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I had the same experience being from and growing in Poland.

I think I can give you a simple reason: Hollywood. Through movies and TV shows, America has been defining the mass culture for the past few decades, for almost the entire world.




This is very deliberate. From 1911 to 2017, 800+ films and 1100+ television shows have received backing from the Pentagon and the CIA [1]. Several films received major script changes, primarily to create a certain perception of the US military and intelligence agencies.

[1] https://theconversation.com/washington-dcs-role-behind-the-s...


As did Jackson Pollock [1] and other artists ...

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-...


That's an interesting link you have there, but it feels like limited hangout. "Yeah we admit we routinely manipulated film and more, but only to paint ourselves in a favorable light."


>I think I can give you a simple reason: Hollywood. Through movies and TV shows, America has been defining the mass culture for the past few decades, for almost the entire world.

I think this can conflate cause/effect. Hollywood creates these movies and stories because the people producing them believe the narrative.

It's interesting to me which narratives are questioned, and which aren't. The Vietnam War is widely considered controversial, but World War 2 was about defeating the evil Nazis, period, right? Adam Curtis has some interesting interviews with soldiers in The Living Dead about this topic; often the men on the ground couldn't tell good from bad.


The issue isn't about Americans believing America is exceptional. Every nation believes themselves to be the protagonists. The difference between the US and everyone else is that the US managed to export its movies to the point they became an integral part of culture of half of the world. In any western nation X, for the past decades, you only had two categories of movies of importance: local movies, and American movies. And usually the latter were better / more interesting.




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