Thoughts on some origins of many ridiculous attitudes of the American mentality – the ongoing effects of WWII, Cold War, and the Vietnam War era, fear, and on how the U.S. is living in the past

Here’s a thought I had:

Over the years, the American mentality has become increasingly ridiculous to me (some of these attitudes are listed at the end of this article) .  To be frank, its actually embarrassing.  More than once have I said, “America has become a pathetic joke”.  What’s even more sad is that other people have basically said the same thing.  This got me to thinking about this nonsense and I began to speak about certain things that, I felt, were great truths about the American mentality that, I think, needs to be said and so I will vent them here.  I know that I have already stated similar ideas in other articles but I’ll restate them here as they are on my mind.  Not only that, I have some things to add.

I should point out that these ridiculous attitudes are not seen in everyone.  I would say that these are attitudes seen in what I’d call the “mainstream American”, people who cater to popular American ideals rather strongly.  Interestingly, I’ve talked about these attitudes with many people and most of them have had similar feelings that I have.  In other words, there are many people who notice these ridiculous attitudes and, like myself, have become sickened by them.  In fact, I think this is a growing number of the population that has largely not been noticed at this time.  It seems that this growing group of the population is becoming disillusioned by America, its ideals, and its principles and, accordingly, is losing faith in America because of these attitudes.  Its because of this that I tend to think that the persistence of these attitudes are destructive to America.

I cannot say how much of the population is sickened by these attitudes or can be called a “mainstream American”.  I think it varies with where you’re at in the country.  I’m getting the impression that the “mainstream American” is more prevalent in larger cities, in the north east, and on the western coast.  I actually think the people who reflect this attitude are a minority but, because of their complaining and claims, they appear to be a large part of the population (as the saying goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”).

Many of these attitudes seem to based in the fact that, overall, many Americans seem to be insecure, paranoid, frightened, deluded, and unhappy people deep down.  This insecure nature can be so bad that, sometimes, I feel like I have to walk on tip-toes around some of them (God help us all, you might offend someone!).  More than once have I compared some particularly bad Americans as “paranoid schizophrenics”.  Because of stuff like this, I would not say that Americans, as a whole, are a “great people” as many profess.  Instead, they strike me as a people with many unresolved issues and problems which they are struggling with.  Many of these problems are hidden behind “high cause” and “high ideals”, making it appear, at least to them, that there are no problems.  This makes it so that many Americans seem to think that the country has no problems.  In this way, the American sense of “security” is actually based in a self-deception.  This is one of the reasons for my saying, “Americans like to think they are”, which means they like to think they are without problems or think they’re happy, and so on, but they really aren’t.

Much of this ridiculousness, it seems to me, originates from its past and the effects past events have had on the U.S. . . .

THE VIETNAM WAR ERA CONNECTION

Many of the ridiculous attitudes I associate with the Vietnam War era protests, and hippi movement, of about 1970.  To me, the attitudes primarily seem to come from that era.  This is not surprising as, in my opinion, the Vietnam War era hysteria is the most significant event in U.S. history since WWII.  We truly live in a post Vietnam War era and its effects hang over us like a dark cloud.  Much of our attitudes, points of views, and such actually have origin there.  In this way, the hysteria surrounding the Vietnam War era has not ended and is still continuing on.

The Vietnam War era was so instrumental in U.S. history for a number of reasons:

  • A “release”.  The hysteria surrounding the Vietnam War had a quality of a “release”.   What it released were the tensions caused by WWII and social problems caused by the change in society after WWII.  In short, it was a “release” from WWII and its effects (see below).
  • A “unification”.  Various forms of media, such as music, movies, and the news, caused a prevalence of opinions and feelings that “appeared” to create a unifying effect in the U.S.  But what it created was actually an “apparent unification” of the country. What I mean by this is that it only “united” everyone in a specific media-based point of view and condition, which was primarily hysterical and sensational in context.  The country was not united under an authority, culture, or belief system.  In this way, the U.S. was “unified” by the fact that they watch the same TV programs, listen to the same music, and so on and are ongoing the same sort of problems.  This “apparent unification” of the country seemed to unify the country but it really didn’t.  This is one of the illusions of this era.
  • A “rallying call”.  The Vietnam War hysteria brought up a “rallying call” of worry, concern, panic, or anxiety.  This primarily seems to be a result of the fear caused by the threat of nuclear annihilation during the cold war.  In this way, the fear and panic as if “woke everyone up” to a worry which gave an illusion of a “cause”.  Really, people just become more aware of a condition.

