March 22, 2013

Asking Americans to think about the "common good" may "backfire and actually unmotivate" them.

NPR reports on some social science research by Stanford's MarYam Hamedani:
So Hamedani and her colleagues... give volunteers messages about individual liberty or ask them to think about the greater good. And what she finds is that when people are asked to think about the greater good, it actually undermines their performance on a variety of mental and physical tasks that people actually work harder, try harder when they're asked to think about themselves as being trailblazing individuals....

She finds that Asian-Americans are not turned off when you appeal to the greater good. And here's her theory: Everyone in America is raised to value independence, but there are some groups that are also raised to value interdependence. When you talk to those groups about the greater good, your message works just fine. But when you speak to people who've been raised on a diet of individualism and liberty and you ask them to think about the greater good, it creates this clash with this internal voice they have in their heads which says: March to your own drummer.
I love the way NPR lets it show that they don't like the American "diet." That Asian food is so much better. Why won't Americans swallow more of that? NPR keeps trying to serve it.

Funny that in their earnest left-winginess NPR doesn't hear themselves impugning Asian-Americans. Interdependence — that's supposed to sound so flattering. You know NPR would not mean to do anything other than flatter Asians here, even when — as they just revealed — Americans value independence. NPR, how can you be so lacking in perspective and self-criticism that you don't hear yourself blabbering out the old racist stereotype that Asians lack individuality?

But if you'd like more of this interdependent-commongoodliness-it's-all-in-the-framing that they're serving today at the NPR Restaurant, click on the link. The next bite is gun control.

110 comments:

Seeing Red said...

How tribal.

Seeing Red said...

True story, we were on our way to The Orient. Very long flight, so hubby walked around, got to chatting with another passenger.

Passenger started yammering about all the problems we have, yada, yada, they don't have the sorts of problems we have, yada yada.

The response that ended the conversation was, "Of course you don't have those problems, you don't let people in."

Cue diversity bat at PBS.

Robert Cook said...

To the contrary, I think it speaks well of Asians, if true, that they value "interdependence" and "the common good," and it speaks badly of Americans, if true, that we disdain "interdependence" and "the common good."

"Independence" does not--or should not--mean "What I want counts and what everyone else wants or may expect of me is for the birds!".

We are interdependent and we should recognize and value that.

Shouting Thomas said...

The contemporary reality in the U.S. is entirely different.

We lived in the age of the herd of "critical thinkers." The PC indoctrinated white kids can be counted on to blindly follow the path prescribed for them by the school system.

Sort of a leftist version of the negative image the left had of the 50s. The white kids are completely conformist and cowed.

You must believe in gay marriage, hate fracking, drive a Prius, profess feminism fervently, hate the racist rednecks, loathe flyover county... and on and on.

The PC white kids today remind me of the Catholic girls of the 50s who were afraid somebody might see the reflection of their white cotton panties in their Mary Janes. Any deviation from PC could cause one to be ostracized from the herd of critical thinkers.

Asian kids are much more individualistic. Adhere to family values, admire their parents, value tradition.

AprilApple said...

NPR said with their tired trademark hushed tones, with a slight British accent, just so you know they are not pushing their agenda, but a pure facts.
-- Not to be questioned...

The Asians in my community who run restaurants and other small businesses with their families seem pretty independent to me.

Brew Master said...

History has proven over and over again that 'the greater good' is actually served by independance, and not collectivism.

The problem with individualists performing worse when told to focus on the greater good is that they have had the idea that freedom/liberty/independance is bad bashed into their heads by the education establishment.

It is very liberating when the understanding that humans will act in their own self interest dawns on a person. Realization then follows that collective action for a greater good surpresses this self interest and the outcome is lesser effort, lesser results.

Promote self interest, and reap the greater rewards.

NPR typically frames this from the leftist perspective that there is a quantifiable 'greater good'. They are unable to even formulate the thought that it is destructive behavior, even when presented with the results.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Anybody who thinks Asians are univerally cooperative never tried getting homeowners association dues out of a Chinese immigrant.

AprilApple said...

Behold the left's never ending quest to vilify the independent spirit. of course we are "interdependent". The leftwingers want 100% interdependence, and the death of all individual liberty. They demand The State as god, daddy, mommy, and everything in-between. And don't you dare question the left's supreme authority over you.

Seeing Red said...

Greater good, where 20% does 80% of the work?

Work/world experience might suggest differently.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We are interdependent and we should recognize and value that.

