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  •  Tiny Switzerland has FOUR national languages. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, madgranny, YucatanMan, kyril

    French, German, Italian, and Romansch.

    So I would agree that — unless one adds various qualifying phrases expressly chosen to make the U.S. look good — this is bunk.

    no other country is as culturally diverse

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:35:13 AM PDT

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    •  We have no national language (3+ / 0-)

      English is the assumed default for official government business, but it is not a legally recognized national language to my knowledge.

      I would point out that we have people from all of those different cultures here. Most of them are oppressed and thrown into poverty, but that doesn't destroy their culture.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 10:25:02 AM PDT

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    •  You're quibbling. The U.S. is among the most (0+ / 0-)

      diverse Western industrialized state -- far more than Europe and Japan. It's a diverse country. Do you dispute that?

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

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      •  Take the spectrum of "mainstream" media opinion. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        I see what you're saying, but would still venture the following judgment. Culture includes aspects such as the range of opinion tolerated in the "mainstream" media. And that is substantially more limited in the U.S. than it is in Europe and Japan.

        As Randy Newman sings in the song "My Country":

        We got comedy, tragedy
        Everything from A to B
        Cultural diversity also includes ideological diversity. Japan, for example, has a nationally circulated Communist newspaper and a religious organization that is also a major political party.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:11:41 PM PDT

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        •  Got to disagree with you there. Japan, and many (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          European countries (not all, but many) are far less tolerant of cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity than the United States. Japan's tremendously homogeneous and ethnocentric, for instance.

          Sure, if one lives in the Bible Belt or other red state enclaves (including the rural areas in even blue states), there's a whole lot of xenophobia and bigotry. But increasingly U.S. educated urban populations are very inclusive and diverse. And the trend lines are in the right direction. Yeah, we've got a long way to go, both in actual demographic diversity and cultural/social attitudes, but we're still beyond many other more homogeneous (culturally and ethnically) Western countries.

          "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Kombema on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:14:49 PM PDT

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          •  What weight to give different kinds of diversity? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kombema

            Just pointing out that while, yes, Japan is more homogeneous and ethnocentric as you say, it is indeed more diverse than the U.S. in certain other ways.

            There is no one way to define or measure diversity. Or to put it another way, one could say there are many different "diversities."

            Four languages appear on Swiss banknotes, for example. Although there may be no law in the U.S. that explicitly proclaims English the "official" language, there's no denying that the Federal Reserve notes in your pocket are inscribed in only one language, English.

            The U.S. comes out ahead, or other countries like Switzerland or Japan come out ahead, depending on the weight given to different aspects of diversity . . .

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

            by lotlizard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:44:01 PM PDT

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            •  English and Latin, to quibble. n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard

              But I'm not sure why you think there aren't national communist papers in the US. I can think of at least two. The spartacists publish one and the RCP publishes another. I guess the spartacists are more socialist than communists, but I don't see how that changes things. And when you look at elected officials the situation is worse in Japan. They've had the same party ruling for most of the time they've been a democracy.

              And having four official languages doesn't really make a country more diverse. I would say that the number of languages people in your country speak is a better gauge of that, and I'm pretty sure we've got more for that.

              This all belies the point though. America is exceptional only in that we are a cultural powerhouse that runs on the resistance to capitalism and oppression. And by that I mean that the culture that we produce and export has always been grounded in those two things. Hip hop, rock and roll, etc.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 03:38:47 PM PDT

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              •  Well, but Spartacists and RCP are splinter/fringe. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                Whereas Akahata is mainstream for Japan (circulation according to Wikipedia: 1,680,000).

                (The word "mainstream" in my remarks was important.)

                At any rate, I really like your succinct framing here:

                cultural powerhouse that runs on the resistance to capitalism and oppression
                It's something to hold on to. May the U.S. continue to flesh out that vision with verve and vitality! No doubt there are still some kinds of creativity and inspiration that the world needs and only the U.S. can supply.

                The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

                by lotlizard on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 04:31:13 PM PDT

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                •  The RCP and Sparts have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard

                  just as much power here as they do in Japan. Which is to say: none.

                  I can see what you're saying, but remember, the last two major leftist movements in this country were organized around anarchist principles and had far more of an effect than any of the communists in japan. Specifically Occupy and the anti-globalization movements. Citing the popular media as an example of diversity just doesn't seem like it's right.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:06:59 PM PDT

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            •  Fair enough. I was thinking primarily ethnic. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:35:03 AM PDT

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