Every civilization sees itself as the center of the world and writes its history as the central drama of human history. - Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel Huntington’s America
There is a need for America to revive a Huntington-esque structural-functionalism that was ever apparent at its founding. A melding of social structure and social function akin to highly adaptive organisms in complex environments. America must evolve to persist, but evolve in a way that optimizes its fitness functions across myriad domains - from culture, to politics, to power.
In short - Capitalism with American characteristics. Acquisitiveness coupled with morality. Innovation coupled with necessity. Wealth coupled with obligation. This is the foundation of a strong American political culture. A shared vision of an America in which rule of law - rules indefinitely, and of a world in which America is THE influential power.
Some have identified modernization as a process in permanent tension with the shared belief systems that bind human communities together. Viewed from the perspective of political order, modernization is desirable only insofar it can be counterbalanced with the creation of new value systems whose functional role is to keep institutions strong and societies governable.
Strong nations are culturally unified nations. This means preserving and encouraging innovation; renovating and expanding faith in Capitalism; and recalibrating globalization to make the international system more conducive to domestic prosperity.
These views emphasize the importance of homogenizing values to align with the nations strategic interests regardless of domain. The salvation of Capitalism with American Characteristics is attainable only through the unceasing transformation of those who live within and beneath it.
Society’s cultural factors rather than its economic organization create its politics. Culture is the dominant player in todays world. Changes in social software - values, feelings, psychology, and attitudes – can therefore shape a society’s political future.
However, this argument also operates on another level: as an assertion that Americas political culture, and therefore political path, is different than that of the Past. Examining America, one finds society in the midst of transforming from a culturally oriented political culture driven by political centralization to an institutionally oriented political economy driven by economic centralization. Essentially, the shift from an emphasis on improved material standards of living to that of class struggle and racial tension.
America is constantly progressing, modernizing but not towards a cohesive form. There is no IDENTITY being built. Rather, America is aimlessly wandering toward an amorphous existence. Without identity, a sense of what America is - its values, its culture, it is doomed to lose power and international influence. A unified identity allows strength to build and power to accumulate.
The persistence of 'leftist' ideology, the lingering remnants of feudalism, and the mixture of old and new factors have produced certain results, such as a weak grasp of ideas of democracy and the rule of law, a diffuse sense of political responsibility, a hazy sense of political participation, a weak sense of rights, and a deformed sense of power. These remnants are rapidly weakening America. From its individuals, to its families, to its military.
Viewed from this perspective, the situation for American society is dire. However, there is a solution: to rapidly re-engineer and renew Americas political culture by purifying the traditional, modern, and Capitalistic structures that still remain, and build a unified conscientious political culture on top of these.
The purpose of the development of political culture is to overcome these elements and incorporate the positive, democratic, and innovative ones. The problem can be boiled down to creating a social culture that can create new behaviors and changing the psychological preconditions that govern behavior patterns. The renewal of political culture is the fundamental basis for the revival of democratic politics in America.
People define themselves in terms of ancestry, religion, language, history, values, customs, and institutions. They identify with cultural groups: tribes, ethnic groups, religious communities, nations, and, at the broadest level, civilizations. People use politics not just to advance their interests but also to define their identity. We know who we are only when we know who we are not and often only when we know whom we are against. - Samuel P. Huntington
As Americas population becomes more widely exposed to the process of political unity and conscientiousness, a new value system will begin to emerge.
But what kind of value system?
The renewal of political culture is the fundamental basis for the renewal of democratic politics in America and an important condition for the capitalist system to further demonstrate its superiority.
What, however, makes culture and ideology attractive? They become attractive when they are seen as rooted in material success and influence. Soft power is power only when it rests on a foundation of hard power. Increases in hard economic and military power produce enhanced self-confidence, arrogance, and belief in the superiority of one’s own culture or soft power compared to those of other peoples and greatly increase its attractiveness to other peoples. Decreases in economic and military power lead to self-doubt, crises of identity, and efforts to find in other cultures the keys to economic, military, and political success. - Samuel P. Huntington
Americas political culture needs to reanimate elements in the areas of participation, democracy, military, economics, rights, responsibility, competition, and the rule of law. A return to open, decentralized, objective, and democratic aspects. This return is both a continuation of a historical precedent and the manifestation of a new structure.