In the onerous aftermath of the first war, Germans became humbled both by the war tax that had been imposed upon them by Europe, and also the moral tax upon their age-old warrior culture. Germans strove and strafed under post-war conditions that rendered them an outsider status they had not experienced since before the fall of the Roman Empire.
It was these dignitary harms rather than the absolute hardship that ultimately turned the tide against European solidarity. It is worthy to note that similar indignities and not absolute deprivations also drive our American hunger for greatness. We have always enjoyed an absolute abundance, but it is only now that we have come to rely upon a certain prominence. We are at a stage in our development where we cannot have both simultaneously. Either we resign ourselves to our own ingenuity, or we resolve to answer the call of international emergency in the spirit of mutually assured survival.
That is the cusp upon we now pause. Our President has issued a call for a return to our former splendor, and that requires an inward focus. But we also have global commitments that will not diminish just because we ignore them. More fundamentally, our economy is subject to a real interdependency that tends to diminish our claims to absolute primacy. We are because the entire world is.