As a result of these the Vietnam War era created something like a “boiling pot” for all the problems, tensions, and feelings that the U.S. had after WWII. Because of this, it as if “harnessed” the whole country into one mass with a unified awareness of itself and its problems.

But the issues brought up during the Vietnam War era are still largely unresolved.  In my opinion, the Vietnam War era did not solve anything but, rather, only brought out problems and issues that are still outstanding.  In a way, all it did is unify the country in an awareness of a condition of issues and problems.  This unification and awareness did nothing to solve anything, as many people seem to think.

It seems, to me, that some of the reasons for these problems being unresolved include:

  • The absence of authority.  Without an authority there’s nothing to solve anything.  There’s no authority as the ideals of the U.S. tend to undermine authority and prevent any from developing . . . its a democracy remember!
  • The “apparent unity”.  The absence of a “real unity” prevents any sort of a unity in a solution or resolution.  As a result, the U.S. is plagued with too many points of views.
  • Too broad of ideals.  American ideals are so broad (that is, it thinks it has the solution to the worlds problems and all the problems between people) that it is unable to focus enough on something in order to solve it.  For example, according to the American ideology everyone must be treated the same and so any solution must be a solution for everyone.  Since this cannot happen nothing gets solved.

Most of the supposed solutions to the issues brought out by the Vietnam War era tend to be based in these things:

  1. Nationalistic ideals – freedom and democracy
  2. Christian-based beliefs and principles peace and love

None of these worked.  One reason why is that, in both cases, they are principle-based. That is to say, they are based in abstract and idealistic thought and not real world reality. Though the abstract idealistic thought sounds good to the masses, it does not work well in actual real world functioning, particularly in a non-unified mass of people with no authority.  It tends to develop a marked gap between “idea” and “what actually happens” which causes a problem in trying to solve things.

The Vietnam War and liberalism

Much of the attitudes of the Vietnam War era have carried over into liberalism.  It seems to me that it is primarily through liberalism, and its attitudes, that the issues of the Vietnam War era have been kept alive and kicking.  In fact, the ridiculous attitudes of America are primarily a result of liberalism.  In this way, this article is really speaking about liberalism and its ongoing effects.

Because modern liberalism has taken so much from the Vietnam War era it has, in a way, kept us in that era . . . it has kept us in the 1970’s as if we are stuck in that time with the same issues, themes, and solutions.  The problem is that it is now almost a half a century later.  The Vietnam War era, and the liberalism it effected, are now out of date.  Its prevalence keeps us stuck in the 1970’s and keeps us out of date.  In this way, the U.S. is hampered, in my opinion, and having difficulty growing and “moving on” because of it.  I view this as impairing to this country.

Some of the themes that liberalism uses to keep us stuck in the 1970’s include:

  • Various social and political issues.  These are issues coming from that era, or descending from it, such as race, government power, freedom, environmental damage, animal rights, etc.
  • An unrealistic and often unjustified or unrealized fear.  This fear often promotes paranoia, conspiracy theories, assumption of hatred, and such that do not exist.
  • The supposed “solution” to the problem.  This is, as I said above, usually nationalistic or Christian-based, and which don’t work.
  • A self-righteous cause.  Liberalism tends to think it is the answer to the countries, and often the worlds, problems.  My observation is that the liberals tend to think that they are the representative of America, freedom, democracy, and peace.  Anyone who opposes them is against these principals.  In this way, they tend to be “pig headed”, “high and mighty”, and unwilling to change . . . they are “right”.  As a result, they press their point, good or bad, but its always good in their eyes.  In so doing, they persist these attitudes and keep them going.  In many ways, its the self-righteous attitudes of modern liberalism that is the problem.  In addition, it appears to me that the nonsense surrounding the 2016 Presidential election is primarily a result of this self-righteous liberal attitude.  In this way, this past election has embodied much of these ridiculous attitudes and brought many of them out.  Not only that, it has shown how out-of-date these attitudes are.  And we must remember that these attitudes originate from within the people, and not Trump, which is what they claim.  This point needs to be understood . . . Trump is just the “scapegoat” for a greater social problem (see my article “Thoughts on a media-induced mass hysteria . . . the “Trump panic””). 

