America: Myths vs. Realities
How Freedom Forms Habits of the American Heart
At the confluence of several almost serendipitous philosophical, social, and geopolitical trends, the United States of America was founded and a simple idea was put into practice: let the people decide what kind of government they want and curb all powers of the government so founded with a system of checks and balances that will assure the respect for individual freedom.
Simple as it may seem, the idea was actually more radical and revolutionary than any other idea human history had ever produced. It attempted to turn human organization upside down. It was nothing less than a daring leap of faith in the understanding of human nature itself. Human beings are social animals. Governments were formed to safeguard societies, making sure that every individual behave, be considerate of others, and contribute to the common good. With the people freed from the government's watchful eye and with everybody now in pursuit of his or her own good, would society not break down and chaos not ensue?