Advertisement

Anti-American sentiment

From Academic Kids

Template:NPOV

Missing image
Aug29_065.jpg
Protests against the Bush Administration in New York in August 2004

Anti-American sentiment, or Anti-Americanism, is a hostility toward or disapproval of the government, culture, history, or people of the United States of America. Anti-Americanism may originate from non-Americans and Americans themselves, although in the latter case other terms such as "unpatriotic" are as likely to be used.

Anti-Americanism has many sources and the list of points of criticism is nearly endless. They range from the United States's continued use of the death penalty, to American foreign policy (especially the Iraq war), to the perceived ignorance and arrogance of some US citizens and many of its politicians toward non-Americans.

The history of Anti-Americanism reaches back to the late 18th century and climaxed at various times throughout the 20th century. However, various forms of Anti-Americanism have generally been weaker in the past compared with the Anti-American sentiment that has emerged in the last few years. In particular, in nations of the Near East and other principally Muslim countries, an overwhelming part of the population feels a strong animosity toward the current US government, the United States itself, as well as for the American people.

Contents

Use of the term "Anti-American"

Missing image
1antiamericanism.jpg
Cover of Anti-Americanism by French author Jean-Francois Revel.

The term is rarely employed as a self-identifier ("I am anti-American..."), but is used most often by people as an epithet. The moderate may use the term, claiming that the United States is unfairly singled out for criticism. More extreme elements may use "anti-American" as a slur towards any group deemed in opposition to their beliefs or notions about the United States and its place in the world. Those who claim to discern Anti-American sentiment, often attempt to denounce it, claiming it to be a real and dangerous prejudice —no more acceptable than other forms of bigotry such as Anti-Semitism.

Critics of the term, meanwhile, view it as a propaganda item that suppresses legitimate criticism leveled toward the United States. There may be broad agreement that a terrorist act directed at the United States or the often paranoid accusations leveled at the U.S. by regimes such as North Korea, Iran or (historically) the Soviet Union constitute Anti-Americanism, but there is much less consensus on whether a protest march in Germany against U.S. military intervention or a newspaper editorial in Brazil denouncing U.S. trade policy should also be considered anti-Americanism. Ultimately, the dispute rests often on how legitimate the criticism is considered to be and whether it is based on actual grievance or irrational prejudice. (Similar criticism is often made of corresponding terms such as Islamophobia or Francophobia.)

Anti-Americanism as a noun and adjective is widely used; however, a satisfactory term for a person holding such views has not reached any consensus. Calling someone 'an Anti-American' seems awkward since it implies a nationality. Other terms such as Ameriphobe/Ameriphobia or Americaphobe/Americanophobia have been coined in apparent response to terms such as Islamophobe, but there is still no general agreement on the appropriate term. Commentators have mentioned that the ending 'ism' implies a school of thought, while 'phobe' implies irrational fear. (Note: Even the title of this article has been disputed and some have commented that it remains awkward).

History

Anti-American sentiment can be found as far back as 1768, when Cornelius de Pauw, court philosopher to Frederick II, described America as a bunch of "degenerate or monstrous" colonies and claimed, "the weakest European could crush them with ease". In 1775, Kant described Americans as an artificial uncultured "half-degenerated sub-race". The earliest traces of Anti-American sentiment in Western Europe were therefore linked to a sense of racial superiority.

Samuel Johnson hit upon one theme that, in various forms, has long defined Anti-American sentiment: the perceived hypocrisy of a freedom-loving people engaged in less than admirable practices. Americans in his eyes were thieves in their relations with Indigenous peoples and African slaves: "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" He famously intoned that, "I am willing to love all mankind, except an American."

Missing image
1northkoreapropaganda.jpg
Anti-American Propaganda from North Korea

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most anti-Americanism was an outgrowth of these early European attitudes. To the elites of Europe, America was usually viewed as a nouveau riche society, individualist and isolationist, with little to offer the world on an intellectual or cultural level. As American power grew and the country's potential became more obvious, Anti-Americanism underwent an important shift: it became less easy for Europeans to simply dismiss America as culturally underweight as its industrial and military power continued to expand, and early denigration of America based on the presumed superiority of Old World societies became less tenable. A new strand of anti-American sentiment started to appear as America entered the competition for influence in the Pacific, and anti-Americanism was widespread among the Central Powers after the U.S. entered the First World War. Even amongst the United States's allies, Britain and France, there was resentment at the end of the war as they found themselves massively in debt to the United States. These sentiments became even more widespread during the interbellum and depression and sometimes tended toward the irrational: the belief that America was ruled by a Jewish conspiracy emerged in countries ruled by national socialists before and during World War II and in countries by communist countries after the war.

After the Second World War, anti-Americanism grew within the sphere of the Soviet Union, and spread to other parts of the world to some extent. The Vietnam War crystallized much anti-American sentiment: here, American critics felt, was naked imperialism at its worst, though supporters remained willing to forgive the misadventure given the overall priorities of the Cold War. In addition, the United States supported Pol Pot, both financially and politically, between 1976 and 1979, and numerous far-right-wing dictatorships in South America and Europe (Greece). Paradoxically, the fall of the Soviet Empire may have brought an increase in anti-Americanism, because the U.S. was left as the world's only superpower, and people who formerly saw the United States as a bastion against Communism no longer felt the need to support the U.S. for this reason.

Criticism of American foreign policy

 following the drop of the atomic bomb in August 1945
Enlarge
Hiroshima following the drop of the atomic bomb in August 1945
Missing image
Dailymirror.jpg
British Daily Mirror front page

Main Article Opposition to U.S. foreign policy.

America's role in the Vietnam War created extensive anti-American sentiment in many countries because of the massive number of civilian casualties involved. During this war, the U.S. conducted extensive bombing campaigns against Cambodia: an estimated 600,000 civilians were killed, reminding many of the controversial use of atomic bombs by the United States at the end of World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. also used chemicals for deforestation that had devastating long-term environmental effects (see Agent Orange).

The U.S. has frequently been accused of having inconsistent foreign policies. One example concerns Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was supported and supplied (with poison gas, among other arms) by the U.S. (as well as several European countries) during the war against Iran in the 1980s. When the Senate passed a bill to condemn the Iraqi use of poison gas, then-president Ronald Reagan threatened to veto the bill if it passed the House. Later U.S. presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush fought two wars against Saddam (Gulf War and 2003 Invasion of Iraq).

Critics also claim that the United States supported Afghan mujahedin forces during that country's occupation by the Soviet Union, but later fought against them. Others point out that the mujahedin Northern Alliance was America's ally against the Taliban. (See U.S. invasion of Afghanistan).

Some American politicians argue that changes in policy come about because of changing conditions, such as the collapse of many of the world's communist governments, which were once perceived as the greatest threat to the United States. The conflict between a widespread interpretation of U.S. actions in terms of geo-strategy, imperialism and economic interests, and the official motivations given by the United States by means of ideological rhetoric causes an impression of hypocrisy or disrespect for other nations.

The United States and human right issues

 as used for . Capital punishment is the focus of major criticism by international human rights groups.
Enlarge
Electric chair as used for electrocutions. Capital punishment is the focus of major criticism by international human rights groups.

In many democratic countries, particularly ones in Europe, American retention of capital punishment contributes to the general view that the United States continues to engage in barbarous practices, which is sometimes perceived as a contradiction of America's insistence to promote human rights worldwide. Europeans often profess to being shocked by the widespread popular support the death penalty continues to have in the United States: as of May 2004, all but 12 U.S. states (as well as all U.S. territories, such as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) employ the death penalty. All European countries except Belarus have adopted the Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which abolishes capital punishment during peacetime. Japan is generally considered the only other industrialized nation with a good human rights record that retains capital punishment.

