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Old 02-24-2013, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,653,762 times
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The first thing you do when you become rich is seek privacy. You shut yourself off from "the human touch". General wealth rises to the point at which everyone has shut themselves off from everyone else.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,224,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
The first thing you do when you become rich is seek privacy. You shut yourself off from "the human touch". General wealth rises to the point at which everyone has shut themselves off from everyone else.
One can see this in Sao Paulo or Manila, but I think there are practical concerns. The gates are there to protect people from people who not only want to steal from them but resent them because they are rich and they are poor.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: A cold & gloomy place
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The United States got plenty of gated communites for middle-class citizens.

I think the OP is primarily describing the United States.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,672 posts, read 8,111,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
The United States got plenty of gated communites for middle-class citizens.

I think the OP is primarily describing the United States.
OP described alot of societies in the first post, and mentioned only some parts of the US. I actually think the US fits the mold less well than some of those other countries because it still has strong rural cultures and roots, and lots of places that don't sound like that.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: A cold & gloomy place
5,055 posts, read 5,532,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
OP described alot of societies in the first post, and mentioned only some parts of the US. I actually think the US fits the mold less well than some of those other countries because it still has strong rural cultures and roots, and lots of places that don't sound like that.
I am referring to the list he made, 1-7.

1. I do not think Scandinavia is that work-obsessed. For instance, Norwegians got five weeks paid vacation, numerous paid sick days, 9-12 months paid maternity leave, ++.

2. I think the social democracies in the Nordic region are quite different from the United States. The "swim or sink" mentality is not very dominant.

3. I believe the fear of racism is much stronger in the United States.

4. Individualism is more evident in cities, especially among young people. Just as many Americans live in a city environment (suburbs included). 2010: 82.8% in the US.

5. Only rural areas in Europe are truly car-dependent.

6. That is typical for cities, less true for rural areas.

7. Numerous "poor" countries got a high suicide rate.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:28 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,028 posts, read 25,842,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
I think the OP is primarily describing the United States.

He's sure not describing the USA I live in.

I think he is regurgitating out some socialist drivel that he picked up somewhere, and doing a lot of misinterpreting behavior and motivation.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:52 PM
 
497 posts, read 847,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
He's sure not describing the USA I live in.

I think he is regurgitating out some socialist drivel that he picked up somewhere, and doing a lot of misinterpreting behavior and motivation.
Agreed. I'm from NYC, the city that everyone thinks breeds jerks, but I still see this "human touch" everywhere I go there, including my own home.

I think OP has a certain idea of showing love, and thinks that the only way. Protestant, English-speaking countries are not known to show affection the same way as, say, Italy, or Colombia, but affection is shown in its own way. If I may say so, I have noticed that Anglo-countries generally show love by action (faithfulness, "sharing the burden", etc.) and not by words (this includes PDA and general "fluff"), and Romance-speaking countries do the opposite. Obviously this is a broad generalization, but even when you think of stereotypes of regions (The Latin Lover that whispers sweet lies in your eye, the Italian gigolo that talks his way right into your heart...and wallet, etc.), it coincides with my observation. Cheating or affairs are MUCH more accepted in LAmerican than in the US, for example, but constant PDA is more acceptable in LAmerican.

It's just different.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:57 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
1,484 posts, read 1,650,131 times
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I don't know if I'm an exception, but I noted that austrians, germans and americans are more friendly than italians and spaniards, at least based on my experience. Friendliness is not the same of extroversion.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
3,067 posts, read 3,368,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I was thinking that the wealthiest and most tolerant countries and societies in the world tend to have very reserved and unfriendly populations, high suicide rates, and many people who never find love throughout their lives.

Think about it - Australia, the United States (especially the North and Northwest), Canada, the Scandinavian countries, southern England, Germany, and Japan are all very wealthy, and strongly believe in equality, tolerance and human rights.

Yet there's also a coldness and unfriendliness to these places. Sure, you're less likely to get killed for what you believe in or look like, but you're also less likely to be smiled at, to have deep connections to other people, and to be helped by a stranger or extended family member if you're in a jam.

Here would be my theories as to some of the reasons why this is:

1) Wealthy societies have more of an obsession with hard work, and less of a tolerance of people who don't work hard. This means that those who work hard don't have time for relationships and those who don't will be shunned by their peers.

2) Sort of part two of part 1. The reason why people in affluent societies are less likely to give you a ride somewhere, or invite you over for dinner is probably in part because they don't empathize as much with people who are poor or under the weather. Oddly enough, the belief in the fairness, equality and justice of their society makes them less sympathetic towards the downtrodden, because they conclude they brought it upon themselves since society offers them avenues out of it.

3) The belief in tolerance and strong will to address past wrongs makes people scared to death of stepping on other's toes. Men will not ask women out or compliment them in fear of it upsetting them or them accused of sexism, people will avoid contact with other ethnic groups out of fear of offending them. People will self-censor their language and this makes it more difficult to connect with people on a deep level.

4) Individualism is often inflated into narcissism, causing people to be more self-absorbed and thus more anti-social.

5) The physical environment of these countries. Many of these countries, especially the US and Australia, are mostly car-dependent and people live far apart from each other.

6) Communities tend to be less strong and have less of an identity, so everyone is a stranger pretty much. In the past and in non-western countries, the community is like the extended family. This strong sense of place has the negative side of making people more parochial and mistrusting of outsiders, but the positive sense of people feeling more of a connection to the folks nearby.

7) Suicide is more common because of the lack of human connection, and the unrealistic expectations people have of becoming millionaires, rock stars, and so on.
The last time I attempted to hitch a ride here (last year) I got picked up literally in 30 seconds, admittedly the guy was a trainee Catholic priest so yeh I got lucky.

To address your statement, I think the points you have layed out are pretty much accurate and reflective of heavily industrialised and urbanised/centralised countries. As societies have become richer, and central governments more capable of providing welfare programs and support in times in trouble, people have also become less reliant on the community and family.

These countries place a heavy emphasis and award prestige on an individual's ability to contribute and acquire material wealth, and on the other hand it doesn't really reward activities of social value such as raising children and looking after elderly or disabled relatives. People tend to follow the dollar and social ties seem to be somewhat strained as a result.
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