Here´s another revelation that might shock you when you move to another country; you will realize that people regardless of religion; skin color or culture are basically the same. Listening to a Turk talking to a Egyptian, the French conversing with Spaniards, Norwegians gossiping with Russians etc you soon realize that if only the language were the same you would never be able to tell them apart.
On certain topics (religion and history especially) a few differences comes out, but the argumentation and views can as well be the difference between a New Yorker and Philadelphian, or between a North and Southern Swede.
If you constantly listen to mainstream media in the west you might believe that Muslims always are out to kill Christians and that suicide bomber is the norm and not the exception. The fact is not only the opposite; a vast majority of Muslims regard suicide bombers and religious fundamentalist views with the same revulsion we feel about Anders Breivik or reverend Jim Jones.
Another thing that is constantly ignored by media is the history and background story of a certain conflict. Problems in the Middle East (and Israel) are the most obvious examples since conflicts in the area go back to the Crusades, and even far beyond that.
Another story forgotten is the Balkans. Even if we do not go back as far as Byzantium or the Ottoman Empire there are so many other issues it will boggle your mind. Merely the fact that Serbs were slaughtered and exterminated in tens of thousands during WW II by Croats give you a broader understanding of the Yugoslavian “civil war” and why the supposed bad guys, the Serbs, did what they did in the early 1990´s.
There are plenty of such examples across the world and in Europe you can find plenty of issues between and within countries. This is one of the many reasons why the European Union, in its current form, is such a bad idea. There are over 70 official languages in Europe and hundreds of different dialects and smaller, almost extinct languages – and there are as many different cultures. Every single boarder has changed countless of times.
Only in Spain (where I live today) you have Basque, Catalan, Andalusian, and Galician –movements looking to break free from their, in their view, Castilian overlords and this is a story that goes back hundreds of years. For an American (yes I am going to bash you some more…) this is something incomprehensible.
I have worked for several US companies and every single time we have training or have a VP visiting holding a speech, they seem to think of and talk about Europe as one entity. The fact that, for example, differences between North Italy and Sicily is so huge and has such a long history that it make any difference seen in the US pale in comparison is completely forgotten, ignored and is even an inconceivable thought for most Americans. Assigning diplomats seem to prove this…
My point however is that regardless of the differences that do exist between cultures, countries and historic views; the people; the individuals, are the same. We all want the best for ourselves and our loved ones. We all look for a better life. We all want to be free. And, what will probably surprise you, we also think of the world, politics and even religion in the same way. You will realize this once you hear a Turk say that Turkish politicians are morons, or when a Shiite Persian argue that the Mullahs are bigoted xenophobes.
I remember listening to a discussion between one Polish, one Brit, and one Lebanese, a couple of Czechs, one Moroccan, one Vietnamese and one American – all of which agreed that their own politicians are liars and that all people should have the right to their own religion and that the world would be a much better place if normal folk talked to each other over a beer or five. If we only took the time to get to know our neighbor and had a barbecue instead of listening to mainstream media and to those in charge, there would be no wars or conflicts.
I couldn't agree more.
The individual is a great person ready to help and understand. The hospitality of normal folk, across the world, would astound you. It does not matter who you are or who they are, once you work together, drink together, live together and share your experiences you´ll find out how similar people are in the real world.
The problem is in part government and in part people in group.
People in groups often lose their sensibility. Look at a football game or the world championship of Hockey and you´ll see people starting to act less and less like individuals and more and more like Neanderthal group of thugs waving flags and singing death threats towards a supposed “enemy”. If you look at larger group’s people’s intelligence seem to drop even further and a smug salesman in suit with a decent understanding of this group-psyche can basically get people to do whatever he wants.
The government, in turn, prey on larger groups. Convincing one group that they can win benefits and get greater lives if they just steal from; beat up; or in other ways impact on another group. Consequently we get blacks against whites, Muslims against Christians, the Rich against the poor, women against men and so on and so forth. This is further enhanced by socialist and fascist policies since those ideologies are built, partly or fully, on the premise that there is a horrific adversary somewhere that needs to be quenched and killed. Also (at least historically – but also today in many places) we have religious nuts and fanatical fuck-ups who´s agenda links up with that of government and thus influence the groups alongside politicians.
The people, as individuals, are good people, great even, and they will constantly surprise you and this regardless of who they are or where they are from.
People, as in Groups, and influenced and govern by soul-sucking entities up-high are however horrid hooligans with no grasp of fairness.
If I needed further proof of the greatness of Libertarian ideas and a boost in freedom thinking, then moving about in the world really did the trick. If I was an ultra neo-liberal anti-government extremist - which often was said about me in Sweden – when I was living in my birth nation I am much, much more so today. And the reason is because today I know more about my fellow man, I know more about how the world works and I now know that shit is shit regardless if you live in Los Angeles, Athens, London or Stockholm.
You should all travel more, see the world and move to another country, if only for a year or two. Not only will you grow as a person you will also get fantastic new friends and most likely you will come to the same conclusion as I have; government is the problem and freedom is the solution.