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The Imperial Myths Behind Brexit - The Atlantic
A British leadership that wanted to deliver Brexit safely and was not in thrall to exceptionalism might have learned from past mistakes. Suez might have taught it to prefer reality over fantasy, compromise and conciliation over arrogance and vaingloriousness. Partition might have taught it to respect and understand complexity rather than oversimplify difficult problems, to make a plan before setting tight deadlines. Both might have taught it that you should never, ever imagine you’ve had enough of experts.

But to learn from mistakes you must confront them, and exceptionalism means you never do. Successes may be evidence of Britain’s greatness, but failures are inherently un-British. It is worth noting, too, that exceptionalism does not affect only those who support Brexit. As the historian Robert Saunders has pointed out, “The idea that Britain should lead the EU—widely deployed [by campaigners who supported staying in the EU] in 2016—has as strong an imperial heritage as the aspiration to leave it.” What would be exceptional about meekly accepting equal status with 27 others?

Brexit is exposing flaws in the British political system and culture, but they are not new. Exceptionalist thinking has long helped insulate that system from the criticism and reform it needs.

For advocates and critics of Brexit alike, it may be tempting to imagine a golden age in which Britain was competent, reliable, stable, and sensible. Looking at its history, though, if it turns out to be none of those things, we shouldn’t be surprised.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  exceptionalism  delusion  imperialism  WorldWarII  Suez  Amritsar  India  Pakistan  Mountbatten 
10 days ago by petej
Freedomain Radio -- #2537: A Forest of Blowjobs - Wednesday Call In Show November 20 2013 (MP3)
"Our capacity to conceptualize and universalize is the greatest wealth of our brains and...our capacity to universalize was a great, rich, deep vein of gold for evil people to mine... Our capacity for universalization becomes our capacity to be exploited by moral theories that claim universalization while promoting exemptions. So our capacity for universalization creates our susceptibility to religion, nationalism which are seemingly universalizations which contain within them exploitative contradictions which we can never acknowledge... And therefore we need universalization in order for morals to have power over us, we need to accept that they are universal, and then something called faith, which is also a virtue, is invented which allows us to with ignore rank contractions...So our capacity for universalization is the only reason moral theories work on us, but moral theories which contain within them obvious exemptions like priests and kings screw up the universalization which is the source of their power. So then what happens is people have to make a virtue out of inconsistency. Virtue is only and forever powerful to us because it is consistent... But we are infected with the virus of virtue only to be exploited; in other words, we were told that virtue is universal but it must be non-universal for those in power, non-applicable for those in power – in fact, the opposite actions are allowed for those power. Respect for property is only invented for the purposes of taxation... So virtue only has power because it's consistent but we're told inconsistencies and opposites are also a virtue. The fate of our brain our soul our species is surely doomed until we recover from that fundamental error... The fact that something has been invented for evil doesn't mean that it can't be used for good. In fact, it is entirely encouraging that the greatest power evil has is based upon our basic desire to be good... It means that you can't be good as evil people define it, but that doesn't mean you can't be good... We use the momentum of universals to overturn false morality which only has power because of universals. And this is the only way to fight evil in any fundamental way, it is to say...magical exceptions don't work."
philosophy  morality  exceptionalism  evil  StefanMolyneux  * 
11 days ago by adamcrowe
Paul Craig Roberts -- Who Precisely Are “the Vulnerable”?
'...If a man can self-declare to be a woman and a woman can self-declare to be a man, why can’t a white person self-declare to be black? Indeed, several decades ago, two white brothers frustrated by racial quotas that kept them from being hired as firemen in Boston declared themselves to be black. As this was before the time of self-declaration, they claimed their grandmother was black. They managed to be hired, but, if memory serves, were later dismissed. Today the brothers could be the first case of transrace. They could claim, successfully judging by the success of transgender claims, to have been born into the wrong race. -- Where does this end? When will transspecies claimants show up? Suppose a person is into beastiality and prefers sex with animals to sex with humans but is frustrated by laws against the practice. What is to stop the person from claiming to have been born into the wrong species? -- If a person can be born into the wrong gender, a person can be born wrong in any other way.'
rkselectiontheory  decadence  relativism  exceptionalism  newspeak 
4 weeks ago by adamcrowe
Notes from Peter Thiel’s speech at the National Conservatism conference on July 14, 2019
> The single thing I would see in distracting the right is the idea of American exceptionalism. If God is radically singular or radically different, can you know Him? Similarly, if the U.S. is so exceptional, you can never talk about it. We’ve had this doctrine of American exceptionalism, but instead we are now exceptional in bad ways: We are exceptionally overweight, we are exceptionally addicted to opioids, it is exceptionally expensive to build infrastructure here, we are exceptionally un-self-aware, and we are exceptionally un-self-critical.

