Why do Americans always go on about freedom like most countries in the world are not just as free??
By - Willwill35
If you compare the US constitution to Eu countries constitutions you will see that ‘freedom’ is not conceptualized the same way. I believe a lot of this stems from that
Probably the best response so far, thanks.
To further expand on this, the US Constitution specifically states what the US government can do. This is different from most other countries, where it will set up their government, and lost some things it can’t do. In that regards alone, the US is different from many other countries.
Another thing is, the US government is set up to be conflicting and ineffective, and that’s for a purpose, so the government has a hard time becoming tyrannical in the first place
You mention healthcare. That line is commingle the term freedom, as the rest of the time you are talking about rights, and that last use of freedom is Like me saying I bought a car in cash, so I have freedoms from debt. That being said, that is about rights, and in the UK, you have the right to receive socialized medicine, while the US hasn’t (and is unlikely ever to). Rights and freedoms are related, but not directly so. The big example is the right to own guns, which protects our other rights, as seen repeatedly over the last year. It’s based on the concept of “a people shouldn’t fear it’s government. A government should fear its people.”
Ultimately, it comes down to viewing authority and government in different ways. What is the purpose of a government? Is it to provide for its people? That’s roughly what socialism and communism advocate (I recognize those are related to economical models, but they are commingle a bit), which some people are a fan of. Or is the job of a government to protect people’s rights (roughly what libertarianism advocates for)?
This was a very well written answer that I feel explains some of the confusion a lot of countries have about the U.S.
Yeah. I used to get really annoyed when folks from other countries mocked Americans' lack of foreign language skills. Then I realized that those folks lived in much smaller countries with different languages all around them, which makes it necessary to know more than one.
They didn't realize that with the exception of Quebec (and the whole quibble about Central America), North America's two geographically biggest countries *only* speak English bc it's just the two of them, side by side. You don't need to learn a foreign language when nearly everybody around you is babbling in your native tongue. It doesn't serve a practical purpose.
So now, when I hear foreigners getting snarky about aspects of my culture, I try to remind myself that they figuratively and literally live in different situations from mine. And that if they're going to be rude about it, they either don't understand or don't want to.
I agree with you on that but I'll have to throw in, that there are plenty of Americans (a lot of the tourists actually, at least based on my experience), who did not understand that but still expect everyone in the world to speak English, which probably leads to this stereotype. Not knowing languages is one thing but expecting others to speak your langauge everywhere you go is a completely different thing, which actually says a lot about how such people view the world.
EDIT: I'm not saying that this is an exclusive American trait, this applies to a lot of French and British people as well (again, based on my personal experiences), but this is just what I think is the reason for this stereotype
> expect everyone in the world to speak English, which probably leads to this stereotype. Not knowing languages is one thing but expecting others to speak your langauge everywhere you go is a completely different thing
This is an interesting one. My take on the cause of it is that so many people in the world *do* speak English--- either because of the old British Empire, or because of more recent forces like the US domination of the post-WW2 world economy--- that the expectation of English in foreign countries is understandable. It's still a bit daft and sometimes even unreasonable, but *understandable.*
I also get where it comes from but you can't get angry at people from non-English speaking countries for not speaking it perfectly, it's not about the fact itself but about the handling of the situation... but again, I can only speak about my experiences here, it probably also depends on the country you are in/from. I'm sure the expectations are higher in western countries than in Asia for example
> but you can't get angry at people from non-English speaking countries for not speaking it perfectly
Oh absolutely. If anything, the only thing that has ever annoyed me is my German speaking relatives wanting to practice their English with me, despite the fact that they speak better English than half my coworkers! Any time I ask them to speak to me in German, they say something like "oh, you don't want to learn German from us. Austrian German is terrible."
You're way off base. Rarely is it the case that someone from any country needs to learn to speak a foreign language in order to get by. That's like saying the people from those countries can't get by on their own.
Someone from Portugal or Finland doesn't need to learn another language for anything. They probably will because it's in the curriculum but in no way is it necessary to live a normal life. Even people in multilingual nations like Switzerland (German, Italian and French, plus the tiny Rhaeto romansh language) or again Finland (Finns learning Swedish or Ålanders/Swedes learning Finnish) need to learn the other language(s). They'd get by just fine with their mother tongue. Maybe in a more limited fashion but still.
I understand how you came to the conclusion you did but it's simply not rooted in reality.
I wouldn't say that this is the correct answer. People in the US speak English, the lingua franca, and thus don't have the pressure to learn the lingua franca, since they already know it. Mexicans on the other hand speak Spanish and thus have the pressure to learn English, similar to every non-anglophone country. On top come important regional languages, in Canada French, in Ireland Irish, in Wales Welsh, in Belgium Dutch or French, in Switzerland German or French, etc. Though not all have an important second language and resort to the standard combo of Spanish, French, German or Latin, which is also present in the US, though Spanish is the most common one due to immigration and nearly 1 billion natives to the south. Though the pressure on learning Spanish isn't that high, so most are well off with being decent and drop it after school. Same goes for English though if you don't need it for work or in your everyday life like on the internet. English is the key to the world, Spanish to LA and Spain, though they learn English too, so you're well off with Englishm
> What is the purpose of a government?
The Declaration of Independence has the American answer:
> ... all men are ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, ... --*That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men*, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
So the libertarian view
Always has been
The Declaration of Independence is *not* law, so this is merely a potential interpretation.
I'm not American so forgive me, but isn't the right to bear arms the 2nd ammendment? If so, does that not mean that it could be amended again to take away that right to bear arms?
In which case, that seems to contradict a lot of Americans ideas of "freedom".
