"I don't battle anymore! I uplift motherfuckers!" - GZA
Tuesday, June 06, 2006,1:00 PM
American Exceptionalism
By Professor Wilson J. Moses

American Exceptionalism is one of those superstitions that unites white and black Americans, and serves to undermine the myth that there are significant cultural differences between them. The most fervent believers in American Exceptionalism (white and black) have never heard the term. That's always how it is with the most potent superstitions. Google "American Exceptionalism" and be amazed at the number of responses. I got 314,000 just now, and was surprised there were so few. Wikipedia offers a good definition for novices.

Given everything we know about human nature and human history, how could anyone believe that there would be a "Marshall Plan" for New Orleans? Consult Wikipedia again for Marshall Plan. America would have to be truly exceptional if it were to inaugurate a domestic Marshall plan from purely altruistic motives.

Eisenhower made it clear that his civil rights plan was a part of Cold War strategy, just as George C. Marshall made it clear that his plan was a part of Cold War strategy. The two former generals (not Reagan) developed the strategy that won the cold war. Without a "Communist Threat," Europe would have been left to starve, and American Negroes would still be sitting at the back of the bus.

Now that there is no longer a "Communist Threat," behold the effects—national and international. Privatization of the railroads in Germany, with a resulting rise in cost and decline in services. Erosion of the social welfare safety-net throughout the entire North Atlantic community. Widespread unemployment and segregation in the suburbs of Paris and in the inner city of Detroit. Decline in real household income of the American working class. Meaningless black rule in Soweto. These are patterns that anyone could have predicted after the fall of the Berlin wall.

Since the end of the Cold War, no political or economic interests can be served by such a plan. Hence, there will be NO "Marshall Plan" for New Orleans. On the contrary, ruling elite interests will be well served by replacing New Orleans' black population with "legalized" aliens, and that is what the recently-passed Senate immigration bill intends.

The government of the United States is no different than any other government that has ever existed or ever will exist. Governments exist in order to serve the interests of elite coalitions. Under any government, historically, the more intelligent and skilled classes of subordinate minorities have only done well, when they have been useful to ruling elites. Exceptionally intelligent segments of ethnic minority masses, too, can only do well, when and if they have economic value useful to their rulers.

House slaves, skilled slaves, and field slaves alike are equally interested in the economic fortunes of the "Big House." For the big house will sell all the slaves south whenever the going gets tough enough. The belief that a ruling class will assist peasants, slaves, or impoverished ethnic groups for altruistic reasons defies all the evidence of world history. America is not an exception to the patterns that have historically dominated human behavior.

I refuse to conclude with a theoretically based program for the future, or with any of the silly optimistic cheer-leading that we constantly get both from George Bush and from Noam Chomsky. I might offer some speculations concerning cultural and economic developments that might possibly accompany (if not cause) an amelioration of apparent historical trends, but I reserve those for another essay.
posted by R J Noriega
Permalink ¤
Oriental Trading Company