We do recognize that. And we recognize that because of that interdependence, when we work for our own self-interest, everyone benefits. ( Assuming that we work within the law. )

Shouting Thomas said...

The truth is completely upside down.

This is an era of brutally enforced conformity in the white intellectual world. My leftist FB friends launched into a collective howl of bloodlust and glee that Michelle Shocked would never work again.

Because of fucking gay marriage! Gloating over blacklisting the heretic! Burn the witch!

The continuing allegiance to family that is characteristic of Asians means that they are more independent and individualistic.

White kids have become robot servants of PC.

virgil xenophon said...

@ST

You are SO wrong! It's "...drive a Prius with a COEXIST sticker..."
FIFY

Nonapod said...

I suppose if people behaved more like ants life would be wonderful. Of course worker ants are all sisters who share 75% of their generic makeup with one another due to haplodiploidic sex determination, so it's much more in their own interest to help each other out and function as a single superorganism than it is for a human parent supporting their own offspring since they only share 50% of their genetic material between them.

AprilApple said...

"The government is the one thing we all belong to."

--Barack Obama

"We're going to take things away from you for the common good."

--Hillary Clinton


Worship!

ricpic said...

Who the hell are you lecturing, Cookie?

When you get past the smug stupidity of the marxist Cookies and LEARN what made America the dream home of ordinary folk all over the world - until the marxists got their hands on it - you realize that America was based on John Locke's principle of SELF-INTEREST. Only when millions of individuals are free, that means LEFT ALONE to pursue, each, his self-interest, only then is the greater good realized.

DADvocate said...

Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, East Germany, Yugoslavia and other countries have shown us over the past century how wonderfully well putting the commone good first works. Why those of us in the U.S. don't understand that I'll never know. Maybe it has something to do with standard of living, not having famines and such.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think they need to define what IS "the greater good", the parameters of "the greater good" and just HOW that "greater good" is going to be implemented..

My family. Yes. Absolutely

My friends. Yes. Of course.

The local community/town. Yes.

The region where I live. Yes. Pretty much.

The State (California) that I live in. Not so much. I don't feel any obligation to sacrifice for the 'greater good' of Los Angeles, the hordes of illegal aliens sucking up the resources or the Diane Feinesteins of the world.

The United States. Maybe. Depends on what and who is defining "greater good". I don't believe the politicians have anyone's greater good in mind.

The whole rest of the World. Saving mother Gaia. Throwing money into cesspit countries to enrich their dictators. Not likely.

Think of it as a bunch of circles from the smallest core to the largest core. The ability of people to really care about the "greater good" and be willing to sacrifice for it will get weaker as you go concentrically outward.

It is human nature. To pretend otherwise is to have your head firmly planted in your own fundament.

X said...

common good is not objective Cookie. you and I would see it very differently. it just so happens most of the stuff I favor is for the common good and the stuff you favor works against it.

TosaGuy said...

A strong family dynamic is not interdependent when the ulterior motive of the story and the researcher is to make everything revolve around the government.

Strong family dynamics diminish the role of government, therefore strong families must be co-opted.

EMD said...

I still think you need a "no shit" tag.

Just my humble opinion.

virgil xenophon said...

DBQ wanders into the sociology and typology of the gemeinschaft and the gesellschaft..

TosaGuy said...

My concept of the "Greater good" is me being a productive and active member of society and providing support to my network of family and friends.

My concept of the GG is definitely me not working my ass off so the taxman can take more of it and hand it to someone who refuses to lift a finger to help themselves or to some corporate crony who relies on politics rather than market savvy to make a buck.

Fernandinande said...

"And here's her theory: Everyone in America is raised to value independence, but there are some groups that are also raised to value interdependence."

Blank-slatism.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: A very usefull typology, btw, as they are infinitely flexible/expandable ("scalable" for the younger crowd.)

BDNYC said...

This reminds me of a phrase I used to see occasionally in dated political science academic journals: oriental despotism.

Rusty said...

Yeah.
That's why Chinese people move here and open up their own businesses. Because they are so interdependent.

I never knew that all those restaurants were part of some collective.

YoungHegelian said...

@Virgil,

DBQ wanders into the sociology and typology of the gemeinschaft and the gesellschaft.

Young man, you apologize right now for using those words in front of a lady!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Ted Cruz has been messing with our recipes again!

MayBee said...

Asians don't all think alike.

The Japanese and Koreans value interdependence, but it's based on the idea that every individual does his absolute best so as not to let others down or become a burden to society.

It isn't a "I'll sit on the couch and get unemployment until it runs out" kind of interdependence. And it is the kind of interdependence that foster perfection in conformity rather than risk-taking creativity

I'm not sure NPR would really like Asian-style interdependence.

BDNYC said...

I really hate it when "liberals" (that word has no meaning anymore) say in one or another that "no man is an island" and smugly think that bromide undermines the traditional American belief in the individual. Individualism does not exclude the community. It does not even discourage it; in fact, private association, civil society, religion, etc., are all essential elements to individualism. Compulsory "community" is the real purpose of liberalism. It's a contradiction, but it's sold to us as the ultimate refutation of individualism.

Tank said...

And what she finds is that when people are asked to think about the greater good, it actually undermines their performance on a variety of mental and physical tasks that people actually work harder, try harder when they're asked to think about themselves as being trailblazing individuals....

People work harder for themselves than for others. Holy s*** Batman. Quick, call Milton Friedman up.

Asians: This is not my experience. My town is 13% Korean. The Asians, with very few exceptions) do not participate in town gov't, charities (like Lions and Rotary), the Cultural Center, the Library Friends, etc. Maybe they are working for the common good of other Koreans, but what does that mean to non-Korean Americans?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@Virgil,

DBQ wanders into the sociology and typology of the gemeinschaft and the gesellschaft.

"Young man, you apologize right now for using those words in front of a lady!"

LOL I was going to say Gesundheit.

I hadn't heard those exact terms, but it is exactly what I was trying to illustrate.

Tim said...

Yeah. Leftist Liberals are all about the common-good until the rules don't apply to them.

David Gregory was unavailable for comment.

So too was Al Gore.

Nonapod said...

Working in ones own self interest within a system, culture, and society that respects property rights, rule of law, and the free market is always the Greater Good because it ultimately benefits everyone. Saddly Progessives will never accept this basic truth, even though it's admittedly paradoxical on its surface.

EMD said...

My concept of the "Greater good" is me being a productive and active member of society and providing support to my network of family and friends.

Imagine if everyone did just that.

EMD said...

Also, racism and sexism are incompatible with individualism.

Ann Althouse said...

"To the contrary, I think it speaks well..."

Yes, of course you do, and in saying that you present yourself -- as you usually do here -- as a lefty. That's what I'm saying NPR is doing. You don't see the premise from different perspectives and you don't hear how it sounds to others.

Ironic that lefties are so bad at putting themselves in someone else's shoes. If you really cared about other people, you'd instinctively think about how things sound to people with different mental orientations.

DADvocate said...

She finds that Asian-Americans are not turned off when you appeal to the greater good. And here's her theory:...

Different theory: Asians are taught to excel. Performing well in school, on the job, in virtually any task is of paramount importance to them. Therefore, doing a task for individual liberty or the common good makes no difference to an Asian because they want to perform at the highest leve no matter what.

There's more than two possibilities for the differences seen.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Independence" does not--or should not--mean "What I want counts and what everyone else wants or may expect of me is for the birds!".

cc: Sandra Fluke

MayBee said...

If everyone would just take care of himself and his family, we'd have so many fewer problems. We'd only need a safety net for those who can't take care of themselves or have nobody to help them

That's the Asian way of seeing it, and it's true.

I think NPR likes the Nancy Pelosi version of it, where government programs mean more people can do less productive, dream-fulfillment, like start a band or become an artist. Someone else will work to pay their bills.

Nonapod said...

Ironic that lefties are so bad at putting themselves in someone else's shoes. If you really cared about other people, you'd instinctively think about how things sound to people with different mental orientations.

I know I'm biased but I really wish we'd get some better liberal commentors around here. A lot of the more regular ones seem to fall back on the generic lefty responses to arguments and don't attempt to engage in real debate "in good faith" as you would say.

Anglelyne said...

Asian-Americans are more concerned with the "common good" than other Americans? Really? Do they have a greater sense of non-tribal civic duty or more non-tribal civic involvement, do they do more volunteer work (that is not directly related to the welfare of an in-group) or have higher rates of charitable giving than, say, "independent", "individualistic" white Americans? Really?

There's the NPR "voting to pour lots of other people's money into social programs" sense of "common good", then there's the "Midwesterners organizing themselves on the spot, jumping in their trucks and heading out to help strangers hit by natural disasters anywhere in the country" sense of "common good". I see the latter all the time, but I'm sure that doesn't count as caring about the common good in NPR land.

Anthony said...

The thing with the Left is that they always conflate "the common" with "the government".

edutcher said...

