Ugly Exceptionalism

ExceptionalismExceptionalism” is a relatively new noun. The ngram graph above shows its usage frequency over the last century. “Exceptionalism” is a great word because it labels an ugly concept. There is even a wiki article on the word.

Identity_CirclesHumans are social animals which bond in groups to cooperate, compete and survive. We use language and ideas to aid our bonding and often at the expense of others.  Exceptionalism is used to foster identity of a group. The rhetoric of exceptionalism can be used to encourage a group to persevere in hard times or to persecute others. But exceptionalism is a two-edged sword — for dominant groups it can be successfully suppressive but if used wrongly by minority groups, it can lead to persecution. Either way, exceptionalism is problematic.

Picture credit: cheering crowd source



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

3 responses to “Ugly Exceptionalism

  1. So how the last post not exceptionalism? “Look at how much better we, the persecuted minority, deal with reality than the dull, idiotic and oppressive majority!” That’s how I read it… but I’m not reading it with the same eyes as you.

  2. Luke, I don’t think our exchange will be fruitful. So I will just leave what you write here stand.

  3. Oh… cause you’re the minority… Gotcha. So your mirror reaction to the majority is justified then? Cool. Glad we had this chat.

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