American Narcissism: The Myth of National Superiority (HC) by Wilber W. Caldwell

By Wilber W. Caldwell

Whilst does nationwide satisfaction pass the invisible boundary that separates benign patriotism and malignant nationalism? Nationalism isn't really distinct to the US: it was once invented with the start of recent international locations. yet nationalism is exclusive in the US. american citizens conceive themselves and their kingdom to be incontrovertibly enhanced 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, project and excessive future; from the indelible legends of frontier self-sufficiency; from the boldness and self-reliance had to be successful as immigrants; from a strong feel of America's isolation and area of expertise; 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 state. because the unipolar second fades into reminiscence, this feeling of unquestionable superiority - expressed via politics and international coverage - doesn't play good ahead of the worldwide viewers. actually, it by no means did. In the USA this present day, notions of nationwide superiority are way more deeply ingrained and much extra probably ruinous than so much people think. it is a trip that slides from cause to emotion, from person liberty to mass tyranny, and from humanity to inhumanity. Drawing on resources from in the educational disciplines of historical past, sociology, political technological know-how and overseas affairs, the writer seeks to decode scholarly jargon and lay naked this nook of the yank brain. * Wilber W. Caldwell is the writer of numerous books of social statement that examine American society via a variety of lenses together with background, structure, foodstuff and philosophy. prior titles comprise The Courthouse and the Depot: The structure of wish in an Age of melancholy, a research of railroad growth and its impression on public structure within the rural South 1833-1910; trying to find the Dixie barbeque: trips into the Southern Psyche, a funny examine the area of barbeque 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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The initial core of American colonization was English, and it is from the English that the United States inherited her original fears of “foreign” cultural pollution. In the beginning, these Anglo-Saxon, Protestant American fears centered on Germans, Scotch-Irish, French Huguenots, and on Roman Catholics and Jews of all nationalities. 204 The record of early Anglo-Saxon American xenophobia is clear. Even the great Benjamin Franklin lashed out against German immigrants in Pennsylvania, “Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and 200.

202 Indeed, America is defined, in large part, by her complex racial and cultural inheritance, embracing a common ideology in a common environment. While Americans bristle with pride when they contemplate their benevolence in opening their national arms to “huddled masses yearning to be free,” at the same time, many bristle with xenophobic fear in contemplation of the social, political, and religious threats these masses might pose to America’s “native” culture. This tension between welcome and rejection constitutes one of the many paradoxes of the American experience.

Here the eternal beneficence of nature could be observed, and reason became the guide of action. Unhampered by the accumulations of custom, prejudice, and the follies and crimes of the ages, men could work out their own salvation by their own powers. Here humanity was re-created anew as one race out of a mixture of nations and religions. 128 The “re-creation of civilization” on the American frontier would yield something new and untested. ”129 In his 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. Parrington, Main Currents, 1:6.

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