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Taking Exception to Exceptionalism

Early last month I gave some short remarks on the foreign-policy panel at the Mises Institute’s Austrian Scholars Conference. Most of my comments springboarded off of a very interesting paper given by Hunt Tooley on “Empire, Oil, and the Reshaping of the Middle East After World War I.” [1] We can talk frankly about the economic and Realpolitik concerns behind imperialism before and after World War I — but why is it that after World War II any ascription of such motives to the U.S. is apt to be condemned as un-American or unpatriotic? In my comments, which can be heard here (MP3) [2], I suggest that the Cold War creed of American exceptionalism is largely to blame.

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#1 Comment By R J Stove On April 8, 2009 @ 12:29 am

Interesting MP3. The comments about Paul Gottfried and Russell Kirk were particularly pertinent, I thought. Kirk’s “oilcan” remark crops up in REDEEMING THE TIME, which I’ve just been re-reading.