Most recently, the United States was subject to major criticism by human rights groups such as Amnesty International concerning its internment camps in Guantanamo Bay. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, America established a prison for foreign combatants on its military outpost in Cuba and has interned enemy soldiers as well as Al Qaida members since 2002 without granting them the right to counsel or charging them with any crimes. Only four of the nearly 600 interned fighters have yet had a hearing with an independent tribunal and the Bush administration insists that they are legally able to hold them there without charge in perpetuity. In 2005 an outrage went through the international community (and especially Muslim countries) when Newsweek published reports of torture that involved numerous cases of desecration of the Quran. Most recently the camp has been labeled a Gulag in comparison to the concentration camps used for political prisoners and other enemies of the state in the former Soviet Union.

The US has been heavily criticized for its opposition of the International Criminal Court, which was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal for crimes against humanity and genocide. Although the Clinton administration originally signed the treaty for its establishment, the Bush administration has subsequently withdrawn America's support for the Court and started to undermine its purpose by using economic and political pressure on various countries in order to sign a number of bilateral treaties that would bar the extradition of American citizens to the ICC. The treaty to the ICC has been signed and ratified by all democratic countries in the world except the USA and Israel, the latter country because of fears that its policy against the Palestinians would be subject to ICC proceedings. The US has frequently pointed to its constitution that would bar having a superior court scrutinizing their own court decisions; critics, however, point to the fact that the Court's jurisdiction is very narrow, concerning only massive crimes against humanity (such as genocide), and that extradition of a suspect is merely a fallback plan when the ICC determines that the legal system of a country that a particular person resides in is unwilling or incapable of bringing war criminals to trial.

Criticism of American domestic policy

Missing image
Firearms.jpg
A selection of firearms used for self-protection in the USA

Foreigners, again especially Europeans, are often perplexed by America's liberal laws on gun ownership, and interpret this, along with the relatively high rates of murder and violent crime, the very large percentage of the population imprisoned (several times as high as the average in European countries), plus the often violent content of American films and television programs, as meaning that American society has widespread tolerance and acceptance of violence. Gun politics are debated vigorously in the United States by both gun-rights advocates like the National Rifle Association and gun-control advocates such as James Brady or Michael Moore.

The War on Drugs is also considered an oppressive activity by many who are socially liberal, both within and outside the United States. It has resulted in a large prison population, much of it composed of nonviolent drug offenders, who are often economically lower-class. A significant minority of the American population views the War on Drugs as a second Prohibition. It has also resulted in damaging international pressure and intervention directed against other countries involved in the drug trade, such as Colombia.

Many critics point to the United States for its low rates of women with important political positions, which stands in contradiction to anti-discriminatory U.S. claims of a free society. For example, in the 108th United States Congress, only 14 percent of congress"men" were women. Several countries have more than twice these rates (e.g. Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Austria (35%), Germany and the Netherlands, Norway (39%)) and some have three times the percentage of women in legislative assemblies (Sweden, 42 percent; Rwanda, 49 percent). The U.S. figures are even below the world average of 15.9 percent and only higher than 4 other industrialized countries: Japan, 7 percent, Hungary, 9 percent, Italy, 12 percent and Ireland, 13 percent; while being significantly lower than the figures of countries generally pointed to in matters of women discrimination such as Uzbekistan, 17 percent, Uganda 24 percent, Vietnam 27 percent or Cuba, 36 percent. [1] (http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm)

American free speech law has also become an international issue ever since the rise of the Internet as a medium of communication. Since the United States has far reaching free speech protection (under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution), Internet service providers based there can be used to spread messages to other countries where these are banned for moral, religious or political reasons. From the U.S. perspective, many Americans dislike attempts by other countries to extend their jurisdiction to American defendants whose alleged defamatory speech acts occurred over the Internet and were not targeted only toward those countries.

All of this contributes to the perceived image by many people that the United States is generally more "backwards" and "regressive" than other First World nations, in the sense that it has kept old 19th-century Western attitudes alive, which are largely being phased out in Europe and elsewhere.

