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Why do Europeans hate Americans? Be honest...

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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:57 pm
It is obvious that some Europeans have an animosity or even a hatred towards Americans, or our country.

I would like to ask everyone here this question.

Why do Europeans hate Americans?
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:03 pm
As a European with a general admiration for the traditional American values of individualism and limited government I'm of the opinion that most European elites and their newspapers are still reeling from the fact that USA is now the world's political and economic powerhouse and not Europe. Europe used to be in the driver's seat. Ever since World War II it's been America.

This is again reflected in the way America is written, talked and reported on in various news outlets throughout the European continent. You'll find the coverage appallingly negative whenever something is in the news about America over there.

I myself, before I left Europe, was staunchly anti-American simply due to the fact that I had only ever read newspapers and never any books up until the age of 18. As I started reading freely and studying political history my opinions changed.
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:48 pm
I think it's largely the fault of the media, capitalism and American politicians.

Usually when we see Americans on our TV screens during news broadcasts or whatever, almost invariably you will hear the monotonous "USA! USA! USA!" chants, and other displays of chauvinism. Quite often you hear a politician or a citizen who is being interviewed proclaim America to b the greatest nation on earth, or have the greatest military, the best this, the best that. We heard it all the time with George Bush, who often gave the impression that he launched his war as if to say "how dare you attack the greatest nation in the world?" Now get a taste of "the greatest armed forces ever produced"

It's the eternal self-aggrandizement that bothers a lot of people, including me. Americans seem to view humanity as a race, or competition.
The insane sanctity that Americans put in their flag and national anthem is mystifying. The shameless misinterpretation and misuse of the bill of rights to justify actions, and what really gets my goat is the proclamation that America is the greatest democracy, in fact even the only true democracy. Some Americans also seem to think that it is only in their nation that they enjoy liberties such as freedom of speech .
Americans just seem to have such an idolised view of their land that they try to, or in most cases inadvertently, make foreign citizens feel as if they live in an inferior country. American politicians are just as guilty.

I also think many other nationalities resent the corporate fat catism that is associated with America. They have an unsavoury image as money-grubbers who only care about the green and will trample on the backs of the millions who earn their money for them.
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:59 pm
I guess it is natural. Even if the Pan-European identity isn't strong in itself, people will act like European nationalists when confronted to USA.

Before I write anymore, do you mean why they hate USA as a state or the average American person?
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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:05 pm
It all comes down to the combination of sour grapes and America. It's very easy to be jealous but America is also very hate-able.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:51 am
Funny question that one. If you were to count the number of visitors into the United States, my guess would be Europeans are at the top of the chart. So, for not liking the United States, they SURE visit here a lot. One usually does not go on vacation to places one hates. Maybe I am wrong on that, but methinks not.
By and large, my experience with Europeans who dislike the USA, is that they have an inferiority complex, which is hard to explain, as European culture and history have an incredible amount of stuff to be highly proud of. At the end of the day though, it boils down to resentment, resentment emanating from the fact that TWICE now, the US has had to sacrifice untold thousands of its young people to rescue Europe from the folly of its adults.
To be fair, some of it is just good natured kidding. I will never forget my first visit to an Irish Pub in the company of some newly found british friends: There was a beer sign in the Dublin Pub that said XYZ Beer, since 1748 or so. Newly found bud pokes me in the rib cage and points to the sign and says "see that?" "Yeah", I go,"what about it?" Replies the man: "our beers are older than your country". You had to be there, I guess.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:45 am
I don't think most really feel any animosity or hate, I'ts the kind of thing you would hear back but you wouldn't hear about how most don't think about America very much.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:13 am
Same reasons Americans will say shit stuff about Europe. It's looking into a mirror and yelling about how much you hate it. In reality, the differences are pretty minimal. The regional differences in the US are as big as differences between the US and most of Europe. And vice-versa.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:15 am
Europeans don't hate Americans or America, but a feeling of superiority is quite common which is particularly directed at the US and Americans in some respects (e.g. Americans are ignorant).

American exceptionalism and sense of superiority is more general: it includes the whole world.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:39 am
Scamp, why do you hate Americans? Your posts have made it clear that you have nothing but contempt for a very large segment of the American public.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:44 am
Capitalism rules.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:39 am
I certainly don't hate Americans, but then I've been fortunate enough to visit the States a number of times and also served with the US military in Iraq as their Brit medical liaison.

However, it was in Iraq that I witnessed something that perhaps sums up why Americans sometimes bring hatred upon themselves. Quite a few of the civilian contractors (upon which the American military seems critically reliant) had the same bumper sticker on their pick-up trucks. It said, 'Infidel - and proud of it', against a background of American flags.


Guys, if you stick two fingers up at everyone else, you can hardly complain when (some) people hate you.

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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:17 am
For the negative cultural aspects & federal government decisions.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:57 am
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Same reasons Americans will say shit stuff about Europe. It's looking into a mirror and yelling about how much you hate it. In reality, the differences are pretty minimal. The regional differences in the US are as big as differences between the US and most of Europe. And vice-versa.


This isn't just about cultural differences, it's also about subjective national ideologies/narratives which are more important than you give credit to. After all, nations are subjective entities, not objective ones.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:36 pm
Having lived in Europe...twice now...Its my opinion that there are 2 things about Americans, that annoy Europeans...and quite a few Canucks as well.

