American Identity Essay


     In our previous articles, we have already faced with American history and culture. Peculiarities of American character are vividly seen in the attitude to the basic institutional settings and to the governmental authorities in the first place. Even the Constitution of the USA says that governmental authorities are evil, political power, which requires control. If government strives for increasing its power, then the main target of the governmental institutions is to weaken this striving.

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     Going back to the theme of the American identity, so in order to weaken the striving of government to get more power, the battle cry of the American electorate often sounds like Emerson words, who said that the best government is the one, which rules less. Such a skeptical attitude to the central authorities constantly made Americans create a powerful authority at the local level, create public authorities. American historian Geoffrey Gorer noted that typical attitude of Americans to their authorities was proclaimed in its Constitution. Power is bad and dangerous by nature. The state requires it but it has to be limited and considered to be a potential enemy. This attitude to the authorities on behalf of people in general and an individual in particular helps to understand American character.

     The attitude of Americans to labor and business organization is vitally important. The idea of notorious American pragmatism has become one of the traditional stereotypes estimating American character, that their behavior is determined mostly by pragmatic interests and is rarely in the line with morale`s demands. This idea is rather mistaken. This model of the American character is simplified; it does not take into consideration the fact that school, religion and public opinion have always been striving for bringing up a respect within Americans for traditional system of values. Besides, traditions of puritanism have never gone out in the USA, which is why pragmatism in politics and business is always combined with rigorism in the area of morale. There is one area only, in which an American is a conformist and morale is this area. s/he is not always aware of it, without a reel or a stagger taking all the norms of puritans. Conformism and traditionalism in the matter of morale take the form of aggression quite often.

Therefore, it is a mistake to think that Americans lack morale in their practice or that a simplified morale rules by them. On the contrary, to the bigger extent, a morale conformism is about them, which sometimes paradoxically coincides with pragmatic settings. Moralism, morale and morality are different terms. Moralism is an absolutization of morale, rising of morale above reality, it is a behavior based on not a real situation but on abstract principles of morale. Moralism concerns not only the sphere of personal behavior but also often enough it determines principles of external politics. American politologists see the periods of orientation on pragmatism and some oriented on moralism in the external politics of the USA.      

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