America. Land of the free and home of the brave! However, our international claim to supremacy has long been established in the currency of innovation, rather than the supremacy of militarization!
Whether you look at the innovative spirit of those first rebels who forged this great nation, the industrial giants who consolidated international trade, or the IT gurus who reinvented social communication; innovation was and is our democratic currency. America brought us into the Atomic Age, was first to put a person on the moon, and brought to heel the world-wide domination of Fascism and Communism. We truly are a super power! How unfortunate it is that we think we owe that designation to the supremacy of our nuclear armament.
We are the nation of innovation! Yet, we fail to understand the importance of ideas. This neglect will undermine the supremacy of our nation.
Do not misunderstand me; we owe a great debt to those brave men and women who have given so much—and at times all—in defense of our nation. They are well deserving of the honor we bestow and the thanks we gladly render.
History is full of relative super powers in their age. Chief among them is Rome. It fell not from want of military strength, but collapsed from within through the deterioration of the social fabric from which they came.
America sits upon the precipice.
Danger, like a hungry lioness, lies in wait to devour our society and feed its own. Ready to spring the ambush on those of us who hide behind the strength of our military might.
The modern day Ares stands at the door. To his right and left are his sons, Fear and Terror, taunting us to exchange our freedom and innovative spirit for security.
Still we do not see the danger. We see the pinpoint accuracy of our weapons. We see the massive destructive capability of our forces. We see the heroes who stand strong, so we can live long. We see the full military might of the US Armed Forces and wonder who could possibly stand against us?
What we don’t see is a diminishing threat!
Many stand against us. The more that we strike down, it seems, the more that rise in their place. How can this be? We are a super power!
Victor Hugo, in his work History of Crime, provided us with the key. He wrote, “An invasion of armies can be resisted; an invasion of ideas cannot be resisted.”
It is no secret that our current struggle is against ideologues. No amount of military might will ever change their minds. It empowers them.
What America is missing today is a tactical invasion force of ideas!
We are consumed with corporate and individual profit, rather than the societal principles that created the opportunity for profit. We are obsessed with the expression of freedom, rather than the fundamental values that established our freedom. We are compelled to share our own views, rather than paying homage to the views that founded the fabric of this great nation.
We are distracted by test scores and how our students match up with other students in China, India, Europe and the rest of the world. We compare our math and science scores and fear that we don’t measure up. So, we reduce or eliminate arts, music and humanities programs for the sake of improving our test scores.
In doing so, we remove those very aspects of our society that facilitate innovation.
Arts, music and humanities are the primary building blocks of free expression, right-brain development, problem-solving skills and, thus, innovation.
We are not struggling against our enemies today because we lack military fortitude. Our forces stand at the ready and will successfully carry out their duties.
We struggle because we have neglected our duty to provide an effective invasion of ideas!
Our forefathers took the world by storm because of an idea. We went to the moon on an idea. Every nation stands or falls on the worthiness of the ideas behind it.
If we want to defeat our enemies, the question is not how best to militarily advance against them. The question is how do we invade their territory with ideas that cannot be resisted?
Innovation is the key to victory. Providing an invasion of ideas that promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Ideas that provide a pathway to a better tomorrow with more freedom, prosperity and meaning.
Some reading this will claim that our enemies are not interested in those things. They are only interested in a radical ideology. No doubt that is true of the leadership. However, no movement has power without followers. I have traveled the world and found that people are people all over the world. They just want a better tomorrow for themselves and their kids. They are looking for ideas on how best to accomplish those goals. They will cling to those ideas, however insane, that they believe will most likely enable them to live.
We are loosing the war of ideas in the Middle East and in other places around the world. We have not invaded these regions with innovation in such a way that their people are convinced they can embrace new ideas and live a better life. It is more than providing access to the internet and social media, or the latest techno-gadgets. It is infiltrating the region with innovative principles upon which people can choose to build their own future. And you can't do that from 30,000 feet in the air.
Our infiltration is stymied primarily because we have forsaken the fostering of innovation within our own nation, educational system and businesses. We have chosen the illusion of security over freedom. Freedom of thought. Freedom of expression. Freedom to create. Freedom to fail. Freedom to risk all for a truly innovative idea that could undermine radical ideologies and bring about a better world. That is what made America a super power in the first place.
If America desires to retain the mantle of Super Power, we must once again become a nation that fosters innovation at all levels! For indeed, “an invasion of armies can be resisted; an invasion of ideas cannot be resisted!”
Innovation is the essential invasion force that will bring victory!
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About Warren Martin
WARREN MARTIN is a philosophy graduate of Texas Tech University. He is an author, teacher, minister, artist, quasi-philosopher and speaker known for his unique teaching style. His passion is to share the grace of Christ and to inspire & invest in the next generation of leaders. Learn more here...
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