The author is a QUB Pol Sci Honours graduate and has written extensively on imperialism, national liberation struggles and class issues.
The Problem of American Exceptionalism
TOM ROSENTIEL of the Pew Research Centre make the following observation as to the reaction towards American Exceptionalism:
'Why is anti-Americanism on the rise? In their new book, America Against the World, Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut and journalist Bruce Stokes explore findings from the Pew Global Attitudes Project’s series of international surveys that highlight the role American values play in the worldwide rise in anti-Americanism in the 21st century. In the following excerpt, the authors examine the major factors, real and imagined, that contribute to this growing alienation between America and other countries, both friends and foes, around the globe.'
Perhaps, most interestingly of the three types of American Exceptionalism that both Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes identify is "Problematic exceptionalism" ie, 'How Americans view themselves, their country, and the world in ways that reflect potentially unbridgeable, persistent gaps in opinions on important issues.'
From a Marxist, anti-imperialist perspective, American Exceptionalism's dynamic and how it behaves globally is the personification of Corporate Capitalism at its most bellicose and barbarous. From the days before and after the so-called 'Monroe Doctrine the United States of America has acted as a global 'policeman' enforcing neoliberal policies on nations with the most modest of public services provisions; installing fascist dictators who will willingly carry out atrocities and mass murder on behalf of their Washington DC paymasters.
As imperialism loots the land, labour and resources of weaker or client states globally, the anarchic downward spiral of Capitalism is exposed as both finite and a rallying point of a fightback for those of the Global South especially to seriously oppose this international brigandry by Uncle Sam and its willing dupes.
The list can go on ad infinitum..
In Paul Hirschfield's 'Lethal Policing: Making Sense of American Exceptionalism' as the world is well aware, American Law Enforcement is not behind the door in its extreme lethal brutality towards its own citizenry, especially those of ethnic backgrounds, in fact, it is a world leader is such a dubious distinction:
'Elevated police lethality is deeply rooted in two distinctive aspects of American society and culture. Police violence is both a tool and product of strategies to maintain racial segregation and inequality. However, racism cannot explain the fact that police lethality is greatest in states where African Americans are least prevalent. Elevated police killings are also rooted in America's prevailing ideology (and mythology) of self-reliance and limited government.'
The prevailing supremacist ideology is easily observable both domestically and in their imperialist rape and plunders for profit in their never-ending wars for profit overseas. There is a Herrenvolk mentality even among the so-called 'progressive' Americans, sure they'll cry you a river about poor old Bubba the farmboy who tread on an IED but they won't know even a single name of the indigenous people's Bubba and his comrades raped and murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This, I would contend is a prima facia case of hard-wired ethnic supremacism and American exceptionalism
The Monroe Doctrine
Personal American Exceptionalism and White Saviour Complex
It has to be said that the United States has many fine people in its populace, not all are imperialist monsters, exceptionalists or rabid imperialists. Many are diametrically opposed to American imperialism and their country's rape and pillage overseas, as they should be and don't deserve any particular accolades for actually opposing such evil and carnage.
Perhaps the most disturbing of the American exceptionalists are the White Saviour Complex liberals. May pose as infantile anarchists, so aptly described by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. They tend to attach themselves to ID Politics, the most counter-revolutionary element of the so-called American 'left'. Like social parasites, they attach themselves to Black Power politics, First Nations Peoples, the cause of Irish national liberation and a plethora of 'causes' they can throw money at and indulge in tokenist solidarity. As a person from an oppressed country blighted by eight hundred years of British colonialism and imperialism, we do not regard these liberal leeches with anything but disdain, they are quite literally oppression tourists who can trundle back to their white picket fences when and as they please. These people are settlers with a partial guilt complex.
Kenna articulated it accurately below when he summed up the mindset of American Exceptionalism, which to a greater or lesser degree is the dominant ideology within the United States of America, even the White Saviour Complex liberals fall back on it when pushed about their shallow adherence to various currently trendy causes:
"We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. ... In the face of this situation ... we should dispense with the aspiration to "be liked" or to be regarded as the repository of high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers' keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
(George Kennan, "Memo PPS23", written 28 February 1948, declassified 17 June 1974)
Dedicated to those murdered in the cause of profit by willing imperialists.
In 2010, 80 percent of Americans polled by Gallup said the U.S. is the "greatest country" in the world
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on September 17, 2021:
I am not sure that anti-Americanism is on the rise.
But i am certain that the favourite mirror that Americans look at to see their exceptional image is turning blind. The mirror is getting stains on the inside, as real mirrors do. It is the domestic problems that darken the outlook on national self esteem.
And Americans who never learned to look behind the mirror get desperate. Some turn to cults like Trumpism.
As Confucius said: Learning without thinking is useless, thinking and doing without knowledge is dangerous.
Observing Americans on and after Sept. 11 (i was in the US at that time) made me remember Confucius. Political illiteracy of the people combined with brute capitalism, adding some patriotism and the firepower of a large population and things get dangerous.
No American politician was ever told the old Roman "Respice post te, hominem te esse memento", "Look around and remember that you are only human", something a slave would constantly tell a victorious Roman emperor on his triumphal march through Rome.
The Romans were also exceptionalists, but they knew.
Americans are exceptionalists, but do they know?
There are simply too few Americans left like George Kennan.