I haven't seen this much chaos in the world since the 60s and early 70s. This is a great time to reassess what role government plays in the lives of Americans. It's an interconnected world, much moreso than in the 60s. Now, when one country has problems it affects more than just that particular country. Many countries have many serious problems, and we all feel it, but what role does our government need to play?
The tragedy in Japan was caused by nature, but many countries will respond, and many countries will be affected. Especially financially, we're all connected in the global economy. In a good way, we're connected culturally and emotionally. At one time, when we heard about a natural catastrophe, it didn't quite seem real, because foreign was actually foreign, but now we're familiar with Japan and Japanese culture. Through industry and technology, Japan seems to be next door as we watch the tragedy on many tvs that were made by a Japanese company, maybe even in a factory that's here in America which workers drive to in their Japanese-company-made car. Plus, in America, we are perhaps the most diverse country in the world, so there's a good chance our neighbor or co-worker is of Japanese origin.
You would think that in a global economy, if more countries were as diverse as America, we could place less emphasis on State power and identity and begin realizing the benefits of an interconnected world. This is a good time to head in that direction. As Saudi Arabia has its problems, as China struggles to become a nation more globally integrated, and as Russia continues to battle between old forces and new, and all over the world nations try to find their place in the midst of major change, it would be good if we were coming to a better understanding of interconnectedness, human similarities, cooperation, competition and peacful trade.
Most of the world's major problems, other than natural disasters, are caused by State leaders vying for political or religious power on an international stage, but State power and religious domination are of the past and don't belong in what's developing outside the power struggles among nation-states. The Communication/Technology Revolution has connected ordinary people in ways those of past generations could have never dreamed possible, and the great majority of the world's people don't seek State power. I would say that the great majority of the world's people much prefer peace and economic growth and enough prosperity to live comfortably. It's always been a simple fact that global interaction in peaceful trade is the best way for the whole world to become better off. It's a very negative statement about the human race that anyone anywhere suffers from hunger, abject poverty or curable diseases.
The knowledge and the resources are available for everyone in the world who wants to apply their labor in freedom and peace to live a comfortable life, yet there's still so much distress and unrest around the globe. Even in a wealthy country like the US, there are people fighting one another over matters that would appear ludicrous to a starving African. Which advanced nations will lead the way? At one time America saw herself as the nation taking the lead. The French have felt the same way, as have the British, the Germans, and those in the Ottoman Empire, or the Roman Empire.
We (humans) have so much knowledge and technological expertise now, that it's insanity to be struggling against one another. At some point, hopefully soon, the people of the world will advance to the point where we can clearly see the futility of power-seeking between nation-states and realize that if we head in another direction, we can apply what we know to create something much more life-nourishing, something much more peaceful, compassionate and productive. America can be one of the leaders, again, but this time not as Internationa Directors of Progress, just free people with integrity showing how we do it and offering our help when we can.