lauraxsynthesis (lauraxsynthesis) wrote,
lauraxsynthesis
lauraxsynthesis

Cultural imperialism

NB: This blog post is an ongoing project and will be added to and edited. 'Over here' is a term one hears on an almost daily basis in the media in the UK. It is used usually in one of two contexts: 1. Talking about cultural products eg. films 2. Talking about American politics People who use the term have internalised USA cultural imperialism. What they are doing in using this term is subconsciously admitting that they believe the centre of the universe is the USA and that anywhere else is an inferior adjunct. Saying 'over here' is an apology for your place of birth and current place of residence not being the USA. The syntax doesn't work - 'over there', or 'in the UK' works, but these are not used. It is the same dynamic as in patriarchal language in which one is expected to assume that 'people' are men, men are the norm and women are divergent and somehow wrong and inferior. I have a finely honed sense of American cultural imperialism. In the UK, self-deprecation and national self-deprecation is common. Culture is class-bound, and many of our greatest cultural achievements are reserved by the middle and upper classes and so the majority of people do not claim them as part of their own heritage, inspiration and stakeholding. These, combined with the shared language with the USA makes us particularly susceptible to the false consciousness of American cultural superiority. This is even before taking into account the very deliberate propaganda used by the USA establishment to hoodwink the rest of the world and the recruitment of our own elites to serve the 'Atlanticist' (led by the USA) agenda.

I would challenge not just the supposed superiority of USA culture, but even the idea that it is of interest. Approached without prejudice, American television has little to offer beyond a break between adverts. British audiences watch in huge numbers - assuming that anything American must be worth watching.

What we are mostly watching at the moment though is the various international sporting events. The internationalism of the Olympic Games was lost on some of my colleagues though. I overheard some - educated and otherwise sensible people - concerned that cultural references in the opening ceremony would be lost on Americans. Why Americans specifically? Are they the only intended audience of this event? Are the Games an American institution? Well of course no and no. My colleagues had also heard that the Paralympics would not be broadcast on tv in the USA. Their surprise at this hinged on a misapprehension again that the Paralympics was an institution somehow owned by the USA. When overhearing this conversation, I hadn't known that the Paralympics was started by a German Jew in Britain or that it was governed by a body based in Germany, but I certainly didn't assume it must be an idea of Uncle Sam's.

And what's wrong with just trusting the wisdom of Uncle Sam? Why not just lie down and let ourselves be overrun by the products of Washington DC and Hollywood? The answer, to generalise, isn't just because the products of Washington are destroying the planet and are inimical to human dignity and life, but also because the results of Hollywood's marketing plan have the potential to create a monoculture of values that destroy all other culture and community and reduce us to atomised, individualist consumers rendered mentally unwell by anomie. American culture and cultural imperialism cannot be separated from the capitalist project and it's psychopathic central planners. It is also because Hollywood is the logging road that precedes the eventual total destruction of the rain forest.

The case study of Bhutan: http://www.bhutan2008.bt/ndlb/typescripts/238/JBS_11_04.pdf
Tags: anti-americanism, cultural imperialism
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