Anti-historicality of the American Mind: On the Origins of the American Left's and Right's Taste for "General Ideas" and Dislike of History

Michał Kuź

Abstrakt


The purpose of this article is to capture one of the key features of the political thought that developed in the United States of America.  Assuming that the USA’s political culture is indeed exceptional, the author attempts to find the common denominator that would reflect the singularity of the American political mind. The author states that such a feature is the radical anti-historicality of the American mode of thinking about politics. It is a phenomenon that is deeply-rooted in the political and spiritual past of the United States and seems to be crucial because it never developed to such an extent in other traditions. Furthermore, even today to a large extent it defines both the American left and right. It is also very much present in academic discussion as well as in ordinary political activities. By anti-historicality the author means the rejection of the thesis that politics within a given society depends on that society’s past experience.  The phenomenon defies simple normative assessments. On the one hand, it protects American politics from the perils of radical historicism; on the other hand, it hinders the USA’s contacts with other political bodies. However, the author concludes that understanding American anti-historicality is crucial when entering into any relations with the USA.


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