Home Bias

When searching for historical analogies that might illuminate our current struggles, too many of us have too strong a tendency to look for U.S. examples.

Is this more like the Revolution, the Civil War, or Watergate? If we really want to be crass about it, Hitler will come up at one point or another.

This reinforces two easy misconceptions: (1) that our problems are completely novel, or (2) that any history we’re bound to repeat will be our own.

The “exceptional” narrative loves edge cases. But there are plenty of other examples of countries that slid into a more banal sort of permanent dysfunction.

We might want to start looking around.