Friday, September 5, 2008

Identity, Power, and Law (justice) in American Internationalism

All of us live in the "real" world. What do I mean by this? We exist within contexts of national and personal realities that define who we are. These realities are defined by the social structures of family, community of faith, and nation. These structures bring order to our lives. All humans need these frames of reference for identity and meaning to their lives.

Many in our world do not have these meaning-making structures, due to dysfunction in the family, community of faith on the personal level or war on the national level...

Our form of government, in its balance of power, as well as its representation, is most reflective of "natural revelation". The balance of power represents the need for parties to submit to one another at an international level, while the representative aspects of our government represents the proper balance of power between the "leader and follower" relationship. Domination of another (individual or country) or subversion of resources for profit are the proper limits to individuals and governments. An "ordered" and "proper" government should be limited if it is to respect proper boundaries around others... This breeds a proper attitude toward others (inidividual and national) that builds trust, which is of major importance in diplomatic efforts.

As Americans, we need to understand that individuality, "the self" is not understood within other contexts, as clearly, as it is within our borders. Western Europe still have the seeds of "tradition" that maintain certain cultural behaviors that have long been lost on America's soil. While this is so, we should affirm the uniqueness of American identity of the individual and their pursuit of "happiness", while disaffirming American consumerism. Individual gifting should not be used to subvert or dominate another's. And when these giftings collide or are at variance in "vision", there needs to be a formulation of addressing the "differences", without disaffirming the values and goals of each individual. This is based on "social contract". American values of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are unique identifying factors and should be promoted universally.

Therefore, the Govermental structure of America affirms the proper order and structure for human flourishing, while America's affirmation of the individual "self" is also a proper value to affirm in "social contract".

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