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Aggressive Culture?

Interesting perspective from American University Professor Emilio Viano on CCTV America, explaining Colorado shooting violence has something to do with America being an aggressive culture. Tough call in my personal opinion in linkage to the Colorado shooting, but I do agree with Dr. Viano’s observation that America has a propensity to use violence in tackling problems. When such behavior is sustained for a long period of time, then by definition, it becomes culture.

  1. Zack
    July 24th, 2012 at 01:10 | #1

    well let’s have a look at the model upon which many Americans base their country on: Imperial and Republican Rome. Rome was an expansionist, militarily aggressive state that relied on plunder to sustain its civil economy, and given how much american leaders, students, scholars lionise the Romans, and identify with them, it’s easy to see how that culture of aggression becomes part and parcel of the sucessors of the Romans. As Niall Ferguson enjoyed pointing out how britain played the greece to the USA’s Rome, it’s no secret that there is an integral and incipient racial biasin favour of the anglo americans that pervades this sense of missionary conquest.

  2. pug_ster
    July 24th, 2012 at 10:34 | #2

    Agreed. I think the problem is that the American culture and government’s attitude towards other people’s lives. When American government and culture’s attitude is to ‘take revenge’ towards others, it will eventually transcend to do it in real life.

  3. July 24th, 2012 at 11:48 | #3

    In general, I think a violent culture that views violence as a preferred means to solve problems is definitely part of the problem in the US. However, with this particular case and with many of the other mass shooting incidents such as the one in Arizona and Virginia Tech, I believe that it’s a mental health issue. I believe that all these shooters had serious mental disorders (possibly some kind of schizophrenia) which renders them incapable of regulating their behavior or having rational, coherent thoughts.

  4. July 24th, 2012 at 12:10 | #4

    Related. This happened today in Anaheim. You can see a video showing a bunch of police shooting children with rubber bullets and setting a large attack dog on a mother holding her baby at a protest. Where are the NGOs and international outrage demanding human rights in the US for black, brown, red and Asian American people?


  5. no-name
    July 25th, 2012 at 00:37 | #5

    The US is indeed a society which has long learned that using violence produces dramatic results. From the bomber generals that incinerated whole cities to macabre people like Ed Gein and to recent ones like Greg Ousley who killed his parents at age 14, 12 year-old Paul Gingerich who shot dead his friend’s stepfather, 13 year-old Jose Cruz who shot a man dead while committing robbery and many others, US society finds using violence so very easy, highly convenient and very expedient. Trouble is the US likes to preach to others about the need to oppose violence. What great hypocrisy.

  6. Zack
    July 27th, 2012 at 16:51 | #6

    simply put, the mentality of the western order is one of domination, the urge to dominate others, be it via hard power or soft, despite all the rhetoric and propaganda of ‘democracy and equality’, hence why so many mouthpieces will say things like ‘first amongst equals’ which is an oxymoron if anything.

    Even their primary religion, christianity holds the view that all must conform to its messianic message, else be destroyed, whereas in China you have a plethora of religions which chinese culture and society allowed to flourish in a pluralistic society. Hence why Chinese are willing to accomodate others yet the Western leaders will not, especially if their media has shone a harsh spotlight on them. They cannot ‘on principle’ they say, yet shit all over principle whenever their geopolitcal goals require it eg Syria

  7. Wayne
    July 29th, 2012 at 07:11 | #7

    I agree completely with Zack and others here.

    Westerners (particularly Anglo Saxons) are inherently aggressive and dominating.

    Go to a pub or a bar in the Anglosphere – be it Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, or the UK. They are full of young men out to have a fight, and to ‘kick someone’s ass’ or to ‘smash someone’.

    Then go to a bar in say Asia, or even France, or Italy, or Greece. People are simply out to have a good time, to enjoy the atmosphere and the vibrant night life, without a thought of ‘smacking someone’s head in.’