Could it theoretically be amended? Yes. All parts of the constitution can. But it’s a lengthy hard process to amend the constitution at all
Thank you, I feel like a lot of people ignore the distinction between the first ten amendments and the rest.
>specifically to enshrine certain freedoms that the government shouldn’t touch that belong to individuals by nature of being born, not by nature of being American.
This idea that all people have certain natural rights simply by virtue of personhood needs to be more widely recognized and practiced. Especially by the US government.
Exactly. It recognizes it as a natural right the same as your right to free speech.
It says "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". The 2nd Amendment isn't written to give that right, we have it by default. It's written to say that government can't infringe on that right.
The bill of rights (first 10 Amendments) are basically a reminder of what the government can't do (in theory, because in reality they do them all the god damn time). It even includes a reminder that says 'just because we didn't specifically put it in here doesn't mean the people aren't allowed to do it' (9th amendment).
I need to add a little something. The constitution and the bill of rights+amendments states what the government cannot do as opposed to what they can. This is why people, including myself so vehemently oppose laws and regulations that mess with constitutional rights.
This should have SO many more upvotes because it's really the key thing.
There is no document in American government that GRANTS rights to its citizens because rights - ALL RIGHTS - are taken to exist independent of the government. That's the starting point. We start from a perspective that says we're all free to do absolutely anything, which if you think about it is the natural order of things. If you were born out in the middle of nowhere, totally on your own, there would be no limitations on what you might do (there obviously would be limitations on what you COULD literally do, but that's not what we're talking about here).
In other words: the INDIVIDUAL is taken to be the supreme entity, and we then layer government on top of the individual in the name of community and society, effectively infringing the natural order, but doing so as little as possible (and with some key restrictions officially placed on the government about the ways and degree to which infringement may occur).
Other countries - not all, but many - start from a very different perspective. They start from the perspective that society is inherently more valuable than the individual, that individuals should bend to fit society, not the other way around. I mean, it's rarely completely clear-cut, and different forms of government take this to varying degrees, but in the end that's kind of the foundational notion, and it's probably the key difference. America may not have been the first country to take the perspective it has, but it's pretty clearly been the most successful so far, whether it has the "right" answer or not (a debate that has been raging for a LONG time and isn't gonna stop any time soon).
You explained that way better than I did but yes you’re exactly right. I am very vehemently anti-state as I personally believe that any and all governments will lead to authoritarianism and oppression given enough time. Self-governance is generally where my beliefs fall but I understand that many other countries lack this concept entirely and Americans, specifically the ones that hold similar beliefs to me are often vilified for holding these beliefs. At the end of the day there are those who believe they are naturally free and others who believe they are given that freedom by others.
Also because you may be watching too much tv and internet. Come to America and people are just trying to live and let live
This might also be true but I believe that at the root of this debate is the 10M$ question philosophers have tried to answer for a few thousands of year on 'what is freedom?', but I digress. OP's question was more about the whole 'America FUCK YEAH!!!' attitude lol
You'll find a much higher percentage of older Americans believe this vs our younger generations. Pew had a good write up in 2017 on it.
And I'll add that, from my experience, the people who loudly declare us "the most free country" are the ones most likely to try to limit the freedoms of other Americans. They dislike the freedom of people to marry who they want, the freedom of women to decide on their own reproductive health, the freedom to consume cannabis, the freedom of granting reasonable voting rights to all, etc.
I've never met someone who unironically says "America is the most free country in the world" and is not a total dipstick IMO.
Research firm who releases results to the public.
Okay thank fuck, I thought they were talking about pewdiepie as a source of information
Guns? Then you mean pew pew pew.
The only real freedom they have over others is a protection against their government.
I can\* stand in my yard and makes Nazi salutes while waving a nazi flag yelling I am a nazi and it would be legal in America. Not legal in at least Germany. Probably Poland too, I don't know for sure.
I would also be attacked (EU), or shot (US) within *maybe* 12 minutes for doing that shit in my yard next to a busy street and highway. Just one example of freedom from the government to do dumb shit in the US that would not be legal in other areas.
*\*no i'm not standing in my fucking yard doing this*
I think you overestimate how many people would just drive by thinking “fuck that asshole” and not do a thing about it. I think you could do that for several hours before anyone confronted you, and several weeks before anyone tried to attack you
That may be the case, but this has nothing to do with the government or an individual's rights.
Try waving the isis flag and yell something about 9/11 and see what happens.
It's different when you use more at home context.
I think in England this would be illegal too. I remember some dude trained his girlfriends pug to do the nazi salute jokingly because he was trying to prove everything the dog did was not cute and I think he went to jail? That’s pretty hardcore over a super dumb joke if that’s the case. It went viral on the internet so that probably didn’t help him.
Can't pay medical bills and tuition loans but I'm glad I have the freedom to be a Nazi in my backyard. We really have our priorities straight lol.
I had a conversation with a family member just this week that ended on a similar hypothetical: "Would you rather be free to type whatever you want on social media or guaranteed food?" Even my conservative-leaning relative was like, "Fuck shit-talking, I want to eat."
Actual facts 😂 america literally gives you the freedom to be a dumbass.
Even here in the UK that specific example is a complex one (which, ofc it shouldn't be, but yt privilage)
Edit - I was mostly joking. Most countries give you the freedom to be a dumbass in different ways. 😂
If you don’t have the freedom to be a dumbass then you don’t have freedom.
If only have the freedom to do what others say is right then you don’t have freedom.
So no one is truly free because we all live in a society with rules to follow.
