone Europeans at least partially protected from trans-Atlantic cultural colonisation? Can the New Zealand experience of moving from a BBC model to the most crassly commercial shed any light on these questions?

The main social difference between America and the liberal European democracies is in the nature of their dreams. The American dream is about "success" (ie succeeding at becoming rich, famous ansd powerful). The liberal dream is to be happy and a liberal is not happy with prosperity stolen from the poor, ripped from a ravaged landscape or purchased with a mortgage against our grandchildren's future. New Zealand used to be firmly in the liberal camp and I suspect most of us still are (as individuals) but we have a recent history that suggests a flight towards the conservative economic agenda currently dominant in America (but opposed by many Americans).

Perhaps the hallmark of our dreams is the choice of heroes we choose to look up to. Any country has its share of passing banalities among its heroes but if we look at those that remain after the usual parade of sports stars, rock stars, film stars, beautiful people and TV personalities have passed we may get some idea of a nations psyche. American lists will include Bill Gates (not because he was the father of the PC revolution but because he made more money than any one else) and Donald Trump (because that's how I'll live when I'm rich). The BRT and others frequently bemoan our failure to honour our captains of industry and mutter darkly about Tall Poppy Syndrome but I have never heard a New Zealander try to knock down our genuine achievers (Ernest Rutherford, Kiri Te Kanawa, Edmund Hillary, Peter Jackson) and those such as Hillary, Peter Blake or Fred Hollows who have added service to humanity onto their achievements are universally admired. We do not begrudge the rich their wealth if they have come by it honestly and they may enjoy its fruits with our blessing but we reserve honour for genuine achievement. For the record Greyshade's three most admired people of the twentieth century are Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela.

29 Comments:

Blogger FDF said...

Ionamin will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness avoid these activities

19 January 2006 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger FDF said...

Antacids may decrease the effects ofNaproxen. Separate doses of an antacid and Naproxen by several hours whenever possible.

28 January 2006 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If You are Tired of NOT getting anywhere in Life. not being able to accomplish what it is out of life you want to. Ive been there and I still have my ups and downs in life but they don't seem to be the same downs, there are more ups in my life. I wrote a book on self improvement book . It is to the point on what you need to do to change your life. I wont make this real long.. If you need to make more money .. have a better relationship with someone or your just tired of the same old you.. then visit us at http://goals444.com and find out more about self improvement book

28 January 2006 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger FDF said...

Ambien may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives

2 February 2006 at 5:19 AM  
Anonymous advertising affiliate program said...

Happy Money Making Famous Quotes.... Waste your money and your only out your money,but waste your time and your out part of your life... Michael Leoboeuf

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten dollar hair cut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair... Sam Ewing

If You Find a need to become part of the advertising affiliate program so you make a few extra bucks.. go to http://7day2success.com/ ....advertising affiliate program...advertising affiliate program....

Live a better life today..

13 April 2006 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous affiliate programs said...

Waste your money and your only out your money,but waste your time and your out part of your life... Michael Leoboeuf

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten dollar hair cut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair... Sam Ewing

If You Find a need to become part of the affiliate programs so you make a few extra bucks.. go to http://7day2success.com/ ....affiliate programs...affiliate programs....

Live a better life today..

14 April 2006 at 2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work!
[url=http://sttwcbsm.com/vpsa/xhom.html]My homepage[/url] | [url=http://civzlbdi.com/mnmy/jzsw.html]Cool site[/url]

26 September 2006 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice site!
My homepage | Please visit

26 September 2006 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you!
http://sttwcbsm.com/vpsa/xhom.html | http://vdttzmfp.com/mqmj/smyc.html

26 September 2006 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog on income online preparation tax. I've stumbled on a superb money making website. Linkreferral is free to join and drives traffic to your website in an inivitive way (the more sites you visit, the more links you get back to your website.)

I've only been a member of Linkreferral for aproximately 2 weeks but I have already seen the volume of people coming to my site double - if not treble.

