Monday, June 27, 2005

Who are Americans to think that freedom is theirs to spread? :: NYT Magazine

QUOTE\ If democracy within requires patrons without, the only patron left is the United States. While Americans characteristically oversell and exaggerate the world's desire to live as they do, it is actually reasonable to suppose, as Americans believe, that most human beings, if given the chance, would like to rule themselves. It is not imperialistic to believe this. It might even be condescending to believe anything else. If Europeans are embarrassed to admit this universal yearning or to assist it, Americans have difficulty understanding that there are many different forms that this yearning can take, Islamic democracy among them.
. . . .
Michael Ignatieff, a contributing writer, is the Carr professor of human rights at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is the editor of the forthcoming book ''American Exceptionalism and Human Rights.'' /UNQUOTE


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