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In which John talks about whether America is good. South Africa plays the United States.

Crash Course US History:

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Hello, and welcome to hankgames without Hank; my name is John Green, and apparently, South Africa did not enjoy playing the United States once enough, so we're gonna play them again. And today, I'm going to talk about the question of whether America is good. This is one of the comment suggestions that I saw, that was upvoted a lot, and I think it's an interesting question. Particularly because I know a lot of Swoodilypooper supporters live outside the United States - I am American - so my perspective on this may differ from yours. But it's an interesting question; I think, I think overall, kind of unambiguously, in the course of human history, the United States has been a force for good, and for, for a lot of liberalizing forces in world - global politics.

Oh! Great save! And that, you know, even when the United States hasn't lived up to its ideals, which has been usually, it has still been a force for good, because of the power of those ideas, the power of the idea of individual liberty, and I also think that in a purely economic way, the United States has had a lot to do with the growth, the industrial growth from like 1850 on, that's been very important to human history for the last 150 years.

And that's a big part in why we are watching, you know, why we are, why we have the computing power to leisurely play soccer in a fairly realistic way - so hyperrealistic, by the way, that Green Eggs and Foderingham came to me today, and said he did not want to sign a three-year contract because he wants to maybe consider playing for a bigger team. And I was like, "Wow, you really are like regular soccer!"

Um, so yeah, I think, I think the tremendous technological progress that we've seen in the last 150 years, does have something to do with American ideas of innovation, and I think, as problematic as I find patents and copyright now, America's early embrace of intellectual property and kind of veneration of intellectual property was probably useful to the world, in terms of getting, getting all that stuff that we want...

OH! A little bit better ball, and that might have worked. A little bit earlier, or something. Maybe, I don't know. We'll keep thinking about it.

Um, so I think, I think, if you take the overall historical United States, as someone who is teaching AP U.S. History - link in the dooblydoo - you gotta say that the United States is a force for - has, has been a force for good. Now, that good has come with many risks, and it may be that we look back on this and say, "Yes, we got the Internet out of this bargain, but we ended up killing humanity", whether it's from nuclear technology or whatever, whatever technological innovation proves deadly to us or whatever. And then, we will have been like, "Well, we should have stayed hunter-gatherers." And maybe we should; I don't know.

But I think if you're talking about like increasing the quality of life of the average human, and stuff like that, I think the United States has, and its style of governance, have been useful.

Is America currently a force for good in the world? That is a much more complex question, I think, and I don't have a good or easy answer for it. I do think that it's sort of a better - it's sort of better than people give it credit for, or at least that a lot of people outside the U.S. give it credit for, you know, for instance, that the United States, while it did a dreadful job in Rwanda, for example, it was a significant contributor - certainly not the only contributor - but it was a significant contributor to the improvement in the - too little, too late, I know - but still, it might not have happened...

Oh, I just got tackled from behind [USA - #17 J. Altidore 43'] - I WAS FOULED! THAT IS - Jozy Altidore! That's - whole thing is crap! You see, I was running with the ball - let's see the replay here. I was running with the ball, I - how is that not a foul! For the love if God! This is the most obvious foul I've ever seen! I mean, I'm sorry, is this a computer? And if so - I mean, I guess the computing power of this FIFA game is so incredibly impressive that it has the ability to make terrible calls.

Oh man. That was awful. So now we're down 1-nil, which is where we do not like to be, although we did come from behind twice in the last game, so I'm not going to rule out the possibility, but - I don't know. Draws are not victories! Oh boy. Good save. Nope! Nope, should have hit the X button! Should have hit X, I should probably still hit X, but I'm not going to; I'm just not an X person.

Um... I think, you know, I think when you look at, sort of the superficial things, the obvious things, the things that are in the news cycle - the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the United States has probably not been a force for good, in that the war in Iraq has been a destabilizing - in Iraq in particular - has been very destabilizing for the whole world, and has also resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands and possibly more than a hundred thousand people who didn't need to die - it was not to defend Saddam Hussein in any way - but you know, I think the infrastructure in Iraq is still not what is was before the invasion, and that's pretty astonishing, lo these many years later.

So I think there's a lot to look back on, in those news cycle stories, for the lack of a better term, and say, like, "Well, that didn't go well." And that really wasn't a positive force. And I think, generally in the post-World War II era, the United States has not really been as successful a global political stabilizing force as it could have been, or should have been - and, from Iran, to Guatemala - you know, interfered in a lot of ways that were very bad for those countries, and in the end, also very bad for kind of the world.

But, I still think that America makes really significant and important contributions to the global economy, and is still a significant driver of innovation, and still has a lot going for it, and there's a lot that we should kind of be grateful for, as global citizens. You know, we should be - not everybody, certainly, who works at EA Sports, but a lot of them - live in the United States, and those people helped to give us FIFA! And I am grateful to them, because this is -

Oh, this is a terrible game, and I hate it. It's a terrible, I've always said! [USA - #20 B. Shea 64'] This is a terrible game! And the United States is no longer a force for good. Oh, I'm going to get fired. Anyway, it was fun managing a team. Please enjoy my two-part series, "John Briefly"... oh, I suck.

How do I suck so bad at FIFA? Even after all these years... Admittedly I never played with a team with this caliber of talent, but this is - this is pretty embarrassing. Oh boy. Oh boy! Oh... three... wow. Hit the post, then hit the back of my keeper's head.

S. Holden Goalfield's coming on for the United States of America; good to see him again. Oh! [USA - #5 T. Ream 71'] This is just a humiliation and an embarrassment. And I feel bad for the South African national team, and the whole nation of South Africa, that trusted me to be their manager, not knowing that of course, I'm only able to manage Swoodilypoopers. This is a disaster. Well, I'm going to try to get better, and we'll see if we can get to World Cup qualifying without getting fired, and see if we make some progress, but... clearly got a ways to go here!

Oh boy. Maybe I need a different formation, I don't know. Time will tell. It's been - I think it's been too easy to break us down. Both games, the second half has been dominated by the other team, that makes me think that - yeah. I think that, I think that the legacy of the United States is really complicated, but that we wouldn't - no one, or very few people, I think, alive on Earth, would willingly take back, would willingly imagine the world without the contributions of the United States, because I don't think that it would be - I think it would be very hard to argue that it would be better. Even now, I think it's - you know, there's certainly more ambiguity now than if you look at the whole, say, last 175 years, but - even now, I think that you probably wouldn't want to take away the U.S. as a overall sort of...

OH! Boys! That was such a great play until the very end! Dang it! That was two great - but... there's a little bit of - there's a smidge of hope in that. Like, in a nice use of the Y button, and then there's a little bit of hope; I think we've got to take away from that. And here, maybe?

Oh, in slow motion! [RSA - #9 B. Ndulula 88'] That's the only way I like to score! My favorite about South Africa, is that instead of doing proper celebration, like Robots or whatever, we tend to just immediately go for the hug. And that's nice to see. All right, we have two minutes - and we've scored two goals in the last five minutes of our games; there's a little bit of, there's a glimmer of promise here, but obviously long way to go in terms of getting to know the players' skill sets, learning to manage them better, and you know, that's - oh! Give me the ball back! But can we maybe get - no. We can't. We can't. Life is hard and full of disappointment, my friends. Do you think the United States is good? Let me know in comments.

We're smelling our pits in shame. Best wishes.

[vs. USA - L 1-3

RSA: B. Ndulula 88'

USA: J. Altidore 43', B. Shea 64', T. Ream 71']