American Exceptionalism Kritik 1NC

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A2: Permutation

Their use of modeling and the law is coopted and reproduces exceptionalism – US legal institutions exaggerate non-American components they integrate, bending them to the assumption of US power and superiority – makes violence inevitable

Mattei 3(Ugo, Hastings College of the Law; Univ. of Turin, Italy, “A Theory of Imperial Law: A Study on U.S. Hegemony and the Latin Resistance”, Global Jurist Frontiers , Vol. 3 [2003], Iss. 2, Art. 1)

Law is a cultural aspect of any society. A spectacular society is likely to produce spectacular law.224 If it is true, as Freud once apparently said, that exaggeration is a key to success and leadership,225 there is little question that U.S. law has been capable of exaggerating the fundamental aspects of western law, making them highly spectacular: judges challenge the political power and re-write the history of their country; rights are enforced without frontiers; lawyers are portrayed as living success stories; scholars are engaged in highly creative intellectual exercises with little restraint from the actual technicalities of the law;226 electoral processes are organized as time-circumscribed displays of personality cults; there is spectacular assertion of the institutional power of life and death; and the law is glamorized in movies, best sellers, and television shows featuring glittering and highly photogenic police cars. All of these are aspects of the law “going pop,”227 abandoning the dusty Kafkian bureaucratic scenarios to be promoted as part of the imaginative domain of the integrated spectacle. Thus, what becomes global is not so much the effective, binding, and nitty-gritty American law, but rather its spectacular aspects. It is not efficiency but the spectacle of efficiency; it is not the actual organization of justice but the spectacle of justice.228 Impoverished public institutions of the welfare state, in health care as well as in education, are compared to private ones using standards that always make public works look worse.229 The proactive institutions of governance, staffed with underpaid personnel, are depicted as “bureaucracies” and become less and less attractive to bright global young people. To be sure, the analysis cannot remain on the merely technical level of lawyer’s discourses. The law is an intimate part of the “integrated spectacle” and performs a central part in the public political discourse. De Tocqueville noticed its centrality in America two hundred years ago.230 Today, this discursive practice of legality is reproduced at the global level and is one of the salient features of imperial law. There is no issue of global governance—from the legality of the war, to legal aspects of global intellectual property rights, to the consequences of non-aligned politics by spectacularly portrayed “rough states”—that is not appraised in legal terms. Such legal terms are of course spectacular, vulgarized, simplified, and exaggerated for the needs of media consumption. To be entertaining, the integrated spectacle of course requires antagonists, too. The end of communism makes new polarizations emerge. “Capitalism versus socialism” gets transformed in “democracy and the rule of law” versus “the axis of evil.” Comparisons become ideological. Portraits are offered with strong traits. The legal aspects of the first model are promoted and emphasized as fair, efficient, natural, and good. The legal aspects of the second are unfair, medieval, inefficient, obscurantist, unnatural, and bad. The antagonist changes; the strategy stands still.

The alt must come first – global power relations make an independent judiciary impossible – they’ll be shaped by the demands of an internationalizing legal order

Petras 12(James, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, ‘“Legal Imperialism” and International Law: Legal Foundations for War Crimes, Debt Collection and Colonization’, 12.03.2012,

Clearly in a world imperial system there can be no independent judicial bodies who abide by universally accepted legal codes. Each set of judicial authorities reflect and actively promote policies favoring and extending their imperial prerogatives. There are rare exceptions where a judge will rule against a particular imperial policy but over the long run imperial law guides judicial opinions Imperial legal doctrines and judicial decisions set the groundwork for imperial wars and economic pillage. The empire’s legal experts redefine assassinations, coercion, torture and arbitrary arrests as compatible with the ‘constitutional order’ by claiming imminent and constant threats to the security of the imperial state. Law is not simply part of the superstructure “reflecting” the power of economic or political institutions: it also guides and directs political and economic institutions committing material resources to implement imperial doctrines. In this sense, imperial rulers are not ‘lawless’ as some liberal critics would argue; they function in accordance with ‘imperial jurisprudence’ and are faithful to the legal doctrines of empire building. It is pointless to argue that most imperial leaders trample on constitutional guarantees and international laws. If an imperial ruler pursued a “constitutional agenda” eroding imperial prerogatives or, even worse, applied international law to prosecute those carrying out brutal imperial policy, he would be quickly condemned for dereliction of duty and/or immoral behavior and impeached or overthrown.

