AMERICA will be the last human government to rule the world. Apocalyptically saying, I am doubly sure of this fact. The United States had thrived in all she had embarked upon.
This is far from general speculation that their pragmatism is responsible for their success. You will not dispute the fact that pragmatism both as a theoretical system and as a practical philosophy of life is American.
The most eloquent of pragmatism in the 19th century is American psychologist and philosopher, Professor William James, along with Charles Pierce who supplied Willian with the term Pragmatism.
Oliver Wendel Homles, a poet of the American spirit and John Dewey, the father of modern education belonged to a philosophical club that propounded American pragmatism.
Earlier transcendental thinkers like Hegel and Spinoza, who tried some form of practice on absolution of reasoning and tended to a place higher premium on reason, were sharply and severely criticised by William James.
The latter opined that knowledge is acquired via inward experience that flows as a stream on consciousness. It is obvious that the cause and effect relationship between the general behavioural pattern of a society and the articulated philosophy of that society is that of a reciprocal association.
The behavioural pattern of that society consolidates the prevailing philosophy as surely as the philosophy prescribes the behavioural attitude of that society.
The alacrity with which America anticipated William’s pragmatism has to do or isoppose to the principles and inclinations that formed and most probably moulded the very fabrics and foundation that make up the existence of this super egalitarian society as a nation.
It is not far-fetched to see that Americans worship success as a god. Or let us look at it from another dimension. If success is not the god Americans worship above all other gods, somehow, it has become a god whose worship puts the United States of America far above any other known nation of the world.
An average American sees the successful man as a model, the successful strategy the standard and coupled with the use of the media they showcase a super intelligent and successful culture. Here comes the reason why I strongly believe that pragmatism is a product of American thinkers.
America is the only nation ever to grace the earth. The dream of centuries and nations boldly manifests to its conclusion. Despite US mistakes, she is the only nation in the world now or before that is the land of equal rights and opportunities.
You will agree with me that other advanced democracies of the world have elements or tend to have aristocratic discrimination in them, but US stands out as purely egalitarian. It is in the US that all the paraphernalias of democracy are comprehensively applied.
It is a known fact that pragmatism that charaterises America’s thought and way of life is carried too far into her religion.
Every society has its own standard rules of conduct, which its people are expected to adhere to within the moulding and building of individual character. The aggregate of these peculiar qualities constitutes a personal or national individuality with foundation in morality.
However, the two most individualistic faculties in man are the MIND and the WILL.
By Chinedu AGOMUO, a social critic, writes from Lagos.