Its no surprise that many of these themes can be seen, or are associated with, the the ridiculous American attitudes.

THE WWII CONNECTION

I tend to see the Vietnam War era mentality as the result of WWII and its effects.  In other words, the Vietnam War era attitudes actually originate from WWII, the horrors it created, its victory, and its subsequent effects on the U.S. There are many things that WWII has created that have contributed to this effect.  These include:

  • The knowledge of Hitler, the Nazi’s, the Holocaust, and the Jews.  This brought on the theme of race and hatred that figures so prominently in the Vietnam War era and which still persist in the U.S.  These themes were particularly seen in the “great cause” of the Civil Rights Movement.   In a way, the U.S. turned the Civil Rights Movement into a small “American Holocaust” in imitation of the Nazi’s. 
  • The horrifying weapons of war.  This includes tanks, airplanes, bombers, etc. but most especially the nuclear bomb.  This brought on the theme of fear.
  • The Cold War panic and fear of a nuclear war.  This refers primarily to the threat of nuclear annihilation in a WWIII and war with the Soviet Union.  Because we were fighting a political/economic theory opposed to ours it caused the theme of self-righteous cause.   Being related with destruction it also contributed to the theme of fear.
  • The growing prevalence and growth of the media with its tendency to mass hysteria.  This brought on the theme of being quick to panic and quick to judgement as well as a tendency to being gullible.
  • The post WWII economic boom which upset the whole social structure.  After WWII the U.S. went into something of an economic and innovation boom.  This ended up causing great stresses and conflicts in American society, many of which are still existing and unresolved.  Things that were upset include social structure, the traditional ways of doing things, belief, and so on.  This caused the theme of doubt about society and doubt about authority.  These eventually figured prominently in the Vietnam War hysteria and are still issues today.

In many ways, the effects of these implanted something like a virus in the U.S. that is as if eating away the inside of the U.S.  Its because of this that I have always stated, and still maintain, that “the greatest threat to the U.S is from the inside”.  In other words, the attitudes and mentalities, that the U.S. has within it, are its greatest threat.   It seems, to me, that many of these attitudes and mentalities originate from WWII.    In some respects, this means that the U.S. only appears to of won WWII . . . its actually still fighting its effects!  

THE ISSUE OF FEAR

If one looks closely one can see that one theme that is prevalent, as a result of WWII, is a fear and its a fear in many forms.  This fear was not an overt fear but a deep lying fear.  You don’t see people running around screaming, for example.  It is an unconscious quiet fear that many people are not even aware of.  One could, perhaps, call it the “quiet fear” as a result.  Despite it being “quiet” it had great effect and motivated many things, even though people may not of been conscious of it.  Much of the effect of this “quiet fear” would lead to the issues and hysteria surrounding the Vietnam War.

It seems, to me, that Americans had a many predispositions to fear that existed before WWII and which have contributed to why the U.S. is struggling with its effects.  Some of the causes seem to be:

  • Christianity.  This taught us that we are all sinners and, accordingly, are “bad”, as well as the fact that there is an “evil” streak in humanity.  It also tended to create a naive and innocent nature in people making them prone to being easily frightened.
  • The absence of authority.  This is because, in a democracy, the power is in the “people”.  This absence of authority tends to cause a sense of instability and insecurity which predisposes one to fear.
  • The emphasis on individualism.  This tends to put enormous pressure on the individual causing a tendency to stress and despair which causes a tendency to being easily frightened.
  • The reliance on machines and technology.  This tends to make people less a part of things and, in a way, made us more distant from the world.  Because of this, it makes us us feel removed from the world and causes a sense of having no control.  The effect of this is ,that there is a predisposition to fear.
  • The mass hysteria nature of the media.  The growing media, and its effects, would have great impact on the culture and people of the U.S.  Its prevalence made it so that people easily believe what comes out of the media and easily succumb to any fear that it may state.  In short, then, the media created a gullible people that are easily frightened.

