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When white het (or not-het) men write critically about the U.S., they rarely to never speak about it as a patriarchal nation-state. They rarely to never speak about it as a misogynistic-racist-heterosexist-genocidal breeding ground which only benefits wealthier white het men, and mostly Christian ones at that. Why is that, do you think? Does "Empire" not have a gendered political purpose--to perpetuate the rule of men over women, and males over females? Does it not have a particularly lethal agenda for all Indigenous people? Does it promote lesbian existence as anything other than existing for het men's sexxxist entertainment? For which population is focusing on such matters a distraction or irrelevancy? You have one guess.
What follows is from News Junkie Post. Please click on the title below to link back.
The concept of American exceptionalism is as old as the United States, and it implies that the country has a qualitative difference from other nations. This notion of been “special” gives Americans the sense that playing a lead role in world affair is part of their “natural” historic calling. However there is nothing historically exceptional about this: the Roman empire also viewed itself as a system superior to other nations so did the British and the French empires more recently.
On the topic of American exceptionalism, which he often called “Americanism”, Seymour Martin Lipset noted that “America’s ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. The revolutionary ideology, which became American creed, is liberalism in its eighteenth and nineteenth-century meaning. It departed from conservatism Toryism , statist communitarianism, mercantilism and noblesse- oblige dominant in monarchical state-church formed cultures.” Naturally identifying America’s system as a unique ideology, just like calling its successful colonial war against Britain a revolution is a fallacy. For once, America was never based on social equality, as rigid class distinctions always remained through the United States history.
In reality, the United States has never broken from European social models. American exceptionalism implies a sense of superiority, just like in the case of the British empire, the French empire and the Roman empire. In such imperialist systems, class inequality was never challenged, and, as matter of fact, served as corner stone of the imperial structure. In American history, the only exception to this system based on social inequality was during the post World War II era of the economic “miracle”. The period from 1945 to the mid 1970s was characterized by major economic growth, an absence of big economic downturns, and a much higher level of social mobility on a massive scale. This time-frame saw a tremendous expansion of higher education-from 2.5 million people to 12 million going to colleges and universities, and this education explosion, naturally, fostered this upward mobility where the “American dream” became possible for the middle-class.
Regardless of real domestic social progress made in America after the birth of the empire in 1945, for the proponents of American exceptionalism- this includes the entire political class- the myth of the United States defined as a “shinning city on a hill” has always been a rational to justify the pursuit of imperialism. Recently, in his address to the nation to justify the military intervention in Libya, President Obama said that “America was different”, as if the US had a special role in history as a force for good. In “Democracy In America”, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville was lyrical in his propaganda-like adulation of American exceptionalism, defining it almost as divine providence.
“When the earth was given to men by the Creator, the earth was inexhaustible. But men were weak and ignorant, and when they had learned to take advantage of the treasures which it contained, they already covered its surface and were soon obliged to earn by the sword an asylum for respose and freedom. Just then North America was discovered, as if it had been kept in reserve by the Deity and had risen from beneath the waters of the deluge.” wrote de Tocqueville.
This notion originated by the French author, and dully amplified ever since, defining the United States as the “divine gift” of a moral and virtuous land is a cruel fairy-tale. It is mainly convenient to ease up America’s deep guilt. After all, the brutal birth of this nation took place under the curse of two cardinal sins: the theft of Native American land after committing a genocide on their population; the hideous crime of slavery, with slaves building the immense wealth for the few, in a new feudal system, with their sweat, tears and blood.
Also from Gilbert Mercier, please see this:
Tax Day: A Third Of Your Tax Money Is Spent On Wars And Security
Julian's note: "Security", here, means the racist-misogynist, oil-hoarding, ecocidal bombing of human beings in Central Asia and North Africa. Just in case the word "security" doesn't quite make that clear.