> We in the U.S. do not do Europeans any favor by continuing to imitate them.
> Europeans are wonderful. Yet, that does not mean that how they think and
> feel, generally, characteristically speaking, is what should dominate in the
Agreed. More importantly, it is not the role of America to imitate Europe.
Nor is that what is best for Americans.
>> Let's look at latter part of this statement: "I *feel* no more ungrounded by
>> taking in the ideas of a European like Steiner than.....".
> At least two things occur to me here: what you say is expressed as
> subjective feeling, which has its validity, no doubt, but in what domain? I
> can like Coleridge or John Lennon, and that is a feeling, in the astral
> realm, and yet it says nothing about whether or not I am grounded on U.S.
There is a place for the subjective and the multi-cultural here, because
America is indeed a place of diversity. A few days ago, Elaine, your
enthusiasm for Africans and African-Americans led you quite close to saying
that African culture and Africans are superior to other cultures and
peoples. I'm sure you don't believe that when it is presented in that way
and would not, in fact, say that. But part of American culture is that it is
alright for one group to prefer African culture and another to prefer
European culture. The important thing to remember is that in the end we are
neither African nor European but American, and that we must consciously
allow an American culture that is simultaneously common but less homogenous.
I think it is quite clear that at least in the near future our fate is to
help the good aspects of globalization by successfully bringing different
cultures together. Some will always respond wrongly to this, as in the worst
sides of the WTO or the politically correct thought that wants to make
minority opinion more important than majority opinion. In my profession of
urban design, for example, there is a large contingent that thinks the
middle class is supposed to sit silently and take notes while the poor
harangue it. That is an over-reaction to the patriarchal period we are
leaving behind. More correct is a two-way dialogue, with both sides
It's interesting that one of the other countries where this is
simultaneously happening most successfully is England. So that although one
can indeed point to the negative, materialistic sides of Anglo-American
cultural influence, one can also point to the democratic side. The
Anglo-American culture is the single most important democratic influence in
the world today.
NOTE: that is not saying it is the ONLY influence, just the most
John Montague Massengale AIA
Architects & Town Planners
Commoditas o Firmitas o Venustas