Whence virtue? Whence justice? Whence morality? America and modernity
- Issue date
Oficyna Wydawnicza AFM
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2009, nr 2, s. 85-146.
"The United States is a quintessentially modern nation, in fact the first modern nation in history. In America all the problems of modernity happened first, and all the answers to the problems encountered have been tried accordingly. In the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville defined the problems America experienced as a universal problem of democracy, but democracy here could as well mean modernity. The experiment which was called America has for this reason always been a challenge for Europe and the rest of the world, with very ambivalent feelings towards it. For some, hatred of America comes easily, spontaneously; for others love and reverence for her is spontantenous. Both passions come from the same understanding: that in America everything which has happened to human beings may happen to the people of modernity sooner or later. For some, it is a reason for trembling with fear. For others the reason for hope. This hope comes from a realization, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, that if in a modern civilization we encounter a situation when everything has been tried and failed, there is still hope that Americans will come with a proper solution to the challenge. In that sense, America is a homeland of all people of modernity, whether we like it or not, and we may say that whoever hates America, hates today, to a certain extent, humankind."(...)
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