By this logic I don’t think anyone has freedom then. There are laundry lists of things I can and cannot do because my government has deemed them either right or wrong; permissible or not. It seems like the only way to have freedom according to your definition is to have complete and total anarchy.
Why is this being downvoted lol
Because it's wrong it's like the other comment said.
We live in a society and in exchange for that we, yeah I guess give up some liberty.
You're only "free" if you live out in the woods. And even then you're probably trespassing on a national park or something.
So really it's just people being arbitrary. "if you can do X you're free", "if you can do Y you're free".
To me if you have most of the things outlined in the UN declaration of human rights, you're free.
We live in a society
Yeah but look at it now... we don't have to worry about being shot by a government body some a phone in our pocket or having the wrong skin colour.
It’s the propaganda, and we are fed it from the very first time we recite the “pledge of allegiance” in class. We are taught how heroic our (white, slave-owning) founding fathers were, and how every troop that is in any part of the world at any time fighting any thing is somehow doing so for our freedom, and without them we “wouldn’t have the right to say [blank],” even though the first amendment, which pertains to freedom of speech, religion, and the press, specifies not that we are given those freedoms by the government, but that the government itself has no right to take those things from us, regardless of the amount of dead troops.
The people of the US that cry “freedom” the loudest are also awash in a twisted form of patriotism, which due to colonial history, the revolution, and American history to date, is actually an amalgamation of protestant christianity, incorrect historical recollection, and the romanticization of what is loosely termed “the american experiement,” which is basically just the idea that America itself, when it set out to become an independent nation, started something truly new and revolutionary with its style of government, and that somehow makes the governed a part of something important and special, and thus the governed are themselves special.
Americans like to make fun of the chinese for being brainwashed, but we are probably more brainwashed than they are, we just talk about different things (capitalism instead of marxism, God instead of whatever-the-fuck, etc.)
Not American but I think it has something to do with the fact that they fought the British crown, a form of government elected by no one, to put in place their own government, elected by the people, and make a constitution that goes something like,
Right to pursuit happiness
Liberty and property
All man are equal
Edit: also the right to bare arms so if a government become a tyrant they can overthrow it
Also religious freedom. Right from the start, with the Pilgrims, who were expelled from Britain and til this day America is inhabited by religious extremists and cults - Scientologists, Mormons, Evangelicals, etc.
Is it freedom to let tyranical religions run amok?
Apparently so. They forgot to write in good enough protections to have Freedom ***FROM*** Religion.
The irony is many of the founding fathers abhorred religion, and the government was founded to be entirely separate from it. Notice there's no positions in govt appointed to religious officials, no religious tests are preconditions for office, absolutely no mention of God in the Constitution, etc as you'll find in many European countries whose populations are conversely less religious in the contemporary world. Ostensibly, the US was built to be free from religion as much as it was to allow freedom of religion, yet a system without institutionalized religious authority seems to have bred more radical religious followings (though some of that foundation is of course attributable to said populations origins in this country). It's like, because the authority didn't make it unpopular, folks feel they're acting freely, countering the system by being religious, like a teenager trying to oppose their parents. Most of these people are anti-government in every respect without any justification, so they try to be the opposite of the govt, i.e. overzealously religious.
The good news is atheism and agnosticism are on the rise. The newer generations seem to have noticed the bullshit and are tired of it. Whether this trend will bleed into the more extremist sects of Christianity (or merely harden their resolve and perpetuate their persecution complex) is yet to be seen.
When the constitution was made "all men" were basically white male property owners. They were the only ones who could vote. Sure, we can modernize it by saying that "all men" refers to everyone. But even the policies of slavery, segregation, and laws that inhibited growth of minorities in general still resonate today. America was great if you were white, male, and wealthy.
That doesn't look right. In South America we also fought for our independence from a monarchy and our constitutions are way different from the USA.
Live in the US and i completely agree. Also, no we are not completly free. Tbh i think from all the BS lies that are fed to everyone that its more of just a brain washing . Kinda like how when (not to get political ) you ask someone what has your president done for your country specifically, and people either cant come up with valid reasons as to why they like them and what exactly they did. Id you ask any random ass American they usually cant give you an actual answer as to what makes us more "free" than other countries. No country is truly "free" . Some are just ran better than others. And how each is ran just works for that specific country.
Decades of defunding education.
Well, for starters I can't criticise my government without going to prison and mysteriously "commiting suicide " and be buried in an unknown location
only if u are not jeffrey epstein
I feel like you could that in atleast 80% of contries around the world nowdays
Okay that sucks. But America isnt the only place you can slag off the government. Tbf political ideas dont exactly flourish in the Us. The system from birth is super brain washy imo.
Oh the western democratic systems are all more or less the same, its a redistribute system for the rich elite, and the politicians get their share of it. I didnt wanted to make ads for the eu(in my opinion we have the badest version of the eu, not a state but not a federation of single countries either)
but i think to say country x/y is the best because you have free healthcare/can buy guns is stupid there are adventages/disadventages in every system for example the start up culture in the us is second to none but the distribution of wealth is crap and so on
A little late to the party on this post but I saw this explained really well recently. There are 2 different ways to look at freedoms. In one system there is a large sea of freedom with islands of law, and in the other there is a large sea of law with islands of freedom.
The US has the first, in which everything that hasn't been written into law is by default legal. Only when you venture onto the islands do you start having restrictions. So for instance, there is a default freedom to travel, but if you want to use public roads there are rules you need to follow in order to travel (a license, car registration, etc). The sea is free travel, but public roads are an island.
In the other system, freedoms are only given if they've been specifically written into law. So in the same example, you are in a sea of laws which govern the rules of travel, with small islands that give you full freedom.
