America The Weird

Victor Davis Hanson // Hoover Institution

On first glance, America does not seem that exceptional. Like China and Russia, it is a superpower. And, also like those countries, it is huge territorially. It shares many affinities with Europe. And, like China, Japan and Germany, the United States is an economic powerhouse. And yet, it is a nation unlike any in the world.

In general, outside the West, few of the seven billion people alive today enjoy human rights and the protection of property. The rule of law and freedom of expression are taken for granted in Europe and the United States, and residents there enjoy both economic prosperity and physical security. These exceptions to the global norms of repression, autocracy, tribalism, sectarian violence, and fundamentalism are found only either in the West proper, or in a few Westernized nations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

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