View Poll Results: Should Every Nation Think Itself Exceptional?

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35. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, of course, that's patriotism!

    10 28.57%
  • It depends -- maybe the middle powers, like Italy or Egypt.

    0 0%
  • No, only the great nations really have a claim to exceptionalism.

    1 2.86%
  • No nation should think they're exceptional, it's nationalistic and dangerous.

    17 48.57%
  • Each nation should think itself exceptional for some things, but not for everything.

    7 20.00%
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Thread: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

  1. #1
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    Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Hello everyone!

    It's par for the course that big and powerful countries think they're exceptional. Britain, France, America, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, and other powerful and important nations all think they're the best.

    But what about Albania? What about Zimbabwe? Or Honduras, or Laos?

    Should these nations, like the great powers, think of themselves as exceptional, a cut above the rest?

    Why, or why not?

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Only if they are the US, otherwise they would be in denial

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Only if they are the US, otherwise they would be in denial
    Haha, I'm not sure if you're serious, so I'll treat this as a joke.

    Even so, why did you vote the way you did in the poll?

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Haha, I'm not sure if you're serious, so I'll treat this as a joke.

    Even so, why did you vote the way you did in the poll?
    I haven't voted in your poll as my response wasn't one of the choices. None of the options captures my opinion--"Sure they can think of themselves exceptional at something as long as they actually are exceptional at those things". I mean there are African nations that produce exceptional runners, but they should not think of themselves as exceptional at anything other than producing great distance runners.

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    I haven't voted in your poll as my response wasn't one of the choices. None of the options captures my opinion--"Sure they can think of themselves exceptional at something as long as they actually are exceptional at those things". I mean there are African nations that produce exceptional runners, but they should not think of themselves as exceptional at anything other than producing great distance runners.
    I feel like that's what the fifth option is, no?

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Hello everyone!

    It's par for the course that big and powerful countries think they're exceptional. Britain, France, America, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, and other powerful and important nations all think they're the best.

    But what about Albania? What about Zimbabwe? Or Honduras, or Laos?

    Should these nations, like the great powers, think of themselves as exceptional, a cut above the rest?

    Why, or why not?
    Sure every country should think their great! Why are you living there otherwise? Doesn't mean your ACTUALLY exceptional though... *Spoken from one of those "Patriots"*

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    I feel like that's what the fifth option is, no?
    That was the closest but not quite on the mark for my interpretation. For instance, France thinks of itself as exceptional at wine, but really,that is not so much true any more.

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad_Captandum View Post
    Hello everyone!

    It's par for the course that big and powerful countries think they're exceptional. Britain, France, America, Russia, Germany, China, Japan, and other powerful and important nations all think they're the best.

    But what about Albania? What about Zimbabwe? Or Honduras, or Laos?

    Should these nations, like the great powers, think of themselves as exceptional, a cut above the rest?

    Why, or why not?
    Compared to what?

    I find the beauty of Columbian women to be exceptional. Canada is exceptionally clean and scenic. Ireland is exceptionally friendly.










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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    I voted #4.

    Exceptionalisim in respect to geopolitics is something very different than thinking your country produces exceptionally beautiful women or is exceptionally clean.

    It means that your country is so far ahead of/above the rest that the normal rules don't apply, it means that the international community should make exceptions for you because of your greatness.

    I don't think such inflated opinions of the national self hold a great deal of water.

    We've all seen (at least in a history book) what happens when a great nation begins to consider itself exceptional and starts running roughshod over the community of nations.

    In a nutshell, the international community bands together, firebombs the upstart's cities, and occupies that nation for 40 or 50 years.

    No single part is as great as the whole.

    Not even the United States.
    “Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
    For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
    And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
    And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”

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    Re: Should Every Country Think It Is Exceptional?

    Depends on whether exceptional means "better" or merely "different."
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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