Criticism of American economic philosophy

Missing image
CME.JPG
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is a prime example of free market voluntary trade institutions without interventionist regulation. Prices, for example, are determined by trade rather than by governments

America is perceived as having a free market economy with a strong focus on competitive markets and individualism, and a concomitant lack of regard for the social welfare and wealth re-distribution policies evident in other industrialized countries. Some opponents, for example socialists, believe American capitalism is a deeply flawed system that creates massive inequalities. They accuse the American private sector of perpetuating and promoting this economic system across the globe, with little concern for progressive social, environmental and cultural movements. Earlier, workers protested the industrial methods of Taylorism, which were seen as dehumanizing.

America-based multinationals like United Fruit are felt to use the strength of the American government to trade unfairly with small countries. The European Parliament has accused American firms of using the ECHELON spy network to outbid European competitors.

American firms are sometimes seen as imposing a uniform way-of-life around the world. The term cocacolonization is sometimes used to describe this, because of the beverage sold by the Coca-Cola Company worldwide. Fast-food franchises like McDonalds and Burger King, and supermarkets and malls are seen as symbols of the American way of life substituting traditional local businesses. However, consumers have often accepted American products happily. Anti-Americanism is sometimes used in promoting alternative products like Mecca-Cola.

However, not all criticism of American economic philosophy is rooted in support for socialism and other "leftist" perspectives. Some see America's high level of military spending as government support for a large sector of the U.S. economy, which runs counter to the larger economic philosophy of the country.

Religion and America

Missing image
1in_god_we_trust.jpg
In God we trust on the twenty dollar bill

Religion, especially in its more conservative or fundamentalist forms, is stronger in America than in much of the rest of the Western world. People who fear or dislike religious extremism, conservatism, or religion in general, may have anti-American attitudes as a result.

Some resent hearing Americans preach a perceived American moral superiority over the rest of the world. They reject the vision of American leaders who consider the role of the United States of America to defend the world from "Evil," and strongly disapprove of such initiatives as the "Project for the New American Century." Further concern is generated by the US Congress's adoption of a day of prayer for the protection of America and its soldiers against terrorism. These policies question the separation of church and state, causing some to view President Bush as leading a religious crusade. Proponents of separation of church and state cite evidence of this hypocritical behavior over the years, such as the national motto In God We Trust or the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, and would favor a more rigid separation.

During the Clinton administration, the United States government repeatedly alleged that some of its European allies, such as France and Germany, did not respect freedom of religion by unfairly discriminating against some organizations perceived to be religions by the US government, such as the Church of Scientology, and pressured the governments of those countries to adopt different rules. Those countries, and many others, consider that these organizations are not bona fide religions, but rather cults with criminal activities; in those countries, the Church of Scientology is widely considered a mafia-like organization practising extortion from its members and influence peddling with politicians. The American pressures were widely criticized in Europe as unwarranted and uninformed meddling of the American government in the internal affairs of independent countries. Since the coming of the Bush administration, American criticism on those issues has largely receded.

In contrast, people from cultures that still have strong religious beliefs (Islamic cultures in particular) find the notion of a country of religious tolerance and diversity offensive, although they also direct hostility toward other countries, such as many in the European Union where religious influence is fading.

Worldwide, some in the Catholic Church consider American popular culture opposed to Catholic values. Furthermore, the preaching of religious ideologies founded in the United States, such as Christian Fundamentalism and Mormonism in traditionally Catholic lands add weight to these feelings.

Prominence of the English language

The prominence of the English language around the world is seen as a mark of cultural colonization by Americans (with other countries of the Anglosphere also playing a role). Because of the pre-eminence of the United States in the fields of business, mass media, science, and technology, American English is the dominant language of these fields (and others) worldwide. Thus, native English speakers often do not have to learn other languages to work in these fields, saving effort and expense, and those who cannot speak English are disadvantaged no matter how qualified they are otherwise. Although the United States cannot be blamed for being successful in these fields, the unwillingness of many native English-speaking workers to learn other languages, even when working in other countries where English is not the main language used by the population, is often cited as a source of annoyance and hostility.

