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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8422/a-different-view-of-america/

A different view of America

August 22, 2008 by

Here is an argument that Michael Phelps helps repair some of the damage inflicted on the reputation of the United States in the last several years. “What did Michael Phelps do for Americans and for the world? He showed us what that 18th century dream was really about: achieving great things through hard work and self-determination. Phelps did not enter the Olympics at gunpoint… but chose this way of life for himself, and he made all the best of it. What a great relief for a story like this to be showcased before the world in a time when we most needed it, in a time when the ‘face of America’ is a failed oil businessman become failed president.”


Haas August 23, 2008 at 3:59 am

waiting for the doping scandal…

Mike August 23, 2008 at 6:31 am

There is no “America” or “United States”…

scineram August 23, 2008 at 6:46 am

There most certainly is.

DS August 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

When exactly was this time when America was “popular” and liked around the world? Certainly hasn’t been in my lifetime. Our enemies and allies have always disliked us.

Bruce Koerber August 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm

The story of Michael Phelps is inspiring to be sure but so are the stories of many, many of the greater and lesser athletes competing in the Olympics.

The freedom to choose rather than being selected is still viable in American athletics but as we move towards totalitarianism that will change. The unConstitutional coup has no reason not to strive for more totalitarianism.

Even though there will be no medals given out, the heros and heroines who unveil the ego-driven interventionists and chase them away, these are the true champions.

DavidB August 24, 2008 at 2:09 am

Don’t most athletes(at least the ones from smaller nations) already train in the US with US college scholarships or paid training from their nations? Where does that Jamaican fellow train? It is almost as if they should all be called either the U.S., Chinese or Russian olympic team. That is as bad as calling your home city sports team ‘us’ that is made up of athletes from different parts of the country or(increasingly, except in maybe NFL football) the world.

fundamentalist August 24, 2008 at 8:03 am

If the rest of the world thought like libertarians, they would get that message, but they don’t. They may get the message that wealth can buy Olympic gold. I know that Americans are widely criticized for eating too much and Phelps’ diet will just confirm that. Other people see us as a nation of gluttons.

Ron August 25, 2008 at 9:36 am

The counterpoint to the Phelps story of voluntary participation is the Chinese system of involuntary “voluntarism”. During the closing ceremonies the commentator mentioned the efficiency of the Chinese “sports machine”, whereby children are removed from their families at an early age and denied any other opportunities, all for the glory of China.

I found it remarkably ironic that the Chinese national anthem is entitled “The March of the Volunteers”. Linguistic determinism at its finest.

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