"brainwashed" into believing America is the best?

  1. I was 18 when I moved abroad for the first time. It was eye-opening. Understanding that other countries have a completely different perspective, in which your own country might not even appear except as a footnote, is liberating.

  2. I am from India and until I played Assassin's Creed 3, I didn't even know Americans celebrated an independence day. We learnt about French Revolution, Vietnam war, and extensively about Indian independence and a little about the World Wars and that's it.

  3. This happened to me about Texas when I moved to California. People in Texas think Texas is the greatest place ever and they think that everyone else knows that this is true. I moved to California and nobody knows or cares much about Texas.

  4. I agree. I left for just 5 weeks to Netherlands and the viewpoint they have towards Americans is...well, embarrassing honestly. I was extremely close-minded and ignorant. My beliefs completely changed when I got home.

  5. Well put. I wholeheartedly agree. I took a course in hypnosis once. Even though I don't practice it, it helpede.underatand that hypnosis occurs every day, everywhere, all the time. Thinking critically and being aggressive about credibility are your best defense against brainwashing. And even then, sometimes it's just down to who you choose to be brainwashed by.

  6. If everything is brainwashing than nothing is. You’re diluting the meaning of the word by doing this. By this definition simply talking to another person is an attempt to brain wash them. That’s ridiculous.

  7. I'll give you the opposite perspective: I'm European and have been traveling the world for about a decade, finally landing in the US five years ago. These are my experiences:

  8. very well written! I see myself i many of your points (as a fellow European). When I was in my early 20s I wanted to live abroad and was done with my country (Switzerland) now many years later I‘m still mad ad some parts of our society, but couldn‘t imagine living anywhere else (because it‘s just so fucking easy living here, at least as a native). But I still enjoy traveling and discovering new parts of the world.

  9. I was like OP the first time I went to Europe at 22 for a study abroad program in Austria. I came back almost disgusted in the things I now noticed about the states.

  10. Not as a German, we learn a lot about ww2, BUT trust me, we don't get painted as not that bad. We were the bad guys and that will never change! German education does a lot that we do not forget what nazi Germany did to the world. And I am happy about that, because if we get a constant reminder of this damned time, people try not fuck it up again. At the same time I learned that other countries did a lot of messed up shit on par or even worse than the nazis (damn some Asian countries can't stand each other for a reason...). But this does not get told in history class or gets downplayed, which let's people forget what another generation fucked up. Was I annoyed in school that we again watched a depressing nazi movie or spoke about what happened? Yes! Am I now kind of glad we did, so that I know that something like that should never happen again? Oh hell yes! At least I learned that we should just not be dicks to each other, maybe other people also learned that one way or another, time will tell (not looking good at the moment...seriously not looking good:/)

  11. Thank you for this awesome comment and your perspective from being a world traveler! It’s really very insightful. “I’m not sure whether a strong sense of ‘Americanness’ is developing or eroding” is wonderfully put. You’re an excellent writer!

  12. Most countries have the same thing going on: it's not just America. I've lived in about ten different countries and very, very few of those countries' history classes teach anything about how "we were the bad guys."

  13. I think the somewhat unique American issue is that it is pretty easy to spend your whole life in the US, never meeting someone from outside the country. So everyone you interact with has gotten the same selective education. Turkey might not teach the bad parts of its history, but as soon as someone goes anywhere else, they're going to meet people with a much different take on Turkish history.

  14. I agree with this. As an indian i have always only heard from other fellow indians how we are the greatest culture to have existed. We are also supposedly the country with the smartest people in the world. Especially proven by several notable CEOs who work in american and other non indian companies. If there is a competition of any kind, indians believe we will be the best in it. So yes, all countries think they are the best

  15. I've found that America is self depreciating like no other country I've been in. every other country taunts how great they are, America seems to be more reflective, even with post WW 2 history.

  16. I'm actually surprised that you grew up in Cali and thought that the US was the best country in the world based off of what you learned in school. I'm in rural Oklahoma and went to a shitty little school, and even we're taught about the fucked up shit that america got into during it's history. Hell, when I took US history since 1877 in college they did not try to hide that shit. I swear, half of that textbook was just about all of the bullshit that was happening throughout our history, and there were maybe a handful of parts that made America seem like this great country.

  17. Literally had the same experience. Small af town in OK, smallish University in OK, the latter of which was basically a professor talking about the dumb shit we did as a country

  18. I have the same sentiment. Lived in Florida all my life, we were taught about the evils of slavery and the Confederacy, and we learned about many of the fucked up things this country did. I graduated high school in 2012, though. Maybe it's changed since then.

