Sunday, September 15, 2013

Me and Vladmir ... By gimleteye

Vladmir Putin and I have a problem with American exceptionalism. Vladmir's objection is a kind of irritation at the hubris underlying the premise. After all, it was Russia that produced Tolstoy. I have a different bone to pick with American exceptionalism. When waved by politicians like a flag, American exceptionalism is like a fig leaf covering leadership defects. Putin is right and he is wrong. Tolstoy would not have happily shared bread and vodka with him. On the other hand, Tolstoy would have agreed; in assessing the capacity to be exceptional, America succeeds at the margins. Like here:


Anonymous said...

The shaky rise of this sort has been seen in written history many times, incidentally it has always gone hand in hand with concentration of wealth and power in the hand of a corrupt and blindly greedy elite leading to organization tools such as NSA and abuse of power and undermining of principles of the state which the powerful mock as outdated relics.

Cato II said...

"American exceptionalism" is the religiously neutral way of saying that God doesn't just bless America, he/she favors us above all others. Quite a slap to the 87% of Earth's population that isn't American. Exceptional? We lead the way in terms of percentage of population in prison and having the largest defense budget, but that is about it. Other nations have populations that are smarter than ours, richer than ours on a per capita basis, and even happier than ours. We expect that we can keep chanting "We're number one!" over and over again, and that the sheer weight of our reputation will make it so. If we want show the world we're exceptional, we need to start working at it. No brag. Just facts.

Anonymous said...

For the NYT to publish an Op-Ed by Vladimir Putin in which he takes Obama to task is quite a remarkable event, in my opinion. No matter how Obama spins it, it is a slap in the face.

Here it is, so you can draw your own conclusions: