Can we reignite the spirit of America?

Summary:  The newest member of the FM website team, a USMC Corporal, complains about the FM website’s bold motto:  “a discussion about ways to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold.”  It does not accurately represent the content of the website?  Sad but true.   What’s the site’s new theme?  Of course, the authors each have their own views — and each speaks for himself.

The FM reference pages record the evolution of the writing on this website.  The FM Smackdown page records the correction of its factual errors, such as belief that America has a high degree of social mobility (here) and that chemicals cause the trend to earlier puberty (here).  Others record more serious mistakes — about America.

  • Although the Constitution was weak, perhaps dying — it could still be saved (here).
  • More citizen activism can save America (here).

The current news suggests both beliefs are false.  The reference page America – how can we reform it? documents this in 117 posts.  The following conclusions rest upon that evidence, from which everyone will draw their own conclusions.

“Nothing is written.”
— Lawrence of Arabia, in the movie

What comes next?

America has a glorious history, which we can reclaim at any time.  Change remains possible, a potential inherent in any society.  But we are no longer who we once were, and so unable to reform without change in both our minds and hearts.   None can say when that will happen, or even if that will happen.  The difficult time ahead, also well documented on this website, will give us many opportunities to change.

As for what comes next, here’s an excerpt from the February 2010 post, The breakdown of the American political system, pointing to a new and better future

Nothing concentrates the mind like the sight of the gallows.   We have tried both sides of the conventional spectrum and found no true reform.  As described in The first step to reforming America (the final version), insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.  We need new solutions.  Recognition of our current dead end is the first step to real reform.

Marxists confront such situation with optimism.  As he said in his preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859):

“Mankind thus inevitably sets itself only such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself arises only when the material conditions for its solution are already present or at least in the course of formation.”

For those of us worshiping at a different church — or none at all — this economic determinism gives us no help.   I recommend faith in us, in our collective strength.  We have overcome more difficult challenges in our past, and will confront still more difficult challenges in our future.  Today we merely lack confidence in each other, and faith in the American project.  The solutions are out there; we merely need reach for them

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