  19. I grew up in a moderate area in Florida. I'd classify it as suburban. I feel like my education confronted many dark areas of American history, however, in school there was always an emphasis of America's moral prowess.

  20. Yeah I went to a school in a pretty affluent area in Maryland and there was plenty of discussion at the middle and high school level about how our country stood compared to many other nations. The history I was taught definitely held back a bit but it wasn't afraid to talk accurately about who was the aggressor, what historical figures were actually like, and even the unmodified history of recent conflicts. When I was younger there was a hint of "isn't it great we aren't like that anymore?!", But that mostly disappeared in highschool. I am a little surprised California failed so dramatically at educating someone in my generation. Although I suppose everything I just said is more a testament to the quality of my teachers than it was my state's education system.

  21. A real spoiler alert is that there's not any heros in wars. In WW2 we freed the concentration camps and liberated occupied cities. We also firebombed civilians to damage moral, had mass rape in Paris and gunned down child soldiers. Anyone who thinks war is a romantic idea consumed massive amounts of propaganda already.

  22. Tbf there were plenty of people at the time who already knew that. Vietnam was protested a lot in the US. My whole life I've been told about how awful and unnecessary the Vietnam War was for everyone involved.

  23. I mean... we did have massive protests by our own people during the time... calling soldiers babykillers and stuff. Everybody knew we shouldn't have been there.

  24. It’s stupid that the USA promotes the name ‘Vietnam War’ in propagandist pop culture. Every war experienced by Vietnam took place in Vietnam! That’s why they call it the Resistance War Against America (Kháng chiến chống Mỹ).

  25. Vietnam is actually one of the most pro-American countries in the world. Let me put things into perspective, the Vietnam War lasted a few decades. Vietnam's beef with China goes back 2 millenniums. America is barely a footnote in that long history.

  26. Yes, but a vietnamese I know personally said "but they're still communists and I'd never go back. Do something the party doesn't like and you will disappear."

  27. I'm Canadian and have some Vietnamese friends (born here from Vietnamese parents) and I asked them how they felt about the west with the war and all, expecting them not to like it at all and I was surprised with the answer.

  28. I’d love to know where OP went to school cause idk, I never visited abroad and I don’t feel the way they do. I know the USA isn’t the hero in every story. My schools did a pretty good job of letting us know that.

  29. Maybe it’s because I’m younger, but my history teacher never shied away from discussing the awful things the US did in Vietnam. There was an entire day where we learned about the My Lai massacre.

  30. When my gf told me she had to pledge every morning at school i thought she was joking. It sounds like something people in a cult would do. Nothing inherently wrong with it, but it's just bizarre.

  31. Wow, thank you for your reply! That's awesome your family encouraged you to question authority. I feel like that's almost non-existent these days in schools at least.

  32. Hey OP, I’m European and I do notice this tendency amongst most Americans that I encounter. This realization must be scary, because suddenly your world gets so much bigger. Good on you for not being afraid of it and embracing it instead!

  33. Although, I do have to say most countries learn primarily about their own country. My friend from the UK told me in school they never learned about the American revolutionary war or any real American history.

  34. As someone from America with immigrant parents, I do have to say in my experience traveling, Europeans can be nearly as bad if not worse than a lot of Americans on how little they engage with non western cultures. I suspect this is less of a problem with america or Europe though and simply a fact of how any cultural group tends to educate with a focus around that group.

  35. I'm retired military and was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Europe. Personally, I was happy to get a different perspective of my own country. And I have no illusions about our failings of the past and currently. But as you said, all countries do this to some degree. Authoritarian ones do it much more, and at a deeper level than western countries (speaking generally), but yeah, it's pretty universal.

  36. One difference I can see is that outside of the USA, our nationalism is kept in check by us consuming an unhealthy amount of American media, so we receive a subset of your own brainwashing in addition to ours -- and while this is definitely a colonial tool Americanizing foreign cultures, hopefully these mixed signals of propaganda have allowed some of us to take a step back and look at manipulation of opinion a bit more critically at an early age. As the global influence of the US wanes, one can only hope that critical thinking becomes more prevalent everywhere (hint: not gonna happen).

