Since the turn of the century, the role of the USA in the world has changed and has made both people living inside the boundaries of the USA as in the rest of the world asked themselves what is the role that the USA will take in the future and what the appropriate reaction should be from the rest of the nations, “enemies” and “allies” alike. The ideas that we have discussed during this class seem relevant to the discussion of what the future holds for the world as a whole. Particularly, those of civic republicanism and liberal individualism.
There are inherent contradictions between these political perspectives. Civic republicanism compels us to see each and every one of us as members of a society and to see how our role in it is important to keep ourselves, as a community, strong and our rights intact. While an individualist would argue that these rights should be the center of our life that our freedoms (religion, speech, etc.) is what make us find our happiness and our path in life. It is up to the individual to make each of these decisions.
However, while recognizing these contradictions, it still seems to me that the only possible way of living in a global society is by embracing and recognizing both schools of thought. Emerson’s individualism might seem extreme, but there is a clear importance in rebellious individualism that seems necessary to break from the past and generate critical ideas that can only be generated by individuals that alienate themselves temporarily from the critical eyes of society and look deep into themselves to find a clearer understanding of things. Forgetting about political parties, trade partnerships, economic embargoes, and even patriotism to try to find a more honest perception of the world and ourselves.
This seclusion of the mind than should be ended, and our honest opinion be revealed to the larger world. Because it is only in our community where we can expose our ideas and try to change and influence our society to improve it. It is in this judgement and criticism where we discover the strength and flaws of our arguments. Inevitably, this conflicts of ideas generate tensions and hostilities, but they also generate social capital and empathy that can be useful to come to compromises that look for the well-being of the whole society; as a civil republican would support.
While this process could be applied to the local and national community, I believe these ideas can and should be taken to a global level. The way that society has evolved, through economic trade and cultural interchange, makes it hard to not think of the global community. The barn should not be a city or a country, but the whole world.
From the perspective of the American government and its people, it means that critical thinking should be applied to analize the consequences of problems like the Wars on Drugs, the effects of trade in the global population, environmental issues and the complex relationship that the USA has with different governments around the world, but always with the perspective that, in the end, the USA forms part of a larger community, which has the right to apply a similar process of analysis than the one used by the USA and that only a fair discussion can produce fair results. While this is easier to say than to do, the stability and sustainability of the global community is worth the debate.