Too Harsh on Hegemony

Before I leave the topic of Hegemony, I need to acknowledge the rant quality of my last post, which was too harsh in some ways. I went after the US with a venomous mind, without considering the sensibilities of the most important element in that country, the people. The people are the country in the end, not just the hegemonic structures which govern their lives.

The founding principles of that democratic nation are truly good and just. The problem is not in the principles, but in the practice at the highest levels, not at the level of the people. By-and-large, the American people are kind and generous people. In times of strife, they pull together for the common good, perhaps like citizens in no other nation. They fiercely defend their rights and freedoms, and are generally fair-minded, and more than ever, seem committed to egalitarianism.

The USA was born of rebellion against the dictates of an imperialist Great Britain by a populace that was tough and independent by nature. Those characteristics are exactly what was required to establish a nation where only wilderness prevailed. The United States of America has progressed in fits and starts during its existence as a nation-state. The fits have been the product of drifts away from its founding principles, and the geopolitical drama that has unfolded over those years. The starts have been the result of being drawn back to those same founding principles.

Perhaps it is more wise to judge the success of the United Stats, not be its absolute success, but by how far it has come in light of all the struggles it has had in moving toward the ideas of democracy put forth by its founding fathers. Booker T. Washington exhorted the American blacks, struggling to succeed in the period after the Civil War, with that very idea. The inherent optimism of his sentiments at that time, may be for this time too.

Hegemony still has no place under my dome of heaven, but the people who struggle against its evils, and right those evils through democratic means, do. We need to return to hegemony in its most benign form which serves society, not dominates it.

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