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Re: Starmann Re: American Anthroposophy

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  • John Massengale
    ... Agreed. More importantly, it is not the role of America to imitate Europe. Nor is that what is best for Americans. ... There is a place for the subjective
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2000
      > 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
      > U.S.

      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.
      > soil.

      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 Massengale


      John Montague Massengale AIA
      Architects & Town Planners

      Commoditas o Firmitas o Venustas
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