It’s a statement, not a question and Dinesh D’Souza wrote a book with that title. His book has a lot to recommend it, in part because it really skewers The Left with info about why America is not only great but, IMO, why America really is exceptional. D’Souza’s book should be read.
In the spirit of standing on the shoulders of giants, and I believe D’Souza is an intellectual giant, he claims America is great because of Science, Democracy and Capitalism. (SDC).
What about The Declaration of Independence, a written Constitution and the push for Rights to control the power of government, – Rights that are protected or that are supposed to be protected by government? Those documents and the ideas that fostered them are, IMO, more important than SDC because without Rights and everything that flows from them, America would have been stillborn. Capitalism needs Individual Rights before it can appear. The lack of understanding about the requirements of Capitalism is the major problem with America today because Rights are being subordinated to the collective. Proof? The unfortuante success of the Left, the election of Obama, the successful attacks against guns, women’s rights and the growth of collectivisn in America.
D’Souza does complain about and explain some of the things that are wrong with America. My judgment is that the difference between Rights and Government Power was and remains blurred. The Constitution, and it’s the greatest set of principles ever devised by a culture, works the idea that government has Rights. That would mean government can eventually expand it’s powers by itself because it has the Right to expand it’s powers. That’s sophistry and casuistry at their worst. Here’s why.
Rights pertain only to people. Rights do not pretain to “The People” Rights pertain to ah individual, not the Collective, – the people. Power is supposed to be controlled by Rights. The group has power. Only Rights can control them. The government has power. Only the idea of Rights can keep that bad boy in the bottle.
Here’s another distinction. Rights are Inalienable. Rights are also un-alianable and there are fierce debates over which word was used in The Declaration of Independence. Rights are both in and un alianable because they accrue only to an individual and they occur because of the nature of “The Individual”. They can neither be seperated from the nature of the individual nor can they be removed.
The ideas of Rights and Power were being formulated in 1776. They are still a new concept, a new idea that is not widely understood by many cultures. Some cultures believe Rights and Individuals are wrong and some people work to eliminate Rights and the idea of “The Individual”, believing, wrongly, the group is superior. The USSR was built on that philosophic premise. The USSR disappeared but that doesn’t stop people from supporting the ideas of the power of the group and the subjugation to the individual to the group. Hopefully what’s great about America can overcome what’s wrong with America but with the election and re-election of Obama it’s not going to get better until 2017 and unless something appears that can control the Left, not then either.