Exceptional Ism

/ Social Semantics /

Notes further developing a ubiquitous K. attitude
This one relates to K. Reading Notes:

Sarah Vowell Unfamiliar Fishes
Wordy Shipmates

The marvelous Sarah Vowell is wonderful on the history of the idea of “American exceptionalism.”
I reserve this as a place where I will weigh in on the same subject, set of subjects, sets of subjects.

First I’ll say that the idea of Americans being an exception to the rule is directly and easily descended from the Christian idea that Christians are an exception to the rule. The rule is that humans are no good: not nice, not intelligent, not honest, not well-informed, not wise, not alert … Ah, but if you believe out loud that you are an exception, that eating the bread, drinking the magic wine, gives you the infinite fix of God’s grace …

Other people may be judged by their actions; Christians must be judged by their belief that no matter what they’ve done, no matter how many times more that they do it, no matter how sinful, God will forgive them: has to: they got the magic bullet.
Well: Americans are Christian: in spades. White folks, don’t forget.

So: where Hitler murdered the Poles, that was venality; when Americans murder the Filipinos, the Vietnamese, the Muslims, that proves the opposite of what it seems to prove.

Anyway, we are a species which believes that the saw “the exception proves the rule” means that the rule having no true examples proves that the rule is true: rather than what it seems to prove: that the rule is false, get a better rule. Americans lying, stealing, murdering, degrading … proves how much God loves us, how rich God wants us to be: God gave the Canaanites land to the Jews, God gave the aborigines’ land to whoever is the most baldfaced hypocrite.

revisit will improve

Social Semantics

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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