Nationalism is not my country, right or wrong. It is: How does my country compare to other countries? Nationalism is going to be extremely critical, not unreflective.
peter_thiel  nationalism  exceptionalism 
5 weeks ago by porejide
YouTube -- Freedomain Radio: Thought Bites: Julian Assange Arrested!
"If the law is simply perceived as a weapon used by the wealthy, by the powerful, to protect their own interests ... It's just a matter of time."
statism  cronyism  exceptionalism  StefanMolyneux 
april 2019 by adamcrowe
The Mass Psychology of Brexit
Balint’s distinction has an obvious application to Brexit. The Leave camp tended to cling to such objects as the nation, the community, the family and friends but also race: people ‘like us’. The Remain camp sought out the wide open spaces of the global market. At least, that’s how things look at first sight. But in the course of this prolonged, irresponsible experiment in group psychology, a strange inversion occurred. The Leave campaign, originally motivated by security and familiarity, turned into the de facto proponent of risk – as tariffs, trade deals, waiting lines, passports, ancestral obligations and the like were thrown open to renegotiation. Meanwhile the Remain campaign, originally motivated by the exciting horizons of the continent, was drawn back to the comfort of the status quo ante. Each group found its unconscious in the other.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  England  history  empire  exceptionalism  disaster  MayTheresa  intransigence  failure  narcissism  O'TooleFintan  BalintMichael  Leave  Remain  object-relational  psychology  LRB 
april 2019 by petej
YouTube -- huMAN: Generalisations are not romantic, Exceptions to the rule are.
'Women dislike generalisations because that is not romantic.' -- Not all exceptions are like that!
women  hypergamy  exceptionalism 
march 2019 by adamcrowe
YouTube -- Turd Flinging Monkey: Welcome to Clown World
'“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ― C. S. Lewis' -- "They oppress you by claiming you are oppressing them. They use this movement to fight bullying in order to bully others...It's the tyranny of the weak."
rkselectiontheory  decadence  faggotry  emotionalism  victimhood  predation  doublespeak  exceptionalism  vanguardism  totalitarianism  Nietzsche 
march 2019 by adamcrowe
The endless Brexit lies have left us in an Orwellian nightmare
Anyone remember the days when the EU could "go whistle" for its divorce bill? When we weren't going to have a transition or, if we were, keep it to a few months and concede it as a favour to the EU? When free movement of people would end before that transition began? When we weren't going to sign a backstop that put a border in the Irish Sea or kept us in a customs union? When we were going to sign a backstop, but only so we could move on to negotiate our trade deal? When that trade deal was going to be ready to sign a "nanosecond" after leaving? When the transition was to be an "implementation" period to put that trade deal into effect?
UK  EU  Brexit  negotiations  dishonesty  misinformation  delusion  lies  exceptionalism  dctagged  dc:creator=LisJonathan 
march 2019 by petej
America’s Original Identity Politics | by Sarah Churchwell | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The logic of exceptionalism is embedded in the American imagination: one set of rules historically applied to white American men, another set to all other people in the country, who were not recognized as full citizens—which is to say, as fully American.

To this day, the American common man remains strongly coded in racial, classed, and religious terms. The common man is not, for example, commonly understood to be a Muslim. He is understood to be a coal miner from West Virginia, despite the fact that American Muslim men are much more common, statistically speaking, than West Virginian miners. These are the voters we’ve heard from endlessly over the last two years, the white working-class men of so-called “Trump country,” especially the white men without a college education who voted for Trump by a margin of 71 percent to 23 percent. The reasons for their choice have been hotly debated, including the erosion of perceived power, economic stagnation, cultural backlash, racial bigotry, gender bias, and evangelical social agendas. Yet Trump’s election was also widely perceived as an anti-elite insurrection, one that was treated as an anomaly, instead of as the latest in a series of populist surges in American history that have sought to “restore” a power to the common man that he perceived himself to be losing to other less-deserving groups.
USA  politics  identityPolitics  TrumpDonald  Breitbart  race  gender  BlackLivesMatter  transgender  LillaMark  FukuyamaFrancis  history  slavery  whiteSupremacism  women  exceptionalism  populism  resentment  JeffersonThomas  JacksonAndrew  nativism  nationalism  KuKluxKlan  citizenship  census  exclusion  authenticity  dctagged  dc:creator=ChurchwellSarah 
february 2019 by petej
Winthrop’s “City” Was Exceptional, not Exceptionalist - Los Angeles Review of Books
"As a City on a Hill The Story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon By Daniel T. Rodgers Published 11.13.2018 Princeton University Press 368 Pages"
book  review  american-studies  american  history  intellectual  religion  civic  exceptionalism 
february 2019 by tsuomela
Britain needs a day of reckoning. Brexit will provide it | Nesrine Malik | Opinion | The Guardian
It has laid bare our political class, squirming pathetically and uselessly under the micro-scrutiny of Brexit. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos, Brexit rolled over the log and we saw what crawled out. The cavalier incompetence of David Davis, the dissimulating of Boris Johnson, the utter pointlessness of Michael Gove, the existence of Jacob Rees-Mogg and the dishonest and regressive elitism he represents. We have seen ministers entrusted with the future of the country learn on the job, and then flee the scene – revealing Westminster in general, and the Tories in particular, as a Ponzi scheme, a confidence trick. We now realise that the business of serious politics in this country rewards those whose only skill is keeping up the appearance of having a skill.
UK  Brexit  politics  delusion  decline  polarisation  division  exceptionalism  inequality  immigration  climateChange 
february 2019 by petej

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