In addition to being frightened, the post WWII years also entailed attempts at defending themselves against the fear.  Some examples of the ways they defended themselves include:

  • Christian-based principles.  This includes things like love, peace, understanding, the condemning of hatred and war, and the moaning of the evil of humanity.  It also tended to create a self-righteous attitude and an idea of a “high cause”, which figures so prominently with liberalism. It also created a the creation of Christian-based communes and societies such as the Diggers, the Beats (beatnicks), and the Hippi’s which would figure so prominently during the Vietnam War.
  • The American Constitution and political/legal theory.  These were literally thrown at any problems that appeared almost as if it was a cure all.  As a result of this, everything was turned into a political and rights issue.
  • NationalismSince much of the fear became associated with the Cold War and Soviet Union there became a glorification of American political and economic theory and ideals.  In this way, America became the “answer”.

The Vietnam War era, in particular, created a generalized attitude of fear, as well as its defense, that became something like a culture that still exists.  Perhaps we could call it the “Vietnam War era culture of fear”.   This became a way of life for some people, particularly as a result of the hippi movement who, in a way, are the inventors of the culture.  This seems to be a result of the fact that the hippi movement is based in living a certain way of life.  Its general attitude would be transferred to many of the people, particularly the younger people, in the late 1960’s.  Over time, this “culture of fear” then spread to liberalism, politics, and even the general social opinion.  In these ways, the “culture of fear” maintains, and keeps alive, a fear caused by a war that’s already over.  Because of this, the attitudes above reveal that many Americans are still frightened, and defending themselves, against a fear caused by a war that ended decades ago!  

Talk about living in the past!!!

THE FEMALE INFLUENCE

My observation seems to show that female is instrumental in a lot of these ridiculous attitudes.  In fact, it seems that they are greatly involved in keeping them going.  They tend to maintain the attitudes of liberalism which figure so strongly in its continuing.  This, of course, does not mean that all American females are this way but a great many are, at least to some extent.  I can’t say how much of the population but my impression is its something like 2/3 of the female population.

They seem to particularly emphasize a number of things, such as:

  • Being too easily frightened, offended, or upset.
  • A prevalence of the “victim mentality”.
  • Conspiracy theories and paranoia.
  • The abuse of political/legal theory and the Constitution.
  • A tendency to hysteria and blowing things out of proportion.

After being around many females it doesn’t take a genius to see that the world image that many Americans females have created is one with the qualities described above, a world that can be described as one based in “blind fear, a preoccupation with being victimized, conspiracy theories, hysteria, and the use of political theory and self-righteous cause as a defense”.  That, from my experience, is the general stance of many American females.  To me, it gives many American females a “pathetic” quality.

My observation suggests that if the females would cease expressing these things then most of the panic, hysteria, and fear, that we see in this society, would probably fade away.  I’m under the impression, though, that the female is just going to continue these attitudes.  I see no evidence that they are going to change their attitude or point of view.  In this way, the female is actually contributing in keeping the U.S. in a frightened paranoid state, stuck in the past, and unable to progress.

Females seem particularly prone to these points of view, it seems to me, as a result of a basic problem of the female identity that is going on in the U.S.  Its for this reason that I often speak of mainstream American female as the ‘failed sex’ meaning that the female identity has failed (see my article “Thoughts on the ‘failed sex’ – how many female traits have failed – a hidden crisis of the American female“).  Much of the behavior of American females are attempts at trying to solve this problem, none of which seems to work.  At this time, I see three common attempts at dealing with their identity problems:

  1. They see themselves as victims and develop a victim mentality.
  2. They try to be like men and avoid female things.  They often have poor views of what a female is as well as female qualities.  In some cases, they portray female things almost as if it is something “horrible”.  This often leads to the assumption that being a man will solve their own bad feelings about being female.
  3. They become mindless slavish puppets to social trend, fad, and ideals.  Some females become almost like “robots” to social trend and as if lose themselves in society.