For good or ill, the phrase, "common good", when mouthed by someone like NPR, usually translates to all-consuming Welfare State.

That said, go back about 200 years and ask yourself if the average American gave a damn about the "common good". He worked for him/herself and the family. He'd help a neighbor (although the neighbor would die before asking) and kicked and screamed all over the place if the militia company was called up unless the Indians had already raided his farm.

Inga said...

So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?

traditionalguy said...

Establishing a hierarchy is the goal behind the hot air being spewed about bowing down to the Common Good for the community.

It's really about the authority to tax and collect revenues that go straight to the top. That is the Mafia way.

This is not working for them as long as middle class men and women still control their property and their votes. Ergo: use regulations must require Government permits that effectively takes that property.

And the votes must be effectively diluted by immigration and a glut of brain washed Disney World level voters singing happy songs of the people.


What NPR and the Media lose sight of is that once the hierarchy has all the money power at the top, then the NPR and Media become useless.

That is the Marxist vision: All assets are the government's and people will love it or they will be take out side and shot.

Henry said...

Don't they realize that the phrase "the greater good" is pure poison?

Even Harry Potter pounds this home.

Dolores Umbridge: [pointing her wand at Harry, Ron and Hermione in the Forbidden Forest] For the greater good. I want to do what must be done.

Harry met her eyes with a mixture of defiance and shame. He remembered the words that had been engraved over the gateway to Nurmengard: FOR THE GREATER GOOD. He pushed the idea away. What choice did they have?

AJ Lynch said...

PBS naturally believes in a very broad definition of the greater good when PBS ala NPR relies on the govt teat for the majority of its funding.

tim maguire said...

It's hard to ahceive the level of mass slaughter organizations like NPR long for to reduce world population without a ittle of the old "greater good."

Seeing Red said...

"Greater Good" & "Common sense" or "common sense proposals."

OK, whose idea of "greater good" or "common sense?"


Yours or mine?

That's where the challenge begins, gotta define a baseline.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

Inga said...

So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?

Because Asia contains a significant number of his fellow Muslims?

Seeing Red said...

The answer is in the NPR exerpt, Inga.

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

I had a wonderful South Korean prof for my poly-sci 300 and 400 classes who had only lived in the US for about 10 years prior. She loved the differences here from what she considered a stifling Korean upbringing.

She as much as spelled out exactly what this study has found, but in a less-than-positive manner. Her explanation for the phenomenon of Asian interdependence, in the context of this study, was that a great deal of Asian culture is based on the tenets of Confucianism and, as such, is extremely tied to hierarchical relationships between members of a society.

So it's not that they embrace interdependence or thrive in it more than individualism. They don't suffer the negatives because they have been raised to the stfu and do what they are told.

I wonder if that difference between Asians (in general) and Americans disappears for second and third generation immigrants.

Brew Master said...

Inga said...
So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?


Heh....
Because hispanics are raaaaaacist!

Henry said...

From the link:

Basically, what the bottom line is, in America, when you make an appeal that goes against individual liberty, in the long run, almost always, you're going to lose.

I love this country.

Scott M said...

Basically, what the bottom line is, in America, when you make an appeal that goes against individual liberty, in the long run, almost always, you're going to lose.

Yeah, but it's those Night Of The Long Knives exceptions that really kick your ass.

Anglelyne said...

edutcher: That said, go back about 200 years and ask yourself if the average American gave a damn about the "common good". He worked for him/herself and the family. He'd help a neighbor (although the neighbor would die before asking) and kicked and screamed all over the place if the militia company was called up unless the Indians had already raided his farm.

Indeed. And yet those ornery individualists managed to produce a country that was at least as prosperous, well-organized, law-abiding, pleasant, and with lower levels of corruption, than those of the saintly interdependentistas. In fact, produced a "common good" that was more attractive to those people than the "common good" available in their own lands. (Of course some of them, including some of my own ancestors, proceeded to try to screw it up by importing their "old country" ideas of "common good", aka "tribe-serving corruption", lol. They mostly had it beaten out of them, though. Thankfully.)

DADvocate said...

So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?

Typical false equivalency.

Cath said...

Massive pollution and slave labor must be for the common good, because China is in Asia....right?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?"

So that their chinese relatives can own the entire united states through massive debt run up by President Foodstamps.

Ann Althouse said...

I was especially offended by the Hamedani's statement: "When you look at American culture, independence is really foundational. From the founding documents of our nation to the heroes and the stories we tell, we really focus on the independent individual."

