The Good and Evil of America

To assess the moral status of the United States—as a culture, as a society, and as a set of institutions—one must compare the United States, using all moral criteria deemed relevant to the assessment, with the other cultures, societies, and sets of institutions that have existed across human history. It is therefore invalid to assess the moral status of the United States by study of American history alone. Yet the American subcultures that condemn the United States as morally corrupt often base their condemnation on narrow and tendentious studies of American history that neglect the history of the rest of the world. Ironically, this narrow concentration on the United States resembles the American Exceptionalism that those exact same subcultures often claim lies at the root of moral corruption in America.

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