A2: Hegemony Good

Exceptionalism makes hegemonic decline inevitable

Jouet 13 (Mugambi, JD from Northwestern, publications include articles for academic journals, as well as for Salon, The Huffington Post, Guernica Magazine, Truthout, Collier’s Magazine, Slate France, and Le Monde, the French daily newspaper. His article on the harshness of U.S. criminal justice was notably cited in a Wall Street Journal blog, author of an upcoming book on American exceptionalism, “Does American Exceptionalism Foster American Decline?”, 05 February 2013,

Republicans argue that the Obama administration has precipitated the nation's decadence by trying to Europeanize America. In their view, America is declining because it is becoming less "exceptional." In reality, America remains very exceptional and certain features of American exceptionalism contribute to the country's decline: anti-intellectualism, religious fundamentalism, and radical anti-governmentalism. These mindsets, which mutually reinforce each other, are particularly concentrated in the contemporary Republican Party. They foster a purist, far-right ideology that is hostile to compromise and that impedes rational problem-solving, as recently illustrated by most House Republicans' refusal to raise taxes even only on millionaires during negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."¶ Throughout 2012, Republicans continued to describe the Obama administration's moderate health care reform as a radical "socialist" plan even though universal health care is widely accepted by both the right and left in all other Western nations. The latter have considerably lower medical expenses than America and generally better health levels.[2] Unlike many Americans, other Westerners simply do not go bankrupt due to medical bills. Nor can they be denied insurance due to preexisting conditions, a peculiar American practice outlawed by Obamacare. Nevertheless, numerous Americans are persuaded that they enjoy far better access to health care than people elsewhere in the West.¶ The fact that scores of Americans accept manifest propaganda about "socialized medicine" and vote squarely against their own economic interest relates to a more fundamental aspect of American decline. Anti-intellectualism has become prevalent in modern-day conservative America, as exemplified by the rise of leaders disdainful of intellect, such as George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. As noted by renowned scholar Richard Hofstadter, [3] anti-intellectualism is rooted in the notion that having "too much" education is both pretentious and useless because all one really needs is common sense. Consider the words of John Boehner, who proudly argued that being Speaker of the House requires no higher education whatsoever: "Trust me - all the skills I learned growing up are the skills I need to do my job." Today's Republicans often associate education with the so-called "liberal elite." Rick Santorum notably accused Obama of being a "snob" for setting the goal of a college education for all Americans in the 21st century. America used to lead the world in the proportion of young adults holding college degrees. That is no longer the case, yet Republicans are determined to cut funding for education.¶ Anti-intellectualism dissuades people from informing themselves and helps explain why an exceptionally large share of the US population lacks elementary knowledge. One in three Americans is unable to name any of the three branches of government. Forty-two percent do not know that America declared independence in 1776; and 24 percent do not know from which country it gained independence (Great Britain). While America has an abundance of bright minds, the ignorance found in certain segments of society is an Achilles heel. America may not be able to afford much longer to have a citizenry whose level of education is not consistent with its superpower status.¶ The belittlement of education has contributed to the acute polarization of America during Obama's presidency as ill-informed citizens have been inclined to believe anything about the federal government's "tyranny." Scores of Republicans think that Obama radically raised income taxes during his first term, whereas he actually cut them for 95 percent of working families as part of his economic stimulus. Even though the Tea Party has stridently denounced overtaxation, current income tax levels range towards historical lows. In 2009, Palin convinced a third of the public that Obamacare included "death panels." Conspiracy theories have far more political weight in America than in other developed countries, as further demonstrated by persistent claims regarding the supposed "hoax" of global warming or Obama's fake birth certificate. ¶ Of course, American exceptionalism also has many positive dimensions. Neil Armstrong's passing reminded us that Americans were the first on the moon - a prodigious feat accomplished without the benefits of modern computer technology. The spectacular landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars equally illustrates the remarkable contributions of Americans to science. It is therefore a paradox that four in ten Americans reject the theory of evolution in favor of Genesis-based creationism, a singularly high proportion in the developed world at the dawn of the 21st century. Religious fundamentalists frequently perceive education and science as obstacles to faith. Nearly half of US Protestants are unaware that Martin Luther was the main figure behind the Protestant Reformation.[4]¶ These aspects of modern America stand in sharp contrast with the nation's origins in the Enlightenment. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and other Founding Fathers were highly learned men whose conception of government was influenced by Enlightenment philosophy. They created the first modern democracy, as the Declaration of Independence of 1776 preceded the French Revolution of 1789. The Marquis de Condorcet, a leading French philosopher, wrote that due to the American Revolution, people no longer had to learn about the rights of men from philosophy - they could now learn from "the example of a great people." [5]¶ It may be that decline is the inevitable fate of any leading society. After all, America's incipient decline has come at the heels of Europe's own decline. Former European powers like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal are now only shadows of their former selves. Perhaps it is now America's turn to experience the cyclical rise and fall of civilizations. From the Roman Empire to the Mongol Empire to European colonial empires, countless dominant societies have gradually faded over the course of history.¶ Yet, decline is not simply a matter of fate. Leaving aside certain environmental factors partially beyond human control, the ascent and downfall of civilizations is largely human-made. America's decline after little more than a century as a superpower seems far from inevitable at this stage. It remains the world's largest economy. It is a leader in technology and many other fields. Its universities are widely recognized as among the very best in the world. It has great thinkers and innovators. In sum, there is much to admire about contemporary America. Still, the aspects of American exceptionalism mentioned above - anti-intellectualism, religious fundamentalism and a visceral suspicion of government - arguably contribute to the country's decline.

