Wednesday, July 09, 2008

America, the Ruthless Hammer of Individualism

Spengler has what is even by his rarefied standards an amazing essay at Asia Times on American exceptionalism:

Abraham Lincoln, the next best thing to an American prophet, called his countrymen "this almost chosen people". Most Americans still would agree with him. Americans may not love their country more than other peoples, but they love it in a different way. This love is visible at any small-town celebration of Independence Day, in the tearful eyes of older people. They have not forgotten the humiliations that drove their antecedents out of their countries of origin European states always have been the instruments of an elite; Americans believe their government, is there to defend them against the predation of the powerful.

For all its flaws and fecklessness, America remains in the eyes of its people an attempt to order a nation according to divine law rather than human custom, such that all who wish to live under divine law may abandon their ethnicity and make themselves Americans. The rights of Americans are held to be inalienable precisely because they are a grant from God, not the consensus of the sociologists or the shifting custom of a particular historical period. Ridiculous as this appears to the secular world, it is embraced by Americans as fervently as it was during the Founding. Even worse for the secularists, it has raised a following in the hundreds of millions in the Global South among people who also would rather be ruled by the divine law that holds their dignity to be sacred, than by the inherited tyranny of traditional society.

America the individualist annihilator, America the individualist redeemer. An American world in which the individual is king, and the group and its petty demands subservient to him. This is why we are so essential, yet so hated. Read the whole thing.



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