Simply face it. The world has changed. Certainly the horrific events in Paris last Friday underscore a revised Western calculus, but recent episodes in Lebanon and Turkey, and of course the downing of a Russian airline more than suggests there has evolved a new world order, or possibly disorder.
We are a capitalistic and multi-cultural people, where differences are to be valued, leading to brisk, and hopefully healthy, competition, such being predicated on creativity, innovation and invention. Competition should lead to better products and outcomes, improved lifestyle and a hoped for ascendance of economic and political opportunity. We recognize that the status quo will likely change and, at times, for the betterment of all, must change. But such changes are still rooted in core values and mutual respect.As we have recently witnessed, differences can also be lethal. Ideological positions can run counter to or even foreclose on any productive discourse. In the current case, we can muse over the relationship of religiosity and economic development, and how belief systems and their ritualistic and collective behaviors either contribute to or restrict societal advancement. Political economists like Max Weber espoused the Protestant work ethic as a key driver to capitalism’s success, echoed in part by the likes of Hume and Tocqueville. But there are those factions that look askance at anything other than with their endogenously skewed perspective.
Competition may pit players against each other, but if done fairly and with an equally aspirant goal, the participants can collectively advance. While we as a country have had significant challenges and misgivings about certain entities and sovereigns, when might you find a time when rivals like the US and Russia, and even the hacktivist Anonymous share the same side of the playing field?