In both systems it could be legal to drive a car on your own property without a license, but in the first it's because you have that right by default, where in the second you were granted that right by the government. The end result is basically the same, but there underlying reason why makes the 1st one "more free".
Believe it or not Democratic countries have propaganda too, this is just the American Flavor( American exceptionalism, etc, etc).
In America, we have the freedom to be dumb and practice selective fact checking without being called out for it. And that’s apparently what makes our country better than yours?
It's just a vocal minority. Most Americans are like most people in the world. They want to be left alone to live their lives with their friends and family.
Cause we are brainwashed and are hit with constant propaganda that we are the greatest nation and that only *we* have freedom, no one else does, we do nothing wrong, we protect world peace and totally to not manipulate foreign govts or arm terrorists, No! We are totally the good guys! and so on and so forth. We *literally* pledge **allegiance to the US flag** in school *every single morning.
Seeing how many responses say USA has freedom of speech while EU doesn’t is annoying. EU also has free speech, they only have restrictions about inciting terrorism, harassing others, etc. You are basically saying the right to hate is freedom of speech.
Also, related quote I like:
“Your freedom ends where mine starts”
Thing is they have hate speech laws, while the US does not.
I think your explanation is really good, never thought about it that way.
I agree that its a difference in the interpretation of freedom.
The problem for me is that the American interpretation is kind of a crapshoot. A simple car accident can set you up for such a financial blow, not everyone is fortunate enough to ever recover. High healthcare costs make preventative medicine so difficult, even though its much cheaper in the long run. Marketing higher education as a luxury limits the opportunities of those who aren’t as well off. I’m not saying college should be free, but its current cost is insane, it could be much more affordable and better quality at the same time...
The lack of safety nets is absurdly expensive to society and feels like a high cost for freedom.
Exactly, these issues are very complicated to adress, I don’t really feel either party is actually wanting to adress them sufficiently.
The whole two party system is another problem altogether 😅
Man what I don't understand (in addition to what you said) is this concept of "Legalize freedom" that surfaced during the pandemic. It's the singularly dumbest fucking concept I have heard coming from a fellow American. We have become so privileged and entitled in the US that we, by in large, haven't the slightest idea what oppression truly is.
*legalize freedom*... what a fucking joke
"It's called the American Dream because you have to be dreaming to believe it"
I once went to a Ted Nugent concert at a water park on the Fourth of July and he kept going on about us being free to do this here in America. All I could think of was - I think they do have concerts at water parks in other places too?? Does he really think they don’t?
Indoctrination and (as kindly as possible) ignorance.
We don't learn about other countries laws, rules, and rights unless it benefits the narrative deemed appropriate by the powers that be. Until I moved overseas for 3 years I had no idea how things are ran elsewhere.
Ill say this much. In the uk we really dont get taught much about the other ways too.
However things like economics are not compulsory in schools. We don’t have to learn the anthem. And patriotism is alot more cynical.
That last one no necessarily by design
I'm not entirely sure when and why the pledge began here, but I have definitely seen people from other countries say it is weird. I honestly did not even question it until I had seen it pointed out.
The UK is definitely one of my favorite places that I have visited. It seems that people from the UK have a bit more healthy cynicism from an earlier age than we have here.
The pledge is a fairly recent thing in our history, just like "in god we trust" being on legal tender, and a lot of Americans don't like either one. Both concepts are un-American and none of the Founding Fathers would have approved of either decision.
It's not forced in schools either, it's optional, and a lot of schools these days have opted out of the pledge altogether (at least at the different schools my nieces and nephews go to) so hopefully that nonsense will end with the current or next generation.
Edit to add: patriotism is perfectly fine, the pledge is dumb, I don't need to recite some ridiculous pledge to show patriotism for my country and my fellow countrymen.
and that's fair enough
I appreciate the achools that have been doing a moment of silence instead. Just nice idk lol
They don't even really teach us our own laws
No kidding haha and there are still some dumb/obscure laws officially held in some places...I remember Utah used to have a law about women not wearing high heels over 4in. tall. When we learned that we wondered if men could wear 5in heels.
It's sooo hard for you guys to see this until you leave.
I love the ones with a bit of global perspective, it's like you become human again, or like you've stepped out of the matrix.
I've literally had conversations on Reddit where it needed to be established as fact that the "US is the best place in the world" before we could move on in conversation. Insane. I've been there quite a bit. It's... alright. Got some nice things, some not so nice things.
I live on the other side of the world from where I started and so many Americans that I know and bump into are embarrassed by the home mindset. It's true brainwashing. The things you have to do and say in the name of "patriotism" from a young age - it's not that far off from North Korean indoctrination.
Without all the declarations of being the best, and this superiority mindset, it's a country like anywhere else. But all that repetition, the flag, the pledge, the hand on heart business... the moment any perspective is suggested that contradicts these embedded thoughts, its like, witnessing robots go into seek and destroy mode.
I agree with everything you said, but there are some people that think globally without leaving the US...typically it's people with loved ones elsewhere though from my experience.
I've been to many EU countries and UK as well...like you said, they all have their high points and they all have their low points. I did enjoy some countries more than others, but that is all personal preference. Example: I LOVE the Dalmatian coast in Croatia...the people are beautiful, the food is amazing, and everything is just gorgeous. Other people probably prefer the mountains to the coast so they may enjoy the Switzerland more than the Croatian coast. I loved the UK, particularly London and Edinburgh, but others may find the big cities too fast paced and prefer the rural Highlands.
Traveling truly does provide clarity on so many issues though. It is one of the best things anyone can do. Get out and experience different cultures and people. And by God, the food!+
>but there are some people that think globally without leaving the US
Absolutely there are.. it's a big place and my opening statement was clumsily general.
