The Guns, Germs, and Steel of America.
"Why did history unfold differently on different continents?" This is the driving question in Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel that seeks to reveal the ultimate chain of historical causation that made some societies superior to others. Although Diamond's conclusion that the continental axes determined the mobility of domesticated plants and animals, which in turn facilitated the production of guns, germs, and steel, is very plausible, it raises another question. If historically it was guns, germs, and steel that placed certain societies a cut above the rest, what is it that allows America to dominate the rest of the world today? If one closely examines all the aspects of American society, it is evident that there are three factors governing America's domination. Guns: our military defense system; germs: our overall morality; and steel: our national freedom.
Military forces are most obviously the guns of American society. The military capabilities of American troops are far superior to that of any other nation. With a slight provocation, our Armed Forces are scattered about and the will of our nation becomes the way of the world. Take for instance the ongoing crisis of September 11, 2001. Although in its mildest terms it is quite more than a slight provocation, military response to an attack on our nation was almost immediate. The goal of the forces abroad is to rid the world of terrorism, and if we must go at it alone, our military capacity that will allow us to do so. The message that our Armed Forces deliver in times of war is that it is the American way, or the highway. It is also our military capabilities that provide protection from intrusive forces. And, while at times outside forces may challenge the role of the military in our society today, in the end, American troops will continually supersede all others.
In determining the superiority of societies, germs played the role of contamination; weeding out the inferior, or more politically correct, eliminating those who were unable to sustain the harsh realities of disease.