Linkreferral is not only driving visitors to my website but as a result my affiliate sales income has doubled also.

I really cannot push this website enough. It is free and it is fantastic!! www.linkreferral.com is a must for money making opportunities online.

16 February 2007 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog - very interesting!! Thought you might like some excellent advice on driving extra traffic to your website/blog - I'm into asp web hosting and to drive traffic to my website I was searching around the internet for absolutely ages looking for SEO tools to fire my site up the Google search engine, then I signed up free for this superb traffic gereating tool - I now have loads of hits to my websites/blogs and my site is shooting up the Google rankings quicker than ever before.

Consequently this can see your affiliate commissions shoot through the roof - meaning lots of extra money coming in for you and your family. Sign up now - it's free.
. Sorry if this information is of no use to you but seeing as you have the anonymous feature enabled I thought I should share this free bit of essential promotional advice with you and would hope you would do the same for me.

I hope the tool will serve you equally as well as it has me!!

Best of luck, cheers for now, dave.

21 February 2007 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.





Hi matey

I'm sure it was this blog I was reading a while back where someone was looking for an SEO tool for driving more traffic and get more hits for their website.

Anyway, I was speaking to a techi guy at work who gets to know all the latest stuff and he uses the free Link Referral Program.

His website on affiliate internet marketing amongst other stuff has seen traffic explode since he started using the Link Referral Program - consequently his affiliate sales commissions and business sales went through the roof PLUS his website increased in google ranking which was an added bonus!!

If anyone else has any good ideas for driving more traffic to blogs/websites then please share with your online business blog buddies. Ta ;-)










.

6 March 2007 at 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Buy Levitra said...

Great article! Thanks.

19 August 2007 at 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Thanks for interesting article.

19 August 2007 at 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Nice! Nice site! Good resources here. I will bookmark!

10 September 2007 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Maxwells said...

I see first time your site guys. I like you :)

10 September 2007 at 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

11 September 2007 at 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

14 March 2010 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

free adault dating quincy illinois http://loveepicentre.com/map.php jason statham dating 2008

8 January 2013 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://loveepicentre.com/][img]http://loveepicentre.com/uploades/photos/7.jpg[/img][/url]
rod altman dating [url=http://loveepicentre.com/taketour.php]speed dating annapolis[/url] middle school dating violence video
dating asian fitness [url=http://loveepicentre.com/taketour.php]koreans dating other asians yahoo[/url] biracia dating
nl dating [url=http://loveepicentre.com/taketour.php]herpes dating single topeka kelly[/url] free mature online 100 dating site

5 February 2013 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mcgraw-hill's interest amortization tables ebook http://audiobookscollection.co.uk/Natural-Power-Builders-The-Pros-and-Cons/p227222/ origami ebook [url=http://audiobookscollection.co.uk/it/Biological-Indicators-of-Soil-Health/p227311/]free ebook ereader[/url] castiglione baldesar ebook

15 February 2013 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unix in a nutshell ebook http://audiobookscollection.co.uk/it/Silicon-Photonics-An-Introduction/p172038/ teresa of avila interior castle ebook [url=http://audiobookscollection.co.uk/it/The-Drama-of-South-Africa-Plays-Pageants-and-Publics-Since-1910/p226882/]hp ebook reader[/url] symbolism dictionary ebook

16 February 2013 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mcaffee internet protection software http://buyoem.co.uk/product-31839/MS-SQL-Server-Remove-Delete-Replace-Text-Spaces-and-Characters-From-Fields-Software-7-0 gimp photo software [url=http://buyoem.co.uk/fr/product-35355/3herosoft-DVD-to-BlackBerry-Converter-3-5-MacOSX]ten types of software[/url] taxcut software online
[url=http://buyoem.co.uk/product-35979/Altostorm-Panorama-Corrector-2-0-for-Adobe-Photoshop]Altostorm Panorama Corrector 2.0 for Adobe Photoshop - Software Store[/url] win2000 wireless software
[url=http://buyoem.co.uk/product-37255/Rob-Papen-Predator-VSTi-1-1][img]http://buyoem.co.uk/image/3.gif[/img][/url]