Very nicely put
This pretty much.
Freedom from paying taxes to the uk.
“More free” than the authoritarian regime called China is a pretty low bar
Excuse me but you don't have refillable all you can drink soda outside of America! Freedom to get diabetes but not to treat it.
Screw our free Healthcare and education, refillable sodas and guns is what we need here in Europe!
Short answer: We're not very smart.
Well as a Canadian, they do have more freedoms, like actual freedom of speech (something we don't have in Canada)
I have always thought this but I think Freedom in the USA is sort of a weird illusion.
I mean you need permission for just about everything and it’s not really that easy to start up a business or a something along that lines. When I was in China one could just start selling things just about anywhere...
The freedom that the citizens of the USA feel is that they can talk bad about anything and not really feel any sort of repercussions. I don’t mean you can mouth off to anyone and nothing bad will happen but it’s more like you can talk smack about any government agency without any firm repercussions.
America is by far the most successful propaganda machine to ever exist. They realized early a person can be vilified- Putin, Erdogan, any American President by the opposing side are great modern examples.
They just went straight to America is the greatest, free-est country in the world and got so many people over so many generations to believe it based on absolutely nothing, and made it socially unacceptable to say otherwise.
They used the same type of propaganda to make you think being in the military isn't being in the working welfare, risking your life for a living wage and having the world absolutely turn on you for saying being in the military makes you anything but a hero.
North Korea and Russia have nothing at all on American propaganda. It's not even close.
You clearly have not met christianity
It's a cheap cover or lie to justify all the things that are bad about this country. Anytime there is something pointed out to be bad in the US, the response is almost always, "Well at least we are free, unlike china!" In my opinion, there are countries that do freedom way better than the predatory capitalist hellscape that is the United States of America.
I don't think most of us know/knew any better. They put all that shit in our heads real young. Now that we all have access to the world in our hands I think us Americans are learning this is not the case at a much younger age.
Not american, but at School we had a class 'pen pal' initiative with an American School and we exchanged letters a couple of times over a year. We would've been between 12 and 15 I think? (it was a while ago, forgive my fuzzy memory).
What I remember crystal clear though, is that most if not all of the letters they wrote talked about 'really enjoying how much freedom they had'. Even at the age I was, it looked horribly like the effects of propaganda - they'd been told and reinforced from an early age that they are 'free', and so that's something they become indoctrinated to believe.
Regardless of the truth of how free America is, based on that experience I came to the view that it's a form of cultural indoctrination in the same way my culture indoctrinates the importance of fish and chips and Christmas on the beach!
Because other countries aren’t as free. But don’t you worry, you obvious shill for socialism: your friends are working dilligently to ruin this last bastion of freedom. Socialism is literally a system of coercion, no matter what you think of it. Only someone incapable of independent thought could really think that anyone is being forced into capitalism. You’re not here to ask a genuine question; you’re here as part of the larger, incremental effort to break down Western culture and freedoms.
Idk, feel like "american freedoms" is way more brain washy than european ones.
In school they tell us other countries aren't just as free. We are literally taught propaganda as fact.
It was pounded into our heads while we were growing up. Read a fifth grade US ~~propaganda~~ history textbook from Texas if you’d like insight on our neurosis
Because they legitimately believe America is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of freedom.
I'm an American who has spent a significant amount of time living outside of America. Americans just have a different mentality when it comes to just about everything. It's like they live in their own alternate reality.
We have to keep telling ourselves or we may realize it's not true anymore
Bc 90% of us are self important self righteous assholes.
Idk the full scope but I've seen it in small things. Like in America I could name my kid anything I want, no matter how stupid. In Germany, you can't. In America, if me and some friends want to protest something, as long as we are not on private property or blocking traffic we could do that whereas in France, there's a permit needed and it's scheduled but it could possibly be denied.
There are other things that I've noticed as I've traveled a lot and I've lived in other countries where I've thought 'that would never fly in the US because it would be too restrictive' but I can't remember all of them. Again, it's always small stuff.
Edit/Add on: Learned something new about baby names! I've heard quite a few stupid names in the US where their parents are striving to be ridiculous level unique so it didn't seem like there were any restrictions. Living in Germany, I did know some moms that were complaining their baby name was declined and the names were not way out there. Spelled a little differently for sure but nothing really bizarre like I've seen and heard in the US.
> whereas in France, there's a permit needed and it's scheduled but it could possibly be denied.
You aren't legally required to ask a permit, and even less so to schedule it officially. It's just something the current government wants us to think in order to try and stop protests, as well as justifying police brutality.
But it is written nowhere in any law that we must have a permit. The fact that our government (and the one before it too) is asking this sort of things is being heavily talked about in the militant environment or just by some political organisation.
Protesting is one of our most fundamental *right* in France, and you therefore can't deny it. Which is one of the reason why a lot of NGO as well as the UN has been calling out our governments.
If you ask me, I'd say we're learning more and more towards authoritarianism. But in the law, we're as free as you are. Even more so I would dare say because we can't be fired if we protest, which is something that wouldn't be uncommon in the US if general strikes happended.
Please don't think I want to be confrontational, I'm just clearing some things up because what you said just wasn't factually true.
Edit: I also forgot to mention the scheduling thing: we schedule them because... Well, not a lot of people would come otherwise.
Most protest hands the paper about the time and place of protest (which *isn't* a permit I'd like to say again, even if the current government is trying to make it seem like it) just as pure courtesy, and we protest anyway even if the prefer "cancels" it. We even protest harder in those conditions I'd say.
