Financial turmoil and the prospect of recession loom large in current discussions of the US, and cast long shadows over much of the world. Some feel that the balance of global power has begun to shift eastwards, away from its 20th century heart. In this month’s cover story, however, Michael Lind asserts the underlying robustness of American society against three pervasive myths of decline: that ethnic rivalries are set to tear the States apart; that religious fundamentalists dangerously dominate its politics; and that the country cannot afford or sustain its social security system.
Even the traditionally pessimistic conservative magazine Commentary has something to say along these lines, and we reproduce an edited version of a recent piece by Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin which examines trends in crime, drugs and welfare statistics, and concludes that there are many reasons for cautious optimism.
Perhaps it’s time to look beyond short-term gloom, and consider whether one century of American supremacy was just the first act of a play that’s going to run and run. As always, let us know what you think here.