Is America in a moral decline ?
No. America is still the greatest nation bar none.
America’s critics should go back to their history books and try to find another society that has embarked on an experiment with freedom of this magnitude.
All nations of planet Earth — every single one of them — have dark marks on their history. For all its faults and sins — which are many — America is the closest mankind has ever got to the ideals of democracy and freedom.
The American critics of America would do well to spend a year living as a regular citizen in, say, Bolivia or Nigeria, before they raise their voices again to criticize the nation that has, at the same time, reached the highest standard of living in the world and the first place in cultural, technological and military matters.
European critics should remember what Europe was before WWII. They should be glad they are not speaking Russian and looking up to a portrait of Stalin on their office wall.
It’s time we stop all this nonsense whining. There’s a reason why the best and brightest in the world want to come and live in the US: it’s called “the pursuit of happiness”.
In fact, phrased that way, this question might be impossible to answer. How do you measure and quantify morality ? It would certainly depend on your world view, to begin with, your political leanings, perhaps your religiosity.
The signs are not clear at all. You could point to political corruption. But objectively, has it increased or decreased since the Teapot Dome days ?
You could point to the caliber of politicians and public officers, and forget what Chicago was like during prohibition or New York was like in the early 70's.
In the last fifty years the pornography industry sprung up, sure. But civil rights were also unequivocally affirmed.
America has made bad choices in foreign policy and war. But it also helped bring down the Soviet Union and stood up to Saddam (however bad the results ended up being).
We had the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon oil spills and the shocking instant physical and moral degradation of Katrina in heartland USA. But you guys also had California trying to reinvent its Government, Silicon Valley leading world tech, pioneer initiatives in health (think the Human Genome Project) and education (think the MOCs where you can now learn pretty much anything for free online).
Sure, there’s certainly a lot that could be improved. But when I look at America I don’t see any deterioration. I only see the normal evolution — with all its hesitation, conflict and back and forth movement — that comes naturally to a free and self-determined people.
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Roberto Motta is a Rio de Janeiro-based entrepreneur, consultant, lecturer and writer. He writes on LinkedIn, Medium , Facebook and Quora. He also blogs in Portuguese in his own blog Seis Por Meia Dúzia