Saturday, February 20, 2010

quicko: self vs. group

Individualism vs. collective good. Give you two guesses which is which. Ding ding ding!! And American individualism is the answer again! Australians are much (or think they are much, I haven't quite ascertained which yet) more concerned about the collective good than Americans. A case in point an Australian recently pointed out to me: when it was learned that cell phones were Dangerous While Driving, Australia promptly banned them. Americans, however, got up in arms about their Constitutional Rights! and their Freedom of Speech! and their Pursuit of Happiness! and were, in many states, allowed to keep their individual rights, despite the fact that so doing could endanger others' lives. Other collective good initiatives such as recycling, responsible water consumption, not littering and mandatory voting also are much more enforced in Australia -- sometimes through legal measures, but so through social. There are some things that are simply done, and woe to he who does not do them.


Taj said...

Having a propane tank for your grill could be dangerous to people, too. Has Australia banned grills yet?

Laetitia :-) said...

Not at all; but then gas BBQs have less potential for carnage than talking on a mobile phone while driving.