By Wilber W. Caldwell
Whilst does nationwide satisfaction move the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism? Nationalism isn't precise to the US: it was once invented with the start of contemporary countries. yet nationalism is exclusive in the US. american citizens conceive themselves and their state to be incontrovertibly greater to the opposite peoples and international locations of the earth. traditionally, American notions of superiority spring from myths of the original regenerative energy of the recent land; from visions of chosen-ness, challenge and excessive future; from the indelible legends of frontier self-sufficiency; from the arrogance and self-reliance had to prevail as immigrants; from a strong experience of America's isolation and forte; from the conclusion of abundance; and eventually from the perceived universality of yankee ideology. This predisposes us to a distinctively virulent pressure of nationalism in contrast to that present in virtually the other sleek country. because the unipolar second fades into reminiscence, this feeling of unquestionable superiority - expressed via politics and overseas coverage - doesn't play good prior to the worldwide viewers. actually, it by no means did. In the USA at the present time, notions of nationwide superiority are way more deeply ingrained and much extra in all likelihood ruinous than so much people think. this can be a trip that slides from cause to emotion, from person liberty to mass tyranny, and from humanity to inhumanity. Drawing on assets from in the educational disciplines of historical past, sociology, political technological know-how and international affairs, the writer seeks to decode scholarly jargon and lay naked this nook of the yankee brain. * Wilber W. Caldwell is the writer of a number of books of social remark that examine American society via quite a few lenses together with background, structure, foodstuff and philosophy. prior titles contain The Courthouse and the Depot: The structure of wish in an Age of depression, a learn of railroad enlargement and its influence on public structure within the rural South 1833-1910; trying to find the Dixie barbeque: trips into the Southern Psyche, a funny examine the realm of fish fry and modern rural Southern tradition; and Cynicism and the Evolution of the yankee Dream. A photographer in addition to a author, he lives within the mountains of northern Georgia.
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Extra info for American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority (HC)
120. Furay, Grass-roots Mind in America, 9; Lewis, American Adam. 121. Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776. 122. Stephanson, Manifest Destiny, 6. 123. Parrington, Main Currents, 1:12. 34 Chapter 3: The New World this volatile rhetoric would eventually blow down the walls of repression and tyranny across the entire sweep of human endeavor. In the New World, Luther’s compelling, liberal, religious concepts underwent a dynamic fusion with secular concepts and republican ideologies. ”125 The land and the people fused into one idea, one myth: a glorious myth of hope.
Arieli, Individualism and Nationalism, 42. ” Thoreau addressed this same American need while reflecting on “the essential facts of life” at Walden Pond. 132 He proposed that the new land and the condition of the frontier implanted in each American soul a new spirit: the self-reliant, self-proclaimed, self-superior spirit of American democratic individualism. It was not a great leap from the notion of the frontier as the crucible of American individualism and democracy to the notion of the frontier as the forge of American superiority.
Rossiter, The American Quest, 44. 152. Krakau, Introduction to American Nation, edited by Krakau, 11. 153. Stephanson, Manifest Destiny, 21. 40 Chapter 4: Chosen-ness, Mission, and Destiny In this regard, Max Weber’s insights into the birth of Protestantism are apt. 154 This goes a long way toward explaining the hasty American refashioning of religious providential destiny into a purely secular force. In the American mind, material progress and the natural abundance of the land gave testament to the new nation’s divine sanction.
American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority (HC) by Wilber W. Caldwell