  37. Yeah definitely. I wish there was a way to like compare different countries effects of raising people. I have a few online UK friends and they were all so knowledgeable about the US and so many other countries too. Just basic knowledge about geography, economics, politics, and ethnicities. It really blew my mind. I straight up blurted out bro I have literally 0 knowledge of any other country other than the US. Honestly made me bummed. I wish my history classes focused on other countries and lifestyles. I feel like I got 12 years of the same bullshit over and over and over. :(

  38. Yeah, just that usa takes it to a whole new level, "american exceptionalism" and national anthem in school / pledge allegiance n stuff

  39. Yeah, I just wish I was taught the straight up truth but it can never be hat easy, eh? Honestly, I've been saying I hate this country for a while now. I don't hate it, I just don't have a better word. I guess loathe maybe. I'm so tired of all the bullshit. I've stopped standing for the national anthem at events. I can't support a country that literally just stripped women of reproductive rights...and that is only the beggining. Sorry for bringing politics up, but yeah. There's alot of things I dislike about this country. There are some good things though. I hope to learn more about other countries soon 💜

  40. It's pretty cool that you're open minded enough to question these things and receive different point of views. I remember reading a Twitter thread recently where so many British kids had no idea the attrocities committed on their colonies because their history books paint them in great light. So it's not just the USA clearly.

  41. I'm American but that hasn't been my experience. I suppose a big part of it was that I live in a relatively liberal area, with liberal, agnostic parents, but I didn't grow up believing that America was better than everywhere else. As a kid, I was curious about what life was like in other countries, although I didn't really understand the disparity between developed and developing countries until about sixth grade. Because I spent so much time online looking at pictures of foreign cities -- many of which didn't look that different from US cities -- I concluded that most countries were about the same when it came to ordinary people's lives.

  42. Yeah I'm curious what part of California OP grew up in. I'm already biased because I have immigrant parents but I went to school in Los Angeles and they were relatively transparent about the US's failings. California schools learn about the California missions that destroyed native American culture and populations, one of my teachers spent every morning making up his own works for the pledge ("I pledge allegiance to the colonel of Kentucky fried chicken" or something), some of my teachers were ex military and very vocal about how awful the US military is...

  43. I'm a little surprised there are so few people in this thread with similar experiences. It seems like you can look anywhere from comedians, to novels, to news stations and find Americans angry with both the current and precieved future state of America. I mean, we had two presidents back to back win on the platforms that they were going to make the country less shitty. Who is coming to the conclusion that all that means that we are the greatest?

  44. I grew up in both the US and Hungary (born in 2003). This gave me a unique perspective of the world since I saw two very different places with their own culture. What I noticed was that in America the history taught is very narrow, and drills American exceptionalism into students. I didn't have anything like this in Hungary. Unfortunately, many people in the US don't care to learn.

  45. I grew up in the uk and wanted to move to America so badly growing up. I consume mostly American media, very rarely anything made in the uk. Adult me doesn't want to. American health care is terrifying. I don't like the fact you can't just walk to things either in a lot of places. I don't like that guns are everywhere. I've been to America a few times, NY and LA, LA multiple times. I love it there, but the issues as a whole are dealbreakers. I don't love the UK, but getting hurt or sick won't bankrupt me.

  46. This is just false though. Half of what we were taught in school was our poor treatment of the Natives; clearly not painting ourselves as the best.

  47. Its logistically a lot harder for us to get anywhere that isn't just more America. Both because of geography but also economic suffocation.

  48. I feel like we travel a ton, its just the 16 hour road trips my family would do cover 6 states, not 6 countries like they would if we were in Europe. Culturally, the United States is extremely diverse. Having spent time in Los Angeles, Arkansas, NYC, NOLA, and Chicago...if I didn't know better and you told me those were all different countries I'd believe you

  49. If I could rub two nickels together to actually travel and idk, move away from where I grew up, I'd be there already. I make 16$/hour which is 5$ more / hour than min wage in my state. I can't afford to feed myself or put gas in my car to get to make more money. I'm even buying my house! So it's not like I have 1500 in rent. My house payment usually falls between 450-500 a month. I still don't make enough to feed myself. After all the bills and insurances.........I borrow to get through so I don't get shutoffs. I don't mean for this to be an attack, just a different perspective. I literally work 60 hours a week and I can't feed myself. That's what we have to work with here. And like I said, I "make it" because I make 16/hour.

  50. I think it would do wonders if after high school and before college, the government offered young adults the opportunity to have most or all of their college tuition paid for in exchange for doing volunteer work overseas for a couple of years. In my eyes this has several benefits:

  51. As an european that has lived in Pittsburgh for 5 years - never have I seen a more brainwashed Population than in the U S.

