These Are the Times That Try Men’s Souls
It was a European who discovered America, but it was Americans who were the first nation of people to discover this earth and man’s proper place in it, and man’s potential for happiness, and the world which is man’s to win. What they failed to discover is the words to name their achievement, the concepts to identify it, the principles to guide it, i.e., the appropriate philosophy and its consequence: an American culture.
America has never had an original culture, i.e., a body of ideas derived from her philosophical (Aristotelian) base and expressing her profound difference from all other countries in history.
American intellectuals were Europe’s passive dependents and poor relatives almost from the beginning. They lived on Europe’s drying crumbs and and discarded fashions, including even such hand-me-downs as Freud and Wittgenstein. America’s sole contribution to philosophy—Pragmatism—was a bad recycling of Kantian-Hegelian premises.
– Ayn Rand, “Don’t Let It Go,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 210.
One of Europe’s “dying crumbs” is the idea that, while interesting, ideas are ultimately unrelated to every day life. This ad is the logical consequence of such an idea. To equate the differences between America’s and England’s national soccer teams – which probably don’t extend beyond the color of their jerseys – with the political differences which provoked The Revolutionary War is an obscene mockery of that event. Further, the fact that such a comparison is being made by an American television network, simply to drive up their ratings (pragmatism), is proof that the “American culture” discussed in the quotation above is on the doorstep of death.