Hence, there are three main paradoxes in American public discourse and in the American public sphere which are outstanding and are perhaps in need of resolution. For one, there is the paradox of modernity itself and how European and Western modernity has essentially peaked, which then begs the question of what comes after this peak. As The Economist noted in their October 15-21 issue: “The balance of power between labor and capital is shifting.” This ‘balance of power’ between capital and regular people is not only shifting from within the Western world, but it is also shifting on an international level due to the rise of China and the overall political and social outcomes of American foreign policy over the course of the last three decades.
Second, there is the paradox of American Jews and the complexity of the relationship between American Jews and other minority groups. And third, there is the paradox of America as both an ‘Empire’ and a ‘Democracy’ which needs resolution. Moreover, what is intertwined with all three of these paradoxes is the issue of race. As a white-majority country, the United States would have to resolve the first paradox through both equality, inclusion, and integration of non-white peoples. As mentioned before, minorities and non-whites in the United States have acquired “civil rights” and “desegregation” without equality and inclusion over the course of the last century and a half. Thus, a true social democracy would have to include equality, inclusion, and integration of non-white peoples in order to materialize.
White supremacy and racism also obviate the complexity of the relationship between American Jews and other minority groups in America. And the delicate balance between ‘Empire’ and ‘Democracy’ that has been upheld thus far can easily tilt towards an angry and irrational populist overhaul and takeover of government and society if there is not a concerted effort towards the cultivation and development of a truly social-democratic system within the narrow window of opportunity and time that is afforded to us.
Thus, a better social order not just in the United States, but also around the world, requires “a more complete reckoning” with the issue of race that is at the heart of both European Colonialism and the ‘Cold War’ mentality which in turn have shaped the international order over the course of the last five centuries, as Zachariah Mampilly argued recently in the ‘Centennial Issue’ of Foreign Affairs. Without a doubt, race and white supremacy also had much to do with the hardline and hegemonic approach of Dick Cheney and his circle towards foreign relations at the beginning of the 21st century, which in turn set the tone and tenor of American foreign policy for the next twenty years.
One comes to realize that race and white supremacy were at the heart of American foreign relations over the course of the last two decades when once one realizes that the general approach towards foreign relations deviated from any sort of rationality and logic, especially when one takes account and stock of how American foreign relations actually played out over this period of time. But the seduction and attraction of irrationality can be a fatal one, which is why there is a dire and desperate need for an injection of rationality and logic into American public discourse at this critical juncture not just for American history, but for the global order as a whole as a result of globalization and technology.