I have a membership Website, www.GaryNorth.com, which has lots of forums. People from around the world chat with each other.
Because there is a membership fee, “crazies” don’t join. The participants are experienced people with money to join a Website.
This recent post from an American living in Japan impressed me.
1) The TSA (this is the specific gripe)
2) The American government and society (this is the general gripe)
As for the TSA, most expats I know hate it and more than a few have refused to return to America because of it. I have gotten several of my Japanese colleagues to cancel their planned vacations to America after I showed them vidoes of what the TSA does.
Fred Reed says it best but many other dedicated expats talk about American culture — they don’t like the ‘vibes’ in America– it feels full of tension and hostility. I’ve never seen this sentiment articulated clearly and am unable to do so myself but every one of these people understands when I talk about a sense of dread when returning to America — even for a short trip. I am beginning to suspect that people who are both comfortable in other cultures and want liberty from unwavering government intrusion tends to be highly correlative with American expatriots.
As for the sociopathy angle, my take is that we are transitioning to a period of what sociologists call ‘anomie,’ or normlessness. The widespread norms of America are passing away and little has been successful in replacing them. This type of period may be characterized by clashes on all ends until a new order replaces it. The traditional institutions of norm creation such as churches are now flaccid. Marriage and family is no longer dependable short of those few whom the leftists would consider ‘extreme.’ The state is losing legitimacy. It seems that in periods of anomie, the only norm that is respected is force alone. This is now the sole tool of the US government, and with the loss of legitimacy, it is the only one the government has left. In times of normlessness, the most ruthless are the ones who succeed in this period, hence the apparent sociopathy. Logically, I wouldn’t call them sociopaths, but those who behave to maximize benefits in the short run and have no resistance from anywhere else except others who are just as ruthless in pursuing their own short term gain. I think it was Ayn Rand who said that is ruthlessness is the order of the day, the murderer will win against the thief.
I also believe that times of anomie tend to be short-lived and that eventually some sort of order will return. It is doubtful that America as a whole will turn from its present course and renew itself as a civilization but it is very likely that small pockets of people will band together locally in the right direction.
My analogy of the US government is this: Imagine a very large giant in a town of dwarves. He is blind, damaged, bleeding, and his wounds are critical. He doesn’t believe that his wounds are critical, but he is very angry and is going to lash out at whomever he can before he falls.
That’s the view from an expat — whom many expats seem to agree with.