Talk:Anti-Americanism/Archive 2

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Article title

Would there be any support to giving this page a new title? The content, I think, is sensible--a fairly balanced summary of criticisms that have been made of the United States. The problem is that the title, "Anti-American sentiment" has a history (I believe) of being used as a term of propaganda. It is often used by American politicians of a nationalist stripe to characterize criticisms of America as irrational, with the tacit suggestion: "Their criticism has no real merit, they just hate us." An encyclopedia dedicated to the principle of NPOV shouldn't use loaded propaganda terms as article titles (excepting the special case in which the article is about the propaganda itself.) I suggest "Criticism of the United States" or something similar; with perhaps a separate article covering the controversial concept of "Anti-American sentiment".

Is there support for, or objections to, this proposal?

Opus33 00:50, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I think this is a good suggestion. It might be good to indicate in the title that the criticism is usually of American policy, rather than America per se (although this is not always the case, I know). -- Cadr

Object. Leave it as it is. The title is appropriate to cover the content. RickK 07:40, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

True, the article is mainly about what is often described as "anti-American sentiment" or the like, but by giving it this title we're implicitly suggesting that all the criticisms of American policy detailed in the article are in fact anti-American, which is not really NPOV. It is possible to criticise America without being anti-American, so the title should be less loaded. -- Cadr

American Way of Life

Under the paragraph "The American Way of Life", there is the following piece:

The fact that girls in America are educated along with boys, that women can go out in public unescorted by male relatives, and that women have the same rights as men, including the right to vote and to serve in the armed forces, is also at odds with many religious or cultural traditions of some democratic and non-democratic countries.

I think that many countries which are "at odds" with the US on the status of women in America are far more likely to mention the things like lawful abortion, miniskirts, or the sexual revolution in general in more conservative societies, and anti-abortion violence, pornography, etc. in more feminist societies. The issued raised here are not really a cause for widespread anti-Am sentiment. Even the UN Millennium Development Goals has stated as one of its pledges as "Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015", and this as been approved by all 191 UN members. Kind of shady in article like this to focus on the things of unquestionably "good" morality, and none of the controversial issues. Anyone have an idea how this might be implemented in a --Gabbe 17:14, Jan 9, 2004 (UTC)

I agree. I think it's also worth pointing out that a lot of the examples mentioned are at odds with with American religious and cultural traditions to some extent -- it certainly took a long time for women to get the vote in America, for example. Cadr
It occurs to me that parts of the article really belong in something like "anti-Western sentiment", since it discusses phenomena not unique to the US. They are, to quote the article "neither exclusive to, nor originated in, America but are common in much of the Western world, it is thus unlikely that such concerns are sufficient motivation for specifically anti-American sentiment." --Gabbe 13:42, Jan 10, 2004 (UTC)

The term "Anti-American"

Cut from article:

It is misleading to place together under one label all people, ideologies, and attitudes opposed to various US policies or habits, particularly since America's people themselves hold very diverse values.

This is a POV. Whose is it? Let's identify the proponent of this view. For example, Josef Kolejprff said, "It is misleading to place together under one label all people, ideologies, and attitudes opposed to various US policies or habits. Besides, just because I dislike certain aspects of American society or government doesn't make me 'anti-American'. I am a genuine reformer and true patriot." --Uncle Ed 15:00, 12 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It occurs to me that parts of the article really belong in something like "anti-Western sentiment", since it discusses phenomena not unique to the US. They are, to quote the article "neither exclusive to, nor originated in, America but are common in much of the Western world, it is thus unlikely that such concerns are sufficient motivation for specifically anti-American sentiment.

I doubt it. The Western hemishphere simply has more democratic states than average among the world. I happen to live in a country well ranked above the US in non-corruption, is a fluent democracy, and ranks pretty near the US in average wage. I cannot think of one right a US citizen has that citizens of my country do not, yet our country is constistantly classified as vehemently anti-american. YES. that's right! a Western democracy can disagree with another!! There are plenty of people who live in free countries who have the same rights as people in the US who simply don't like the USA. This is classified as Anti-Americanism, and is a legible topic for an encyclopedia, and it does exist. America is looked upon as slightly right-wing, free market etc. These are not traits actually characteristic of a democracy or the "West", they are characteristic of *America*. Hence the term anti-Americanism. If you want to be Anti-West, then fine, it's your choice. I don't understand why this is the relevant page to bring it up on though. America is *very* different from most democracies, it's as simple as that.

Do you have an idea what are you talking about when you say "The Western hemishphere simply has more democratic states?" You mean that Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia) has fewer democracies than Western Hemisphere (USA, Canada, Mexico and South America)? W

The term "western" is frequently used not in a geographical context - which would mean that the sun would have no place to rise at - but in a political context, where it labels countries that support democracy and capitalism, cf. Western world, Western culture. Get-back-world-respect 12:25, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Conflation of anti-Americanism and hatred of America

The new intro seems to conflate Anti-Americanism with a violent hatred of America. Is this really a good idea? The term has been used to describe people with much less extreme views, after all. —Cadr

The term is used within a political spectrum of different polarities. It also is misused, to imply a philosphical association between violent "anti-American" acts, and a reasoned philosophical view of Americanism as a biased and self-congratulatory mythos. Maybe the two articles need merging. -SV(talk) 06:44, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC) Ps. I will be discussing things with VV on talk:Americanism
I don't find this convincing. You say "The term is used within a political spectrum of different polarities", which implies that there is some sort of polarisation between extereme "Americanism" and extreme anti-Americanism, when in fact the term is used in mainstream political argument. Then you go on to say that "It also is misused, to imply a philosphical association between violent 'anti-American'... acts and [more reasonabe views]", i.e. it is used to characterise non-extreme views as extreme as a sort of propaganda device. However this was not clearly explained in the introduction, and is in any case POV. —Cadr

I think the term should encompass all forms of AA. Trying to legitimize anti-Americanism by separating it from violent and hateful forms is not the job of Wikipedia

There however is a difference between criticism of the United States, which is also often mislabeled as anti-Americansim in attempts to ridicule and downplay it, and prejudices or hatred. There should be a clear distinction in the article. Get-back-world-respect 12:15, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Prejudicial heading

Ruhrjung: "Longstanding"-ness is not a very good criterion. Wikipedia is filled with bad writing and misinformation, some of it that's just stayed there through neglect. This article is one I've worked on fixing for a long time because it has so many problems. However, the edit introducing this heading was on the 13th of March. I do not see sixteen days as "longstanding". The heading is prejudicial (as are others, such as "American hypocrisy", that could probably be better), as it says US policies are anti-Muslim when they are not, and it fails to characterize the content. Changing it did not "suppress" the information; the allegation that support for Israel is because of anti-Muslim sentiment is mentioned in the text. If you want to write text about America's supposed anti-Muslim-ness, that would be another matter, but not this one. -- VV 20:36, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Correction, it says bias against Arabs, not Muslims. So it doesn't even explicitly mentioned it in the text, which makes the heading more inaccurate. -- VV 20:39, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Right - and I am currently not inclined to prioritize work on this article. USA's pro-Israel policy is hardly worth mentioning at the top of the list. I would propose to put that down ...very far down. (Most important things first!)
--Ruhrjung 20:53, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't be opposed to moving it, since that's really just a cosmetic change, but my perception is that the US's support for Israel is a major issue in the US's relationship with much of the world today, perhaps its single most consequential foreign policy commitment. -- VV 21:30, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)