Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Charles Murray’s "Aristotelianism": American Exceptionalism

At AEI the noted social scientist views America in terms of the best practical political order--in other words, like the ancient political philosopher Aristotle. Murray may need more work on teleology and natural law. Excerpts:

American exceptionalism is not just something that Americans claim for themselves. Historically, Americans have been different as a people, even peculiar, and everyone around the world has recognized it. I’m thinking of qualities such as American optimism even when there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for it. That’s quite uncommon among the peoples of the world. There is the striking lack of class envy in America--by and large, Americans celebrate others’ success instead of resenting it. That’s just about unique, certainly compared to European countries, and something that drives European intellectuals crazy. And then there is perhaps the most important symptom of all, the signature of American exceptionalism--the assumption by most Americans that they are in control of their own destinies. It is hard to think of a more inspiriting quality for a population to possess, and the American population still possesses it to an astonishing degree. No other country comes close....

The exceptionalism has not been a figment of anyone’s imagination, and it has been wonderful. But it isn’t something in the water that has made us that way. It comes from the cultural capital generated by the system that the Founders laid down, a system that says people must be free to live life as they see fit and to be responsible for the consequences of their actions; that it is not the government’s job to protect people from themselves; that it is not the government’s job to stage-manage how people interact with each other. Discard the system that created the cultural capital, and the qualities we love about Americans can go away. In some circles, they are going away.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Bill Clinton too speaks about how those in the past who have put their bets against America have lost.

Spare me the spirited love of one's own.

Why not provide an argument instead of cliches, bromides and shibboleths? Hurray! Charles Murray will save the day with his statistical analysis of Moby Dick! The word liberty is used 127 times, and this means that liberty is important to America because Moby Dick is considered to be the best novel in American literature by 57% of American literary scholars (that is if you exclude the feminist, Afro-centrist, Chicano scholars).

In other words, Murray is a joke. He also claims that the Jews are smart due to natural selection (see Commentary magazine sometime in 2007). It's all pretty stupid.

I suppose my disgust for Murray could be measured on a disgust scale of the nose. Shit being one/Roses being ten. My nose says one, but Murray says ten. Let's hope his statistical model can prove the opposite of whta my nose smells. Let's hope he doesn't send me to the camp, douse me with perfume, and tell me shit is roses. This is where his ideas lead.

It reminds me of a song by Andre 3000, "You're roses always smell like pooh."

I'll make a retraction to my comments that Charles Murray is the biggest fraud a calculator ever made to the intellect--and that is: the song should say--"yer roses always smell like pooh."

Anger much, John?

Relax. It's Friday and the weather's great.

Then again, the weather is always great if you live in the greatest land in all the universe, given specifically to us, because we are the best and therefore we win...

11 of the next 10 readers will find this funny, John. Guess you won't be the 2.

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