All these hide an identity problem based in the failure of the female identity.  Accordingly, they tend to hide the associated insecurity that this identity problem has created.  This insecurity often leads to the qualities described above.

That’s how it looks to me anyways.

THE U.S. AS OUT-OF-DATE

With all the above it makes it appear that the U.S. is truly living in the past and is acting as if its in conditions that no longer exist.  This is why I often speak of the U.S. as being “out of date”.  More and more I keep saying things like “uh, the 70’s are over” or “we’re not in the Vietnam War era anymore”, and such, as I continually see mentalities originating from that era.

Some of the things that keep the U.S. out-of-date include:

  • The conflicts, issues, and problems after WWII which are unresolved.
  • How many mentalities, such as liberalism, keeps the U.S. stuck in the past. 
  • The “apparent unity” that was created after WWII.  This gives an illusion of a unified people and country but is actually an absence of unity.
  • “Cold war glory”.  The fact is that WWII, and the Cold War, was a period of time of great pride for the U.S.  Because of this, many Americans are not all that willing to let that sense go.  In this way, they keep the U.S. stuck in the past and out-of-date by national pride.
  • The lack of authority Without authority there is no leadership to move the country out of the past.

EXAMPLES OF RIDICULOUS ATTITUDES

Here are some of the ridiculous attitudes of the American mentality that are caused by the issues above:

