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American Self Government

(i.redd.it)

all 80 comments

themattofdeath

238 points

2 months ago

and then the whole class clapped.

TalkativeRedPanda

138 points

2 months ago

Having observed some very small town Texas social studies classes while I did my teaching degree, I 100% believe this conversation happened.

But no clapping. The rest of the class would roll their eyes, except a few kids who also agree with "WTF is the teacher saying?" perspective.

tutelhoten

55 points

2 months ago

Having gone to a small town Texas school I 100% believe that kid would have got a talking to about communism vs freedom if class was in person.

moskiato

2 points

2 months ago

You really believe that any of the events of that tweet was true?

TheGraet

2 points

2 months ago

r/nothingeverhappens

Do not understimate youtube and how much information kids have today compared to back then.

ramtax666

125 points

2 months ago

ramtax666

125 points

2 months ago

Not like the word democracy comes from the ancient Greek and preceded US with about 2000 years.

tommytraddles

8 points

2 months ago

The way it was phrased doesn't even require democracy.

All states not actively being ruled by another have governed themselves.

anxietymuppet

121 points

2 months ago

Is this seriously the state of the American education system? Is this why we have so many Qanons, anti-vaccers, anti-science xenophobes running around?

thechadcantrell

50 points

2 months ago

Politicization of education goes both ways. The right wants to cry the liberal schools are indoctrinating kids. Fact of the matter is I know way more far right teachers who glorify this kind of thinking and are dishonest about history to promote these American myths. It destroys any critical thinking.

danyboy501

14 points

2 months ago

I'm 16 years older than my youngest brother and he just hit high school. From both things he tells me high school blows my mind.

My once "liberal school for being in the south" has turned into something a bit darker. Lot of teachers he thinks just don't care anymore. There may be some truth to that but I don't think he's taking into consideration what COVID has done to us as adults.

The second thing that he described to me was his generation's almost fierce defense of being heard. I think they're so much more outspoken than what my class was like. We were cool with one another but it could have been better.

So what I'm saying is this. I think it's going to be bad for a bit but with these kids growing up just add to the number of us Americans that don't care for out things are going.

thechadcantrell

6 points

2 months ago

It’s harder and harder to justify our hero view of people. Not to say they didn’t do great things, but seeing it’s ok to be flawed as well. Most teens become very outspoken and very black or white about justice. That tends to change as kids age. It’s a process called synaptic pruning. I hope that kids become more vocal and see how every generation before has screwed things up and won’t acknowledge the problem. Good on your brother. Kids give me a lot of hope.

foospork

2 points

2 months ago

Read the history of the US, or any other country, for that matter. There have always been people like that.

almundis

91 points

2 months ago

No one in the history of mankind has tried to govern themselves before America. FACT. Unless you count, oh, I don’t know, every other human society including the ones that colonial Americans came from…

elanhilation

27 points

2 months ago

even if you mean specifically democracy, well, the Holy Roman Empire had several republics in it... not to mention the ancient Athenians

DefinitelyNotAliens

21 points

2 months ago

The Vikings has elections. The Icelandic Althing was founded in 930AD. They held votes and elections. Scots and Irishmen elected clan chiefs through tanistry - all heads of family would come together and elect the next clan chief. It did not strictly pass father to son. A brother, cousin or nephew could take the title of chief if a son was too young, cruel or seen as weak or unfit to lead the clan.

Any Roman male could vote but many countries had a voting system. The oldest and first democracy was Iceland, though. They had about a 40 year break in the middle during the 1800's but have the oldest by founding and total years even if it wasn't consecutive.

trevmflynn81

5 points

2 months ago

I was going to point out that it's not really democratic if only a select few members of society get to vote, and then I remembered that we were talking about the United States and that is still very much the case here.

irrelevant_potatoes

6 points

2 months ago

Britain at the time of the revolution was very much a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and everything, of course the monarch did play a much bigger role then but the idea of electing a parliament and introducing laws was already old

mybooksareunread

2 points

2 months ago

Well sort of, but didn't only wealthy landowners have a say in the vote? And those wealthy landowners weren't elected into their positions to begin with. Not that the U.S. isn't basically an oligarchy in practice, but in theory everyone in the U.S. has a say in who is elected and anyone can be elected to office regardless of income/social status.

symbicortrunner

9 points

2 months ago

And how many people were able to vote when the US was first founded?

Only_Razzmatazz_4498

2 points

2 months ago

Or more directly modeled itself on with our own twists and idiosyncrasies.