The effect of English on foreign languages has also been a cause for negative sentiment, particularly among European countries. Speakers of French in particular and increasingly those of German have expressed concern at the anglicisation (German: Anglisierung) of their languages: that is, the introduction of numerous English words. However, English itself is notable for having accepted many words from hundreds of other languages.

It should also be noted that in English-speaking countries outside the United States, the dominance of American English and its influence upon other dialects (in particular, upon British English) is perceived negatively by many native speakers of those dialects. Some people, particularly in Britain, even perceive American spelling of words (color vs. colour, realize vs. realise) to be incorrect, although it is arguable if the British or any other group of English speakers have a right to decide on the correct form of the English language.

In Wikipedia itself, the followers of Enciclopedia Libre chose to work independently of the Spanish language Wikipedia, since they perceived that the English language Wikipedia was given unfair preponderance.

Criticism of American popular culture

Missing image
Family_Watching_TV_in_the_1950s.jpg
A typical American family watching television in the 1950s.

Popular culture -- contemporary music, films, books, advertising, web sites and other computer-based media, and especially television -- is America's most visible and one of its most pervasive exports. There is an enormous American "trade surplus" in cultural matters. In countries without strong cultural protection laws, American music, films, and television programs appear far more frequently than other countries' music, films, and television programs appear in the United States. The home-grown film industries in at least some countries (such as Australia) were bought out and closed down by American interests. The United States has a history of using "free trade" negotiations to open up foreign markets to its cultural products. Many in the US, as well as non-Americans, fear the growing Americanization of the world.

In many countries, such media carry a large body of material that embodies values considerably different from those of much of the viewing public. Some societies, notably Islamic ones, see popular American and Western culture as propaganda for a secular, sexually, and socially libertine society. As such, they object to the values portrayed in popular culture. Paradoxically, other societies find American culture to be too prudish. Many other countries claim that popular American dramatic narratives are too violent, hypocritical about sex (combining prudery and exploitation), and/or portray simplistic attitudes toward good and evil.

Another concern is the sheer volume of American cultural export, irrespective of any specific concerns with content, which has profound homogenizing effects on societies, limiting opportunities for diverse and original perspectives. Many contend that the market for films and television programs is an uneven playing field; for instance, foreign movies are less frequently imported into the US for showing in major theater circuits than imports are shown in other Western countries (although there is a significant "art house" film market in the United States, which shows foreign and more culturally-varied domestic films, it often cannot afford the advertising to compete with the Hollywood blockbuster industry, and is likely to be invisible to many outsiders). Some Americans answer that this is a sign of the high quality of American movies with respect to movies from other countries, and that many Americans are not interested in seeing unknown foreign actors in movies, or movies in a foreign language. Such explanations are often considered a sign of arrogance, exceptionalism, and provincialism on the part of the United States.

Missing image
Ssme_fatron1_800x600.jpg
Super Size Me movie poster

Some non-Americans see trade barriers as a means of protecting their cultures, and view America's lobbying to remove them as insensitivity to this, and as cultural imperialism. Many believe that America's political and business establishment views culture as a commodity to be freely traded, just like any other.

At least in part because popular culture products have become such a significant export industry for the United States, the U.S. has been steadily increasing the restrictiveness of its copyright laws to help support its entertainment industry at the expense of several previously protected rights. Examples include enforcing the use of DVD region coding to restrict the import of DVDs from foreign markets (permitted by "first sale" doctrine) or the use of "copy prevention" techniques on compact discs to prevent music from being converted to other formats for use by the CD's owners.

