>One is never sure which of two characteristics is more prominent in the American national character and therefore of the greater significance: naivete or a superiority complex. When for example they say things about our region, our surprise at their ignorance is surpassed only by annoyance at their stupid insolence. The less they know about a matter, the more confidently they speak. They really believe that Europeans are eagerly waiting to hear from them and heed their advice. They took our strategic decision not to discuss their shallow culture before the war as a sign of admiration. Their greatest technical accomplishments are refrigerators and radios.
>They cannot believe that there are cultural values that are the result of centuries of historical development, which cannot simply be bought. It was no bad joke when, after the war, they bought the ruins of German castles and moved them stone by stone to the U.S.A. They really thought that they had purchased a piece of national history embodied in stone, and were naive enough to think that mocking laughter from Europe was respect for the wealth that enabled them to buy what their own tradition and culture lacked.
>The U.S.A. has no poets, no painters, no architects or composers of world stature. Whatever culture it has is borrowed from Europe. The land lacks its own language, culture, and civilization. It has borrowed everything, generally debasing it by Americanizing it, never improving it. Americanization is a kind of kitschification that gives every cultural value an American stamp, turning a mature language into slang, the waltz into jazz, a work of literature into a crime story