American Common Sense

Topics: Property, Native Americans in the United States, Capitalism Pages: 2 (594 words) Published: December 16, 2013
The idea of “common sense” seems very basic: common, unspoken knowledge universally accepted by a given population. However, according to the writings of Antonio Gramsci, “common sense” is not as simple. Gramsci considers it to be the embedded, incoherent and spontaneous beliefs and assumptions characterizing conformist thinking of the mass of people in a given social order. America’s “common sense” has come of age steeped in the liberal tradition and religious dogma. The concept of American exceptionalism, the theory that the United States is "qualitatively different" from other states, liberalism’s emphasis on property rights and competitive individualism, and deep-rooted faith in the Laissez-faire market all have great impact on the collective conciseness it supports today. Americans have always been exceptional, or at least they think they are. The particular faiths of the early European colonist still have an effect on American’s today, regardless if one is religious or not. Exeptionalism can be traced back to the Calvinist notion of the “Elect” or individuals chosen by God. To the colonist, their move to North America was not just by choice, they were chosen individual setting course to fulfill their destinies. As the country grew, the idea of “manifest destiny” became the theme that the American west was seized by. It was the destiny of the American people to expand and claim the land God had chosen for them. Constant immigration allows the idea to repeat its self through the course of American history, for the creation of new destinies for so many immigrants help form the idea of America as the superior nation. In today’s increasingly global society, American Exeptionalism is less about manifest destiny and more about a moral superiority and policing the rest of the globe. Throughout the 20th century, America places itself in positions of idealistic interventions. Recent examples...
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