definition: much greater than usual, especially in skill, intelligence, quality, etc.
Where does the firmly held belief amongst Americans that America is a group of exceptional human beings come from?
But first - it's easy to fully appreciate not only the obvious allure of exceptionalism, but also the feelings it generates. There is great satisfaction in being told that you are exceptional. It works wonders on many fronts. Not only does it make you feel special, a part of a group that is superior to other people - it also reinforces as 'morally correct' any actions that are taken on your behalf by your equally exceptional leaders.
To my mind, this is one of the most powerfully hypnotic forms of 'ism' in existence today. It establishes a firm belief in the mind of it's victims that whatever they do is absolutely correct because of exceptionalism. Likewise, their command structure and the decisions it makes on their behalf.
It's a scary belief that makes a group of well-armed exceptionalists into very, very dangerous people.
And second - the result of being constantly indoctrinated into assuming one's self as an exceptional human can have disastrous mental implications if the subject ever realises they are not an exceptional human being, in the context that they have been indoctrinated to believe.
Imagine living a wonderful life, an exceptional life as an exceptional person, where everything you do is right, where you receive constant praise about how exceptionall you are, where you allow coercion, bullying, killing in your name - but it's okay, they suffer and die because they're wrong and evil and not exceptional like you are, your exceptional side is right, you have god or science or whatever your exceptional leaders tell you to justify your exceptional life, it's a good, virtuous life because you just know it is, because you're exceptional, everyone knows it, you all agree, you sometimes feel bad for the others, especially the children killed by your bombs, but their parents are different from you and they're bad and you're on the right side, so it's all okay, it's collateral after all, these things must be done to keep you and your family safe, safe, safe and happy and fed, gas in your tank, the clothes you wear, gotta keep the lights on in an exceptional society, haven't we?
And one day you awaken, mentally screaming, and see it for what it is.
Witness a growing number of American minds.
Anyway, thoughts and opinions on what exceptionalism as a tool for control achieves aside, I'm interested in where this belief in self-claimed exceptionalism comes from - where is this mind-set born - and how does it apply to the minds that give birth to it?
Is exceptionalism one big old fake? A sleight of hand? A showman's facade? By it's very nature, the concept of group exceptionalism is fatally flawed - a group of people that are all exceptional are exceptionally equal. And there is absolutely no sign of equality in America. None. Has the average exceptional American been played by the manipulative exceptional minds at the summit?
Minds that consider themselves exceptional indeed. The sort of minds that consider our minds as chattel.
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