Howard Zinn: The Myth of American Exceptionalism (2005; repost)

by Howard Zinn
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Originally posted June 9, 2010
September 26, 2013
March 14, 2005

Howard Zinn

Image by via Flickr

Running Time: 1:32:02

Americans have long embraced a notion of superiority, claims Howard Zinn. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony described establishing “a city on a hill,” to serve the world as a beacon of liberty. So far, so good. But driving this sense of destiny, says Zinn, was an assumption of divine agency—“an association between what the government does and what God approves of.” And too frequently, continues Zinn, Americans have invoked God to expand “into someone else’s territory, occupying and dealing harshly with people who resist occupation.”




Updated: Sept. 26, 2013

Same video in 7 parts.

Howard Zinn – The Myth of American Exceptionalism 1/7

Peter Pan on Jul 4, 2011


Zinn offers numerous examples of how the American government has used “divine ordination” and rationales of spreading civilization and freedom to justify its most dastardly actions: the extermination of Native Americans and takeover of their land; the annexation of Texas and war with Mexico; war against the Philippines; U.S. involvement in coups in Latin America; bloody efforts to expand U.S. influence in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The battle against Communism, often bolstered by arguments of America’s divine mission in the world, was merely a convenient excuse to maintain U.S. economic and military interests in key regions.

Today, says Zinn, we have a president, who more than any before him, claims a special relationship with God. Zinn worries about an administration that deploys Christian zealotry to justify a war against terrorism, a war that in reality seems more about establishing a new beachhead in the oil-rich Middle East. He also sees great danger in Bush’s doctrines of unilateralism and pre-emptive war, which mark a great leap away from international standards of morality.

[Zinn begins at 6:15 minutes into the video.]








Obama and the Usual American ‘DAM’ Exceptionalism – Delusion, Arrogance and Mendacity by Finian Cunningham

The City on the Hill: America, Exceptionalism and Redemptive Violence by Lesley Docksey

Leader of Exceptional Nation: U.S. Military Doesn’t Do Pinpricks by Rick Rozoff + Obama’s Speech + Transcript

American Exceptionalism to the Rescue by Bruce Gagnon

History of Capitalism in the United States: Exposing the Myth of America

To Be a Disciple of Jesus: What Jesus Said About Following Him

8 thoughts on “Howard Zinn: The Myth of American Exceptionalism (2005; repost)

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    Sometimes we ere when we are told what to do and refuse. But then again the panelist on u-tube admitted to the WHYS.

    We live in an era where passing along misinformation is the order of the day, WHY it did not originate from a reliable source.

    And thus has come a blizzard of messages most of us receive daily with the bold word. DONATE.

    Those who have followed Christ commands have the power to expound as God proclaims. Others full of self and other beliefs have not that power.

    The personal rules of conscience should be the marker in all lives to do and think and make right all things.

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