A few implications of American Exceptionalism

Posted by Silver on September 26, 2011
Sep 262011

Credit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/26/us-africa-famine-idUSTRE76P1A220110726

Crisis begin more often with ideas than actions. Actions substantiate the circumstances implied by an idea. One example is American Exceptionalism.


American Exceptionalism fuels US foreign policy and domestic self-image unconsciously, while framing the global psychological and philosophical position of the country. It functions as an enabler for influence and intervention by shifting the frame of judgement for our actions from practical implications and measurable outcomes to emotion, belief, and rhetoric.


One of the most damning paradoxes of the USA’s efforts to spread it’s style of democracy globally is the fact the USA imprisons a higher percentage of its population than any other nation on the planet. While the basic implications of this for democracy are clear, further breakdown by race and economic background clarify the underlying question of circumstance and discrimination being at the center of imprisonment policy. The majority of the imprisoned are economically oppressed minorities. From a dispassionate standpoint this would be a crisis undermining the USA’s credibility to expound notions of freedom globally, yet our inability to adequately acknowledge domestic poverty and the expedient solutions mediate digestion of these facts from actionable policy and popular sentiment.

World Prison Population List // via Kings College London Centre for Prison Studies: