Monday, December 8, 2008

The American Myth

Here is the latest from cousin John Laughland.
We can see this in the way Americans often refer to their state as “young”. In reality, the American state is no younger than other states which never refer to themselves in the same way, Australia or Canada for instance. The reason for the difference is that Americans believe their country represents and new and different kind of society, created ex nihilo by the “Founding Fathers” on the basis of rational principles. According to the dream, those principles live on today, and continue to form the basis for the continuing existence of the American state as the result of a kind of necessity rather than historical contingency. The American dream is, in this sense, a sort of semi-religious “covenant” which never ages because it is constantly renewed by the adherence of each individual American to the social contract.

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