America’s “superman exceptionalism” versus world’s many “holocausts”


“Losing America’s supremacy on the global stage” would mean less human suffering at least?

“The Defense Rests: America is losing its grip.” This is the “grim warning” title of the NEWSWEEK June 19th’s interview with the departing US Defense Secretary Robert Gates who retires from the Pentagon top job.

His “dire” view onto the future of American power is the following: “[T]he U.S. is in danger of losing its supremacy on the global stage.

Either “losing its grip” or “losing its supremacy on the global stage” statements apparently made him labeled as “not believing in American exceptionalism” within American politics.

The NEWSWEEK reporter which seemed quite surprised to hear from Gates of his grim view onto the future of American military hegemony described him “astonishing for the leader of the world’s preeminent fighting force.”

Let’s hear directly from Secretary Gates a little bit more:

“I’ve spent my entire adult life with the United States as a superpower, and one that had no compunction about spending what it took to sustain that position. It didn’t have to look over its shoulder because our economy was so strong. This is a different time. To tell you the truth, that’s one of the many reasons it’s time for me to retire, because frankly I can’t imagine being part of a nation, part of a government … that’s being forced to dramatically scale back our engagement with the rest of the world.” (Newsweek)

In Gates’ worldview, many can amply notice a well-known stereotypical (sort of) “superman” mentality in most, if not all, American elites’ (in the context of sociopolitical, economic, cultural, military and religious) worldview.

Like Gates, for centuries, most (white elite) Americans seem to have become deeply obsessed to that “superman mentality” in terms of the sustained status of “supremacy, superpower, preeminence, and (therefore) exceptionalism.”

White elites’ sociopolitical, economic, cultural, military, religious mindset as a “superman exceptionalism” (of course, a “superwoman exceptionalism,” too, like Hillary) seems perfectly represent the history of “American Destiny” for colonial conquest of the world.

In other words, this superman exceptionalism can well fit to describe what’s happened, “on the global stage,” to mostly non-white, non-West, poor but great majority of world’s populations since mid 20th century, to those tens of millions of Native Americans since 1492, and another tens of millions of Black Africans since 16th century.

Thus one can, without much arguments or disagreements, define the superman exceptionalism together with those four concepts as “root causes of Western/European colonialism, American imperialism,” particularly of “white supremacism”[i] or white racism, sexism in modern history.

Even Wikipedia defines “white supremacy” as “is rooted in ethnocentrism [i.e., Euro-centrism or white-centrism] and a desire for hegemony, and has frequently resulted in violence against non-whites.” 

One can conclude Gates’ worldview, as most representative of most white elite Americans’ superman exceptionalism, can be identified as the root causes of today’s great human suffering in the form of continued human holocausts “on the global stage.” 

Like most American elites, Gates also talks about “strategy,” as he used that language several times in his NEWSWEEK interview.

For them, it could be a matter of “military strategy,” however, for those millions of the invaded, the colonized, the enslaved, i.e., at the moment for Afganistans, Pakistanis, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Cubans, Koreans, etc., it’s the repeated “human holocausts!”

For those majority populations of the globe, it’s the ongoing human sufferings!

It’s the continued massacres! It’s the ongoing destructions! It’s the repeated disasters all around the world including USA itself!

Therefore, if U.S. really lost “its supremacy on the global stage,” then, unlike Gates’ and the likes’ worries, in fact the world either won’t suffer anymore, or at least would less suffer than yesterday and today.


Dr. Kiyul Chung who is Editor in chief at the 4th Media is also a Visiting Professor at School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University.


[i] White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites. White supremacy, as with racial supremacism in general, is rooted in ethnocentrism and a desire for hegemony, and has frequently resulted in violence against non-whites. Different forms of white supremacy have different conceptions of who is considered white, and not all white supremacist organizations agree on who is their greatest enemy. White supremacist groups can be found in some countries and regions with a significant white population, including North America, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Latin America. The militant approach taken by white supremacist groups has caused them to be watched closely by law enforcement officials. Some European countries have laws forbidding hate speech, as well as other laws that ban or restrict some white supremacist organizations. (Wikipedia)

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