Here's how the Declaration of Independence begins:

"IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776."

Congress = acting together.

"The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America..."

13 united states = acting together.

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people..."

People = an collective mass.

The document goes on to discuss why individuals form governments, that is, the reason to act together in a group, and the limits on government that inhere in the reasons for having a government.

It's not that about extolling individualism and not seeing the value of interdependence. It's about seeing both things and keeping a clear head about the scope of those values and not letting government become a mechanism for collecting power that extends way beyond the reasons for creating it in the first place.

DADvocate said...

I wonder if that difference between Asians (in general) and Americans disappears for second and third generation immigrants.

I work with a young lady fresh out of college who's 100% Chinese. She's born in the raised by her Chinese parents. She's no different than any of the Anglos, etc here at work.

Chip S. said...

Well, I suppose you could extrapolate from this thinly described study of a self-selected sample of I-dunno-who-exactly, or you could look at a somewhat larger sample of Asians--China.

The initial step on China's path to stunning economic growth was the introduction of the "household responsibility system", which basically gave formerly collectivized farmers ownership rights over their output.

Unsurprisingly to anyone but Robert Cook and assorted Stanford ethnic studies profs, the result of this reform was a dramatic increase in agricultural output.

Seeing Red said...

Those old dead partially slave-owning white dudes lived it, man hasn't changed.

And those nasty traits are coming to the fore in wymen.

Seeing Red said...

Hubby just read what the Chi-coms have planned, world domination.

Because it's time they take their rightful place back.

Here we go again.


virgil xenophon said...

@DBQ

Hey, what can I say? I'm a giver, not a taker.. :)

@YH

Sorry, apologies all around. I must have inadvertently left my manners in my Sunday go-to-Church suit..

Brew Master said...

It's not that about extolling individualism and not seeing the value of interdependence. It's about seeing both things and keeping a clear head about the scope of those values and not letting government become a mechanism for collecting power that extends way beyond the reasons for creating it in the first place.

But, in the leftists minds, individualism must be stamped out because it is a selfish act. The greater good trumps all, and everything that works to undermine the collectivist view must be marginalized.

edutcher said...

Inga said...

So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?

Maybe, on the West Coast, the old racism of the Gold Rush is used by the Demos much as they use slavery against blacks.

Ann Althouse said...

I was especially offended by the Hamedani's statement: "When you look at American culture, independence is really foundational. From the founding documents of our nation to the heroes and the stories we tell, we really focus on the independent individual."

Here's how the Declaration of Independence begins:

"IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776."

Congress = acting together.

"The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America..."

13 united states = acting together.

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people..."

People = an collective mass.

The document goes on to discuss why individuals form governments, that is, the reason to act together in a group, and the limits on government that inhere in the reasons for having a government.

It's not that about extolling individualism and not seeing the value of interdependence. It's about seeing both things and keeping a clear head about the scope of those values and not letting government become a mechanism for collecting power that extends way beyond the reasons for creating it in the first place.


But, when push came to shove, we wrote this Constitution thingy, which is all about individual rights.

And then, even when all we had was a Declaration, it had gotten that far because people didn't like the Crown telling them what they were going to do without their particular voice being heard.

As Shelby Foote said, "It used to be perfectly proper to say, 'the United States are'". Even then, the individual states were voicing a common grievance, not necessarily endorsing a "common good".

After all, we worked under the Articles of Confederation at the time and they were more individualistic than the Constitution.

The Godfather said...

A) The "study" makes no sense. You "give volunteers messages about individual liberty or ask them to think about the greater good" and this affects the way they perform "a variety of mental and physical tasks". What's the relationship between "messages" and "performance"? Maybe the researchers chattering in their ears while they're trying to do the tasks has something to do with poor performance.

B. The claim that gun control measures fail because we Americans are all Rah! Rah! about rights ignores the fact that we already have, at the state, local, and federal levels, very extensive regulations regarding the sale and use of firearms. And those regulations would be even more restrictive if a majority of the Supreme Court hadn't discovered the long lost Second Amendment. If Americans don't care about the "common good", why the Hell do we docilely accept the high taxes we are paying for the "common good"?

Nathan Alexander said...

I really wish we'd get some better liberal commentors around here.

There are no better liberal commentors.

None of them can think for themselves. They all just repeat the talking points they get from their hierarchical structure.

It isn't so much that they aren't arguing in good faith, it's that they aren't capable of doing anything but trying to force a consensus by repeating what they've heard from an "approved/authentic" source, over and over.