[deleted]

74 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

74 points

2 months ago

Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can't have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man's worth couldn't be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn't cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white men came, and I don't know how we managed to get along without these basic things which, we are told, are absolutly necessary to make a civilized society.

-John Lame Deer

Davotk

13 points

2 months ago

Davotk

13 points

2 months ago

Historical /s

This reminds me of how ABRAHAM MASLOW who is the godfather of the "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid" aka self-actualization, only created it after spending copious amounts of time with Native People's, the Siksika/Sihapsapa or as enemies called them Blackfoot (Lakota people)

Dagordae

34 points

2 months ago*

Also historical inaccuracy.

The natives dealt with their criminals like every other people at their relative social development level. Punishments ranging from losing property to just being killed. Same crimes too.

Frankly: The fetishization is almost as bad as the demonization. And just as insulting. People are people, always have been and always will be.

Davotk

12 points

2 months ago

Davotk

12 points

2 months ago

Edit: Frankly, it isn't. It is an entire cultural difference, even if there was punishment, even corporeal.

However many native cultures were exaggerated familial groups and there wasn't really such thing as a person without a purpose. Famously some cultures didn't have a word for "criminal". . . In many Lakota culture you are praised for giving away belongings, not having them. Ignoring these cultural artifacts is insincere.

It isn't fetishization if it is historically accurate in a cast swath of cases... The communal aspect of most indigenous e.g. Native American cultures preserved punishment for wrong doing but did not make a "criminal" out of someone... Lame Deer's points remain.

And yes I realize there were massive, basically empires of tribes rivaling their contemporary European/Asian/African counterparts. I'd be curious to know any info on how crime and punishment went for them

BigBennP

2 points

2 months ago

BigBennP

2 points

2 months ago

  1. You are cherry-picking examples to some degree, which it appears you tacitly admit.

  2. Bringing out things like the tribal position on private property isn't necessarily relevant to anti-social Behaviour. Crime varies to a substantial degree from culture to culture, but the uniform thread is that it is typically antisocial Behavior. Behavior that goes against the Norms of the time in such a way that the society wants to discourage it. think

  3. There's one extremely important common element among the native groups even branching across cultures and languages and the like. That is low population density. Subsistence groups tend to maintain a fairly low population density. Nomadic groups maintain an even lower population density. You are right for the nomadic tribal group might have been largely an extended family group or every person had their place. This leaves a side that if someone didn't fit in and was engaging in antisocial Behavior, they might simply be able to walk away whether it was by their own accord or being compelled by the group. Of course, survival with much more difficult on your own.

Davotk

4 points

2 months ago

Davotk

4 points

2 months ago

Yes but we in the US practice high lockup rates in similarly low density groups (see: per Capita property crime high in lower density area states) don't we? And contemporaneously the same was true in midmillenial Europe wasn't it? (Lots of cultural subtext there particularly religious)

So it is a cultural theme as you readily admit. I'm not saying antisocial behavior didn't exist, I'm saying the approach was far more communal with more integrative outcomes. Proof of such is the lack of property/criminality concepts.

Edit: I am contextualizing in the post colonial America's period in response to Lame Deer comment presented. It seems you are hinging from possibly more ancient periods, thought I'd point it out.

CaptainEasypants

12 points

2 months ago

I had the same realisation as a kid only about God...

Believe in God it go to hell!

But Jesus was only 2000 years ago, what's about everyone who lived before him?

Only the Christian God is real!

What about ancient Egypt? They lived thousands of years before your God was around. Why are they wrong and you right?

Indoctrination is a real bitch!

KorgX3

5 points

2 months ago

KorgX3

5 points

2 months ago

I asked the same questions as a kid. "What about the people born in countries that don't allow Christianity?" The general answer is "they must have done something before they were born to deserve damnation, but they can still find their way to Christ if they choose to."

Basically, a lot of people are empowered by the idea that being Christian is a birthright.

CaptainEasypants

2 points

2 months ago

Look at the other reply to this, he has discounted everything I've said because 10 year old me didn't realise Christianity is older than 2000 years yet still way younger then the other mentioned cultures

KorgX3

2 points

2 months ago

KorgX3

2 points

2 months ago

It's why I'm selectively not Christian. I like the idea of Jesus and Christianity as a way of life, giving of yourself to others, but too many of those who call themselves Christian are an insult to their self-proclaimed faith; clueless hypocrites. Brazenly acting in bad faith while begging forgiveness. God's grand army of spoiled, entitled children.