  52. Dude, the Pittsburgh region is a special kind of hellhole. I live here. I'm sorry you had to experience it. The ignorance, the worship of the Confederate flag, the worship of the national flag, authoritarianism, the most bigoted and hateful version of Christianity, the extreme nationalism, the "I'm not racist, but..." racism, the cult of Trump, the deep suspicion of higher education and educated people, the racism, the civilians dressing up and preparing for a civil war they desperately want, and the straight up completely bananas conspiracy theory nonsense.

  53. It is the great irony of conservative U.S.-Americans. When mass shootings happen, they screech ‘We need more resources for mental health!’ But then they turn around and mock workers who want higher wages and more free time to take care of their own lives. And vote for politicians who are willing to slash budgets for social programs. And claim “This didn’t happen in my day. We need to get back to God.”

  54. This is so true. It is infuriating how so many people act as if they are all knowing yet all of their beliefs make zero sense. I live in the Southern United States where majority of the population is exactly like that. I think a lot of them think a certain way because their parents did or they just spent so many years thinking a certain way they are too stubborn to change or even open their mind to other possibilities. Perfect example of this is they do not want government overreach but only when it pertains to their interest. Yet if they dislike what somebody else is doing, that has absolutely no effect on them, they're wanting the government to step in. I try not to put a whole group into one category but majority also I feel like are Christians. I have nothing against Christians and considered myself a Christian most of my life. But it is disgusting how people use their supposed Christian beliefs to justify these crazy ideals they have. They go to church every Sunday and act like that means that they're the ones that deserve to go to heaven when the rest of their time is spent spewing hate, thinking they're superior to anybody else and not caring at all about other people. That's the the craziest part of all is that they really believe that they are right that their ideas are all that matter and everyone else is wrong.

  55. Yeah, definitely. We really saw that crumble with Vietnam in a way that wasn't so obvious in the past. There have always been people with anti-war sentiment but it was drowned out by all the American patriotism that's shoved down our throats during war. Access to TV gave civilian Americans the first real glimpse into how horrible war is

  56. Americans are being ripped off in exchange for "freedom", and are being brainwashed into believing they're getting a bargain.

  57. If you spout that your country is best, without ever visiting other countries for sustained periods of times, you're either very confident, or very stupid.

  58. I am nearly 40 and a military veteran. This type of "mythology" is common in most countries but excessive in ours. We have done some really bad things in the past, and to justify it we need to say it was to "liberate" some country or to fight "terrorism" in another.

  59. What you're experiencing is called "growing up". Most do, many don't. Exposure to different cultures and ideas accelerates that growth and should be required.

  60. Russian person here. Yeah, people really underestimate how much propaganda and indoctrination can do how they percieve things. In fact it affects everything, from basic knowledge, to personal beliefs and morals. It's easy to get into a kids head when they are still open to everything and start feeding information that is more convenient for the government.

  61. America is definitely more of a propaganda state than people realize. The people I feel for most though aren't born and raised Americans, but immigrants from developing countries who still think the "American dream" is a thing, when in actuality most will have a pretty rough go at it and will very likely experience a lot of racism.

  62. do not come to the opposite conclusion, because that isn't good either. i live in Europe (south Italy) and we have our problem too, at school we did study mostly the history the revolved around Italy or Europe (for example we didn't study the American revolution, and we have never ever touched something like the japanese feudalism or the chinese empire which are pretty cool imo). at the end of the day every country celebrate it's history and it's heroes and at the end of the day US isn't the worst place to live by any definition if we compare it with the majority of the other country in the world. sure it has it's problem, but europe does too, and trust me: outside the north of the world people have way worst problems.

  63. I(24 male born in the UK) went to cancun March ‘22 for a holiday, spoke to loads of Americans and I came away from the holiday thinking ‘wow these guys really live in their own world’

  64. I'm afraid this is becoming a universal thing. The whole system that runs the current world has failed so hilariously that one thing everyone does, culture-wise, is to overinflate the national egos to the point where people are not even interested if things may be better abroad; they must feel a deeply personal, patriotic fever towards their country, because it's easier to overlook its flaws this way.

  65. My dad grew up in the 40s and while he wasn't an adamant, 'america is the best and f you everyone else,' he definitely just assumed that we had the best schools, best health care, best mental health care, most freedom, best economy, ... I assume it was because during the prime of his life, the post war 50s, we did.

  66. I’m American. I’ve traveled the world fairly well. It’s different. There’s indeed a reason why people still want to come to America. And just about any kind of lifestyle you want to live you can find in America. Tropical? Florida. City Center? NYC. Desert? Arizona. Small town? Midwest. Mountains? Colorado.

  67. Travel is so important. It doesn't matter how much you see online or in a book, it is nothing compared to actually being there.

