Explaining American Directness and Volume to Foreigners

—“The speaking volume in the United States for most conversations is very loud, which in many other countries would be considered rude. … Also, business people in the United States use very direct language and tight time management when communicating and running meetings, which people from many other countries might find off-putting.” –Raj Patel

It’s counter-intuitive, but our volume is an expression of high trust: that if I can be said, it can be said in public, and with confidence or it should not be said. Or conversely, quiet people who speak in whispers may have other nasty habits.

It is beneficial to remember that Anglo and Germanic civilizations only split in 1830, and that america was founded by pre-1830 anglos, and that the majority of white americans are at least of partial german decent. America is an english speaking germanic country. That is what separates English speaking America from english speaking Britain, Canada and Australia. (This insight is rather profound and you will find that it explains many american cultural peculiarities. America is a Tudor,German, Civilization with english institutions, law and language).
We can also recall that the world now operates Military, Aircraft, and Seas in English (germanic english) using English commands and manners, because we found out that the rest of the world operates on face (lying), hierarchical(untrue), indirect(untrue), and permissive (untrue), language suitable for village life but not for running DANGEROUS environments where truth, clarity, and directness save lives.
But the question is, why did germanic anglos invent this kind of direct language?

BECAUSE WESTERNERS WERE ALL MEMBERS OF THE MILITIA. German evolved as an aristocratic, martial, language. And westerners have been practicing decentralized (militia) warfare for over 5000 years – at least since they invented the Chariot.

So even today, the first thing you are taught in basic training is to speak clearly, loudly, confidently, and TESTIMONIALLY (truthfully), regardless of the social impact of your speech – because otherwise PEOPLE DIE.

Americans and Germans retain (Germans more so) this military culture in daily life: speak directly, clearly and truthfully. Quiet speech means you are not to be trusted, and not a fully mature adult.

Until the last few generations, we were taught GRAMMAR AND RHETORIC (public speaking) as a requirement.


You are correct in stating that this directness eliminates cooperative economic friction, decreases the necessity of developing trust (it’s assumed) and increases the use of litigation when it fails. That is because america does not regulate what we do, it punishes what we do if we fail. (This is profound difference between the napoleonic ‘parental and permission” model of law.

It is not obvious but while we have very similar genetic origins, and while we both have inherited the common law, that the reason India is so pervasively corrupt, is that it is not a high trust society that has succeeded in creating a universal militia independent of class, tribe and family biases. (and the decline in truth telling in favor of political correctness and postmodern argument in all walks of life is the reason for increasing corruption in america.)

The west has been through a 5000 year meat grinder military service and the relative success of the west in all fields – science, commerce, and law – is because we tell the testimonial truth regardless of cost to anyone. Because as a martial people, doing so is your path to status and enfranchisement. And because in a martial people, the truth means people live in battle. And martial people were led by martial aristocracy.

It has only been since the enfranchisement of women that these requirements for disciplined truth telling have been systematically undermined. And just as martial truth-telling (testimony) is the secret of the west’s evolutionary velocity compared to older civilizations, the secret of our downfall is the decline of this tradition of martial truth telling due to the inclusion of women in the electorate. (Look at the voting data. Look at today’s voting data. American white men vote red everywhere other than main and Seattle.)

And that’s pretty scary really.

Leave a Reply