Being born, raised, and brainwashed by the American capitalist machine, I have been conditioned to believe that America is the best country in the world. A little critical thinking goes a long way in debunking this.
For example, consider North Korea. This is a country that also believes in their exceptionalism. They have raised their dear leader to the level of a god. They have nuclear capabilities which additionally bolster the confidence in their exceptionalism. They have full faith that their country is superior to America, China, India and any and all European nations.
They also happen to live in a totalitarian state where the media is under complete government control and contact with the outside world is forbidden.
Contrast that with the United States of America. For the most part, we are not exceptional. Many of us are quite content to live as lazily as possible; often times completely dependent on fast food and faster internet. It is true that capitalism has driven us to compete with each other to create truly amazing things such as our technology. But it is this same competition that has torn at our social fabric and frayed the trust in our communities.
America believes in its exceptionalism so fully that we are a country that doesn’t blink twice when we enter into new foreign policy messes. We are a nation that has been 100% complicit in the usurpation of Iraqi oil. What’s more we were quite willing to kill for it. We are a nation that sees nothing wrong with intervening on foreign soil to oust a democratically elected leader and put in his place a leader that is sympathetic to the myth of America.
When will we be done competing? Do we not see that it is getting us nowhere, fast?
The very idea of nationalist pride is hindering a move towards unity amongst us as a species. Too many people are willing to fight and die for their country. This has previously been an admirable task in our culture. I’m telling you today that we must subvert that culture.
Nationalist pride, or exceptionalism drives a profound wedge between us. It fosters a mentality that automatically concludes: We’re right, they’re wrong.
If we as Americans are willing to claim a spirit of humility and redress the injuries we’ve caused to this world; that would truly be exceptional. At the same time it would be wonderful if South Korea would take steps to reunite with North Korea. Such a reunion would do great things in our world to cultivate an atmosphere of unity.
Check out this American that defected to N. Korea.