    The fact is Americans glorify violence, and American males want to go round being the tough guy, beating the shit out of other people. Especially if those other people are perceived as weaker than oneself. There is certainly the bully mentality in Anglo Saxon culture, which is not nearly found to the same extent in Asians and Africans, or even non-Anglo Saxon Europeans.

    Of course Asians, Africans and other peoples all have their problems of war and violence. But wars happen because of arguments over resources, and violence happens because of real political differences. Whereas in America, a wealthy and stable country, violence and aggression happens only for violence and aggression’s own sake.

    Have a beer with a random American guy, or a guy from Nigeria, or a guy from Singapore, or a guy from France, or Italy, or Norway, or China. Who is the most likely to be the most aggressive, the most intolerant? Obviously the American.

    Most other peoples around the world are gentle and humble.

    This of course has enabled the Anglo Saxons to ride roughshod over other races.

  8. perspectivehere
    July 31st, 2012 at 09:50 | #8


    Wayne wrote: “This of course has enabled the Anglo Saxons to ride roughshod over other races.”

    I was thinking about making a comment that I had reservations about Wayne’s post, that I felt it was inappropriate to make generalizations about propensity towards violence based on racial categories. Making generalizations based on race are almost always entirely wrong because there will always be exceptions; and it opens up the speaker to criticism that these views are motivated by racial bias and so diminishes one’s credibility.

    But then I came across this recent article on the ending of extraterritoriality in 1899 in Japan and its impact on the expatriate (mostly British) community in Kobe, Japan (a city that was similar to Shanghai at the time due to the presence of foreign extraterritorial expatriate communities).

    In that essay, I read this highly revealing passage which made me reconsider my response to Wayne’s post:

    “[Robert] Young started out his journalism career as a proof-reader for the Saturday Review, a weekly newspaper that covered politics, literature, science, and art established by A. J. B. Beresford Hope in 1855. The weekly employed fiery imperialist rhetoric often centred on racial superiority and the role of ‘the English’ in the civilising process. The frank style of the articles were often centered around the destruction of forces seen as a threat to the Empire and the Anglo-Saxon ‘race’. A typical example of the tone read like this:

    China and Japan are not our enemies on either ground. For many generations
    they may be left to account for each other, in the immemorial Asiatic fashion,
    by mutual blood-letting. Their habits of life and their climatic aptitudes make
    them the last rivals of Western nations. In the distant future, when they have
    monopolized the low-lying tropics, the ultimate survivor of other nations may
    have to meet them…. The biological view of foreign policy is plain. First,
    federate our colonies and prevent geographical isolation turning the
    Anglo-Saxon race against itself. Second, be ready to fight Germany, as
    Germania est delenda [Germany must be destroyed]; third, be ready to
    fight America when the time comes. Lastly, engage in no wasting wars
    against peoples from whom we have nothing to fear.

    The quote taken from ‘A Biological View of Our Foreign Policy’ from 1896 shows a surprising disregard for the status of Japan as a newly established power in East Asia. For the writer, the threat pending from Germany left very little alternative. Germany must be destroyed! This kind of propaganda journalism no doubt had a huge impact on the young proof-reader who would later set-up his own version of the Review in Kobe, namely the Kobe/Japan Chronicle, albeit with a more moderate viewpoint.”

    This kind of writings quoted from the Saturday Review is no longer “politically correct”, so they would rarely be found today. Even if these views may be held, they are no longer openly expressed in mainstream media publications like the Saturday Review.

    But yet the quote indicates that the British themselves (or at least a significant part of the British ruling elites) had an openly race-conscious view towards conquest of other peoples, as espoused by the quote from Saturday Review, a highly influential Victorian English publication.

    This Saturday Review quote piqued my curiosity to read the original essay, A Biological View of Our Foreign Policy (1896).

    It is only about 4 pages long – much like an Economist article (In fact, Walter Bagehot, the third Editor of the Economist, published many essays in the Saturday Review). The Saturday Review and the Economist seems to have been kindred publications.

    Some choice quotes from this extraordinary essay which is well worth reading to keep in mind the imperial English mentality:

    “The facts are patent. Feeble races are being wiped off the earth, and the few great incipient species arm themselves against each other. England as the greatest of these —greatest in geographical distribution, — greatest in expansive force, greatest in race-pride, has avoided for centuries the only dangerous kind of war. Now, with the whole earth occupied and the movements of expansion continuing, she will have to fight to the death against successive rivals. With which first? With which second? With which third?” (page 720)

    “Feeble races”? “England is the “greatest in race-pride”? Funny how they don’t mention this in the Olympic speeches.

    “In racial characters, in religious and scientific thought, in sentiments and aptitudes, the Germans, by their resemblances to the English, are marked out as our natural rivals. In all parts of the earth, in every pursuit, in commerce, in manufacturing, in exploiting other races, the English and the Germans jostle each other.” (page 722)

    How about that? The English and Germans “jostle” with each other “in exploiting other races”!

    In the spirit of Olympic competition, who was better at exploiting other races, the English or the Germans?


    “There remains the Anglo-Saxon race itself. If this break up into species, it is plain enough that conflict is inevitable as soon as the separate species have grown beyond their territorial limits. The territorial isolation of Canada, Australia and South Africa offers opportunity for the production of new sub-species. With the small facility for intercommunication, and with the narrow political views of last century, there is little doubt but that these offshoots from the mother-stock would have come into conflict with England. The circulation of population that is now possible, and the modern views of imperial federation, alike tend to preserve the unity of the race, in spite of the distinctive physical characters which already have made their appearance.” (page 722)

    What he is saying here is that the “Anglo-Saxon race” is breaking up into sub-species, and the “sub-species” developing in Canada, Australia and South Africa will tend to come into conflict with England, so England ought to pursue a foreign policy of joining with them together in “imperial federation” so as to “preserve the unity of the race”.

    Here’s the last quote, and it is, ahem, surprising to say the least:

    “With America, on the other hand, union has become impossible. The American type is now so distinct, and the American sentiment of nationality is so acute, that all hope of union is gone. The resemblances and identities that remain serve only to make the ultimate struggle more certain. America would be our enemy before Germany, but for the accident that America is not yet a nation expanding beyond her own territory. Each recurring census shows that the time is approaching when America will have to expand or cease. The new regulations against the immigration of destitute aliens are one symptom that America, grown beyond the receptive phase, is reaching the aggressive phase. …. The rumors of war with England must be realized and will be realized when the population of the States has transcended the limits of the States.” (page 722-723)

    So much for the “special relationship”! Has anybody told Romney?

  9. Zack
    July 31st, 2012 at 10:45 | #9

    race politics has pervaded the western mindset ever since the Age of Imperialism, and nowhere is this more distinct than in the British Empire. Look at the anglo countries today, most of them more or less support each other ‘like brothers’ as Eric. X Li commented at one point in time. Of course there are differences like the Canadians exhibiting more independance than traditionally, but the overall effect is the same.

    Today many anglos of the Commonwealth support the US based not on principle or justice or human rights (no, that stance went out the window with the iraq invasion and with libya and support for bahrain’s bloody crackdown) but more out of a sense of racial nationalism. anglos between US and Australia are seen as little different hence the tacit acceptance amongst many Australians of the setting up of a US base in Darwin. Were Australia its own independant nation we would’ve questioned why we were hosting a foreign military base in another country’s geostrategy and geopolitics?

  10. August 17th, 2012 at 04:44 | #10

    i heard the colorado shooting was an inside job. holmes worked for darpa, and his dady was a military contractor, so what does that tell you. holmes is also jewish. i dont think america has to be a violent place. all it needs is a little regime change

  11. collin
    August 17th, 2012 at 06:58 | #11


    I agree with your initial inclination. Well said.

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