I think you make some fair points here, but your assumptions and generalisations about motive, in particular, jingoism, I think is off the mark.
Jingoism is largely in the eye of the beholder but I would tend to agree with you in that of all the things I call it that has the least merit so I'm willing to retract that and stick to a charge of cultural xenophobia. I think that nearly all of the Australian regulars to this forum can't be fairly described as jingoistic but that they frequently exhibit a bit of a castle-complex when it comes to Australian culture.
There are many Australians who are strongly nationalistic and seek to protect "the Australian way of life". You see bumper stickers on redneck utes (read "trucks") that say "love it or leave it". I have no love for that attitude at all, and I'm on record here as calling nationalism a form of bigotry. I'm a fan of multi-culturalism,diversity and personal freedom.
I agree that you are on that end of the national patriotic spectrum. But I am convinced that your nationality plays a part in that you do not view Australian influence abroad as dimly as American influence in your country.
American cultural imperialism differs from the influence of other cultures in some significant ways. It arrives with the built-in assumption of American exceptionalism, and represents hegemonic globalisation and mono-culturalism, not entirely unrelated to the missionary Christianity that underpins all American culture.
I find it ironic that you advocate this cultural intolerance by claiming it's defense against the cultural intolerance of the other side. That Australian exceptionalism is justified as a defense against a unique American delusion of exceptionalism.
Pretty much any culture believes in their own exceptionalism and fears/resents external cultural influence to some degree. I think it's a regressive way of thinking. The world is getting smaller, this is not going to go away. I happen to think it's a great thing, bringing about greater prosperity and peace. As the world gets smaller we are going to hear the familiar "there goes the neighborhood" more and more. And quite frankly I can't tell what the great fuss is supposed to be about. So far:
- Some KFC ad was pulled.
- You kids are spelling things differently.
- You guys use the iPhone a lot.
- You are eating a bunch of American junk food.
Look, I'm with you on the junk food. I lament the spread of those chains anywhere, but nobody can blame their nation's fatties on America. Nobody's forcing you to eat that stuff and they exist there because you guys are eating it up.
As for the rest it seems completely inconsequential (KFC ad, spelling, etc) or even a positive influence (technological advance) that you are resenting for no good reason other than it is American. What's wrong with using the iPhone? Just because it's not Australian? The phones you had before weren't Australian anyway, and they were worse. This is a positive technological influence on Australia, it would have taken a lot longer for this kind of thing to happen within Australia on its own (possibly not within your lifetime) and technological contagion is generally a good thing (making technological advancement occur more rapidly for all).
I think globalism is a great force for good, that is rapidly making the world a better place. People just tend to think of globalization as all the parts they don't like about it as opposed to all the parts that are positive about it.
Xenophobia? Possibly, if your definition includes fear of the loss of all other cultural influences due the overwhelming power of one. You could also include the fear of being controlled by said power.
I understand the fear and even some rational reasons for it but think it's an extraordinarily exaggerated fear. You haven't offered any real examples where it hurts you in a meaningful way (not that emotions are not meaningful). And as far as the evils of American hegemony are concerned you guys also seem more like willing participants in the spoils than the subjugated. I can't think of very many nations who don't benefit as much from it and who suffer as little.
As English has become the lingua franca
of the world other nations have had to adapt much
more in their own languages than these minor things Australians complain about in the differences between our English. Some nations are losing their ability to write (the very concept of keyboards are not compatible with certain scripts, so they use transliteration in ways that are fundamentally changing their languages). Other countries have to put up with anglicizing their cultures in much more dramatic ways while Australians benefit from not having to adapt much at all as far as language is concerned. While most of the world is saddled with having to learn English in addition to their mother tongue to compete Australians pick bones with Americans over the tiniest of cultural differences that come up.
On the global scale American hegemony is a hell of a lot easier on Australia than the cultural hegemony of any of the other potential superpowers would be and Australia has it pretty good as far as this cultural empire thing goes, your culture is so very similar to the evil empire that the differences being made of them by Australians here seem hyperbolic to me.
So some ad was pulled and some online store temporarily censored an app based on an incongruous cultural value. So what? Where's the real harm to that other than to your national ego? How
does that hurt you in a meaningful way? In a way that isn't completely eclipsed by the technological benefits that are part and parcel to this relationship. To me these are but minor emotional slights, that are being amplified by irrational national pride.
The funny thing is that even though America is a cultural megaphone that has no historical precedent many Americans view their culture as being threatened as well. That their language is being changed by these foreigners (all these Spanish forms!), that in the 80s and 90s Japan was "buying up America", and now they are scared of the Chinese just like you guys are. I could go on and on but pretty much wherever in the world you go you can hear about how some foreigners are being some generally negative influence and it's largely a crock of nationalistic bullshit. Around the world, I hear the same cultural fears, and quite frankly I don't usually see any real
harm, just a whole lot of people wringing their hands about cultural changes they disagree with. I believe that throughout history much more harm was caused by people who feared outside cultural influences than the outside cultural influences themselves.