Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote,
Bailey83221
bailey83221





Critique of current policy to export
and promote democracy throughout the world and propose an alternative model
to promoting democracy


This paper will attempt to quantify the term "democracy". I will
then argue that the current justification for invasion of sovereign nations
to export democracy is a façade.[1]
With the use of scientific studies this paper will clearly show that America's
attempts to export democracy have always been and continue to be a dismal
failure. This failed democratic rationalization for hegemony actually is a
pattern of continuity which has a history as old as the United States itself.[2]
To actually export democracy abroad, I will suggest radical changes to the
way the American people are educated and the way that US democracy is administered.
My final conclusion is that the possibility of the changes needed to export
viable democracy is hopelessly remote because of the American people themselves.



What is democracy?


"The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic,
realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot
be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not
only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted
from all sides
"[3]


The word democracy comes from the Greek (demokratia) the
root words:


(demos) the common people and 


(kratein) to rule


literally "the common people rule".[4]


There are several forms of democracy.[5] Since this paper discusses
the export of American democracy to other countries, this paper
will limit the discussion to the American form of democracy, which is a liberal
democracy,[6]
and which most Americans attribute "democracy" to mean.[7]  The term Liberal democracy
"
remains a contested concept, a minimal
definition is a political community based on the rule of law, guaranteeing
citizens rights to freedom of speech, association, personal property and political
participation.[8]


Intervention Democracy


In Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent "white man’s burden."
But in the United States, empire does not even exist: we are merely protecting
the causes of freedom, democracy, and justice worldwide.
[9]


The very concept of intervening to create a democracy
is "intrinsically contradictory", since "international law
defines intervention as 'dictatorial interference in the affairs of another
state for purpose of altering the actual condition of things."[10]


So what has been America's track record in exporting democracy abroad?  Absolutely
dismal in all respects, with both militarily and financial aid. First the
military record of exporting democracy.  In the article Why Gun-Barrel Democracy
Doesn't Work, the authors state that:


Between World War II and the present, the United States intervened
more than 35 times in developing countries around the world. But our research
shows that in only one case—Colombia after the American decision in 1989 to
engage in the war on drugs—did a full-fledged, stable democracy with:


1. limits on executive power,


2. clear rules for the transition of power,


3. universal adult suffrage, and


4. competitive elections emerge within 10 years.


That’s a success rate of less than 3 percent.


This one exception of America successfully exporting democracy,
Colombia, is currently a human rights catastrophy, with
the largest
number of refugees in the world after only Congo and Sudan.[11] 
Worse, this is a human rights catastrophe which the United States had a direct
part in creating.[12]


To have a viable democracy such as the US, their must be security and a functioning
government.[13]
Therefore, US foreign aid is often is touted as helping third world countries
establishing democracy. 


The reality of US foreign aid, like US foreign interventions, is starkly
different. A 1991 United Nations Development Program report
singled out the United States as a major laggard in foreign aid. Unlike the
Scandinavian countries, which contribute almost 1% of their gross national
product to foreign aid, the United States contributes only 0.15%.[14]
Of this aid, 71.6% of the US bilateral aid commitments were tied to the purchase
of goods and services from the US. In otherwords,  when the US did give financial
assistance, "it was most often tied to foreign policy objectives that
would help the US businesses."[15] Most of this aid was
military aid to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and the Philippines. [16] Forty-nine percent
of the assisantance that America gives is straight military assistance and
training or security aid.[17] 
In addition,
the United States is the largest supplier of weapons in
thee world, with half the market,[18] and is the largest supplier
of weapons to developing nations, delivering more than $9.6 billion in arms
to Near East and Asian countries in 2004.[19]  How can America simultaneously
support stability and democracy and yet be the largest arm supplier to the
developing world?