  68. As an immigrant who lived their childhood in another country, I agree that Americans often have this "America is the best" mentality, but the US is still pretty great. I think just being able to see something new and different from what you've always known can be both terrifying and exciting.

  69. Also, to take this epiphany even further, America is a whole continent with many countries besides the United States

  70. I think the greatest problem with this brainwashing is they programmed into us that nationalism is a good way for understanding the world. This isn’t intrinsic to the US either. It’s a poison to believe your country is “better” than any other or even most countries. Every country has shit they did in the past and shit they continue to do. Just because your piece of rock and grass is more north or south than mine doesn’t mean we both don’t bleed when we’re cut and do things we’re ashamed of. The sooner we realize this is just a rock we happen to live on, and not some magic promised land the better.

  71. I am indian and i know all about this. America conveniently tell their citizen that all other countries are 3rd class. I have a talk with one of my americal client and from what i learned from him is bizzare.

  72. Canadian here. I've never lived extensively in America but it always blew my mind how Americans will argue to the death about how free they are, meanwhile I can think of several things I can do that they can't - the biggest one being I can play Poker online with real money. Not only can I do more things than them, but I have a significantly lower chance of being killed in the process.

  73. Yeap, that's the general brainwashing that happens in your country. People are extremely ignorant about the world and they're programmed to justify it by saying the US is "so big and diverse that you can travel 4 hours on a plane and still be in the same country but in a whole different state" as if that was unique to them...

  74. hey born in 97’ & graduated college w a history degree. i had this journey you are having. no country or regime is permanent. what your writing about is like how we are engrained a concept of nationalism in our schools. It’s important to know although nationalism affects america a lot, it isnt a uniquely american problem. Children from all around the world are being convinced their country is the hero right now. The world has a nationalism problem. We live in an age where a global community could be really possible. Instead the world is like one angry HOA & everyone thinks their house is the nicest. The concept drives nationalism

  75. I'm kinda similar. I just turned 26, born in '96 lived in Missouri my whole life and I visited Italy last month. It was a huge wake up call to me and it made me realize that my country isn't anywhere near as great as we like to say it is

  76. America is a cult. I don't mean that to be insulting, but you have been misled so much that you all have blinders on.

  77. I had the same experience.... then I visited 3rd world countries, communist/ socialist countries, Islamic countries and realized I know nothing.... I never went back to north america... been 20 of the happiest years of my life

  78. Yeah agreed. I hated on my own country, the UK for a while. Then I did charity work in Africa and realized how good we have it. America is one of the best nations on earth, ofc they could be better, but their citizens enjoy greater liberties and opportunities than most other human beings on the planet.

  79. We are the best…at military spending, murders, and gun ownership. Among the most prosperous nations, we’re also the best at incarceration.

  80. Chances are you just don't actually remember what you were taught. Trail of Tears, Japanese Internment, slavery, etc. are all extensively covered in the American curriculum

  81. It's easy to visit 1st world countries as a guest and think that's how life is when you dont have to pay the excessive taxes to enjoy that benefit. I visited Vietnam for the first time at 14 since my family fled and I will kiss the US soil every day knowing that my life here is 1000% better than my family over there. 1/3 of the family slept on concrete floors with mosquito nets and their bathroom was a hole in the ground and a you had to bring buckets of water to enjoy a cold shower and use to flush. The "richer" family members lived in packed houses with rolling power outages daily. Wife is half Samoan and you can see a big difference between visiting Western Samoa and American Samoa.

  82. That’s important to remember. Like, when people visit other western nations they’re generally seeing the best, nicest, most touristy parts of those nations. I mean if someone came to my state and only stayed in fancy parts of the biggest city they’d think it was a nonstop party where everyone is rich and sexy lol.

  83. If you don’t know the history of any other country, that could be why you see these vacation spots as something potentially better. A reasonable person who is cultured and still believes the USA is the best country doesn’t think that because of current events and what they see on TV or the news. It’s the history of the USA, why it was formed, how it was formed, what the constitution is technically supposed to stand for. That’s why the USA is sometimes thought highly of.

  84. It was the post WW2 Cold War. The commies are terrible and USA is #1. Things were added to our culture just to be against USSR. Things like changing from "E Pluribus Unum" to "In God We Trust" as well as adding "under God" to the pledge which mostly became mandatory in schools; all to counter USSR. In many cases, especially up until the last 50 years or so, USA was "the best" in many things. Textiles, furniture, appliances, weaponry, technology, and many others. Due to profit margins and globalization spurred by technology, many of these things have decreased in quality. However, the culture has not shifted enough to realize that we are no longer #1. Cultures and attitudes are hard to change, especially when educating is mainly done by older generations who still believe we are #1. For example, I bought a new truck and am selling my old one. It is a Nissan and this older guy says he would be interested if it were an American truck not even caring that the Nissan was built in Tennessee and the American truck built in Mexico. So, yes, you got a bit of propaganda growing up.

