Our state as a powerful form of social organization helps us to lead decent lives in accordance to our declared rights and freedoms. Every day most of us do not think about the great state machine that works to make us successful and happy people. Besides, the state is nothing but the realization of a good national organization. Please, ask yourselves, are we well-organized people? Do we really live together as a nation? I cannot give a positive answer to these questions; I do not believe that any of you can frankly do it either. It means there is something wrong with our nation, and our state is under thread of degradation.
The problem lies in American individualism, which is the result of American economic success. We want to live separately from others because we have enough money for it, and many of us have no need for social support and productive communication. In such a way, every American lives only for his or her own reasons because there is neither any modern national idea nor actual national danger that could unite the nation. That is why we need to find some new reasons to consolidate the nation.
First, I will tell you about the modern American individualism and its consequences on the nation and the state. Second, I will offer a way to organize Americans into one nation. Third, I will show the advantages of national unity.
Let us start by looking at the situation in modern American society. American nation is not a monolithic that could resist common hazards and realize some common plans. An individual has a higher value than a nation. This problem has three main reasons. Primarily, there are too many differences within American society and thus people cannot live as a united nation. Certainly, people lived together when the colonization of America begun, as it was the only one way to survive. Besides, the American nation has no integrating idea today because there are too many groups with different cultural, economic and social status and history in the USA. For example, Samuel Huntington (2004) claims, the first idea of the American nation had Protestant Christian roots, but now there are many Spanish immigrants, who destabilize and transform this idea. This process of the national idea destruction has a connection with some changes in the American legislative sphere. There were many social reforms since the beginning of American colonization, but there were no parallel cultural transformations within the society. The clearest example is the policy concerning Afro-American people. When the first colonists only established the fundamental values of the American nation, all Afro-Americans were their slaves, which was normal for those times. Today all Americans are free and equal, but they live within the transformed conditions that the first colonists created. The same and even more important problem is with the economic inequality, which divides the nation into the struggling economic classes. There are many separate districts in every city, and each connects people in groups according to their economic potential. Thus, the economic and cultural development of the USA became one of the causes of the national decline.
Certainly, these problems are not new for the USA, but the nation existed before because of different enemies that people could oppose only together. Today, indeed, there is no clear hazard that could organize the nation in order to resist it. During the Cold War, the USSR performed this function. The totalitarian state that wanted to spread its communist ideology all over the world embodied the absolute, and Americans knew the only way to save the world from those plans was to work together. When the USSR disappeared, the USA became the most influential and powerful state in the world. Such victory became the beginning of the American degradation. There is no state in today’s world that could be dangerous for the USA. The only thread that remains an important source of social organization is the international terrorism. Nonetheless, it cannot organize the whole nation because there is no personified idea of terrorism in contrast to the communist USSR as a personification of the world evil. That is why the political dominance of the USA is very damaging for the national idea.
There is also the problem of global worldview changes connected with the philosophical movement of postmodernism, which expresses the postindustrial way of life. The values and successes of postindustrial world make people indifferent towards the nation. The most important postindustrial value is an individual, who is in the center of the postmodern philosophy, which expresses the spiritual challenges of today’s world. Today the most popular way to understand the world is relativism, which claims that everyone may have his or her own point of view because a human is the measure of all things. The technical and economic development of postindustrial society allows people earn enough money and produce enough goods by use of machines instead of manufacturing collaboration. Besides, according to Hawkins, the lifestyle Americans are living today is absolutely unsustainable economically, culturally, and socially over the long haul.” The most important detail of any society is an integrating idea, which helps to connect all individuals in one social organism. Besides, today the American individualism is more powerful than any collective value.
After explaining the problem, let me offer a solution to it. In order to save both our nation and the state, we need to reorganize our national idea according to the main challenges mentioned before. First, the Government has to provide new informational and cultural policy in order to create new social myths that could legitimize the current multinational America and organize the nation against some powerful problem of the postindustrial world. The American nation also needs some changes in its history representation at school program and media. As Kenneth Whitehead (2005) underlined in his review of Samuel Huntington’s work Who Are We? America’s Great Debate, all elements that once became integral parts of the American culture have other meanings today because of transformational processes.
Second, the state has to oppose its rivals on the international arena and involve all people in this process emotionally to let them feel themselves a part of the united national organism. At the same time, public figures have to share the point of view that the state provides. In today’s society of media, most of celebrities share the postmodern type of thinking that opposes to the idea of a strong state and united nation. That is very important for the Government to encourage those who share the ideas it provides. Certainly, the Government also has to avoid any violations of human rights in this field and adopt this policy to every public figure regardless of his or her free will.
Third, the Government has to reform the American economy in order to eliminate the class of poor people by punishing those who do not want to work and creating new workplaces for them. It is clear that economic relations determine social life. While communists in the USSR made all people poor and equal, the American way to equality lies through the wealthy life for all people who want to work.
Finally, we have to develop some national philosophy that could both overcome the postmodernist individualism and respond to the main philosophical challenges of today’s world. For example, Kauffman and Sasso (2006) claim that postmodernism as a philosophical movement “is intellectually bankrupt.” Philosophy as a way to understand the world has to play a very important role in the reorganization and integration of the American nation.
With a strong state organization and close connections between the citizens, the USA would prosper, but not degrade as many great states did on the highest point of their development when their people had no reason to go further together. We will restore our state on the new fundamental principles and save our culture and traditions in new forms by understanding the Americans’ common sense in today’s world. The next generation will be stable against any exterior aggression due to the internal flexibility, which allows the nation always to be in connection with the current situation in the world and at the same time to understand such relations through the prism of both common and individual advantages.
The USA will become the first example of a state of the new era when the relativism of postmodernism is overcome and replaced by progressive and effective social philosophy. Through the centuries of struggle between citizens and their rulers for the state power, we have some stereotypes concerning the Government. Today, in the epoch of democracy, people consider the most heroic thing they can do is to become independent from their Government as much as possible. In my opinion, such approach is very infantile. We have to understand that our Government is not our enemy, but the power that organizes social chaos into a structure. In this hard work, people have to be more obedient to the Government in order to survive as a nation with some common future.
After the visualization of common features the American nation can reach through my program, it is time to wrap things up. As you can see, the American nation is under thread of degradation and disappearance because of new tendencies in cultural, political and economic life of the world. Besides, the reason for that is the absence of effective national idea and clear common danger that could organize the society and make it work together. Let us review the main points of my speech.
First, there is a problem with the national unity among Americans. Second, a right government policy in connection with social agreement concerning it can change the dangerous situation. As a result, we can live in prosperous and successful state as one happy nation.
Our common future depends on the way we understand this issue. We must have enough courage and fairness to acknowledge our need for a change according to traditional values, which became not so popular in postmodern culture. Indeed, traditional values should be viewed through the prism of today’s reality. Our common debt to the state is to limit our rights in order to make the nation more powerful and the national influence on a person more significant. Certainly, we can find many examples in the world history when such policy ended in totalitarianism, but the American nation has enough wisdom and experience to avoid such extremity and find the golden mean between the personal and collective freedom in order to save the nation.
Thank you very much. I believe you understand that in the model I offer the state has to make the first step, but I already try to change my outlook and realize my debt to the national unity. I try to develop myself in order to help the state realize the policy that would lead us to freedom and prosperity through work and collective life.
If you suppose you are not ready to the changes I am speaking about or you are afraid they can make our state totalitarian, just imagine what will be with our nation in fifty years, for example. If your illusory comfort is more important for you than our common future, do not change your way of life. Yet, if you love America, let us change ourselves in order to save it. Thank you.