03
Feb
09

Principles of the American Cargo Cult

I found this link off BoingBoing yesterday, and I have to say that it really rang true to me: some guy has written “Principles of the American Cargo Cult” which he thinks outline “misbeliefs [that] constantly underlie bad arguments in public debate.”

I think his observations are absolutely spot-on. I don’t think these assumptions are completely American, but I do think that America seems to embody them more completely than most other places I’ve been to or can think of. I’ve never thought of them in terms of cargo cults before, but I can see where he’s coming from.

Seriously, read them. These are exactly the kinds of things you see happening in public discourse almost everywhere. I don’t think I can expand on them any better than he has, except perhaps to say that they all seem to me to be rooted in some exceedingly earnest sense of manifest destiny/the American Dream.

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1 Response to “Principles of the American Cargo Cult”


  1. February 5, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for finding that, and for telling your brother, who told me about it. That guy is not only right on with what he wrote, but the succinctness of it was brilliant.


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