The history of US financial assistance to third world countries is no better
at building democracy than military intervention.  Far from making countries
democratic several scientific studies of United States aid shows that this
aid tends to make countries less democratic. Lars Schoultz found
in a 1981 study that US aid "has tended to flow disproportionately to
Latin American governments which torture their citizens...to the hemisphere's
relatively egregious violators of fundamental human rights."[20] 
Reviewing Latin American Aid, Martha Huggins suggested in 1998 that “the more
foreign police aid given [by the US], the more brutal and less democratic
the police institutions and their governments become.”[21]


Thomas Carothers is a foreign policy expert. USAID described Carothers work
as "the most detailed case study material available outside of
the evaluations written under contract by USAID itself"[22]
Carothers asks:


"The simultaneous occurrence in the 1980's "of the decisive trend
toward democracy and the…stated emphasis on promoting democracy in US policy
raises an obvious question. Did the United States have a significant role
in the resurgence of democracy in Latin America?...The Reagan administration
was not bashful about taking credit."[23]


Carothers study of the region finds a correlation between US influence and
the rise of democracy in the hemisphere: a negative correlation. Where
US influence was least, in the southern cone (a geographic region composed
of the southernmost areas of South America), progress towards democracy developed
which was initially opposed by the Reagan Administration, but which later
hastened to take credit for them. Where US influence was greatest, the effects
were worse.[24]
Carothers concludes:


"To the extent the United States has supported democratic change in
Latin America in this century, it has generally done so as a way of relieving
pressure for more radical political and economic change. The impulse to promote
democracy thus has a built-in tension: the impulse is to promote democratic
change but the underlying objective is to maintain the basic order of what,
historically at least, are quite, undemocratic societies.  The United States
mitigates this by promoting very, limited, top down forms of democratic change
that do not risk snowballing into uncontrollable populist movements."[25]


Carothers criticizes how American foreign policy officials see democracy
as occasional elections, treating "democracy as an on-off switch in which
holding presidential elections flipped the switch from off to on."[26] 
Other authors call this "electoralism":


"The faith (widely held by US policy makers) that merely holding election
will channel political action into peaceful contests among elites and accord
public legitimacy to the winners in these contests.  Electoralism requires
that foreign or domestic elites do some political engineering to produce the
most common surface manifestations of a democratic party—parties, electoral
laws, contested campaigns, and the like.  Yet this sort of tinkering…cannot
by itself produce the consensus…which must under lie any enduring democracy."[27]


Indeed US electoralism ignores the humanitarian needs of the population,
and is actually not democracy at all:


A nation with hordes of hungry, homeless, untended sick, barely literate,
unemployed and/or tortured people, whose loved ones are being disappeared
and/or murdered with state connivance, can be said to be living in a "democracy"-its
literal Greek meaning of "rule of the people" implying that this
is the kind of life the people actually want-provided that every two years
or four years they have the right to go to a designated place and put an X
next to the name of one or another individual.[28]


America's history of exporting democracy has been a resounding failure. What
are the solutions to fixing it?


Solutions


"Democracy, the modern world’s holy cow, is in crisis ... every kind
of outrage is being


committed in the name of democracy. It has become little more than a hollow
word, a pretty shell, emptied of all content or meaning…Democracy is the Free
World’s whore, willing to dress up, dress down, willing to satisfy a whole
range of tastes, available to be used and abused at will."
[29]


Three historical examples:


In 1902, the US Senate Lodge Committee investigated and confirmed extensive
war crimes, torture, and concentration camps created by the US military under
the Roosevelt administration. Later that year Theodore Roosevelt won the presidential
election in a landslide.[30]


On October 15 1984, six days before the second presidential debate between
President Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale, the Associated Press reported
that the CIA had written a manual for the contras, entitled Psychological
Operations in Guerrilla Warfare (Operaciones Sicologicas en Guerra de guerillas).
The ninety-page book of instructions focused mainly on how "Armed Propaganda
Teams" could build political support within Nicaragua for the contra
cause through deceit, intimidation, and violence. It instructed the CIA how
to assassinate civil leaders and torture.[31] 
Two weeks later Reagan won the presidential election in a landslide.


In 2003, during the Bush administration, the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner
abuse scandal surfaced.  President Bush won reelection the next year.  The
White House Counsel who wrote the memo stating that laws prohibiting torture
do not apply to enemy combatants, Alberto Gonzales, became Attorney General
of the United States shortly thereafter in a senate vote which approved his
nomination two to one.[32]


These three examples, spanning over one hundred years, are reflective of
the importance that Americans place on human rights and democracy abroad.
Politicians, it has been said, are the reflection of a society's worst excesses. 
To have leaders which truly care about human rights and democracy abroad,
a society must have a population that truly care about human rights and democracy
at home. 


