Natalie Smolenski is an Executive Director of the Texas Bitcoin Foundation and a Fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In this interview, we discuss why America needs to be re-found. We talk about the self-destructive impacts of striving for supremacy, what the American project stands for, trying to build solidarity across the divide, and the importance of Bitcoin.
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The great irony of the twentieth century is that in winning the cold war America has lost its way. Far from the defeat of the Soviet Union being a stepping stone to cementing US hegemonic power, within a generation, we are seeing a fracturing of the global order and the decline of western liberal democracies. The importance of the American dream as a projection of soft power has waned.
In the face of a multi-polar world and a wave of significant issues that need urgent action, politicians are losing confidence in trying to win the battle of ideas. The race seems to be about winning the battle of technology without going bankrupt. Optimism and hope have been replaced by cold strategic pragmatism.
Endless wars have dulled Americans’ enthusiasm for being that shining city on the hill. But, is this myopic thinking? The long lens of history shows that the projection of America as a beacon of hope was through manifestations of the principles of liberty, equality and justice on which the country was founded. America became a magnet for the strivers of the world. Can it become so again?
What is clear is that prior to renewing its confidence as a global power that champions freedom, America needs to heal the domestic divides. A nation needs to be united internally if it is to thwart external threats. This means finding new ways to engage and identifying new leaders to take ideas forward. It also means embracing again the old ways of thinking: that America’s “glory is not dominion, but liberty.”