The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism

Have a spare hour to squirm a little? Andrew Bacevich on Bill Moyers Journal.

2 thoughts on “The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism

  1. harmonicminer

    I’ll read this; thanks for the tip, Aly. I may blog on it myself.

    But unless the text contradicts the title of the book, the author suffers from a fundamental misapprehension about the theory of American exceptionalism.

    It was identified by Alexis de Tocqueville long before the USA was any kind of world power.

    It is fundamentally about national character, not how well-regarded we are by the rest of the world, not how successful any given foreign policy might be, not how successful our economy is in any given decade, etc.

    I’d agree that American exceptionalism may be in trouble, but it is in direct proportion to how many Americans think the rest of the nation should take care of them in various ways (and are willing for the government to collect by force if necessary), and how many Americans think it’s good for the nation to do that. To put it most succinctly, the more Americans think we should imitate Europe in these matters, the less exceptional we will be.

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