Saturday, June 25, 2005

American Exceptionalism Examined

Don't miss Michael Ignatieff's "Who Are Americans to Think That Freedom is Theirs to Spread?" in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. It's a fascinating look at the tumultuous trend of American exceptionalist philosophy and the exportation of democracy, from the days of Jefferson to the present.


At 2:27 PM, Blogger cakreiz said...

I happened upon this NYT's piece early Sunday morning and was impressed by the Jefferson Idealism v. American Realism dichotomy. The paradigm makes a lot of sense. I was solidly in the Realism camp until Reagan's version of Idealism resulted in an end to the Cold War. Nevertheless, I was probably a Colin Powell realist prior to the Iraq incursion. At least this model puts this into some kind of meaningful context.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger cakreiz said...

One more comment on this excellent NYT's piece. Though not discussed in the article, one difference between Reagan & Bush 43 is that Reagan achieved his goals through the threat of force (as opposed to its actual use). It's troubling to me that many on the radical left (and some on the plain ol' left) view saber-rattling as the rough equivalent of war. Rather, it seems to be a most useful arrow in the quiver, to mix metaphors.


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