It's as much about reinforcing group think as it is trying to convince anyone else.

Brew Master said...

I second what Nathan said RE: liberal commentators.

Aaron said...

Asians may think more about their family than about themselves as an individual, but they in no way move that up to "society" or the state. Chinese have a saying "only sweep in front of your own house."

Nathan Alexander said...

I don't know about other Asians, but Chinese immigrants tend to live in cities in extremely liberal areas.

Also, in China, nearly everyone wants to live in cities. City life is equated with wealth, comfort, intelligence, education, accomplishment, taste, refinement, and sometimes even seen as demonstrating that the individual is higher quality. Whereas living in the suburbs or (worse!) the country is seen as being backward, uneducated, uncouth, poor, naive, goofy, graceless, and often seen as being indicative of being a low-quality person.

The US ideal of getting rich so you can buy a nice house in the country is, well, foreign to Chinese.

So despite many aspects that would seem to make Chinese a natural to be conservative, there are many attitudes that result in Chinese choosing to live among the most extreme liberals of the US, and having many interests in common with liberals as a result.

I wouldn't be surprised if many of those same attitudes are shared by Koreans, Japanese, Filipinos, Indians, SE Asians, etc.

Chip S. said...

It's a bad idea to draw conclusions about differences in people's preferences w/o accounting for differences in their opportunities.

Only recently have Chinese been able to buy cars and drive on highways comparable to those in the US. Only recently have housing markets been liberalized. Give them a chance to reject suburban living before concluding that they don't like it.

I knew a well-educated Korean guy whose dream was to move his family to the 'burbs. And he did.

Alex said...

Anybody who thinks Asians are univerally cooperative never tried getting homeowners association dues out of a Chinese immigrant.

Well well, it didn't take long for a racist comment to appear.

Alex said...

Nathan, you're just a conservative herd group thinker. Liberals are the independent-minded ones. Just ask Inga.

Edward Lunny said...

"common good "
Libspeak for, "I think that you have too much and/or more than I think that you should. So ,I'm going to take from you, I never share my own, and give it to those whom I think deserve it."
My response....bugger off. I've worked for and earned what I have. I'll take care of mine and me. Let the welfare schmoes enjoy the consequences of their ignorance, stupidity, and asinine choices. Let them freeze and starve until they come to their senses and actually make an effort for themselves. The libs can stick "common good" where the sun don't shine.

Mick Havoc said...

The blissninnies who listen to this crap think we are destined for "Star Trek/Next Generation"

Won't they be disappointed when we get "The Road Warrior" instead.

There are more bikers, deer hunters and anarcho/potheads out there than there are people in Madison/Berkley/Boulder.

Peter said...

An interesting paper on cultural differences (what's culture-dependent and what isn't) can be found at the URL below.

(The title of the paper is, "The Weirdest People in the World." And yes, they mean Americans.)



http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~henrich/pdfs/Weird_People_BBS_final02.pdf

SGT Ted said...

NPR praising the Collective.

How ordinary.

Balfegor said...

Re: edutcher:

Maybe, on the West Coast, the old racism of the Gold Rush is used by the Demos much as they use slavery against blacks.

Can't speak to anywhere but California, but how well would that really work? Wouldn't that just remind Asian Americans that ultra-liberal San Francisco (the only place in the US I've heard people just making anti-Asian comments right there on the street in public) is a hotbed of anti-Asian racism, and that there's a direct line between the smug insular cultural attitudes of Californians today, and the anti-Japanese and anti-Chinese riots of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, FDR's Japanese internment camps during the war (opposed only by Republican governor Carr, in Colorado), and the disgusting, violent anti-Korean racism of the LA rioters in 1992. And milder stuff like when White progressives whine that Asians are taking over the University of California, but aren't keeping up the tradition of dumb political activism.

If reminding Asian-Americans about California's long history of anti-Asian racism works at all, it has to be because of the implied threat, not because it motivates them to vote on the basis of old resentments. In practice, unlike Chicano Americans or African-Americans, Asian American race activists don't seem to do a lot to dredge up resentment against historical oppressors, probably because the actual oppressors were mostly Democratic heroes (like FDR) or core Democratic interest groups (like urban African-Americans in LA).

Robert Cook said...

"I never knew that all those restaurants were part of some collective."

What? You never heard that all the Chinese restaurants in NYC's Chinatown all share one common kitchen and all food for all the restaurants is prepared therein?

Calypso Facto said...

Americans thought more about the "common good" back before NPR and the rest of the media started bashing Christianity and promoting the "Me Generation" outlook.

Ann Althouse said...

"But, when push came to shove, we wrote this Constitution thingy, which is all about individual rights."

No, it isn't. The original Constitution lacked a bill of rights. It's "all about" defining a limited set of powers and separating and checking those powers.

Ann Althouse said...

"I really wish we'd get some better liberal commentors around here. 'There are no better liberal commentors.'"

Liberal commenters tend to go where they won't have to debate the other side. They simply don't want the exposure. They want to exchange compliments with others who agree with them and insult people who disagree and are not there. If a non-like-minded person shows up and tries to debate, that person gets banned.

If they wanted to participate here they would. I see them linking to me and then not sending people here to debate, but just staying there and saying "Althouse is stupid and her comment section is a sewer" and so forth. The lameness is incredible.

Scott M said...

You never heard that all the Chinese restaurants in NYC's Chinatown all share one common kitchen and all food for all the restaurants is prepared therein?

That is patently false. The only commonality NYC's Chinese restaurants share is a common source of MSG, distilled from a vat of cloned Marlin Brando fat cells.

Sam L. said...

Just one more reason to not support NPR.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
"But, when push came to shove, we wrote this Constitution thingy, which is all about individual rights."

No, it isn't. The original Constitution lacked a bill of rights. It's "all about" defining a limited set of powers and separating and checking those powers.

Your right. Our Bill of Rights predates the ratification of our Constitution.

Bruce Hayden said...

I liked Ann's response ti Cook.

I have a lot of problems with too much interdependence and working for the community. Maybe the biggest is that there are the "leaders" and then the dupes who keep the leaders in power. You see that in China today, the USSR, and in liberal enclaves around this country. Everyone is equal, but some are much more equal, so you see our President spending millions on his vacations, while shutting down WH tours due supposedly to the sequester. And, yes, sending his own kids to private school long before he was President.

So, who gets to decide what is in the common good? Invariably the same leaders who make themselves so rich on their untiring service to their commnity. But, they do so at the expense of those who actually create wealth in this country.

What must be always kept in mind is that greed is inherent in the human condition. One needs to check one's wallet anytime someone tries to pretend that they aren't greedy, but rather are doing something for your own benefit. And, as I think DBQ pointed out, our natural loyalty is first to our families, then our communities, states, nation, and then if there is anything else left over, for the world population (but there won't be). These are our natural priorities because genetic evolution is a zero sum game.

So, almost invariably, when someone tells you that they are working in our best interests, they have hope, expectations, or reality in believing that they will be in the group determining what is best for us, and what we should be doing for the good of society. And, they are most often doing so for the same sorts of greed inspired reasons that drive the rest of us - they just pretend that they are doing so for our best interests.

Chip S. said...

I see them linking to me and then not sending people here to debate

It's so unfair of them not to share their wisdom w/ the rest of us. In fact, it's downright selfish.

Brew Master said...

Ann,

If a non-like-minded person shows up and tries to debate, that person gets banned.

If they wanted to participate here they would. I see them linking to me and then not sending people here to debate, but just staying there and saying "Althouse is stupid and her comment section is a sewer" and so forth. The lameness is incredible.


Shall we go there to debate? I take notice of Meade and his forays into the madness, saluting the tilting at windmills. I think the Althouse comment corps could be used to elevate discourse in the swamps, but maybe a nudge is needed.

traditionalguy said...

The Americans who became medical doctors are being told to work harder and harder for less and less by the State Community mandated by Reid, Pelosi and Obama and enforced by John Roberts are all quitting.

We will soon need Chinese doctors and lots of them. Or maybe we will get a computer and a sweet young bureaucrat person that wants to see our deaths come nice and cheap.

Amartel said...

NPR prefers people who are amenable to centralized social engineering because that's their entire audience.

Larry J said...

Whenever I hear someone say that I should do something "for the common good", I check to see if I still have my wallet. In my experience, that phrase is only uttered by people who expect me to do something to benefit them specifically, not "the common good."

Fuck them.

Lydia said...

So why did Asians vote for Obama in even greater numbers than Hispanics?

Not because they don't value the individual, but because of masterful mind games re social issues, which is the Democrats' home turf.

The Democrats have created the image that it's their party that protects individual rights and have successfully painted the Republicans as control freaks.

DADvocate said...

Maybe Ann's theme here lately is you can find racism and bias anywhere if you interpret the actions and words of those horrible, racist people correctly.

That said, I see a lot of inherit racism and bigotry in liberal thinking, a white man's burden sort of thing. A white liberal's burden I should say.

Tom said...

In a culture, there are several degrees of dependance.

At the high end is interdependence. This is where extremely strong individuals work together for common purpose through common agreement. This is not the "greater good", it is called "Win-Win".

Just below is that is independence. This is the strength to stand as an individual and support one's self emotionally, financially, and spiritually. It takes moral integrity and hard work to become independent.

Just below that is dependence. As children, we're all dependent and that is natural. What is not natural is for fully grown adults to remain dependent.

Below that is co-dependence. This is where there a regression from dependence on others to the creation of hurtful or emotionally damaging relationships.

And way down at the bottom of humanity is counter-dependence. And this is where there is active rebellion again those in which the person or people are dependent on. It's irrational militant behavior.

Capitalism is a form of inter-dependence. It's where cooperation makes strength. A good marriage or family is inter-dependent. Team sports are, at their best, about inter-dependence.

Socialism is a form structuralized dependency. It's purpose, by design, is to accept that most people cannot be truly independent and must be cared for in most or all aspects of life.

Balfegor said...

RE: Lydia:

Not because they don't value the individual, but because of masterful mind games re social issues, which is the Democrats' home turf.

No, I think it's just that Asians generally vote like upper middle class White people in the states where they live, which tend to be pretty narrow-minded, progressive states.

MarkD said...

I don't know what Asians you're talking about, but Mrs D (Japanese by birth and ethnicity) saw the light when she started working in a grocery store. She saw the customers come in with their food stamps and welfare checks and took a look at her pay stub and realized that the definition was "you work, we share." Another liberal saw the light.

SOJO said...

Asians vote dem for class and status reasons. Older generations are very racist, btw.

rcocean said...

If they wanted to participate here "they would. I see them linking to me and then not sending people here to debate, but just staying there and saying "Althouse is stupid and her comment section is a sewer" and so forth. The lameness is incredible"

Why should they debate? They actually CARE about implementing liberalism in the USA. The believe in it, and have no desire to "Debate" unless it helps the 'cause'. Given the hammerlock liberals have on the MSM and public discourse all they need to do is ignore and marginalize conservatives and they "win". Too many conservatives just want to have a "jolly good discussion over Port" with a reasonable liberal. A fine thing if this was England circa 1880, but out of place in 2013.

Dante said...

NPR, how can you be so lacking in perspective and self-criticism that you don't hear yourself blabbering out the old racist stereotype that Asians lack individuality?

I don't understand your beef. There was a study, the study showed the kind of response one would expect by people raised with interdependency. It's not racist, it's culturalist.

Yet, you call it a racial stereotype. What if it's right? That on the whole, Asians are raised with a culture of interdependency. Then what? Is it still racist? Or just the way it is.

It's amazing to see NPR out PC'd by Althouse.

Dante said...

If a non-like-minded person shows up and tries to debate, that person gets banned.

Been there, done that. I hope you read the comment i posted above, to see if you can debate the simple points I make. Yes, I'm goading you, because I think you have a blind spot here.

Synova said...

"First of all, more guns leads to more violence, not less. If you have a gun, you don't worry about being careful. You can beat anybody in a confrontation as long as you shoot first."

One of the comments. Amazing.

Synova said...

For whatever it's worth... at school the "multicultural" thing talked about Asians and differences in expectations is that Asians don't like to participate or ask questions because questions are an insult to the instructor's ability, so you get quiet A students who don't rock the boat. This fits with the culture of hierarchy (as someone mentioned) far better than a utopic interdependence.
But the idea that Asians aren't personally ambitious, very much individually so, seems completely ridiculous.

(As stereotypical cultural differences go.)

Robert Cook said...

" Given the hammerlock liberals have on the MSM and public discourse...."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ameryx said...

But the study itself is fundamentally flawed. In no case were students asked to behave independently. They were all given a task by the researchers. If any question at all was answered, it was "how do we best trick people into doing what we want them to do?"

This is a very narrow subset of motivation, and may explain some of the discrepancies between cultures in this setting. Does one wish to manipulate Asian-Americans? Either approach will work. For white Americans, it would seem that cloaking the task in words suggesting independence is preferable.

This says precisely nothing about how people behave when left to their own devices. So, we see similar streaks of Independence and interdependence in both groups as they live their lives.

I submit that the study tells us more about the researchers than anything else. They seem unaware of the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Do I detect the sulfurous odor of Skinner?

Ameryx said...
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