America plays a central role in the social order that arose and carries forward from the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. We made the bed we lie in for better or worse. And it is important to know where we came from and why what we are matters – not only to us but to the world. As a nation we have pulled away from the world we have created. We believe that we no longer need provide leadership. We can go back to the 1880s when American really didn’t matter to most of the world. That was the last time populism was a major force in our country.
But a lot has changed since then. We grew up as a nation and our economy has come to dominate a rapidly growing and dynamically changing global marketplace. While we no longer seem to dictate terms to other nations, they all expect us to participate in those discussions. The reason is simple. We created the rules by which the global economy operates. We manage the global flows of money between nations with the global reserve currency. Our banking system has become an effective tool to punish those who do not wish to play the game according to our rules. Witness Iran coming to the negotiating table when they would have preferred to stay away.
"Love can be battered by world events, but that true love never dies."
Our success has made a change in the exponential growth of opportunity a disappointment. We are no longer able to bring everyone along for the ever improving American Dream. And it has nothing to do with the individual skills or abilities of any one person. It is the natural result of our success. The world markets we have created now wish to participate at the same level they see we have achieved. And their participation creates competition for the jobs we wish to fill here at home. But the markets are no longer dominated by the US market. The global share is much larger and necessary for technological products and services to dominate.
In Rik’s, I have attempted to show how we must learn the inevitable lessons from our historic dominance in the world. We must learn how who we are plays into the lives that we each experience. We must learn that love can be battered by world events, but that true love never dies.