Thursday, October 27, 2011

Harvard's Stephen Walt: 'The Myth of American Exceptionalism'

At Foreign Policy.

I saw this a couple of weeks back and wasn't the least bit surprised, especially since I learned that Walt was a featured speaker at communist Code Pink's Jew-hating anti-AIPAC conference in May. I considered writing a full take-down, but thought better of my time. Besides, Walt gets hammered in the comments:
Typical Revisionist Thinking

As an American, I have absolutely no qualms with the content of this article. That said, we all need to take a deep breath and realize that this is just another contribution to the millions of pages of standard revisionist political thinking in the US. And it seems like every time another page or two is written, the author and/or his/her readers act as though they have just unearthed a treasure trove of hidden truth that typical "brainwashed" Americans have never heard before.

There is nothing in this article that is not taught in every basic US history class (at least at the university level), that has not been widely reported in the US media, or that is not a common topic in US political discussion. As much as people outside of the US like to think of Americans as lost in a world of false euphoria stemming from their very "Americanness," the harshest critics of the United States, much like this author, are to be found right within the US itself, teaching at its universities, publishing articles in its journals and newspapers, lecturing at events, and participating in public political discussion. Believe me, as a nation, we are quite sober and objective.
This is a full-length feature in the magazine's November/December issue, and it might be useful for international relations course syllabi. Or, well, perhaps as part of a debate on exceptionalism. Either that, or as a museum piece of elitist (egghead) political science, worth a read for its curiosity value (at the link)