David Brooks: Ben Franklin’s Nation

…the change in the global social structure has created a psychological crisis in the U.S. Since World War II, we’ve built our national identity on our rank among the nations ”” at the front with everybody else trailing behind. But in this age of convergence, the world doesn’t have much of a tail anymore.

Some people interpret this loss of lead-dog status as a sign of national decline.

Other people think we are losing our exceptionalism. But, the truth is, there’s just been a change in the shape of the world community. In a world of relative equals, the U.S. will have to learn to define itself not by its rank, but by its values. It will be important to have the right story to tell, the right purpose and the right aura. It will be more important to know who you are.

Americans seem uncertain about how to answer that question. But one answer is contained in [Hans] Rosling’s chart. What is the core feature of the converging world? It is the rise of a gigantic global middle class.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Politics in General

One comment on “David Brooks: Ben Franklin’s Nation

  1. paradoxymoron says:

    I wish Brooks would just put on a sweater and wait until his malaise wears off.