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America’s ‘Exceptional’ Delusion

Angled_closeup_of_the_US_flagEconomic inequality, racial tensions on the rise, militarized police forces, the NRA’s power over politicians, public education cuts, crumbling infrastructure and dysfunctional government are clear signs the US is truly ‘exceptional’ – just not in the way it thought it was.

This inciteful article based on an interview with American historian Morris Berman, compares how Japan’s cultural history based on it’s crafts tradition, embrace of emptiness and awareness of death and impermanence may enable them to be better equipped to transition to a ‘post-capitalist’ model than America will.

What I’m suggesting, in terms of the difference between Japan and America in this regard, is that while the latter has no craft tradition, or philosophical tradition (beyond pragmatism), or way of being in the world other than hustling and economic expansion, the former has centuries of a very different way of life in its background—one that involved no-growth, homeostatic, “Buddhist” economics. One sees, in contemporary Japan, an endless conflict between East and West, between tradition and modernity; and when modernity fails, as it surely will, the Japanese at least have their traditions to fall back on. America has no such fallback position; it floats, not between tradition and modernity, but between modernity and collapse—which we see all around us today.

While there seem to be some glimmers of recognition from the Democrats vying for the 2016 Presidential race that they need to ‘Take Back America’ from the 1 percenters who are ransacking the country for their own profit – it may be too late to prevent a precipitous slide into a messy civil conflict that’s heating up on several fronts.

Will Canada find itself desperately trying to cope with an onslaught of American refugees at the border in the decades to come?

Read the full article: “America floats between modernity & collapse”: What Japan can teach the U.S. about averting disaster Via: Salon.com

Image: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

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