Re: Please "Check In" here to the American Character discussion!
An old analysis of imperial politics observes that the periphery knows about the core but the core ignores the periphery. Australia is at the periphery of the American Empire.
I've had a lot of contact with the US. My dad did his PhD at the University of Chicago, 1958-61, while my mum did an MA at Northwestern. Then dad worked for a year at Yale, 1976-77, bringing the family along. My two brothers both studied and worked in the US, Peter at UPenn and the Fed and Bill doing a chemistry post doc in Oregon.
My interests in the apocalyptic tendencies in world politics have always recognised US leadership, although this is a topic that excites less analysis than perhaps it should.
This book, American Character
, attracted my interest because I see this tragic dilemma over liberty and the common good as the central gulf in world politics, stopping people from acquiring a dispassionate ability to discuss key major issues in a practical way. The way this divide between individualism and collective needs polarises American society generates the primary acute moral questions facing our planet.