Kevin (erf_) wrote,

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exceptionalism mad libs

Virtually every country in an emerging position of power has produced a document to this template at some point:

Dear rest of world,

It has come to our attention that you do not take us seriously enough. We are the number one supplier of [CHIEF EXPORT] and the number [NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND TWENTY] producer of [LIST OF SECONDARY EXPORTS]. We have a GDP of [NUMBER WITH MANY TRAILING ZEROES]. International businesses the world over have headquarters in our cities, since every businessman worth his salt knows that in the current economic climate, a business simply cannot survive without our market. Foreign economists have tried to imitate our policies and our business culture, but to no success. Our economy is the envy of the world.

Culturally, too, we are a dominant force. Where in [FOREIGN CITY] or in [FOREIGN CITY] can you go a day without seeing your children enjoy [INDIGENOUS CULTURAL COMMODITY]? Where in [FOREIGN CITY], [FOREIGN CITY], or [FOREIGN CITY] can you walk fifty [LOCAL UNIT OF DISTANCE] without the opportunity to dine on [LOCAL CUISINE]? Can you walk a hundred [LOCAL UNIT OF DISTANCE] without hearing the people speak our beloved mother tongue, or the dulcet sounds of [LOCAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT]? In the past, it was you who came to us. Now, it is we who come to you.

And yet. The old guard still condescends to us as a second-class nation. Your political leaders trivialize our influence, while making deals with each other against us; your business leaders lobby for tariffs and protectionist policies to hurt our exports, while they themselves flock in droves to capitalize on the opportunities offered by our markets; your dishonest media (which, let's face it, is nothing more than your mouthpiece) slanders us with lies and false rumors in order to damage our national reputation. It could not be more clear, rest of world. You're jealous. No, worse than that. You're scared.

[CURRENT SUPERPOWER], in particular, has been unwilling to give us the respect we deserve. Why, we cannot say. Perhaps they have held on to power so long that they have grown soft. Perhaps they have enjoyed their dominance of the world's markets to the point where they think it belongs exclusively to them. Perhaps they have grown so used to lording it over us that they are appalled, appalled, when someone dares go their own way, against their agenda. Who can tell? We can only speculate. But actions speak louder than words, and the military forces they have stationed near [CONTESTED MINOR OUTLYING TERRITORIES] say volumes about their intent.

All these are empty threats, of course. We barely deign to respond to them. For, you see, these are the words of an empire in decline, clinging on to its last shred of relevance in the modern world. I have lived and worked among [CURRENT SUPERPOWER]'s people for [NUMBER LESS THAN TEN] years. I know what they are like. They are plagued by [CURRENT SUPERPOWER DOMESTIC ISSUES], forces that are slowly dissolving them from the inside; their workers struggle in vain to match the quality of our goods. Their people, fettered by [QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH RACIST STEREOTYPE OF CURRENT SUPERPOWER], can only cry out in impotent rage when they see our [POSITIVE QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH RACIST STEREOTYPE OF COUNTRY]. They are mired in [IMPERIAL FOREIGN CONFLICT]. Their troubles have blinded them to their own decline. And yet, their hubris is so deep they cannot see that the world has passed them by. Sure, they might have a bigger military than us, a bigger economy than us, and more territory and political influence than us--for now. But not for long.

[CURRENT SUPERPOWER] is trapped in a [RECENT WORLD CONFLICT] mentality. It's time for [CURRENT SUPERPOWER] to move on. If it accepts its fading relevance gracefully, perhaps history will regard it kindly. Anyone who has been following the events of the past ten years knows that the era of [CURRENT SUPERPOWER] has passed. The era of [NAME OF COUNTRY] is here.

And yet, they do not realize this. How can their leaders be so foolish, so selfish, so tainted with pride, that they cannot realize that without us, [CURRENT SUPERPOWER] has no future? Has their racism towards our people, reflected in a history of persecution, conquest, and imperialist violence, starting with [REVISIONIST HISTORICAL ACCUSATION] and ending with [RECENT CONFLICT UNRELATED TO RACISM], polluted their judgement?

For [YEARS SINCE CURRENT SUPERPOWER'S RISE TO SUPERPOWERDOM], [CURRENT SUPERPOWER] has been telling us what to do. But no more! We have earned the right to say no. It's about time someone stood up to your arrogance. It's about time the rest of the world stopped bowing down to their demands, and who better to lead the rest of the world than us?

"Oh, they're just a flash in the pan," foreign academics lie. "Their economic growth is a bubble. Their political influence owes itself to a fluke. Their military growth is dependent on weapons sales from other countries. Their success is not sustainable."

Silly foreigners. You mean well, but you are simply ignorant of the truth. We have studied the same models, the same theories, the same historical trends. If our academics were to come up with similar conclusions for your country, we would agree.

But you forget one thing: We're not you. We are, in fact, unique. And it is because of something we have, something that you could learn from us, that we will grow more powerful forever.

That thing, of course, is our cultural values.

Foreigners the world over marvel at our [LIST OF CULTURAL VALUES]. Did you think it was an accident that we invented [LIST OF ANCIENT INVENTIONS]? Our [CULTURAL VALUE] made us what it was today. We started in a weak social, military, and economic position, but through the hard work and effort of our people, inspired to genius by their love of [CULTURAL VALUE], we were able to overcome those shortcomings and become a global power. Our [CULTURAL VALUE] makes us build better goods, better weapons, and better policies than you can ever dream of. Our children are raised to appreciate [CULTURAL VALUE], making them poised to become the leaders of the world, whereas your children grow fat and lazy since you teach them [OPPOSITE OF CULTURAL VALUE] from the day they are born. It is because you cannot understand [CULTURAL VALUE] that you cannot understand our success. Because of [CULTURAL VALUE], we are, put simply, better people than you. I know your jealousy and your racism makes it hard to understand this, but try.

Sure, some theorists may identify [SYSTEMIC WEAKNESS] as a systemic weakness in our model. But they forget that [CULTURAL VALUE] makes us immune to this weakness. Through [CULTURAL VALUE], [CULTURAL VALUE], and [OTHER CULTURAL VALUE], we will rise up to the challenge. We will not slowly collapse from forces from within, or be whittled down by forces from without, like every other empire in history. [PREVIOUS EMPIRE], [PREVIOUS EMPIRE], and [CURRENT SUPERPOWER] may have all been great in their own time, but they fell because they lacked one thing: [CULTURAL VALUE].

We will not make the same mistake. We know [CULTURAL VALUE], and if you desire, we can teach you. We will avoid your inevitable fate, and we can help you to avoid it too. Your people are sick and wrong, and they need help. If you let us guide you in the ways of [CULTURAL VALUE], you shall reap the benefits of basking in our glory, which will last through the ages.

You are bound to the law of nations, and protest when we violate it. But we are not bound to the law of nations. We serve a higher power. We serve [CULTURAL VALUE].

We can prove it. We're still growing, aren't we? Look at all the international businesses that work with us--they're growing too. You foreigners said we would collapse twenty years ago, forty years ago. We haven't yet, have we? In fact, we are still going strong. Isn't it time we dismissed the naysayers as who they are: naysayers?

The problem isn't that we haven't learned from the mistakes of history. The problem is that we simply understand history better than you.

Join us, or fade away. But never say we didn't make the offer.



In the name of [CULTURAL VALUE],

[Ancient Rome / the Ottoman Empire / Spain / the British Empire / the United States / France / Nazi Germany / the USSR / Japan / Republic of China / People's Republic of China / NAME OF COUNTRY]
Tags: history, noose, politics

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