To truly be a country which exports democracy abroad, radical and far reaching
changes must occur first at home, these transformations include: lobbying
and campaign reform, industrial military complex reform and educational reform.
Although all three changes are domestic, they would have profound effects
on the way America asserts its power abroad.  In other words, for America
to export democracy abroad, it first must become more democratic at home.


Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform


Smedley Butler, was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Butler was
awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people
to be so doubly decorated. In the 1930's after uncovering a fascist plot to
overthrow the White House,[33]
Butler had a dramatic paradigm shift,[34]
he wrote a book entitled "War is a Racket":


I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that
period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business,
for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for
capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American
oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the
National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of
half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I
helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers
in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar
interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies
in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its
way unmolested.[35]


The fundamental problem with the Americas attempts at democratization is
that democratization is acceptable to America as long as American business
interests are not threatened.  If the American government has to choose between
democracy and stability, stability will always carry the day. The United States,
"the world's leading revolutionary nation in the eighteenth century became
the leading protector of the status quo in the twentieth century."[36] 
America has overthrown several democratically elected governments which threaten
its business interests, including Iran, Guatemala and Chile.  It further has
supported dictatorships which have been threatened by democratic forces, including
the Dominican Republic.  To lessen the control that business has in American
politics, extreme changes in the lobbying and campaign financing of American
politicians needs to take place, with severe restrictions on corporate financing
and lobbying.


Military-industrial complex reform


Theaters are currently showing the movie Why We Fight, which is a
movie centered around Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address. In this address
Eisenhower warns America of the corrupting influence of the military-industrial
complex.  Eisenhower's predictions, as the movie warns, have come true. Today,
as mentioned above, the United States sells more weapons to the third world
than any other country.  How can the United States export democracy when the
third world spends 9.6 billion dollars purchasing US arms?  The one single
greatest contribution that the United States could make to the world's democracies
is to stop selling arms abroad. Yes, other countries would simply fill in
this vacuum if the US government stopped selling arms, but this argument in
no way makes what the US is doing today ethically nor morally just.  It is
a hallow argument, which US businesses often use this immoral argument to
support tyrants abroad. 


Education and media reform


When I first visited
Russia, in 1986, I made friends with a musician whose father had been Brezhnev's
personal doctor. One day we were talking about life during 'the period of
stagnation' - the Brezhnev era. 'It must have been strange being so completely
immersed in propaganda,' I said.



'Ah, but there is the difference. We knew it was propaganda,' replied Sacha.




That is the difference. Russian propaganda was so obvious that most Russians
were able to ignore it. They took it for granted that the government operated
in its own interests and any message coming from it was probably slanted -
and they discounted it.



In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political
and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective.
Its greatest triumph is that we generally don't notice it - or laugh at the
notion it even exists.
[37]


Of all three reforms suggested here, reforming education and
the media would be the most resisted and therfore is the most unrealistic
suggestion. Historian Stuart Creighton Miller argues that America has an exaggerated
sense of innocence, produced by a kind of "immaculate conception"
view of America's origins. When European settlers came to America they miraculously
shed their old ways upon arrival in the New World, as one might discard old
clothing, and fashioned new cultural garments based solely on experiences
in a new and vastly different environment. At least it is possible to infer
this from the school text, patriotic media, and patriotic speeches which Americans
have been reared.[38]


Further, the 1995 book Lies My Teacher Told Me, argues
that high school American history textbooks give "a Disney version of
history" which is heroic, egalitarian, jam-packed with progress, and
almost entirely free of class conflict. Teaching such an “Officer Friendly”
account of reality, the author concludes, is merely to “make school irrelevant
to the major issues of the day.”[39]


Most Americans simply resist the idea that US is not a “shining
city on a hill” a "beacon of freedom and democracy in the
world." The fervent patriotsm which most US posess has a religious quality
to it.[40] 
But for America to truly export legitamate democracy in the future, the American
public needs to learn from its country's bloody and methodical foreign history
of its past and hold our country's leaders accountable.[41]  The US education system
and media is simply a mirror of Americans own values.  In otherwords, Americans
should not blame the media or their schools for there own ignorance of their
own history and the world around them, these schools and our media is only
a reflection of our own values. As Historian Howard Zinn points out,
a
few years after Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop coined the
term “shining city on a hill”, "the people in the city on a hill moved
out to massacre the Pequot Indians."  This did not stop President Ronald
Reagan from patriotically using the term, three centuries later.[42]


