Quotations about   exceptionalism

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Nothing is more embarrassing in the ordinary intercourse of life than this irritable patriotism of the Americans. A stranger may be well inclined to praise many of the institutions of their country, but he begs permission to blame some of the peculiarities which he observes — a permission which is however inexorably refused.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
Democracy in America, Vol. 1, “Public Spirit in the United States” (1835) [tr. Reeve (1839)]
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Added on 21-Nov-18 | Last updated 21-Nov-18
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You know, here in America we’re loyal to our flaws. It’s like, if we change even our flaws there’s something wrong.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
“Bill Maher, Incorrect American Patriot,” Interview with Sharon Waxman, Washington Post (8 Nov 2002)
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Added on 20-Jul-16 | Last updated 20-Jul-16
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The conflict to different approaches to the liberty of man and mind or between different views of human dignity and the right of the individual is continuous. The dividing line goes within ourselves, within our own peoples, and also within other nations. It does not coincide with any political or geographical boundaries. The ultimate fight is one between the human and the subhuman. We are on dangerous ground if we believe that any individual, any nation, or any ideology has a monopoly on rightness, liberty, and human dignity.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) Swedish diplomat, author, UN Secretary-General (1953-61)
“The Walls of Distrust,” speech, Cambridge University (5 Jun 1958)
Added on 29-Dec-15 | Last updated 29-Dec-15
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Like other idealisms, patriotism varies from a noble devotion to a moral lunacy.

Dean Inge - patriotism - wist-info

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
Added on 12-Oct-15 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
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A self-righteous country soon forgets its righteousness and remembers only the self.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Remark (1940s)

To the author, in Stephen Winsten, Days with Bernard Shaw, ch. 25 (1949)
Added on 19-Jan-15 | Last updated 19-Jan-15
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America is far from perfect. It has blundered through arrogance, selfishness, cynicism, and a great deal through ignorance. But without America, the history of humanity in the 20th century would have been infinitely more tragic.

Dominique Moïsi (b. 1946) French political scientist and writer
In the San Francisco Chronicle (16 Dec 2001)
Added on 18-Dec-13 | Last updated 18-Dec-13
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