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Geoff 21's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Geoff 21

I have seen estimates that the indigenous population of the USA was c.30,000 at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers. It was a nearly empty continent when waves of immigration began its progress towards an autonomous nation. Natural resources were untapped and plentiful, land mostly uncontested and there for the taking and social hierarchy as yet unestablished.

Given those conditions it is unsurprising that the young nation achieved great prosperity with unprecedented speed. Yet, with a sparsely spread population of only 300 million people, most of them in cities, it still has the space to maintain social and educational dissonances like those of an undeveloped country.

I can only assume that, to people like Rick Perry, hardship is relatively unknown on a scale to compare with most older countries. Their ignorance allows them a solipsistic level of vanity. They believe themselves responsible in some unspecific way for the success of America as a nation and it will take very serious consequences of this collective hubris to shake those convictions. The massive shock of 9/11 is suggestive of the fragility of the US psyche, compared with other nations.

That, seemingly obligatory, phrase "This Great Country" is an item of faith. It is a manifestation of where the rot set in, like the, now ludicrous, assumptive phrase "Great Britain".

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 18:59:24 UTC | #865260