Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Our False “Exceptionalism”

Professor Robert Zaller’s reflections on Obama’s Tucson speech are timely. We are the nation where two Kennedys and one King were “executed” in a turbulent decade. We lead the world in both incarceration rates and differential punishments for race and class, including executions. Our hunger for guns also leads the world as more and more citizens wrongly believe guns make them safer.

We live in a psychotic culture and should worry less about being overrun economically by China and more about imminent social suicide. My hunch is that we are most vulnerable because of our false “Exceptionalism” as the greatest nation in the history of the world. Until we are mature enough to confess to this absurd false consciousness, we will fondle our guns as a mindless guarantee of safety.
Patrick D. Hazard
Weimar, Germany
January 23, 2011

Editor’s comment: Granted, the notion of a uniquely chosen nation leads inevitably to arrogance. But what country, other than the U.S., gets your vote for greatest nation in history so far? Ancient Greece? Rome? Britain? France? The Hapsburg Empire? What?

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