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Is ‘American exceptionalism’ a thing of the past?

CWN - January 08, 2013

Father James Schall, SJ, makes the argument that “American exceptionalism” could be a thing of the past, because the unique character of the American republic was based on virtue which has now been abandoned:

In the beginning, America might have been “exceptional,” but, on more careful analysis, it looks now pretty much as Aristotle and Plato described a regime that rejected virtue and the knowledge thereof.

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  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Jan. 12, 2013 11:54 PM ET USA

    Father Schall refers to the "Platonic principle" which holds that the political order of any society will always reflect the order of soul, that is, the collective condition, in a qualitative sense, of its citizens. America's "soul" is at all-time low because the current political culture no longer believes that man has an "identifiable and normative human nature" that is given to express itself freely but in conformity with behavioral norms, the human virtues, that perfect that nature.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 09, 2013 2:56 PM ET USA

    Father Schall is right on point.

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