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Our radical idea

Reader comment on item: Hating America's Success

Submitted by Stephen (United States), Oct 13, 2004 at 09:11

What makes America significant, and unlike any other empire, is that we have put forth the idea that the individual takes precedence over the society.

Although we sometimes depart from this vision, it is this vision, established in our Constitution and in our self concept, that makes us dangerous to dictators and despots.

Intellectuals who consider themselves superior to the unwashed hesitate when such status is granted to the masses.

We have taken this concept so far as to establish in our law that individuals have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We grant the right to free expression of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, property rights, including intellectual property. And we even grant individuals the right to own firearms.

Imagine any other country claiming all of that for individuals!

Our very nature is a radical statement, in the face of the old emperors and kings, of the rights of man applied on behalf of individuals.

Is anyone really surprised that this concept stirs the world like no other?
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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