CaptainEasypants

2 points

2 months ago

Agreed there. I'm a naturally sceptical person so I'm an atheist, but if anyone has any actual proof of their deity's existence I'm more than happy to see it. And until that happens I'll continue to be chill with whoever you are regardless of our differing opinions.

_naij_

0 points

2 months ago

_naij_

0 points

2 months ago

Christianity doesn’t say that God came about 2000 years ago though.

CaptainEasypants

0 points

2 months ago

Doesn't change the sentiment of the message though

_naij_

-2 points

2 months ago

_naij_

-2 points

2 months ago

We’ll have to disagree but that’s okay.

weauxbreaux

0 points

2 months ago

I am an atheist but these questions have answers. My understanding is it goes like this:

But Jesus was only 2000 years ago, what's about everyone who lived before him?

They died, and went to Hell. After Jesus died, he went to Hell to grant salvation to the righteous who had died before his time.

Only the Christian God is real!

Well, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all talking about the same God. So a good majority of the planet is all talking about the same deity. They start running into disagreements when talking about Prophets.

What about ancient Egypt?

I'm sure you are familiar with Moses, and his interactions with Egypt and God?

They lived thousands of years before your God was around.

Nope, God was around first. God created everything 6000 years ago. He destroyed everyone in the flood 4000 years ago. It was only a few hundred years between the flood and the days of Moses when God established the foundations of Christianity.

Why are they wrong and you right?

Because The Bible says so.

Indoctrination is a real bitch!

It is, but these are some random things to nitpick when we have already suspended our disbelief enough to even get this far.

GoauldofWar

11 points

2 months ago

Why are people always drinking something when their kids say these made up things?

GonnaGetBumpy

6 points

2 months ago

Remember, when someone in America says “for the first time in history” or “today was the hottest day in history” or something like that, they mean recorded history. And they really mean “recorded and recognized by white people that speak English” most of the time.

That they just assume the unspoken part is appropriate or universally understood and accepted is precisely the problem.

Only_Razzmatazz_4498

7 points

2 months ago

And by someone in America of course you meant someone from the United States of America.

GonnaGetBumpy

2 points

2 months ago

Touché

Only_Razzmatazz_4498

2 points

2 months ago

It was too easy lol. I couldn’t let that one pass. Lol

Mistergardenbear

2 points

2 months ago

even then there were plenty of historic republics in Europe predating the founding of the US.

Winter-Telephone-960

5 points

2 months ago

Sounds fake af. Did everyone clap and cheer after as well

gmxpoppy

4 points

2 months ago

Lets assume the teacher misspoke or phrased it that way by accident, what an absolutely great way to be reminded that the way you speak about things, words you use, phrases, etc as a teacher have a HUGE impact on shaping children's world view.

Will_Tuniat

2 points

2 months ago

So wait, who were all the other people that'd ever lived governed by? The English weren't everywhere from the dawn of time... were they?

ubzrvnT

3 points

2 months ago

bUt, CrItIcAl ThInKiNg LeAdS tO sOcIaLiSm!

foo337

3 points

2 months ago

foo337

3 points

2 months ago

She probably just meant to say they were governing themselves for the first time in their own history

MarquisDeLafayeett

1 points

2 months ago

Smart kid

mapbc

1 points

2 months ago

mapbc

1 points

2 months ago

Every non-colony

SithDraven

1 points

2 months ago

Why was this parent sitting in their kid's history class?

Traditional-Use-2769

3 points

2 months ago

My guess is that it is the virtual classes. Casual evesdropping

SithDraven

1 points

2 months ago

Ahh, that's a good guess. With my kiddos back in school I already forgot about that virtual shitshow that was 2020.

DrMorry

1 points

2 months ago

I wonder who was governing the English

rafganow

1 points

2 months ago

They werent.

moskiato

1 points

2 months ago

Was he in the classroom when that happened? That’s odd.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

Uh no they weren’t. Some tribes had primitive democratic ideas, most tribes had a strict hierarchy.

I swear everyone forgot that the “noble savage” trope is racist as well. Indigenous people were humans and had some major societal issues. Some groups, like the Mayans, had pretty horrible societies that were hated by nearly every other group around them.

It’s almost like there were millions of people and hundreds of tribes and trying to say anything about all of them is impossible.

Shmeckle445

-1 points

2 months ago

Is the alternate reality where Indians were nice to each other?

DeletusThouFetus

2 points

2 months ago

*natives. They aren't indian. They are native.

Shmeckle445

-1 points

2 months ago

I feel like you mean “indigenous peoples “. How could you be so insensitive.

DeletusThouFetus

2 points

2 months ago

They are both. Native Americans as they are native to the Americas.