Exceptionalism makes decline inevitable – causes economic stagnation, failure of political innovation, and crushes alliances globally

Weisberger 13

(Bernard, historian who has been by turns a university professor, an editor of American Heritage, “Taking Exception to Exceptionalism”,

The version of exceptionalism now peddled by tea party fable-makers has already done our economy noticeable harm. It convinces too many. It turns upside down our supposed hospitality to innovation by attempts to seal us off from learning anything from other, younger democracies. Improvements in health care, education, energy conservation — name your cause — are dismissed out of hand as “socialism,” bent on destruction of “the American way.” That kind of head-in-the-sand obstructionism is what we used to deplore in what we called “backward” parts of the globe. And what a useful tool it is for keeping the rich beneficiaries of our current unequal status quo in the top-dog position!¶ The damage that “unique” America as Dr. Hyde, fortified by a super-sized military establishment, has done is huge. Where once we independent-minded Yankees scoffed at “heel-clicking Prussian militarism,” the media and political establishments of today brag of our “superb” armed forces, while reporters covering Pentagon press conferences, as well as congressional committee members, struggle to outdo each other in deference to the beribboned generals who appear before them.¶ The international consequences are even worse. At a time when we need the world’s friendship and cooperation, the exceptionalist mindset licenses administrations of both mainstream parties to override the sovereignty of other nations in the interests of our own safety. Think of drones aimed at terrorists (so identified in secret by us alone) in neutral Pakistan or “allied” Afghanistan that take the lives and homes of nearby or mistakenly targeted civilians. Mere “collateral damage” to us, we ignore the scope of their tragic suffering. Think of CIA kidnappings on the streets of foreign cities under the very noses of their own police forces. Think of the symbolic impact of our refusals to sign international treaties banning the use of land mines or child soldiers, or of the special exemptions we demand from prosecution by local law authorities of crimes committed against civilians by our military personnel in the countries where we have bases established. What kind of self-portrait are we painting?¶ True, almost all nations commit offenses against common decency and common sense in the mindless fervor of war. Our country is not the only sinner or possibly the worst. But “We’re Number One” hyper-patriotism is simply the collective self-admiration of empty minds. It’s not what the American Revolution was fought for. Not what Tom Paine and Lincoln had in mind. The Declaration of Independence only says that we were seeking “the separate and equal station among the nations of the earth” to which the laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitled us.

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