Americans, on the otlier hand, professrn”American exceptionalism.” They assertrntliat the United States is unique amongrnthe countries of the world because shernalone has successfully funcHoned underrnthe same Constitution for more than 200rnyears. According to “American exceptionalism,”rnthe government of the UnitedrnStates has never been overthrown, andrnthe U.S. Constitution has never beenrnchanged — except through the amendmentrnprocess, as established by the ConstitutionalrnConvenhon in 1787.rnIf ignorance is bliss, then Americansrnlive in a terminal state of euphoria. ThernWar Between the States (as Congress officiallyrntermed the conflict in 1928) orrnthe “Civil War” (as the politically correctrnintentionally mislabel it) alone shattersrnthe myth of “American exceptionalism.”rnAmerican exceptionalism, however, isrnnot just a myth; it is a dangerous myth, becausernof its four false corollaries: First, therngovernment of the United States isrnmorally and politically superior to all otherrngovernments; second, the governmentrnof the United States is “indispensable” forrnthe peace and prosperity of the world;rnthird, other governments, as a matter ofrnnational self-interest, must conform tornthe policies of the government of thernUnited States; and fourth, if any country’srngovernment refuses to conform, then therngovernment of the United States isrnmorally entitled to impose economicrnsanctions or launch military attacksrnagainst that country.rnNeoconservative “theorists” WilliamrnKristol and Robert Kagan took the beliefrnin American exceptionalism to its logicalrnconclusioir in the Summer 1996 issue ofrnForeign Affairs. The objective of the governmentrnof the United States, they declaredrnin “Towards a Neo-Reaganite ForeignrnPolicy,” must be nothing less thanrn”benevolent global hegemony.” Kristolrnand Kagan validate the observation of AlbertrnCamus that “the welfare of humanityrnis always the alibi of tyrants.”rnThe myth of American exceptionalismrnhas transformed the United States from arnfederal republic with limited constitutionalrnpowers into an “evil empire” and arn”rogue state.” From Afghanistan to Waco,rnfrom Ruby Ridge to Yugoslavia, thernUnited States behaves increasingly asrnboth the political equivalent of FriedrichrnNietzsche’s “superman” and an embryonicrnversion of George Orwell’s “Oceania.”rnSince the advent of political correctness,rnthe U.S. government already practices thernOrwellian concepts of “newspeak” andrn”doublethink.” Its domestic and foreignrnpolicies are slowly conforming to the officialrncreed of Oceania —”War is Peace,rnFreedom is Slaverv, and Ignorance isrnStrength.”rnIn reality, American excepHonalism isrn”a lie agreed upon.” And the lie begins atrnthe beginning. Contrary to the myth’srncentral tenet, the Constitutional Conventionrnof 1787 was not a lawful assemblyrnthat produced an extraordinary politicalrndocument, but an illegal cabal thatrnstaged a coup d’etat.rnIn 1789, just six years after independence,rnthe first republic of the UnitedrnStates, established under the Articles ofrnConfederahon and Perpetual Union, wasrnoverthrown. The justification for thisrntreason was the conviction shared byrnmany politicians —including GeorgernWashington, Alexander Hamilton, andrnJames Madison —that the first republicrnwas too weak to be effective and wouldrnremain so because of Article 1 of its constituHon.rnThis article limited the generalrn(or federal) government by declaring:rnFach State retains its sovereignty,rnfreedom and independence, andrnevery power, jurisdiction, and right,rnwhich is not by this confederationrnexpressly delegated to the UnitedrnStates, in Congress assembled.rnAs a result, the Confederation Congressrnhad no independent source of revenuernand had to rely on requisitions it receivedrnirregularly from the states; it hadrnno control over foreign or interstate commerce;rnand it had no power to compelrnthe sovereign states to honor its decisions.rnWhile the impetus for abolishing thernfirst republic was undeniably political —rnthe belief, however dubious, that thernConfederation was imworkable andrnwoidd soon collapse —there were economicrnmotives as well. Those demandingrnthe creation of a second republic includedrnholders of government securitiesrnwho had not received interest on theirrnloans; landowners and speculators whornhad been unable to develop commerciallyrnthe western lands, because the first republicrnallegedly could not adequately defendrnor administer the frontier; andrnmerchants, manufacturers, traders, andrnshippers whose interstate commerce hadrnbeen adversely affected by conflictingrnstate laws. All these interest groups alsornshared a common concern: the financialrnlosses they incurred due to confusionrnover state and “national” currencies andrnthe introduction b’ farmers of depreciatedrnpaper money.rnBut the actual oerthrow of the first republicrnwas the culmination of a series ofrnevents that had begun in 1785. Together,rnthey resulted in a creeping couprnd’etat.rnFirst, there was the Mount VernonrnCompact of March 1785 between Virginiarnand Maryland (Delaware andrnPennsylvania were also invited to join),rnwhich dealt with interstate navigationrnand commerce. It was a success. Wliilernnot a secessionist movement in the commonrnmeaning of the term, the compact,rnby possessing jurisdiction over the navigationrnand commercial rights of its members,rnconstituted an embryonic polificalrnrival to the first republic.rnSecond, at the fime of the Mount VernonrnCompact, the Massachusetts legislaturernadopted a resolution calling on itsrndelegates to the Confederahon Congressrnto petifion for a general convention to revisernthe Articles of Confederahon. Delegatesrnrefused on the ground that it wouldrnlead to the overthrow of the first republic.rnThird, in the summer of 1786, sevenrnamendments to the Articles of Confederahonrnwere introduced in the ConfederahonrnCongress for reforming and strengtheningrnthe first republic. All seven wererndefeated.rnFourth, by September 1786, farmersrnwere in rebellion throughout New England.rnCollectively known as “Shays’ Rebellion,”rnfarmers —so-called “Regidators”rn(term that would later be replacedrnby “vigilantes”)—took up arms in parts ofrnConnecticut, Massachusetts, NewrnHampshire, Rhode Island, and the independentrnrepublic of Vermont to block attemptsrnby their creditors to collect debtsrnby foreclosing on their farms. “[B]y onernestimate, nine thousand men —onefourthrnof the potential armed force ofrnNew England—were up in arms againstrnestablished authorities.” Later, the issuernof the “anarchy” of the Regulators, andrnthe “inability” of the Confederation torndeal with it effectively, would be manipulatedrnat the Constitutional Conventionrnand in the subsequent ratification debatesrnin the states to justify overthrowingrnthe first republic.rnFifth, in September 1786, the AnnapolisrnConvention (meeting ostensiblyrnto expand the Mount Vernon Compactrnto include addifional states) conspired torndraft a new federal structure. It was a failure.rnFive states —including the hostrnstate —refused to send delegates, whilern52/CHRONICLESrnrnrn