There has been significant pressure on other nations to do likewise, to such an extent that in January 2002 the U.S. imposed punitive economic sanctions on Ukraine because they failed to pass stricter domestic copyright laws. China, on the other hand, continued to retain most-favored-nation trading status despite being widely recognized as the largest center of intellectual property violation in the world. (See also: WIPO; Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act). This is seen as an example of the American government pursuing economic policies that benefit them the most at the time (no sanctions were imposed on China because doing so would have harmed the U.S. economy), rather than behaving consistently because of moral considerations, although throughout history other major powers have behaved similarly.

In the summer of 2004, the German franchises of the American Subway sandwich chain, in co-promotion with the film Super Size Me, included tray liners with an image of a fat Statue of Liberty, and the caption, "Warum sind die Amis so fett?" ("Why are Americans so fat?"). The implication was that Americans are, in general, overweight because they eat too much fast food.

Perceived American arrogance and ignorance

Arrogance

Missing image
Aug29_068.jpg
American patriotism shown by a man during the demonstrations against the Bush Administration in August 2004 in New York
Missing image
CNN911scrn.jpg

Americans are often perceived to be astonishingly proud of their standard of living, of their country's achievements in the fields of international science and business, and for their allegiance to at least some of the ideals of the founders of the country (such as freedom and equal justice under the law), now often taken for granted in much of the industrialized world. Some say that American patriotism was the first patriotism founded on a set of political ideals, rather than on nationalism or ethnicity, although the examples of the ancient Romans, ancient Egyptians or the Swiss may challenge this point. Patriotism in the US often appears offensively arrogant to people from the rest of the world. For example, public persons in America frequently assert America as being "the greatest nation that has ever existed on the face of the Earth"; such superlatives may be understood as either diminishing and disparaging the standing of other nations, or as an ignorance that is hard to believe from prominent Americans. While patriotism and nationalism to different degrees exist throughout the world, no other nation has been as successful, through the modern mass media, in the wholesale export of this view that is easily perceived as less than flattering by international consumers of CNN and Hollywood motion picture productions.

Emphasis on the military in American popular culture also generates opposition in other countries. The United States has not seen an international war on its home soil since 1812, and while most of the rest of the planet has been affected by wars in the twentieth century, the US has been spared invasion. This has led to an increasingly popular view across the world that many Americans have little understanding of the horrors of war, and that American popular culture, which romanticizes and glamorizes war, encourages nationalistic and militaristic views which were abandoned long ago in other nations which have been devastated by it.

In Europe, a comparison is often drawn between a militaristic America and the arrogantly patriotic societies of nineteenth-century European colonial empires (societies whose attitudes are now a cause of shame to many modern Europeans). Anti-American sentiments are further enflamed by the ability of the USA to intimidate other countries with its vast arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the immense strength of the US Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Ignorance towards Non-Americans

Many, especially in Europe and Canada, contend that the American public is generally ignorant of international issues and lacks basic historical, geographical, and cultural knowledge of the world outside the United States. A 2002 study (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geosurvey/highlights.html) made for National Geographic showed that "US young adults are lagging" in their geographical knowledge compared to young adults in other developed countries. Many contend that such ignorance is reinforced by the Americentrist coverage of American media, and by the emphasis given in America's educational system and media to American issues and the benefits of living in America, while failing to mention that, often, all of these benefits exist in other modern democratic countries. Some countries also have benefits that Americans do not, for example publicly funded healthcare.

Few Americans hold passports and travel abroad in comparison to their European counterparts. It is argued that international journeys are more expensive and inconvenient for Americans, compared to Europeans who need to travel much lesser distances in order to leave their own country, and that someone vacationing within the borders of the United States can experience just as much diversity of climate and terrain as in Europe. While this is true, it is also argued that American vacationers are not exposed to different cultures in the same way as European or other international travelers, and that many Americans show little desire for such exposure: for example, it is often complained by natives of other countries that American tourists do not learn much about the language or culture of their countries before or while visiting them, and that they expect American food and sleeping arrangements where this is not the norm. This is not, however, a complaint directed uniquely at Americans, but also at tourists from other countries, notably English-speaking ones such as the United Kingdom.

