American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority

By Wilber W. Caldwell

Nationalism isn't particular to the US: it used to be invented with the delivery of contemporary international locations. yet nationalism is exclusive in the United States. american citizens conceive themselves and their kingdom to be incontrovertibly better to the opposite peoples and international locations of the earth. while does nationwide delight go the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism?

Americans have a lot to be happy with, yet nationwide delight can move the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism. the writer surveys the evolution of american citizens grandiose view of themselves and the contrasting influence created within the wider world.

Historically, American notions of superiority spring from myths of the original regenerative energy of the recent land; from visions of chosen-ness, undertaking and excessive future; from the indelible legends of frontier self-sufficiency; from the arrogance and self-reliance had to be successful as immigrants; from a strong experience of the United States s isolation and specialty; from the conclusion of abundance; and at last from the perceived universality of yankee ideology.

This predisposes us to a distinctively virulent pressure of nationalism not like that present in virtually the other smooth country. because the unipolar second fades into reminiscence, this feeling of unquestionable superiority expressed via politics and overseas coverage doesn't play good sooner than the worldwide viewers. actually, it by no means did.

Drawing on resources from in the educational disciplines of historical past, sociology, political technological know-how and international affairs, the ebook seeks to decode scholarly jargon and lay naked this nook of the yank brain for the advantage of a much broader readership.

The dialogue is equipped in 4 elements:


The Evolution of the yank Superiority delusion

The Presumption of nationwide Superiority

Tolerance And Plurality

In the United States at the present time, notions of nationwide superiority are way more deeply ingrained and much extra very likely ruinous than such a lot folks think. it is a trip that slides from cause to emotion, from person liberty to mass tyranny, and from humanity to inhumanity.

This publication will curiosity readers people background, present occasions, and social statement; and all who ask yourself, Why do they hate us?

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525 Appeals to American exceptionalism continually fall on receptive ears. As de Tocqueville mentioned, american citizens can by no means get sufficient of listening to how actually remarkable they're. Such appeals have been quite potent for Bush and Clinton on the finish of the chilly battle simply because, all alongside and secretly in her center of hearts, from Hiroshima to the autumn of the Berlin Wall, the United States were craving 522. McAvoy-Levy, American Exceptionalism and US international coverage, 143. 523. George Bush, in a variety of crusade speeches introduced in November and December 1991, quoted in McAvoy-Levy, American Exceptionalism and US international coverage, 147.

Greene, highbrow development of the United States, 207. 543. Greene, highbrow development of the United States, 162. 137 American Narcissism: the parable of nationwide Superiority checked out the remainder of the area and observed that their scenario used to be particular. because the respected Samuel Williams of Massachusetts saw in 1775, the USA used to be virtually the single nation on this planet that didn't dwell in “total subjugation to their rulers. ” Williams observed the USA relocating towards the belief “of larger perfection and happiness than mankind has but visible.

THE features OF critical NATIONALISM In 1931, Clinton Hayes came across essential nationalism in just about all the countries of the realm. “The plenty in such a lot states today,” he wrote, “acquiesce in, and infrequently applaud, public regulations which partake of the character of imperative nationalism. ”85 during this acquiescence, he stumbled on “unpardonable self-deception. ”86 this present day, the international locations of the area are much more entrenched in imperative nationalism than ever, and in lots of instances what Professor Hayes mistook for “selfdeception,” now seems to be the results of a type of nationwide brainwashing, the indoctrination of complete international locations into cults of unflinching devotion to the perceived nationwide curiosity.

Stephanson, show up future, 124. 30. Arieli, Individualism and Nationalism, 23. 31. Stephanson, appear future, 119. 32. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. , “One opposed to the Many,” in Schlesinger Jr. and White, Paths of yankee suggestion, 538. eight PART ONE: NOTES ON NATIONALISM CHAPTER 1: NATIONALISM the USA isn't by myself in her sickness. a world plague of nationalism has been a dangerous driver within the clash of countries because international locations as we all know them got here to into lifestyles. this present day, all smooth countries are contaminated with their very own menacing lines of nationalistic fervor; illiberal, self-aggrandizing, militant, overconfident, dogmatic, racial, blind.

146 Chapter 12: the parable of yank Superiority Saxon management additionally led the US to enhanced fiscal success. As Edward N. Saveth placed it: The perception of person liberty, neighborhood self-government, freedom from exterior keep an eye on which the recent historic institution claimed to have came across within the German forests not just supplied a foundation for the yank nationwide personality yet contributed extra aid to a strongly constructed philosophy of laissez-faire…. The final degree within the evolution of the heroic Teuton used to be because the captain of undefined, bringing the advantages of ‘political association’ to inferior races and resisting the makes an attempt of non-Aryans to fetter his individuality with the chains of socialism.

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