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Posted by on Sep 17, 2007 in At TMV | 1 comment

Quote of the (Yester)day

Cross-posted to the Debate Link

As so often is the case, my quote of the day comes from quite some time ago. This one comes from a Chinese Newspaper (one year prior to the communist takeover) commenting on the application of segregationist law in Alabama:

We cannot help having some impressions of the United States which actually already leads half the world and which would like to continue to lead it. If the United States merely wants to ‘dominate’ the world, the atomic bomb and the U.S. dollar will be sufficient to achieve this purpose. However, the world cannot be ‘dominated’ for a long period of time. If the United States wants to ‘lead’ the world, it must have a kind of moral superiority in addition to military superiority.

Ta Kung Pao (Shanghai), May 1948 (quoted in Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton: Princeton UP 2000), 32).

Dudziak’s book, incidentally, is quite good and a must-read for anyone who wants an accessible history for the way the moral atrocities of Jim Crow impacted America’s crucial Cold War image as a beacon of democracy and hope.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • Sam

    One thing that always amazed me about the Constitution is the fact the bar was set way higher than even the founders could live up to. They owned slaves themselves for crying out loud, in total violation of the spirit of the document. Sometimes I like to imagine that they were thinking, “This world is pretty screwed up. But this is what we think will make it better, and someday we will get there together.”

    That quote reminded my of the first time I thought of that.

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