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Cultural Revolutions

Cultural Revolutions
CULTURAL REVOLUTIONS\r\nAFTER SEPTEMBER 11, voices from\r\nmany quarters have urged Americans to\r\nreflect on the reasons for the widespread\r\nhatred that the United States endures\r\nabroad. This is doubtless good advice:\r\nSuch historical reflection is always worthwhile,\r\nand the pressing need for it is amplified\r\nin fimes of trouble.\r\nBut whether these voices genuinely\r\nseek historical reflechon (as opposed to\r\nthoughtless ideological applause) is an\r\nopen question, hi particular, one quarter\r\n—we might call it the academic/Hollywood\r\nleft or, more broadly, the NPR\r\ncrowd —has been quick to assume, as\r\nusual, that an understanding of the\r\nsources of anti-Americanism will translate\r\nfluidly into a particular political attitude:\r\nleft-liberal, vaguely pacifist, archly\r\ntherapeutic, smitten with the abstract\r\ncharm of human rights. This assumption\r\nis historically and politically inept, and\r\nmore a cause of anti-American feeling\r\nthan an analysis of it.\r\nBut what, precisely, is "anti-American\r\nfeeling"? The specific grievances on the\r\nlists of anti-Americans around the world\r\nvary from year to year and from region to\r\nregion, but the rhetorical melody of anti-\r\nAmericanism remains fairly constant\r\nacross many contexts. The old time has\r\nnot changed much since the end of\r\nWorld War II, perhaps not since the annexation\r\nof Hawaii, or even, in a way,\r\nsince Fort Sumter. It goes something\r\nlike this: The United States...

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