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View Diary: America is Not Exceptional (113 comments)

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  •  Well, you make my point...the way to move forward (6+ / 0-)

    is to kill the myth.  Stiglitz says as much here:

    The only way to kill the myth is to help people see they myth for what it is and then, rather than hold out for the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow, just start building on where we are at....

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:37:55 AM PDT

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    •  American Exceptionalism and (5+ / 0-)

      the American Dream are sometimes used as a cudgel to keep the masses in line, much as the promises of Heaven and role reversal of earthly conditions is used in religion to squelch discontent within our social structures. You suffer now, but you reap so much after you're dead.

      Bullshit. And how so many buy into it beyond their childhood is perplexing.

      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 11:15:35 AM PDT

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      •  This is why I think we're exceptionally harmful. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dizzydean, svboston

        Our pretense of offering a chance at the mythical American Dream on Earth and then heaven later has scammed the whole world, but our own citizens most of all. Because we have so much power and influence and have used it so often, all over the world, mostly to support dictators and make our rich even richer, we have done more damage than most.  Of course we have sometimes done good as a nation, and as individuals have sometimes helped make it a better world.  But so many countries were empowered to do horrible things because we helped them; the disappeared of South America symbolize for me the worst kind of result of U.S. influence in the world. And at home, we have been the shameful country that Zinn portrayed; but I found that out long before I read Zinn, as anyone can who goes to the primary sources of any period of our history.

        •  I agree that our influence is greater (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sagesource, METAL TREK

          than that of most countries, because of our size and power.  I don't think that our actions, historically, have been worse, however.

          A few examples of other countries' bad behavior would include: The slaughter of millions in Mao's China, Nazi Germany, the genocide in the former Yugoslavia, the killing fields in Cambodia, and environmentally, the building of so many coal fired power plants in contemporary China.

    •  I think it's a question of engaging the myth... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...and making people aware of it.  Right now it's so internalized that even its de facto critics don't understand it's there.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:13:04 PM PDT

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