  85. Similar to being Australian. We are isolated from the rest of the world with no borders and are told growing up we live in the best country in the world.

  86. In my opinion, unless your country is terrible, everyone should believe that their country is the best. Not to the point of war and murder, but in a friendly manner that someone from say Mali would claim they’re the best.

  87. Imagine being Gen X. Raised around the time of the moon landing and the bicentennial. Beginning to suspect something weird around middle school/early high-school. Then the full on realization that you are the product of mass propaganda and surrounded by people who never realized it. Seeing yourself still react from that programming into your 50's. It's a sick society.

  88. If nothing else at least we can freely talk about the problems. It's just the corporations and politicians have kept the people just fat and complacent enough that there haven't been any massive resistance to the consumption and growth culture we live in.

  89. You’re basing your entire personal perception based on a vacation to Europe, where you did, nothing but eat, sleep and drink probably?

  90. Of course. No matter what educational system you are in, you get told what they want you to learn and know. Once you have the resources it is up to you to find out more. Religions have been doing this for millennia. But when you become an adult they expect you to have undying devotion to their line of bullshit until the day you die.

  91. Yeah it always surprises me on reddit when Americans say they never learned about personal finance, the bad things about US history, US civics, etc.

  92. There's a television clip you might be interested in -- it's the opening scene of the first episode of The Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels and others. The scene is available on YouTube.

  93. If it makes you feel any better, this is the same thing done by every country or city-state or kingdom in the history of the world.

  94. literally every country does that, no one is ever the baddy, save Germany who does actually own up to The Holocaust, every country is the best country

  95. I'm in hs now. With newer technology this isnt so true. Alot of my teachers pin point the flaws and we have discussions about it. And in addition, lot of us realize American isn't the best because of ever flowing media and the fact we can search it up.

  96. I live in America currently and always wished to live somewhere else in Europe. There is plenty of things I don't like here compared.

  97. This is what college is meant to do as well which is at least nice to hear. Open your mind to other and all possibilities.

  98. ignorant to assume that america is the only first world developed country… like wtf made you think this was the best country? you don’t specifically state who “brainwashed you into thinking this way”. have you never heard of how nice european countries are? or seen any footage of anything outside of the US? It’s hard for me to believe you would have that mindset at 23

  99. This is common in many countries and is nothing unique to the US. But I might suggest that school did teach you about other countries, and it also didn't paint the US as the hero, but rather that's just the lense from which you interpretated things as a child.

  100. I'm older than OP, but Vietnam was very historical when I was in school. My history classes never managed to get up to the Vietnam war, from what I recall. In personal life, it's very easy to live in a media bubble that does not acknowledge America has deep flaws. A major plank of the modern Republican platform, strongly supported by Fox and surely by the media even more extreme than Fox, is "American Exceptionalism". That's exactly what OP is talking about: the idea that America is special and superior when compared to other nations.

  101. We have American flags on everything. There are special rules to follow if it touches the ground or if it's going to be disposed of like it's a sacred relic. We wear our flag as clothes. We literally stood up every day in school and pledged our allegiance to the goddamn thing. It's all absurd, man. No other country does this.

  102. Visiting another country you usually end up in tourist areas, aka the nice area. Every country has its bad parts, but that's not where you'd visit.

  103. It’s not brainwashing it’s lack of experience. If you don’t know anything about other countries that’s on you for not paying attention in school. I was most irritated that ALL we learned about was western civilization and Europe.

  104. I grew up both overseas and in Southern California. My parents divorced when I was young so I would spend time abroad and then would spend my summers back in California.

  105. America is clearly not the best country to live in. Just take the scandinavian countries for exemple. Their economy is awesome even if they have free healthcare and some of them if it's not all of them can afford to pay students to motivate them to stay in school. They just don't have a big fat army that has more budget than some countries total wealth so we don't talk about them a lot in history books.

