Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Country's Character

Following up on Alex MacLean, and from Richard Sexton's Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiania's River Road (1999):
America is about progress and migration, entrepreneurship and the economic exploitation of fertile landscapes. It is also about invention and innovation, hybridization and assimilation. Perhaps most significantly, however, America is about freedom, including the freedom to do whatever one wants with one's property. America is, therefore, less occupied with tradition, heritage, stewardship, and civic duty than many other cultures, including those from which we have directly descended. Though America is a world power economically and militarily, culturally it is merely postcolonial. America is still finding itself, gradually and sometimes painfully; it is becoming a more mature and stable place of human habitation. The cultural equivalent of an adolescent, a brash and prodigal one at that.
Well put, though harsh on the postcolonial, brash, or adolescent.