Prospects


"If I were president, I could stop
terrorist attacks against the United states in a few days. Permanently. I
would first apologize-very publicly and very sincerely-to all the widows and
orphans, the impoverished and tortured, and all the many millions of other
victims of America…Then I would announce to every corner of the world that
America's global military interventions have come to an end…I would reduce
the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations
to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings, invasions,
and sanctions. There would be more than enough money. One year's military
budget in the United States is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every
hour since Jesus Christ was born. That's one year. That's what I'd do on my
first three days in the White House. On the fourth day, I'd be assassinated."[43]


Journalist Walter Lippmann is the author of Public Opinion, he coined the
term and revolutionized the way that social scientists see society.  In his
book, Lippmann states that "The image
most people have of the world is reflected through the prism of their emotions,
habits and prejudices… We do not first see, and then define, we define first
and then see",  he further argued that:


Using the analogy of Plato's cave, where
people who have been chained all their lives imagine that the shadows they
see are real figures, he argued that the average citizen's contact with the
world was second hand. For most people the world had become literally "out
of reach, out of sight, out of mind." This posed no serious problems
in a small community where the decisions each citizen had to make rarely went
beyond what he could directly experience. This was the world that the eighteenth
century fathers of democratic theory had written about. But modern man did
not live in that world. He was being asked to make judgments about issues
he could not possibly experience firsthand: the tariff, the military budget,
questions of war and peace. What was reasonable in a Greek city-state was
impossible in a modern technological society. The outside would had grown
too big for the "self-centered man" to grasp. This posed a political
dilemma, for classic democracy "never seriously faced the problem which
arises because the pictures inside people's heads do not automatically correspond
with the world outside." They did not correspond for a number of reasons—stereotyping,
prejudice, propaganda. The result was to erode the whole foundation of popular
government. It was no longer possible. Lippmann asserted, to believe in the
"original dogma of democrat: that the knowledge needed for the management
of human affairs come up spontaneously from the human heart."



The malady was fundamental, and the press could not provide the answer. The
defects of democracy could not be cured, as he had earlier believed, by better
reporting, "trustworthy news, unadulterated data." This was asking
too much of the press and too much of the public. The press could not carry
the burden of institutions; it could not supply the truth democrats believed
was inborn. At best it could draw attention to an event. It could not provide
"truth", because truth and news are not the same thing. "The
function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring
to light the hidden facts," he underlined in a crucial distinction. The
press, if it did its job well, could elucidate the news. It was, he observed
in a striking metaphor, "like the beam of a searchlight that moves restlessly
about, bringing one episode and then another out of the darkness into vision."
This was a worthwhile task but a limited one. The press could not correct
flaws in democratic theory; men "cannot govern by episodes, incidents,
and eruptions."



Even if the press were capable of providing an accurate picture of the world,
the average man had neither the time nor the ability to deal with a perplexing
barrage of information. The Enlightenment conception of democracy—based on
the assumption that every man had direct experience and understanding of the
world around him—was totally inadequate to a mass society where men had contact
with only a tiny part of the world on which they were being asked to make
decisions. What was possible in an eighteenth-century rural community was
unworkable in great cities.[44]


Lippmann's solution was to create an intelligentsia which would decipher
facts for the common people because he had lost faith that the majority was fit to rule.  Three years
later Lippmann wrote his dark book The Phantom Public, in which he lost all
faith and trust in the experts, the intelligentsia
he recommended in his first book. "The
problems that vex democracy," Lippmann wrote ruefully, "seem to
be unmanageable by democratic methods."[45]


I have no illusions that the American people
will ever come to terms with the fact that
America's attempts to export
democracy have always been and will continue to be a dismal failure. Because
not only can the press "not correct
flaws in democratic theory" but the average American does "an accurate
picture of the world" they want their "emotions, habits and prejudices"
to be reinforced, and woe to that person who threatens them.[46]  








[1] "[P]residents rarely fail to trot out “democracy”
as a justification for their actions abroad. That’s because it is popular
with Americans, who like to feel they are on the side of the angels."

