Over at Mark Chapman’s indispensable blog, Giuseppe Flavio linked to a fascinating “Comparison USA-Germany” by an academic who was deeply immersed in both cultures. This inspired me to do something similar.
My credentials? Having lived for 6 years in Russia, 12 years in the UK, and 5 years in the US (in that order, though I was back and around a lot); and being an active observer of social and political affairs since about 2003, I feel that what I’ve got to say will be of interest both to readers of my blog and friends from all three countries.
Note that I’m biased in a somewhat idiosyncratic sense. I disdain ideological labels, but generally speaking I’m a proponent of personal (social) freedoms with strong state support for the marginalized, infrastructure and the environment. The usual disclaimers about much of this being my own subjective opinion apply.
I originally planned to write this is as one huge post. However, WordPress crashed at somewhere around the 25,000 words mark – losing about 20% of the work in the process – so I’m splitting this into many posts instead.
Corrections are welcome. Though much of what I say is grounded in personal experience, a lot also comes from second hand (or third hand) sources, or from Internet research, and will as such be of uncertain veracity. Please also feel free to pose further questions in the comments; if they are interesting, I will incorporate them into the overall text.
I hope to keep expanding on this text in the years to come, and adding other countries (like China) into the mix.