  106. Both of my parents emigrated to the United States just after World War II. So there is nobody in my history that participated in either world war, the US Civil War, Slavery, the revolutionary war, the roaring 20s prohibition, or the great depression. I am an American citizen simply by accident and the decisions of people other than me. So I really have A tough time wrapping myself in the flag and saying that I’m special or entitled because I’m an American. I mean I’m happy to be an American and it’s helped me out greatly but I didn’t do anything to deserve this

  107. I’m an Elder Millennial whose so over the propaganda that we’ve been fed by the media and Google, Facebook, etc.

  108. This feels like a stupid question. Live in the U.S. but know more about everyone else? It's the same for other countries. This reads like "I'm not like the other" Americans post, yuck. I guess you included America having slavery as a hero trait too?? They teach you that everywhere. No country is perfect but America strives to be better. That's the point. You admitted to learning "nothing about other countries" in 12+ years of history so how exactly did you come up with this conclusion??

  109. Might be a bit waird, but probably the same can happen to kids from other sides of the world. Chinese, Iranian, Russian, any.

  110. The US educational system is made to make the US look amazing. It feeds us propaganda from the start. When I was 13 9/11 happened. That's the first time I saw that maybe the US isn't all that great. Questioned why anyone would do that to us. Once you start digging you start to read about all the damage we've done around the world. All the coups and destruction of other countries. We weren't the heroes of WW2. We raped our way through Japan. Japan gave up and we still dropped two nukes on them just to throw our dick around. We kept Japanese in camps. Same with cubans and now refugees and South Americans. We have dismantled governments for our own profit. We lock up more of our citizens than any other country in the world. The United States has a facade of greatness but the truth is our government is terrible which makes our country terrible.

  111. I agree with those same feelings. I'm almost 34 and went and visited the UK, France, and Czech Republic when I was 18. I had some good and bad culture shocks when I was there but some of the highlights was walking out of the train station in London and seeing ~10-13 year old smoking a cigarette and no one caring (lol but also bad), talking with young adults and them knowing so much about American politics and me only knowing who their Prime Minister is, everyone drinks even the young (just sips) and people tend to not overdo it, and the men there can be affectionate with each other and it not be looked at as being gay.

  112. Absolutely I feel the same way. I feel like all my life we were told how great our country is and how we do better than almost everyone else and how other countries have it so shitty. We focused a lot on African countries and the problems going on there but we never really talked about European countries and all of the actual good laws that they have. It also bothers me that we didn't talk about the good parts of the African countries or Southeast Asian countries. The time yes we did talk about European countries it was during the world wars segment of history and it seemed like we mainly learned about everything that they did wrong and who helped us and all of the propaganda in every other country. I feel like I'm in school and I basically just shit all over every other country and talked about how much propaganda there is while at the same time pushing their own propaganda on to us but calling it learning or pride for your country instead. They make it seem like there's nothing for us to improve upon and that is far from the truth. Sorry I don't know I got a little rambly towards the end but I guess my point is it is frustrating feeling like you grew up being lied to all your life and I are expected to have this great deep love for your country who did nothing but feed you lies and who doesn't take care of you.

  113. You don't even have to go to the country scale. Texas will brainwash you at the State and political party level. You say the Texas pledge in school. Constantly surrounded by Don't Mess with Texas and Everything is Bigger in Texas signs. There's definitely a Texas is the best state vibe. And as Texas is largely Republican they try to indoctrinate you. There's huge anti-abortion billboards lining the Interstate. Tons of pro-Trump flags, posters, etc. Everyone who brings up anything political (outside of Austin) is almost assured to be Republican and you don't dare voice a Democratic opinion unless you want to get shunned. Growing up here, it was ingrained in you that Republicans were the people who had your best interests at heart while Democrats were the crazy dreamers. The worst part was and is the local news. Ignoring the sports and weather segments, it is back to back tragedy: a wreck on the interstate, a shooting at a gas station, war footage from a foreign country where we have troops. Not enough local tragedies? Here's a house fire in Georgia (this one is real, I'm not making it up), a person who killed their family in another state. Almost never anything positive. My mom's response: well they cover some of that in the 5 o'clock news? Is it not news at 10? Is a festival in town somehow less relevant than a house fire in Georgia? You might be saying, that's just what the news is like, but it doesn't have to be. I lived in Iowa for a few years after college. You know what their news covers? Local festivals, plays at the community theater, upcoming movies at the park, etc. They still covered local fires and major events but they covered the positive stuff too. I got so used to this that I thought I must have imagined how bad the Texas news was. Then I visited family in Texas. No, not imagined. My theory is that the Conservative mindset likes to keep people feeling uneasy and a little scared so that they'll see a need for guns and well funded police and military. Moving to Iowa, I thought it would be pretty to similar to Texas but it was so much nicer there. The Texas Republican party has "eliminate critical thinking from schools" in their party platform. Compare that to the city I lived in Iowa that has a book festival. The city literally spends a weekend celebrating reading. There were also three public broadcasting channels one of which would play a number of British and Canadian shows. There were bike lanes on the road and more sidewalks for pedestrians. Grocery stores were smaller and more frequent so you could actually walk to them. There were at least two fully vegan restaurants, several Indian food restaurants one of which was vegetarian, and various other international cuisine from Gyros to Thai food that I had never had available in Texas (some of that has started to come to Texas as the state has grown these last few years). Between all this and actually being given the chance to learn about the world outside of Texas, I became a Liberal Democrat living in Iowa where I had previously voted Republican in Texas.