23 February 2013 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

small business manufacturing software http://buysoftwareonline.co.uk/product-33152/LivePIM-SwitchSync-Ex-5-0 broadcast email software marketing [url=http://buysoftwareonline.co.uk/product-15799/PhotoMatix-Pro-2-3-Mac]pacifist mac software[/url] computer software store greenville sc
[url=http://buysoftwareonline.co.uk/checkout/cart]Shopping Cart - Software Store[/url] panasonic printer software
[url=http://buysoftwareonline.co.uk/product-36945/PDF-Pro-10-3][img]http://buyoem.co.uk/image/5.gif[/img][/url]

4 March 2013 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/micardis.htm][img]http://onlinemedistore.com/1.jpg[/img][/url]
starting salary for pharmacy technician http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/ed-discount-pack-3.htm specialized pharmacy [url=http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/levlen.htm]ohio state university college of pharmacy[/url]
pharmacy one pro http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/fosamax.htm kinneys pharmacy store [url=http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/cipro.htm]cipro[/url]
pharmacy staffing http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/zithromax.htm pharmacy students [url=http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/cymbalta.htm]cvs pharmacy franklin ma[/url]
state pharmacy assistance to the elderly in vermont http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/viramune.htm aetna specialty pharmacy [url=http://redbrickstore.co.uk/products/uroxatral.htm]uroxatral[/url]

19 March 2013 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/ed-discount-pack-3.htm][img]http://onlinemedistore.com/11.jpg[/img][/url]
cystic fibrosis pharmacy http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/horny-goat-weed.htm lapel pins to celebrate national pharmacy month [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/categories/gastrointestinal.htm]medical arts pharmacy conyers[/url]
pharmacy technican to licencsed pharacist http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/dostinex.htm online pharmacy phentermine [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/activ8--energy-booster-.htm]activ8 energy booster [/url]
susquehanna health pharmacy http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/lasix.htm pharmacy chemotherapy worksheet [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/abana.htm]pa laws for pharmacy techs[/url]
best online pharmacy http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/kamagra-soft.htm walmart pharmacy tech wages [url=http://certifiedpharmacy.co.uk/products/acai.htm]acai[/url]

30 March 2013 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[url=http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/reglan.htm][img]http://onlinemedistore.com/5.jpg[/img][/url]
pharmacy tech conferences http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/zaditor.htm rita wickham pharmacy venous access [url=http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/amaryl.htm]label software like pharmacy[/url]
valuation of pharmacy inventory http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/lukol.htm online pharmacy online consolation [url=http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/effexor-xr.htm]effexor xr[/url]
didrex pharmacy http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/clozaril.htm how much does januvia cost at walmart pharmacy [url=http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/capoten.htm]unm school of pharmacy[/url]
north fulton compounding pharmacy http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/innopran-xl.htm pharmacy law washington state [url=http://fdaapproved.co.uk/products/serevent.htm]serevent[/url]

23 April 2013 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

free singles dating service [url=http://freeinternetdating.info/socialnetwork/bruce-nichols-myspace]bruce nichols myspace[/url] who is beyonce dating
christian dating girl http://freeinternetdating.info/dating/dallas-speed-dating making dating profile
teen dating violence stats [url=http://freeinternetdating.info/bride]miley cyrus dating jonas brothers[/url] dating woes

19 May 2013 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dating your gyno http://loveepicentre.com/faq/ the free lance-star about interracial dating
real housewives kim dating site [url=http://loveepicentre.com/contact/]indian dating site free dating[/url] bikers free dating sites
dating services asian [url=http://loveepicentre.com/map/]dating a man hiv positivie[/url] knoxville mixed dating [url=http://loveepicentre.com/user/EvgenyB/]EvgenyB[/url] funny lines for personal dating sites

27 May 2013 at 3:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home