Signed: a fellow Frenchman who'll be on the street tomorrow for a protest
so still need a permit in us, in fact if there is any damage you can be charged with a felony in Florida, if anything happens and if someone is threatened then can run you over freedom in Florida
What do you mean you can name your kid anything you want in America?? no we have the birth name rules they’re just normally on the state level rather than the federal
I remember the french closing down their airspace for better working conditions for airflight controlers. They poured hektoliters of milk and wine down the streets rather than pay a new upcoming tax.
If there is any country in the world who knows how to do protest right, it's the french.
And i'm sorry for all those people who want to name their kid hitler or O-x-O, but if you feel your freedoms are being enfringed upon because the government won't let you abuse(yes, that's abuse) your child, than i must admit we have very different definitions of freedom. And when the definitions are so distant from each other, are we really talking about the same thing? Do they really have freedom, or is it maybe something else entirely? Could it be that it is just propaganda??
The founding fathers said there are certain "God given rights " an individual has like freedom of speech,right to bear arms etc. These rights dont come grom the government or any other organization/person etc.
Also I've read you guys have hate speech being punishable?
I want to know since Americans technically have less rights than Scandinavian for example
Why need affordable for all education and healthcare if you can have guns?
Uhmmm...public education is free through 12th grade and community colleges and state colleges exist all over America. Google them. My healthcare is reasonably priced and as good as any in the world. Are you even American?
Those arnt freedoms lol
Why is there such an influx of Europeans asking this same question? "Why isn't America the best country ever like they say they are?" "Why isn't America Free?" "Why is there so many shootings?"
This is nothing new, idk why it is being brought up so much in the past few months. As someone who lives in the U.S. , it's getting annoying seeing multiple posts a day shitting on America. Why don't we talk about how China is killing Muslims instead
Honest question, why do americans care about china killing muslims but these same americans don't care when america does the same or even worse in the ME by sending them to guantanamo and bombing their houses and weddings as "collateral dammage"?
Not claiming you are one of them, but a lot of americans especially from the right, I have noiticed pretend to be sympathetic to the ughur cause, but these same americans don't care about what their own army did in the ME and they think muslims are terrorists and barbaric people. They suddenly have sympathy because their ennemy china is now doing it.
Also what the op mentionned is valid critisism, I am also baffeled by this cult like mentality that some anericans have about freedom. It's not our fault that americans do this a lot, were just curious. The op does not think america is bad because he critisized something.
Because we don’t see constant posts from Chinese people saying “China is the only free country in the world!!!” every single day, in every movie, in every song, in every internet comment. Americans do that, and they’re wrong, so we correct it.
Propaganda, mostly. We're taught from a young age that "this is the country where you are free, and it is the best country because no other country says that you are free". They also keep us poor enough that we can't travel and learn about other places firsthand.
This. The other day I saw an Army recruitment commercial and it just makes me sick when I think of just how much propaganda we are shoved down our throats all the time. The commercial was making it look like it was a damn video game and that it would be fun.
That's fucking terrifying but also not surprising
Army propaganda is usually pretty spot on. We have the best military by ALOT. Like a lot. It’s not even a race.
Weird. Who's keeping you poor?
America ranks 17th on the HDI. Does absolutely dogshit in terms of education. Tax system is garbage. Social safety nets are garbage. People get driven into poverty over getting life saving medical care. Politicians have all sold out to big corporations. US ranks 27th in terms of class mobility. You could go on and on but people in countries that rank higher on the HDI are substantially happier than the US.
US students are often taught propaganda instead of truth and many never travel anywhere to learn any different.
No one is immune to propaganda
That whole "land of the free" thing is just what they say and what they know and have learned in school. But that is not really the truth.
In my opinion America is not as free as European countries. Not just in my opinion but it is also the opinion of many Americans I know personally that now live in Europe.
It's taught to them as a form of mind control, indoctrinate them young, don't ever mention that other countries have it by default without them delivering "freedom bombs" on some formerly democratic oil rich country they've accused of terrorism.
I live in America. You are likely just seeing the sensationalized personas online who won’t shut up about “muh freedom”. Most of us realize that our country is maybe on par with other developed countries in that regard, and on the decline.
I also have many friends who have moved out of the US and compared the culture here in the US as a sort of “Stockholm syndrome” type relationship.
Yes all the Americans talk about this. *All* of them. /s
Oh yes, it's literally all my friends and I ever talk about...
Not really, we kinda just get baited in these threads sitting on our country. Anything you say about the US not being evil is instantly down voted on reddit.
I was being sarcastic
Because our freedom is thicker and longer than your freedom. In fact when trump becomes president in July after the spaceforce makes contact with aliens to help defeat the reptilian democrats, our freedom will increase it’s girth by 26%. 37% if you shoot a gun in the air while singing the American Jesus song. It uses the theme from the “The Facts of Life” show but the lyrics are different.
Because it's drilled into our heads from 1st grade that America is the only country worth living in, and its like super great. For 12 years of school...
Because we are one of the most propagandized country's on earth.
Realistic answer: Pro-American propaganda during the Cold War. America was free and communist countries weren’t free, so since we were all so against communism, public schools and political leaders Etc pushed the “America is great because we’re free” message.