  • The prevalence of conspiracy theories.  The “mainstream American” is becoming a person of conspiracy theories who seems to think that everyone is conspiring against everyone else.  They see conspiracies in every problem or issue out there.  For example, if something does not go the way they want, or they don’t like something, they assume conspiracy, that someone else is deliberately going against them.  In many cases, the government, any form of authority, and the male (especially the white male) is often viewed as the originator of the conspiracy.  As a white male I have been utterly appalled at all the supposed conspiracies we have been supposed to of done.  Apparently, we are all against females and/or minorities and have created all these institutions to degrade and enslave them in some way.  From what I’ve heard, we must be pretty bad people. But I will say that I have never, in all my life, seen any evidence of any conspiracy against another group of people nor do I see any plotting.
  • A paranoid attitude.  Many Americans have a paranoid viewpoint of things.  It can reach the point of being delusional in some people.  I’ve even heard Americans say that the whole world is plotting against them.  In many cases, if there is some problem, such as they didn’t get a job, they assume its because people are “against them”.  This attitude is often hidden behind claims of “oppression” or “rights violation” and similar political/legal themes which makes it appear to be legitimate (and which fools most people).  In fact, my observation is that when political/legal themes are brought up its usually hides paranoid delusions.
  • They have a “victim mentality”.  Many see victimizing coming out of the woodwork.  Some people have even developed a “victim worldview” where their whole view of the world is in the context of them being a victim.  This viewpoint is particularly bad with females, some of who has made a life out of it.  This worldview also figures prominently in liberalism who have made a whole cause out of this imagined “victimizing”.
  • Fabricated threats.  Because of the conspiracy theories and paranoid attitudes, many American create threats that don’t exist. As I always say, “They see threats where there are no threats.  They see enemies where there are no enemies.  They see hatred where there is no hatred.  They see plots where there are no plots.”  This seems particularly prevalent with females and black people.
  • The assumption that everyone hates everyone else.  Every time I turn around Americans are assuming that people are doing things out of hatred.  I’ve seen cases where an everyday event, like a traffic accident or being pushed to the side in a crowd, is interpreted as being caused by hatred.  And if someone does something that is hate-related they blow it out of proportion, almost like the world is going to come to an end. My observation is that many Americans are too quick to jump in assuming hatred in things and quick to blow it out of proportion.  In this way, many things are made out worse than they really are and a simple minor thing can be turned into a horrible event.  This mentality also gives the illusion of conflict between people that, in actuality, does not exist.  In this way, the supposed condemning of hatred actually ends up promoting hatred.  In other words, the people who state they are against hatred are actually the cause of it.  This tends to exaggerate problems and keeps them going.
  • They are too easily offended.  Many Americans get too easily offended.  In fact, they get so easily offended that you have to be careful what you do, what you say, how you behave, and even what you think around some of them.  Once offended, they tend to blow it out of proportion, often using conspiracy theories, paranoia, and such to explain it off.  They are usually easily offended because they assume “sinister” motives behind it . . . a reflection of paranoia.    
  • They blame and villainize innocent people.  All these conspiracy theories, paranoia, and assumption of hatreds, make many Americans blame and villainize innocent people.  I’ve often said that “Americans have become a people of blame and accusation”.   They are quick to find someone to blame.  They also tend to put words in peoples mouths and intentions in their actions.  I’ve been utterly appalled by this behavior.  Its like watching people twist things around so that people appear “bad” when they’re not.
  • They look at things in the worst possible light.  For some people, no matter what happens, its assumed to be the worst.  Not only does this involve problems but it even goes down to simple things such as what you eat (causes cancer or make you fat), a stomach ache (obviously cancer), and even getting mad (obviously hatred).  
  • They use political/legal theory, the Constitution, rights, etc. as a cheap justification and defense against everything.  A common saying I hear people say is “everything’s a rights violation”.  If it isn’t then they can make it so.  They quote the Constitution, and such, like its the Bible and ultimate authority.  Some people use it like a weapon.  Sadly, this is often done to get their own way.  This is because people seem to think that if you quote the Constitution it automatically makes them right. What this has done, for many of us, is undermine and destroy the believability of the American Constitution, law, political theory, and such.  In my opinion, the excessive use of the Constitution and America’s political ideals has become an abuse and has damaged the principles and ideals of the U.S.  I would almost venture to say that it has damaged it beyond repair.
  • They are self-righteous and always assume that America is the answer.  They tend to over value themselves and view themselves too highly.  I’ve heard many Americans talk as if the world “wants to be American” and that the U.S. has a monopoly of all that is good in the world.
  • They are moaning and groaning about everything.  Everything seems to bother and offend them . . . you name it, they moan and groan about it.  Its always amazed me how the people who are claiming they are the wealthiest and most advanced country in the world complain so much about everything.  In actuality, Americans are an unhappy people.  I’ve learned that you don’t come to America to be happy.
  • They seem to believe whatever they are told.  As a result of this, they believe things like the news media, social media, gossip, and such dishes out.  I know people who accept these as a “source of whats true in the world”.   This type of attitude makes it so that many Americans have a quality like “the blind leading the blind”.  In addition, it makes them prone to a hysteria and a tendency to blow things out of proportion.  This is further complicated by the fact that most Americans have no “authority” to look up to as a source of “truth”, such as a religion.  This makes them impulsive to believe whatever is “convenient” and “popular”.  In fact, I would even say that, for many Americans, “truth” is primarily based on “popular opinion”.
  • The lack of appreciation of peoples roles and social hierarchy.  I have been stunned how little respect many Americans have for any form of a “role”, such as a mother, father, etc.  May act like any role is an “oppression” or something and sometimes treat it with contempt.  With so little respect for human institutions I often wonder how the American society continues to exist.  To me, this attitude is like spitting on human nature and human society.  It also is like a denial of nature and the way things are.

AFTERTHOUGHT

What all this really reveals is the incredible impact WWII had on the U.S.  It had such an impact that the U.S. is still gripping with the effects of WWII over 70 years later.  In this way, the U.S. is as if “stuck” in the post WWII world, especially the Vietnam War era.  Because of this, the U.S. doesn’t seem to of progressed along all that much since then and remains out-of-date and stuck in the past.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Current affairs and events, Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Personal gripes, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The military and war, The U.S. and American society and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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