This is just something I wrote on the fly after a thought came into my head yesterday. You often hear about people talking about how the political system of the USA is corrupt or about how the values of the American people are being corrupted. These values are usually the values of hard work, helping others and motivation to do well from the 1940's and 1950's. Some people would say this to be something to do with drugs and the non-Christian new cultures and lack of motivation. I have a different idea. For the first 150 or so years of its existence, the USA was one of the least corrupt and most civil nations. It was the first modern nation with universal male suffrage. After the USA civil war, it also became the fastest growing industrial nation, a title it would hold up until WWII. So what happened? Did people get lazy? My idea is that the USA was changed in a major way by its rivalry with the USSR. While the Cold War was a great time (ironically) for the USA with great scientific advancements and social change, it was also a time of ideological suppression. People would get imprisoned/screened simply for being a suspected communist. It was also affected by conformism. Everyone was expected to be Christian, to get a wife, buy a house, and believe in American values. In terms of political theory, this would be bad for the USA in the long-term for two reasons. 1. Lack of a pro-communist argument means that a strong anti-communism argument won't be formed (for most people). An anti-capitalist argument won't be formed either to look at its weaknesses. 2. Too much conformism leads to a lack of creativity and new ideas in society. People may be afraid to be different. Another change that happened after WWII is the USA's globalisation. If not for the USSR, the USA would not have bothered with the Islamic world. Taliban wouldn't exist, the most of Islamic terror groups wouldn't exist. The USA gave them training and weapons to fight against the communists. Now the USA is spending lots of money supporting these small countries and on its own anti-terror defence. Lots of money has been spent every year on extra defence spending in places such as airports since the WTC attacks. Another thing to think about is how the leaders were chosen. There was a foreign-policy factor that had to be weighed in a leader as well as their political ideas. Reagan was only liked because of his anti-Russian actions. This may be a contributing factors towards the USA's lag in some liberal reforms that other nations have. That's my idea. I know that other nations went through the period of the Cold War and conformism, but I believe that the USA experienced this a little more strongly as it was the most powerful nation opposing the USSR. Some questions to discuss: Do you think I'm correct? Do you think the Cold War was a positive thing? Do you think the Cold War's end was good for America? What do you think America should do for a prosperous future?