[T]here are profound differences in the way Americans and people in other countries -- especially Western Europeans -- view such fundamental issues as the limits of personal freedom and the role of government in helping the poor. Americans are more individualistic and favor a less compassionate government than do Europeans and others. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) believe success is not outside of their control. Except for Canadians (63%), most of the world disagrees. Among 44 nations surveyed, the U.S. has one of the highest percentages of people who think that most people who fail in life have themselves to blame, rather than society.Britain's been trending more like the U.S., but elsewhere, the numbers have changed only a bit since then.
Accordingly, Americans care more about personal freedom than government assurances of social justice. Fully 58% of Americans say it is more important to have the freedom to pursue personal goals without government interference, while just 34% say it is more important for government to guarantee that no one is in need. In most other nations, majorities embrace the opposite view.
(via Legal Insurrection)