I just tried to watch the first episode of The Vietnam War, a new multi-episode documentary by American filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novik. I didn’t expect this documentary be good, but I am actually surprised now at how bad it really is.
The core of the problem of (at least the first episode of) this documentary is that it is entirely America-centric. It is based on a fantasy that the American government can determine the fate of world affairs, and that individual Americans can influence US government policy.
The “lesson” that the documentary seeks to teach is then that there are times when world affairs do not follow the standards of American ideals, and that this is because the US government does not listen to the good ideas of individual Americans.
Let’s call this the “Americans are so stupid” self-loathing narrative.