The result is a bunch of adults anywhere from 40-70 who were raised their entire childhood on “America is free and everyone had freedom here!” So it’s a little hard for everyone in that range to *not* feel that way since it was ingrained in them their entire childhood
You don’t get many younger people spewing the “America is great because we’re free!” Message outside of conservative towns/neighborhoods where the kids thing like the adults do (not bashing conservatives as I myself am more conservative than liberal). Being in a conservative area is more like being in a bubble than if you’re in a liberal area as far as I know, so they decade old “America is good because America is free!” Mindset gets out into the kids
Culturally, we’re taught that we are the most free country in the world, that we have to fight for and protect that freedom at all costs, and that we “help” other countries be free too ( by going to war, usually). It’s created this really strange savior complex that, in truth, creates far more oppression, war, famine, etc than if we genuinely just left them the fuck alone. In short, we’re using “freedom” to justify invading other countries for our monetary/political benefit and calling it “spreading democracy.”
It seems connected to a similar sentiment of white, usually affluent, American Christians fantasizing about being martyred or oppressed for their beliefs.
We are disconnected from the reality of the world, because the principles of “freedom” have been twisted up with evangelical Christianity and white supremacy in a really fucked up way. So I think white people especially, fantasize about someone trying to take their rights/religion away (not unlike what we do to others) and how they’ll have to fight for them, etc. because they’ve conflated white supremacist ideals with Christian “tradition.”
The irony is, this group is usually the most oppressive and violent toward other groups asking for equality. Because in truth, neither Christians nor white supremacists want equality. They want to control. They want to be on top. They believe their way is THE way.
So in my mind, evangelical Christianity and white supremacy have the same goals. Domination. Assimilation. Control. And perpetuating a distorted view of “freedom” serves them both.
So instead of values like acceptance, equity, radical love, non-violence, etc, many Christians now worship “freedom” as if it were part of the gospel and support government leaders who say they’ll protect it. (Even though the rest of us know they won’t). So when you attack “freedom” (aka white privilege and sanctioned mistreatment of the “other”) in their mind you’re attacking Christianity and “old school values.”
They perceive themselves as “martyrs” because their power and control is being threatened, not because their “freedoms” are being taken away, unless you count the “freedom” to actively oppress or kill people you don’t like.
1. Freedom of speech/press is looser here than most places. (Tough break Prince Harry)
2. Freedom of choice vs freedom from burden. Western European welfare states provide you with basics so you don’t have to worry about it, here you have less labor restrictions, but you’ll have to pay your own way more.
3. Guns, yes, no way around it, is what it is.
4. Regardless of what the media says, we blend cultures and races better here than most places, virtually anyone can do well here. Asian Americans are the highest earning subgroup despite years of prejudicial treatment after Pearl Harbor.
Much like forcing kindergartners and elementary students to sing the pledge of allegiance (chanting really..). If that's still a thing..
Because Americans are so up their own asses that they think their country is so star spangled awesome.
For a confluence of reasons:
2. Legacy of the 1950s when the USA was the top dog.
3. Largest economy in the world - easy to spend your life in the USA with tunnel vision (most Americans don't even have passports).
Americans think they do everything the best and they don't care to learn about any places other then them lol. Im generalizing of course but i dont know how many times on reddit alone ive seen americans admit they dont know anything about other countries and don't care to cause their american and they do things the best and no one else matters.
Honestly I think it's the level of education that the loudest of Americans have. The lower the education, the louder and more crass opinions seem to be. This has been especially clear over the last several years. The US has definitely learned who's who during and now after the Trump administration took over. Nearly half of our population has become unbearable to the other half. We're really in a terrible situation, politically *(not comparing to other countries, btw.)*
brainwashing. no, seriously. take some US history classes from primary and secondary school, you’ll see what i mean. the whole idea seems to be to make students patriotic and proud of their country by painting the US as the savior in every situation possible, and glazing over anything that can’t be turned into something positive. honestly it’s disgusting.
My guess is their constitution and positive rights (the right to) compared to the negative rights (the right to unless told otherwise) which we UK/EU/Canadians have inherited via the European Convention.
Example: American Freedom of speech is unrestricted, almost anything can be said but us other folk have hate speech laws imposed by governments which are punishable in criminal courts if violated. Cobtrast this with Scotland who can fine/arrest someone for voicing opinions, that someone may find "grossly offensive", within their own homes.
Ever see that guy after a couple pints who's fragile masculinity bursts to the surface and has to try and fight some 40 year old dad in the street?
That's America proving it's freedom on other nations.
You know when some guy beats the shit out his wife and as she's trying to cover the black eye, she keeps telling her friends "he's really not like that, he's actually a great guy"
The "freedom" thing is just their way of masking and deflecting the abuse.
You repeat that bullshit to yourself enough, you start to believe it.
I know. It's stupid. And the people who are the loudest about it are always the ones who want the least amount of actual freedom.
As an american, I don't understand either
Here in America we actually call that "mental illness"
Most countries in the world are not part of the Uk/Eu. And most countries outside the Western world either have highly authoritarian governments or are too poor and corrupt to protect their people, or both.
It’s a niche group of Americans. Mainly the ones that ironically have no sense of what freedom actually is.
Preemptive Not all. Nobody gets arrested for tweets in America so I'll give them that. But yeah they do seem to go on about it alot and theres quite a few different visions of freedom. From what I've seen they just love to hate each other. They're like kids who beef over post codes but they do it via state lines. Young country with alot of ideals all from different perspectives. If they last til the next century they've got a chance I reckon
Because here in America we don't believe in that statement at the end freedom is something the government can't give you thay can only take it away or protect it
People in the US don't learn much about other countries besides wars and terrorism
Merica! Lmao, we aren’t free till we get a whole new government. Right now ALL of our government is holding us hostage.
