In some ways the meta-narrative is true–we are exceptional. Once we finished off the indigenous tribes and built the American economy on the backs of African slaves, the United States definitely had an exceptional advantage over other nations in terms of natural resources and favorable natural borders. And we built a terrifying military that could wreak more havoc and kill more people than any other military in history. On the positive side of the ledger, we have one of the more open societies in the world, and our constitution was unique in that it founded a nation on a proposition of rights inhering in a people, not a monarchy. It consolidated the insights of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the English Bill of Rights in 1689. In this way it was sui generis. Yet the very rights to which we ascribe our singularity are those that we deny our fellow man through the corporate-backed ideology of globalized free enterprise. This, if anything, is exceptional hypocrisy.