Democracy Is a Means of Addressing Problems, Not an End in Itself

Last year, while I was in a seminar dealing with issues of US military power, it seemed to me that the concept of "nation-state" was becoming an anachronism; yet there was no evidence that this change was surfacing in debates on US foreign policy. This article is the first to express some practical vision of the subject.Pressures within third-world societies are dissolving the traditional sovereign viewpoint. I would suggest that this is taking place even within North America. The United States melting pot, into which many races, creeds, and religions are thrown, appears to be losing its ability to melt. Our sovereign nation-state is being challenged from within by the rise of ethnic groups who want separate identities. Is this a challenge to our time-honored concepts of a republic based on equality? I think not. We have inherited a continuance of what really built our nation-state in the first place: an ability to provide freedom of expression and a demand for tolerance toward other ethnic groups. This is the reality of our nation-state which we must not forsake. R.S. Reynolds, San Jose, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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