Mesquita, Bruce Bueno de,
George W. Downs (Spring 2004). "Why Gun-Barrel Democracy Doesn't Work".
Hoover Digest 2.




[2]
Professor, this is in direct response to the comments on my UN paper, in which
you posed the question if American foreign policy is different between US
presidential administrations.  I believe that the answer is a resounding "NO",
that there is truly no fundamental difference between US presidential administrations.


In studying for this paper, I had read that before the
imperialist McKinley administration came into power, that Grover Cleveland
was an isolationist, the only American President isolationist that I am aware
of.  But as journalist Fareed Zakaria and Historian Charles
S. Campbell
argue, whereas Cleveland publicly was an isolationist,
in reality he expanded American influence just as previous and succeeding
administrations.   See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grover_Cleveland#Foreign_policy,
which I wrote.


The same can be said of Carter's "humanitarian
presidency".  Carter was a staunch supporter of Nicaraguan dictator Somoza
and called the Shah of Iran's repressive regime "an island of stability
in one of the most troubled areas of the world" and praised the shah
as a great leader who had won "the respect and the admiration and love"
of his people.  Carter, like Cleveland, the public rhetoric was maybe different
than previous administrations, but the foreign policy was consistent: protect
US interests abroad at all costs.


Roosevelt, being a realist, never would have created
the United Nations, but his foreign policy would be very similar to the liberal
Wilson. Roosevelt also would have entered the US into World War I. Roosevelt, like Wilson would have sent the navy to
bombard and occupy the Mexican port of Vera Cruz in 1914 because the Mexicans
had arrested some American sailors. Roosevelt, like Wilson would have sent
the marines into Haiti in 1915.  Again,
the public rhetoric was maybe
different from administration to administration, but the foreign policy is
always consistent: protect US interests abroad at all costs.




[3]
Orwell, George (1946). Politics and
the English Language
,
http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html




[4]
Athens from alpha to omega, USA Today July 29, 2004.





[6]
Pell, George Cardinal, Is There Only Secular Democracy? Imagining Other Possibilities
for the Third Millennium, Journals of Markets and Morality, Fall 2004




[7]
Although, as Orlando Patterson argues, "the view of freedom which has
emerged in America in recent decades is, in fact, departed from this liberal
democratic view." Americans: tell me what you mean by freedom? ...the
responses are surprising and very disturbing. NPR: Talk of the Nation, February
2, 2005




[8]
Wissenburg, M. L. J.;  Levy, Yoram, Liberal Democracy and
Environmentalism: The End of Environmentalism
, May 1, 2004, ISBN
0415321956




[9]
The Editors, After the attacks…the war on terrorism, Monthly Review,
53, 6, Nov., 2001. p 7




[10]
Drake, Paul in Lowenthal, Abraham editor (1991) Exporting Democracy:
The United States and Latin America
(Johns Hopkins) p. 3.




[11]
Grace Livingstone (2004) Inside
Colombia: Drugs, Democracy, and War (Rutgers
Univ. Press) p. 5




[12]
See the author's law school paper at http://www.geocities.com/travbailey/colombia.htm.




[13]
And for the rest of the world, freedom means nothing unless it is associated
and to some degree with security.
Americans: tell me what you mean by
freedom? ...the responses are surprising and very disturbing. NPR: Talk of
the Nation, February 2, 2005.




[14]
U.S. Rated 7th in Human Development Benefits, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1991
American voters believe they are absurdly generous. A 2001 poll showed
that they think 24% of their federal budget goes on foreign aid, a figure,
if true, would amount to more than 4% of America’s GDP.
Agreeing
on Africa, up to a point, Economist, June 11th 2005.




[15]
The US and Foreign Aid Assistance, Global Issues That Affect
Everyone,
April 05, 2006, http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp




[16]
U.S. Rated 7th in Human Development Benefits, Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1991
American voters believe they are absurdly generous. A 2001 poll showed
that they think 24% of their federal budget goes on foreign aid, a figure,
if true, would amount to more than 4% of America’s GDP.
Agreeing
on Africa, up to a point, Economist, June 11th 2005.




