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Problem with USA: NOT PATRIOTIC enough!

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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:47 PM
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Problem with USA: NOT PATRIOTIC enough!
This is a review of a book by which I read last night. I think it is interesting because it shows the frame of mind of the right's "cultural elite."

The new nativism of Samuel P. Huntington.
Issue of 2004-05-17
Posted 2004-05-10

Is there a problem here? Samuel P. Huntington, who provides these figures in his new book, Who Are We? The Challenges to Americas National Identity (Simon & Schuster; $27), believes that there is. The problem is the tiny fraction of Americans in whom national pride, patriotic loyalty, religious faith, and regard for the work ethic might possibly be less than wholehearted. He has identified these people as the heads of transnational corporations, members of the liberal lite, holders of dual citizenship, Mexican-Americans, and what he refers to as deconstructionists. He thinks that these groups are responsible for an incipient erosion of national identity, a development that he views with an alarm that, while it is virtually unqualified, is somewhat underexplained. Although the erosion of national identity at the hands of multiculturalists and liberal lites is something that people were fretting and fighting about five or ten years ago, a lot of the conviction leaked out of the argument after the attacks of September 11th. This is partly because the public response to the attacks was spontaneously and unequivocally patriotic, suggesting that the divisions animating the so-called culture wars ran less deep than the cultural warriors supposed, and partly because the cultural pluralism that had once seemed threatening became, overnight, an all but official attribute of national identity. Inclusiveness turned out to be a flag around which Americans could rally. It was what most distinguished us from them. The reality, of course, is more complicated than the ideology, but the ideology is what Huntington is worried about, and either his book is a prescient analysis of trends obscure to the rest of us or he has missed the point.

The bad guys in Huntingtons scenario can be divided into two groups. One is composed of intellectuals, people who preach dissent from the values of the core culture. As is generally the case with indictments of this sort, recognizable names are sparse. Among those that do turn up are Bill Clinton, Al Gore, the political theorist Michael Walzer, and the philosopher Martha Nussbaum. All of them would be astonished to learn that they are deconstructionists. (It is amazing how thoroughly the word deconstruction has been drained of meaning, and by the very people who accuse deconstruction of draining words of meaning.) What Huntington is talking about is not deconstruction but bilingualism, affirmative action, cosmopolitanism (a concept with which Nussbaum is associated), pluralism (Walzer), and multiculturalism (Clinton and Gore). Multiculturalism is in its essence anti-European civilization, Huntington says. It is basically an anti-Western ideology.

He thinks that the deconstructionists had their sunny moment in the late nineteen-eighties and early nineties, and were beaten back during the culture wars that their views set off. They have not gone away, though. In the future, he says, the outcomes of these battles in the deconstructionist war will undoubtedly be substantially affected by the extent to which Americans suffer repeated terrorist attacks on their homeland and their country engages in overseas wars against its enemies. The more attacks and wars, he suggests, the smaller the deconstructionist threat. This may strike some readers as a high price to pay for keeping Martha Nussbaum in check. link

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rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:52 PM
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1. dressed up Michael Savage "the enemy within" BS
This is just a fancy way of attacking anyone who dares question what America has done in the past or is doing right now or will do in the future.

It's an intellectual way of saying "how dare you look behind the curtain" - "how dare you lift the veil".

Well I got news for this fucktard. Such questioning will continue, and it well never stop. The quest for justice never ends. And history will regard people like you as intellectual lightweights and bullies.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:54 PM
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2. right wingers hate intellectuals
because they think. They also have this quaint notion that American and European cultures are the best and that everyone else in the world should be happy to lend their raw materials and their labor (often at slave wages). They are always on about the blessings of democracy while conveniently forgetting the US has, more often than not, supported brutal dictatorships which are willing to back the economic and political agenda of the US in their region.

People who are devoted to multiculturalism and who wish to treat all peoples, cultures, and faiths with respect. They are the ones that the right wingers fear the most.
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Ms. Clio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:13 PM
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3. excellent article, thanks for the link n/t
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:16 PM
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4. I think the words he meant to use were "zealously nationalistic"
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