1. As Cartertonian suggests, Americans are arrogant. Many of them abroad will not hesitate to take an issue and rub it in your face. When they travel in Europe, most Europeans can identify them right away. They are loud, demanding, and completely oblivious of local traditions and culture. Yet instead of LEARNING about the local culture, many (not all) will rail against it complaining that "This isn't the way its supposed to be. Hell its not how we do it back in the States." To which most Europeans will reply, "So fuck off back to the States." I've seen this behavior many times, and must admit I have been guilty of such arrogance myself on a few occasions (One of my favorite things about Canada is, I can get pizza delivered to my door in 30 minutes. Try THAT in Prague...
)

2. For as much as America denies this, American Imperialism is evident. Just ask Lech Welesa. Or the recent University graduate who can't find a job because he didn't learn English...in Bonn. Many Europeans see American influence as a cancer in their country. They watch the old standards be swept away...or bought out...to make room for a McDonalds, or a Westinghouse office, or a Ford dealership. This is most evident in the East of Europe where American business interests have essentially bought out the local economies. And let's not forget the Iraq and Afghanistan wars...especially Iraq. That war was/is a real soar spot for many many Europeans.

That's my take on it, after a total of 10 years living and working in Prague. And while Canucks share allot of the cultural "baggage" that the Americans have, we tend to not be military aggressors. We tend to be peace keepers, and Europeans like and respect that. A nice byproduct of being a massive country with so few people.

We can usually identify Americans quite quickly too. But we have the advantage of a semi-shared culture. So to us, their merely a fat wallet that needs to be emptied...
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:05 pm
I have yet to meet anyone in Bavaria in my 6 years of living there who has quite the same level of animosity towards America and American politics as I, an ex-pat, have, so your mileage my vary. But as for why people might resent the USA... Buzz nailed it. There's a lot of American arrogance, and while some of it seems to me to be perception and confirmation bias, it's still a major issue. "We're the best, stuff the rest!" Then there's the way that America's fiscal policy shapes economies across the world, and how American politicians, in particular on the right (and this isn't just me talking, mind you), completely botch things up. I imagine quite a few people are also quite pissed about how America seems to insist on climate change denialism. But I think that "hate" is too strong a word, honestly. Very few Europeans, at least in the parts of France and Germany where I've lived, truly hate America.

Also, that guy talking about the world wars as a reason? He's so wrong it's not even funny.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:40 pm
We europeans cant hate US americans because US americans cant change their politicians either. Actually hating the individual US american would mean we would have to hate ourselves, too.

I specifically live in a country with a leadership thats just awful and might destroy the euro currency (germany, Chancellor Merkel).


The Immortal Goon wrote:
Same reasons Americans will say shit stuff about Europe. It's looking into a mirror and yelling about how much you hate it. In reality, the differences are pretty minimal. The regional differences in the US are as big as differences between the US and most of Europe. And vice-versa.

I agree in general - Europe pretty much copies the USA.

But the USA has some archievements Europe hasnt managed yet:

- Even 20 years after the end of the sovjet union and the end of the cold war, the USA still threatens to kill the whole planet three times over at any moment, possibly extinguishing humanity in the process, for no good reason whatsoever.

- Worldwide, US americans are the new nazis. The same dumb robotic belief in the superiority of their own country. Wars of aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan. Concentration camps in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Torture like waterboarding routinely applied. Anything else missing ?

- Ever since WW2, the USA has kept the priviledge to murder disgreeable administrations, start wars of aggression, and endanger world peace with a large number of other actions, worldwide.

- After WW2, the USA, unlike europe, never managed to create a social state that conforms to human rights. Richest country in the world, but unable to conform to human rights !

- No important US politician who isnt a millionaire. The USA is ruled by the rich - openly, and despite the fact that its officially a democracy.

- Half of the worlds defense budget, and a quarter of the worlds detainees (despite only having about 1/20th of the worlds population).

- Etc.
Last edited by Negotiator on Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:45 pm
Buzz62 wrote:
[...]
2. For as much as America denies this, American Imperialism is evident. [...] Or the recent University graduate who can't find a job because he didn't learn English...in Bonn. [...]

Whow.

Talk about extremely inappropiate example !

American imperialism is NOT the reason why everyone should learn English, worldwide.

Its that you can talk with people worldwide why you should learn English.

It has nothing to do with English itself - its just that English was already very widespread and thus the ideal choice for a general language that we need in our more and more global civilization.
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:08 pm
Negotiator wrote:
Whow.

Talk about extremely inappropiate example !

American imperialism is NOT the reason why everyone should learn English, worldwide.

Its that you can talk with people worldwide why you should learn English.

It has nothing to do with English itself - its just that English was already very widespread and thus the ideal choice for a general language that we need in our more and more global civilization.

Inappropriate huh?
Have you bothered to READ the topic of this discussion?
And on the off-chance that you have...perhaps a reading comprehension issue?

There are a TON of university grads throughout Europe who either are having difficulty finding a position, or find they could make twice the salary if they could read and write in English. And what...you don't think that further annoys these kids?
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:10 pm
US Americans sounds really bad, yes I know there are other countries in the Americas but we are Americans as part of the name of our country and US Americans doesn't sound right.


Everybody complains about tourists, I live in a tourism based city and I can tell you that what you describe actually works on Europeans just as well. A lot of them from countries I know full well have tips will come in and not tip a dime to their waiters with the excuse "that's not how we do it in our country" our response is usually the same, go fuck of back to your country then.


Americans are not unique in being annoying tourists.

Also, America isn't the only country that speaks English and to my knowledge we aren't forcing the language, its just useful you can't lay the blame at the feet of random Americans.
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