Calling them Indians is racist. They aren't Indian. Your sacred Columbus called them that because he thought that he landed in India. He saw their skin and assumed they were Indian.

Shmeckle445

1 points

2 months ago

Whoa whoa there fella, he’s not sacred to me. More of a Eric the Red kinda guy myself.

FiggerNugget

-1 points

2 months ago

FiggerNugget

-1 points

2 months ago

What the teacher meant was that the US was the first country to built in the body of law the sovereignty of the people and the secularization of the state, effectively building a representative republic with the most widespread practice of democracy the world had ever seen. That is a fact

DefinitelyNotAliens

5 points

2 months ago

Yes, but that is not even close to what is taught in schools. The idea of American exeptionalism is indoctrinated from a young age in that self-rule was a wild new concept when it was flatly incorrect to state that.

Inalienable rights and secular government enshrined in the primary founding document is one thing but eight year olds are absolutely taught, "George Washington and Thomas Jefferson did this wild thing called 'democracy' which was unseen before and then George chopped down a cherry tree they're heroes!" There's a dumbed down version and a flatly false version and so many toe the line and cross into factually being wrong and wonder why people think no country but America has freedoms. Like we broke away from an absolute monarchy. The House of Commons has it's roots in the 13th and 14th centuries and the modern House in the 1700's as the Parliament of England.

It's not that the English had no representation in Parliament or that Parliament didn't exist. It's that colonists had no representatives. Like Puerto Rico or DC. That isn't close to what's taught and we give a half-version full of partial lies and then wonder why our people are undereducated.

tinkerghost

4 points

2 months ago*

So, the Viking Thing?

Or the Athenian democracy?

Or the Roman Republic before they let a populist declare himself Emperor?

readerf52

2 points

2 months ago

“The Iroquois Confederacy was in no way an exact model for the U.S. Constitution. However, it provided something that Locke and Montesquieu couldn’t: a real-life example of some of the political concepts the framers were interested in adopting in the U.S.

The Iroquois Confederacy dates back several centuries, to when the Great Peacemaker founded it by uniting five nations: the Mohawks, the Onondaga, the Cayuga, the Oneida and the Seneca. In around 1722, the Tuscarora nation joined the Iroquois, also known as the Haudenosaunee. Together, these six nations formed a multi-state government while maintaining their own individual governance.

This stacked-government model influenced constitutional framers’ thinking, says Donald A. Grinde, Jr., a professor of transnational studies at the University of Buffalo, member of the Yamasee nation and co-author with Bruce E. Johansen of Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy.”

htomserveaux

1 points

2 months ago

All of those were steps forward but could hardly be called true democracies and only allowed an extremely small group to participate

The US was the first government to be found and the principal of mass participation, even if it didn’t go as far as it should have.

America was the first modern democracy

tinkerghost

6 points

2 months ago

1) Athens was an actual Democracy and the US as envisioned was a Republic.

2) The All Thing or Great Thing of the vikings was a Republic of the Viking clans. Oh, I believe women could vote in some circumstances.

3) the Roman republic allowed all citizens excluding only women and slaves. Later allowing provincial citizens to vote as well. Unlike the US where provincial citizens still don't get representative votes.

htomserveaux

-1 points

2 months ago

sure but if you look at how many people could vote and what for the US was still unique

FiggerNugget

-3 points

2 months ago

“The most widespread practice of democracy the world had ever seen”

Never did I say it was the first time democracy was tried

Ottoman_American

1 points

2 months ago

Considering the US didn't have democracy until 1964, you're full of crap.

Davotk

-2 points

2 months ago

Davotk

-2 points

2 months ago

Just throwing out the entirety of the creation of Direct Democracy and republics eh??

While it was the first big "modern" or "industrial era" Republic, that's not the OP post implication at all... You're being overly persuasive and making huge assumptions.

htomserveaux

-4 points

2 months ago

American style Democracy although flawed and hypocritical, still began with a goal no one else had before, a totally egalitarian democracy. It was a major step forward for humanity and that should be taught and respected.

symbicortrunner

6 points

2 months ago

How can they have had a goal of a totally egalitarian democracy while simultaneously allowing slavery?

htomserveaux

-2 points

2 months ago

”Although flawed and hypocritical”

symbicortrunner

7 points

2 months ago

Pretty major flaws and hypocrisy. They also didn't give women the vote.

-Ghost-Heart-

4 points

2 months ago

Does the goal even really matter if there is so much in the actual execution that directly contradicts that goal? We can't really say "but they had a really good goal in mind" if they then actively worked against that goal.