The Subjectivity of Morality
Shadi mentions that Americans are destined to be moral but moral in what sense? Morality is inherently subjective to cultures and societies. Doesn't claiming that America is a moralizing power fall into the trap of being a missionary moral power (imperialistic)? Isn’t it better to look at America as primus inter pares in terms of the liberal international order? –Christina Grigoraki
Shadi: It’s not so much that Americans themselves are destined to be moral, but rather that they are destined to be more moral than citizens of autocratic nations. It’s not so much that America is special, although I think America is, but rather that the nature of regime type—in this case, the fact that we’re a democracy, however flawed—contains within it this moralizing power. It’s not necessarily inherent to the idea of America itself, though. For example, if Donald Trump staged a coup and it was successful, then none of this would really matter all that much, although presumably the distorting effects of living under autocracy would take some years to register.