America has been in a relative decline lately, especially compared to places like China. America is supposed to be capitalist. China is supposed to be communist. However, in some ways, at least economically speaking, China is more free than the U.S. China actually has less in the way of bureaucratic regulations against businesses which are actually enforced.
There is still far more capital and wealth in the U.S., but much of that is because of the previous prosperity of the last couple of centuries. China is starting out from being completely poor just a few decades ago. There are other countries that have surpassed the U.S. economically, at least per capita. Hong Kong and Singapore come to mind.
I still think the U.S. is the best or near the best when it comes to religious freedom and freedom of speech. It is also relatively good when it comes to gun rights. While Congress is trying its best to regulate the internet, its continued attempts will mostly fail. The cat is already out of the bag. Americans are not going to shut up and this is a good thing.
I still believe that America offers the best hope for liberty in the future. I will use the term “America” in this case, instead of “the United States”. The individualistic spirit of Americans has remained, even if it has faded somewhat over time. Americans are also not ashamed to make money. Entrepreneurs are mostly embraced, despite listening to some of the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that Ron Paul has had great success in America. I have heard Europeans and other foreigners say that they wish they had a Ron Paul where they live. But they don’t really understand the problem. I’m sure there is someone like Ron Paul in every country in the world. It is just that there is not enough support for freedom in those places for their “Ron Paul” to get a footing.
You could take someone exactly like Ron Paul and put him in any European country, Asian country, or anywhere else. Perhaps even Canada might qualify, although Canada is slightly closer to the American way of life. The Ron Paul clone would probably fail in these other places. Perhaps the foreign policy message might resonate with some, but his economic views would be laughed at by the large majority of people. He would not get a hearing because of the socialistic tendencies of the people.
Obama (and Bush before him) may be a socialist. Maybe he isn’t. Maybe fascist is a better description for his economic views. But these politicians have to moderate their rhetoric in most cases. They can’t talk like Castro and expect to be elected. If Obama had campaigned with speeches taken from Hugo Chavez, it is unlikely he would have won the presidency. While some Americans buy into the class warfare, most Americans do believe in some forms of property rights. It is as much a moral issue for them as it is an economic issue.
Hugo Chavez would never be elected in America. Ron Paul would never be elected in Venezuela, at least at this point in history. It is part of the culture. I believe that America has the best chance of leading the world away from statism and towards liberty. If some other country can prove me wrong, then that is fine with me.