The vast majority of Americans who have not immigrated to the country in their lifetimes are monolingual, while many continental Europeans speak one or two languages in addition to their native tongue, and many educated Asians (including Japanese and Chinese) have at least a fundamental knowledge of English. Many of them, including non-English speakers, receive raw or translated information from some foreign news sources regularly. However, people in the U.S., including those bilingual ones, may receive a lion's share of information from U.S. sources. Many people in U.S. do not even receive information from other major non-U.S. sources such as the BBC. Even an educated American may read the New York Times at breakfast, listen to Billboard Hot 100 songs aired by a local radio station while driving to work, watch U.S. TV programs at home, and see mostly Hollywood movies. This is another factor that makes non-U.S. people see Americans as ignorant.

Many Europeans perceive Americans, and especially the George W. Bush administration, as being uncaring about global issues. They view U.S. foreign policy as pursuing nineteenth-century-style imperialism. The U.S. withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocols and U.S. arrogance at the United Nations convince many people across the world that Americans have no interest or understanding of issues that do not affect them directly. An increasing number of people across the planet criticize the United States for doing nothing to end conflicts in Africa, Asia, and the Balkans, while at the same time demanding worldwide assistance in a war directly involving US economic interests in Iraq.

Criticism of US environmental policy

Missing image
Goldenstatefreeway.jpg
Rush hour on the Golden State Freeway in Los Angeles. The view is blocked by large SUVs to the front and to the right - typical for American highways.

The American way of life is regarded by environmentalists as wasteful and environmentally irresponsible. Americans have the highest per-capita consumption of resources and energy in the world, and the fact that the U.S. government does not take decisive action to curb this use creates hostility. For instance, statistics show that the four percent of the world's population that live within the United States creates 25 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, and allegedly overutilizes fuel-inefficient automobiles. Critics point out that the United States uses significantly more resources per capita than other industrialized countries who nonetheless maintain a similarly high, and in a number of cases higher, standard of living.

In reply to these allegations, it is said that the United States does have stringent environmental laws, that America itself produces a great many of the items it consumes, and that America pays for the resources it imports. Some Americans also point out that the United States is one of the world's leaders in protecting environmental areas with its National Park Service, and in fact the country invented the concept of a national park. They also point out that the United States is far less densely populated than many other industrialized countries, making cars a more important method of transportation.

In 1997, the U.S. Senate voted 95-0 against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, declining to sign a protocol that "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States" and would not impose similar binding targets for limiting or reducing greenhouse gases on developing nations such as the People's Republic of China (second in the world in emissions), which are presently exempted. However, the above comparison obviously did not take population into consideration. China emits 2,893 million metric tons of CO2 per year (2.3 tons per capita) while the U.S. emits 5,410 million tons (20.1 tons per capita) and the EU 3,171 million tons (8.5 tons per capita). Not only China's total emission is about half of the U.S., the per capata emission of China is less than one-eighth of the U.S. And a significant part of the emission can be directly contributed to Chinese manufacturers who export to the U.S.

The Kyoto Protocol has been signed and will be ratified by all sizeable economic powers except the USA and Australia. China has ratified the treaty and is expected to sunset its exempt within the next decade. The U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council stated in June 2001 that: "By switching from coal to cleaner energy sources, initiating energy efficiency programs, and restructuring its economy, China has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions 17 percent since 1997". This refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is often quoted as an example of America's irresponsibility in this area.

Anti-Americanism by country

For a more detailed breakdown of Anti-American sentiment by country, see Anti-American sentiment in various countries.

See also

References

  • Ian Buruma, Avishai Margalit, Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies
  • Richard Z. Chesnoff, The Arrogance of the French : Why They Can't Stand Us--and Why the Feeling Is Mutual, Sentinel, April, 2005 ISBN 1595230106
  • Paul Hollander, Anti-Americanism
  • Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire
  • Jean-Francois Revel, Anti-Americanism

External links

fr:Anti-amricanisme ja:反米 zh:反美主义

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools