Monday, August 25, 2008
Has America ruined yet another nation...
I speak infrequently about cultures I admire and figured I would take the opportunity to give praise to several nations and things that I like. Let's start with India. While the country is poor in financial terms, it is culturaly rich. Imagine a place where regardless of whether you are Hindu, Christian or Muslim, you can openly acknowledge your religion and others will respect it. Imagine a place where you can have your children watch Channel Zero on TV and not be worried that nudity, violence or other immorality will confront your four year old. Imagine a place where you can watch movies as a family and don't have to always worry about the rating of a movie or certain forms of gratitious sex.
Welcome to India and Trinidad. Two great nations who are becoming less of third world countries and more equal participants in a global economy. Yet, the question remains as to how these nations can grow and thrive without becoming a clone of America. As these two nations do more trade with the United States, they aren't just creating jobs but are also trading immorality with the US. As more countries interact with the United States, they also tend to pick up ideas of our criminal enterprise as they learn a lot by watching TV. Murder rates are increasing, teen pregnancy is increasing, divorce rates are increasing and the sanctity of marriage and a culture of values is being traded for a culture of the dollar.
During my honeymoon eleven years ago, I got to see wonderful movies such as Yes Boss. On my most recent visit, I learned that all the movie theaters that used to show Indian movies are now closed. Bollywood has been replaced by Hollywood. As a nation becomes more industrial, it also loses its underlying culture. Imagine being on a Caribbean island where fruits such as Mangoes, Oranges, Breadfruit and Banana's grow in abundance but you have absolutly no access to them. When it becomes easier to eat fast food such as KFC than it is to eat healthy, it hints that America has been successful in destroying another country.
I remember eleven years ago, when I wanted to call a relative, I used to call the payphone and someone would run and get them. Today, everyone has a cell phone that are in many ways better than what we have. While this is considered progress, sometimes you have to acknowledge at what expense this comes at. If you think American's have a problem with debt, then you haven't talked to the average Trinidadian. The economic model of extending credit in the era of Ronald Reagan and free spending has been applied in third world countries. Sadly, having an economy based on this model will surely collapse.
What is great is that my family has managed to profit from the exploitation of others. One family member is a manager for Coca-Cola and has increased the amount of soda consumption by kids several fold. Other relative is a manager for an appliance chain and has doubled store sales simply by talking about easy credit terms. Some will view my commentary as a success story in that they are doing well in providing for their families while others will see the morale implications of their actions. I wonder what side of the fence do you sit?
Links to this post: