Land of Opportunity

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, the best definition of the term “policy” that I was able to find through my inquiry and research was from the 20th century political philosopher Hannah Arendt. “Policy” as defined by Arendt is the final distillation of the economic, political, and social experiences of a nation. Thus, an American whole-of-government policy of “global hegemony” can be understood when taking into account the economic, political, and social experiences of Americans during the end of the 20th century and during the beginning of the 21st century. Values and interests underpin the economic, political, and social experiences of a nation, and in turn policy is derived from these aforementioned experiences.

But the final outcome of a whole-of-government policy based on “global hegemony” has already been rendered to a large extent, and this outcome is defined by American “relative decline” vis-à-vis China and the rise of China as a parallel pole to the United States in the international system. Thus, the “American Unipolar Moment” has largely been replaced by an evolution of the international system into a bipolar structure. Based on our current economic, political, and social experiences as a nation – which in turn are defined by the basic bipolar structure of the international system – a whole-of-government policy based on “global hegemony” should be replaced with a whole-of-government policy which focuses on maintaining America’s competitive and qualitative edge vis-à-vis China.

Brown University’s Watson Institute came up with a report this past summer which showed that four times as many American active-duty personnel and war veterans have died of suicide than in combat. Moreover, this fact and this statistic needs to be placed within the broader context of the mental health crisis which the overwhelming majority of Americans believe has gripped the United States. Thus, in order to maintain America’s competitive and qualitative edge over China, America must first overcome the mental health crisis which has gripped the nation. And in order to overcome this mental health crisis, one needs to craft and institute the economic, political, and social policies which will enable Americans to overcome the mental health crisis that has gripped the nation.

Without addressing the issue of maintaining America’s competitive and qualitative edge over China through addressing America’s mental health crisis by virtue of sound economic, political, and social policies, the result will be yet another populist upsurge either through this year’s midterm elections and perhaps even in the 2024 general elections. If a populist upsurge were to take place yet again in the United States over the course of the next few years, I highly doubt that America would be able to maintain its competitive and qualitative edge over China in the long run. Populist and right-wing governments do not have a very good record in governance and in managing international affairs, and history is a testament to this reality. Plus, America already had a brief experience with a populist and far-right government during Trump’s four years as president, and it was largely defined by chaos, disarray, and paranoia. And as Albert Einstein famously said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

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