The Global Citizen..
“Our solid American citizen awakens in a bed built on a
pattern which originated in the Near East but which
was modified in Northern Europe
before it was transmitted to America.
He [or she] throws back covers made from cotton,
domesticated in India, or linen, domesticated in the Near
East, or wool from sheep, also domesticated in the Near
East, or silk, the use of which was discovered in China.
All of these materials have been spun and woven by
processes invented in the Near East.
He slips into his moccasins, invented by the Indians of
the easternwoodlands, and goes to the bathroom, whose
fixtures are a mixture of European and American inventions,
both of recent date.
He takes off his pajamas, a garment invented in India,
and washes with soap invented by the ancient Gauls.
He then shaves, a masochistic rite which seems to
have been derived from either Sumer or ancient
Returning to the bedroom, he removes his clothes from
a chair of southern European type and proceeds to dress.
He puts on garments whose form originally derived from
the skin clothing of the nomads of the Asiatic steppes,
puts on shoes made from skins tanned by a process
invented in ancient Egypt and cut to a pattern derived
from the classical civilizations of the Mediterranean,
and ties around his neck a strip of bright-colored cloth
which is avestigial survival of the shoulder shawls worn by the
Before going out for breakfast he glances through the windows,
Made of glass invented in Egypt, and if it is raining puts on
overshoes made of rubber discovered by the Central
American Indians and takes a umbrella, invented in
southeastern Asia. Upon his head he puts a hat made of felt,
a material invented in the Asiatic steppes.
On his way to breakfast he stops to buy a paper,
paying for it with coins, an ancient Lydian invention.
At the restaurant a whole new series of borrowed elements
confronts him. His plate is made of a form of pottery invented
in China. His knife is of steel, an alloy first made in southern
India, his fork a medieval Italian invention, and his spoon a
derivative of a Roman original.
He begins breakfast with an orange, from the eastern
Mediterranean, a cantaloupe from Persia, or perhaps a
piece of African watermelon. With this he has coffee, an
Abyssinian plant, with cream and sugar. Both the domestication
of cows and the idea of milking them originate in the Near East,
while sugar was first made in India.
After his fruit and first coffee he goes on to waffles, cakes
made by a Scandinavian technique from wheat
domesticated in Asia Minor. Over these he pours maple syrup,
invented by the Indians of the easter Woodlands.
As a side dish he may have the eggs of a species of bird
Domesticated in Indo-China, or thin strips of the flesh of
an animal domesticated in Eastern Asia which have been
salted and smoked by a process developed in northern Europe.
When our friend has finished eating he settles back to smoke,
An American Indian habit, consuming a plant domesticated in
Brazil in either a pipe, derived from the Indians of Virginia,
or a cigarette, derived from Mexico.
If he is hardy enough he may even attempt a cigar,
transmitted to us from the Antilles by way of Spain.
While smoking, he reads the news of the day,
imprinted in characters invented by the ancient Semites
upon a material invented in China by a process invented
As he absorbs the accounts of foreign troubles,
if he is a good conservative citizen, he will thank a
Hebrew deity, in an Indo-European language, that
he is 100 percent American.”
Courtesy of Sujiv..
“100 percent American” by Ralph Linton in his 1936 publication
entitled The Study Of Man, pp. 326-327).