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American Exceptionalism

July 23, 2012

The Economist

Democracy in America, by M.S.

“While I understand the deep historical roots of the phrase, I increasingly wish we could stop dignifying that ideology with the word “exceptionalism”; it’s essentially provincialism. It has few significant differences from the boastfully provincial nationalist ideologies one finds in any other country in the world. The particular themes wrapped up in American self-congratulatory ideology are different, but the fact that there is an American ideology that sees America as unique in the world and at the pinnacle of historical evolution is no more remarkable than the similar self-congratulatory provincial ideologies flaunted by nationalist Israelis, Iranians, French, Dutch, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, North Koreans and Vietnamese. To be sure, the bigger and more inward-focused your country is, the easier a time you have of viewing yourself as exceptional, due to lack of exposure to all those foreigners you are presumably an exception to.”

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From → Culture, Sociology

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  1. American Exceptionalism? « kepdavis

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