  114. I've noticed a pattern that the fiercest patriots/people who claim their county/region/province/state is the best are those that have never left their county/region/province/state. This applies to every single country in the world.

  115. I moved to the US when I was 11 and the level of propaganda taught in schools was clear to me even as a pre-teen.

  116. American exceptionalism is a mental illness brought on by indoctrination at childhood and the constant reinforcement of propaganda throughout one's adult life.

  117. America has started every war they’ve been in, have been at war pretty much since the country was founded. Every other country calls it “the American war” America has “the Vietnam war” “Afghanistan war”, etc etc… America is the evil bully of the world, and Americans are the only ones that aren’t aware of that.

  118. My sweet summer child… wait until they outlaw teaching about slavery in America. The true brainwashing is just beginning…

  119. Yes. The more you expand intellectually the more you see “American history” is nothing but propaganda meant to paint American skullduggery and the white men who carried it out in a positive light. I recently learned that even 1950s prosperity was more of a result of the fact that the rest of the developed world was reeling and recovering from WW2 while the US was untouched so it became the world’s supplier of everything and got super rich in the process.

  120. I wouldn't call having some basic sense of nationalistic pride for where you live necessarily brainwashing. What do you want your country to say? That it sucks and you shouldn't live there? At the same time, having the ability and means to travel around the world and experience different things is absolutely a privilege that a lot of people don't have the opportunity to see. I wouldn't say im the most travelled person but I've been to most of east asia, a few parts of Europe, Africa, etc and try to fly internationally to a new place at least once every two years.

  121. Your comment is fair. However, hard to argue against the fact that that the United States is on average the single most important country in the world over the past 250 years.

  122. America's entire culture is to make you think that. But believe me, a lot of countries n Europe are 10 times better, no school shootings and really cheap healthcare and much more, since 90% of people on Reddit's popular page are Americans this comment will get downvoted, but it's the truth.

  123. From the UK, and in 2002 I think it was, and I was staying in a youth hostel in Paris, with a shared open plan room... there were some Italians, and eventually a far right (for the time) American joined us; he was backpacking by himself through Europe, and he expressed the same sentiments you did; He believed the US was superior in everything, and he admitted his world view was being shaken.

  124. Canadian here. I always thought we had a valuable perspective because even though we're inundated with American culture, we can still retain a healthy distance from it if we so choose. I'm 54, and all my life, the sentiment towards the US here has tended to be "friendly, but suspicious and worried". The US seems to us like a friend who's a great person when sober, but who becomes a monster when drunk. Most of us don't understand the American way of thinking. We interpret the phrase "American exceptionalism" differently than Americans do ... They take it to mean "the US is the most exceptional [i.e. "best"] country;" but we tend to interpret it negatively, as in, "The US is so full of itself that it thinks it can be the exception to every international rule that most of the rest of us need to obey," like the International Criminal Court, for example.

  125. This is definitely a reality, I was lucky to have parents that are pretty cultural and worldly, and I love to travel now. This is not exclusive to Americans though, there are many other countries with similar nationalistic societies, some much worse in that respect, but not nearly as large or influential as the US.

  126. Rhetorical question cause you just graduated from college in California which is pumping your clones out by the thousands.

  127. American Exceptionalism is killing this nation faster than anything else. The pandemic ripped the curtain away for me on that one. The idea “it can’t happen here” is ingrained into the thoughts of almost every us citizen

  128. Very much agreed... I had this realization at a very young age nin school. Particularly in learning history. I have a military family and they are tought a much different much more accurate history.

  129. Imagine how much of a "brainwash" there is that you still call your country America. I'm an american as you and i'm from Uruguay :)

  130. Traveling the world cures people of nationalism quite easily, it’s almost like propaganda really works if you’re not willing to find out for yourself.

  131. Im from the EU and I can tell you that America is hugely influential in terms of pop culture, consunerism and business.

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