The Truth About "American Exceptionalism"

by Jeffrey Steinberg

Printed in the Executive Intelligence Review, October, 1998.

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It is no secret that the institution of the U.S. Presidency is under the gravest attack in memory, at precisely the moment that the world financial system is near meltdown. The collective wisdom of the financial marketeers stands discredited for all but the most ideologically blind worshippers of ``free trade.'' Concerted action by governments is urgently required, before the world monetary system, and with it, the world's productive economy, evaporates.

No living human being has been more prescient about the onrush of global economic disaster than Lyndon LaRouche. His nine published forecasts, spanning 40 years, have identified the underlying policy flaws that led to our current mess. No one has been more precise about the emergency measures that must be taken to avert global disaster. Therefore, it is of great importance today, to understand why LaRouche has warned repeatedly that the United States must provide leadership, if the world is to successfully find a solution to the financial crisis, and avert a collapse into a worldwide new Dark Age.

At the heart of LaRouche's assertion that the United States must lead, is his profound understanding of the unique historical contribution of the American Revolution, the U.S. Federal Constitution, and what was once known as the ``American System'' of political economy. These ideas are not historical relics, but are alive today, albeit badly tarnished, in the hearts and minds of a majority of Americans, and in many of the nation's institutions, particularly the U.S. Presidency.

More than 375 years ago, leading European republicans set out to build, on the shores of North America, a nation-state, based on the highest principles of Christianity. They sought refuge from the power of oligarchism in Europe, and formed colonies, upon principles that would produce the greatest experiment in constitutional government known to man. They succeeded, with the vital assistance of European-based republican allies, in winning a War for Independence.

Once they consolidated the Constitutional Republic, the Founding Fathers sought opportunities to repay their debt of obligation to republican allies around the world. Even as the United States was struggling against the efforts of the British oligarchy to overthrow the American Revolution, such figures as John Quincy Adams, the American-trained German nation-builder Friedrich List, Joel Poinsette, Edgar Allan Poe, E. Peshine Smith, Mathew and Henry Carey, and others, sought to aid the emergence of republican nation-states on every continent, while simultaneously spreading science and invention to all corners of the earth, in the belief that, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, ``All men have been endowed by their Creator'' with the inalienable rights of ``Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.''

Despite persistent attacks from the forces of European-centered oligarchism, abetted by traitorous elements at home, the United States prospered as a nation, and as a force for republican virtue in the world. The burning of the White House by British Red Coats during the War of 1812; the British-provoked war of Southern secession, the Civil War; and the London-ordered assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and McKinley, failed to bury the principles of the American Revolution. Despite one-third of a century of treachery and mediocrity in the White House, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, Franklin Delano Roosevelt succeeded in reviving the principles of American System economics and diplomacy, upon entering the White House in 1933. America turned from the Depression, to become an engine of global economic recovery and victory over fascism.

As we show in this Feature, FDR demonstrated that the American people could be mobilized in the spirit of the Founders. FDR consciously modelled his diplomacy on that of John Quincy Adams, the man who institutionalized America's relations with other nations around a ``community of interest.''

The tradition of the Founding Fathers has taken root in the minds of most Americans. Most voting-age citizens have living relatives who experienced the FDR revival of the American tradition. Even the now-ruling generation of Baby Boomers have personal memories of the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, who sought to revive the tradition of Lincoln and FDR. They have memories of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

These universal ideas have no precedent with any other nation today. This is the essence of ``American Exceptionalism.'' This is why Lyndon LaRouche has stated, that the last best hope for mankind to avert a new Dark Age, lies with a revival of American leadership--not on behalf of some utopian notion of ``new world order,'' but on behalf of a revival of the proven policies of John Quincy Adams, FDR, and others. The assault on the Presidency today can only be understood from the standpoint of the oligarchy's fear that American Exceptionalism can once again catalyze the defeat of their evil game.

The rich history of the United States, as the leadership of a worldwide republican movement, born centuries ago in the European Renaissance, must be unleashed as a weapon in this period of crisis. The lost history of America must be told and retold.

At the Schiller Institute Sept. 5-6 conference near Washington, D.C., some of that history was presented. Here are two speeches at that conference. An accompanying speech, by H. Graham Lowry, ``The Exceptional Mission of America,'' is published in the Oct. 5 New Federalist newspaper.

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The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The Executive Intelligence Review. It is made available here with the permission of The Executive Intelligence Review. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The Executive Intelligence Review.

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