It’s because or nationalistic “patriotic” school system tells us that. Thank god many of us go to college and grad school and learn differently. It is not terribly surprising that the states who cling to this are more uneducated. The main thing we have is freedom of speech, which means you can say anything against the government you want. Many people do not understand that if you use your freedom of speech to be an asshole, there will be consequences. Like, some racist piece of crap wrote on her FB page very unsavory remarks about Mrs. Obama. (Compared her to an ape. Gross.) so she was shocked when her job saw it, and fired her. But mah freedom!!!!!! Jerry Falwell has a lot to do with the way our country is now, and somehow turned Jesus into the nastiest of Republicans. It is really a shame. We do learn foreign language in school. I learned Spanish and with more practice now, I could be fluent. My husband is. It would have been better if I had continued it in college, but I was very interested in Japanese language and culture, so I took Japanese. I know the way Irish people think is that if Americans are visiting, they are the okay kinds. They feel that if we are interested in travel and want to make friends abroad, we are the right kind. My parents told me this when they got back from their Dublin trip. Before my husband and I visited France, I made sure I did Duolingo before we went so that I wouldn’t be an ignoramus when we got there. Everyone was very friendly because they could see I was making an effort. So a lot of it does depend where you grew up (I grew up I. Brooklyn, NY and went to magnet schools, which focused on gifted and talented kids and I went to HS at a school that focused on theater. I was LUCKY. I also had parents who were extremely focused on education, and skepticism.
Freedom for capitalism to ruin everyone’s lives
With 212 million in prisons across the US kinda curves the boundries of freedom. Not to mention the laws enacted yearly to force society to conform or go to prison.
When people on this thread are claiming that the US constitution actually does provide more rights they’re very much off. You’re correct that freedom of speech is more absolute in the US, but that’s not the only right that exists.
All EU countries are parties to the European Convention of Human Rights, a uniquely far-reaching treaty which contains a wide range of political and social rights. The legal status of this treaty is even higher than domestic constitutions. Every judge needs to follow its treaty, and there’s a separate ‘Supreme Court’ (European Court of Human Rights) which solely watches over the protection of human rights and whose decisions trump any domestic Supreme Court.
An example of a right that is very heavily protected in EU is the right to a fair trial: there are very extensive protections against the government abusing its power through the criminal justice system. The right not to be tortured for example is so strong that for heavy crimes, EU countries are not allowed by law to extradite to the US, as the mere possibility of someone receiving the death penalty would be an infringement on this absolute right. There exist a huge range of other very strongly protected rights which every EU citizen enjoys to a much greater degree.
These rights are largely based on the UN declaration of human rights. Attempts by the EU to turn this declaration into a binding treaty have always been shot down by the US as they do not wish to bind themselves to the provision of rights like these which are violated constantly within the US. Your entire justice system, your corrupt political system, and many other aspects of the US government are clear violations of the UN declaration and EU convention.
You know... it’s a lot to describe. Here’s the gist.
You have the theory of it as well as the reality of it over a historical period of time. What is boils down to is liberty. (Liberty definition: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views). The difference is not limiting ones self based on what your government or society thinks of you. You are your own authority. You should be able to do as you please and no one can really stop you. You can be whomever you want, however you want, when and where you want. You and your decisions are up to you and no should be able to do anything about it.
Obviously there are caveats. You can’t go around killing people but if you do then you are able to have a free and fair trial to determine justification and sentencing.
However, it is a slippery slope because liberty is slowly being eroded away. So it appears that the US is about the same as other countries in terms of freedom.
Replace freedom by property. It make more sense
Culture and the fact in the United States, freedom is engraved in its very foundation. In Europe there is no obligation for the governments to provide it.
American in Brazil here, I often say Brazil has more freedom than the US because there is a lot less consequences for behavior here. But I don’t think people think of freedom in that sense.
So I think the freedom cries are mostly exaggerated characteristics that have become part of the American identity and really a faux war cry for political parties.
I think most countries have enough freedom for people to live freely without being jerks. It’s the jerk part where countries differ, and of course the worst countries change the definition of jerks.
It's all we have. Just let us believe we are better off lol
Because they weren’t forced to wear masks while other EU countries had to, or they were given a fine or called out, not allowed into stores, etc. One recent example of many others.
You can be openly racist and give drivers the middle finger. This is illegal in Germany
They are free to decide if they want heath care or not. Here in Europe we don't have much of a choice.
1. yeah it's pretty dumb, all liberal democracies have roughly equal levels of freedom.
2. we are undoubtedly more free than china, idk why you included that
The media spoonfeeds them they're opinions
Also their famous democracy with TWO parties and when it comes to presidential election they háve to choose between dumb creatures like Hillary/Trump, Biden/Trump.
well freedom is vitally important and something both the UK and America have fought for against fascism together. it's not just america that has freedom but theres still many countries with warlords and massive corruption and injustice so bad you can't expect any justice in the world or on the courts. do you remember the ussr? it was horrible. to love freedom isn't bragging but injustice and oppression is less in our respective countries tries then many poorer countries.
We never got past all the red scare propaganda
The foundation of the US is based on freedom from Britain. This is not necessarily unique, as most of the world was a colony of or heavily “influenced” by some country at one point or another, but the US was the first to break away (I think) and it is where much of the national pride comes from. National pride is also probably more prevalent in some ways than in Europe because of the causes of the world wars. In addition, many of the constitutional amendments, and in particular the bill of rights (first 10 amendments), consist of freedoms Americans and people in the US have, not to say that isn’t also true in other countries.
Well mainly because, growing up, we weren't taught so. It's that simple
How can a person be free if that means 50%of the people haven't got the freedom of ruling over their own body?
Probably because we don't actually have anything better than any other countries. Actually we're worse in many aspects. Unless you can count our self inflated ego through aggressive patriotism... Then we'd probably be number 1!