Friday, August 23, 2002

Will takes issue with the Rick Shenkman e-mail at my file site:

Thoughts like this, this idea that Americans are credulous and myth-susceptible where other cultures are not, seems to have much currency among today's intelligentsia, albeit latent and not much talked about. I do not deny that Americans love their myths, but neither do I assert that other people don't. ... Peace, prosperity and freedom, many say, are simply Western ideas that don't apply to other cultures. Huh? If there is one thing people everywhere at all times have had in common it is the desire for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Usually they disagree on who deserves it and how to get it, but the basic principles are the same. There's no point arguing this; it's axiomatic if you know the world beyond your frontdoor. National or regional cultures are merely stories we tell each other to bind ourselves together to pursue our common interests.

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