[17]
Half of US Foreign Aid Devoted to Military, Inter Press Service, July
28, 1998. http://web.archive.org/web/20040404065217/http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/jul98/23_13_097.html
 




[18]
Baldor, Lolita,  U.S. Sells the Most Weapons to Developing Nations, Associated
Press,
  September 1, 2005




[19]
Lobe, Jim, U.S. Dominates Arms Sales to Third World, Inter Press Service,
September 25, 2003.




[20]
Lars Schoultz, “U.S. Foreign Policy and Human Rights Violations
in Latin America: A Comparative Analysis of Foreign Aid Distributions”, Comparative
Politics, Volume 13, Number 2, January 1981




[21]
Martha Knisely Huggins, Political Policing: The United States and Latin America,
Duke University Press (July 1998) ISBN 0822321726 p. 6




[22] Finkel, Steven E. Final Report Effects of U.S. Foreign
Assistance on Democracy Building: Results of a Cross-National Quantitative
Study (November 25, 2005) USAID.


www.dartmouth.edu/~jcarey/Seligson_Dem_Assist.pdf




[23]
Carothers, Tomas in Lowenthal, Abraham editor, Exporting Democracy:
The United States and Latin America
(Johns Hopkins, 1991)




[24]
Chomsky, Naom, The Clinton Vision, Z Magazine, December 1993.




[25]
Ibid. p. 118.




[26]
Carothers, p. 117. Also Drake, p. 5.




[27]
Terry Karl, "Imposing Consent? Electoralism vs. Democratization in El
Salvador," in Paul W. Drake and Eduardo Silva, eds., Elections and Democratization
in Latin America, 1980-1985 (La Jolla, Calif.: Center for Iberian and Latin
American Studies, 1986), pp. 9-36.




[28]
Blum, William, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
p 168-169




[29] Democracy is the Free World’s Whore Agence France Presse







[33]
See the page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot
which I have contributed extensively too.




[34]
Definition: A complete change in thinking or belief systems that allows the
creation of a new condition previously thought impossible or unacceptable.
A paradigm shift is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his famous 1962
book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.




[35]
Butler, Smedley, War is a Racket, 1935




[36]
Lafeber, Walter Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America
p. 12, 13.




[37]
Eno, Brian, Lessons in How to Lie About Iraq (August 17, 2003) Observer.




[38]
Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982).
"Benevolent Assimilation" The American Conquest of the Philippines,
1899-1903
. Yale
University Press.
ISBN 0300026978. p. 3. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Empire
which I have contriuted extensivly too.




[39]
Frank, Thomas (2004) What's the Matter with Kansas? P. 203




[40]
Edwords, Frederick, The religious character of American patriotism, (November/December
1987) The Humanist magazine, p. 20-24, 36. http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/hum12.htm




[41]
There is a definite correlation with a persons religious beliefs and their
patriotism. While living in Ukraine, I saw first hand how a country copes
with the traumatic experience of losing its shared beliefs and myths.  Several
of my friends spoke about how shocked they were to discover the crimes of
Stalin and Lenin during Perestroika. The stark difference between Ukrainians
and Americans is that Americans have a strong and deep religious belief system,
whereas the Soviet people never had any comparable system. Historically, many
Soviets actually mistrusted religious leaders fervently.  Therefore, if Americans
ever are forced to critically examine their shared cultural myths, it will
must defiantly be much more traumatic for them, because Americans believe
the myths of their country much more fervently than Soviets ever did.




[42]
Zinn, Howard,   The Power and the Glory, Myths of American exceptionalism
http://bostonreview.net/BR30.3/zinn.html




[43]
Blum, William Freeing the World to Death:
Essays on the American Empire", Back Cover




[44]
Steel, Ronald (May 1, 1999). Walter Lippmann and the American Century. Transaction
Publishers. p. 181.  Professor, this is the author which I quoted in class,
when I argued that we, as consumers of news, cannot know the truth from news.




[45]
Ibid. p. 214.




[46]
Howard Zinn, author of the book "The People's History of the United States"
believes in the fundamental goodness of Americans.  Despite his own book clearly
showing that the vast majority of Americans have overwhelmingly supported
their own country's history of expansion, he argues that Americans are fundamentally
good, and that if simply given accurate facts, they will stop supporting their
imperialistic leaders.  I completely disagree, as I argued above, American
media, cultural, education and politicians are simply a reflection of Americans
themselves. 




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