20th-century Academic Quotes
What Confucius tells us to focus on first is not how to bring stability to the world, but how to be the best possible version of ourselves. To "cultivate one's moral character" is the first step towards taking responsibility for the nation, and for society. Confucius and his disciples struggled hard to be "the best version" of themselves, but their aim in this was to better carry out their responsibilities to the society in which they lived.
Not only do we cheat ourselves and those around us if we are only glum or always wary when it comes time to respond to divine stirrings. No, we are then also being simply unfaithful to the surrounding reality. The one who purges gloom has given occasions and reasons, in the midst of life's sadness, to be joyful.
One of the things wrong with the popular, classical definition of the scientific method is the implication that solitary people can successfully do good science, for example frame hypotheses and test them. In practice, however, the people who put forward the hypotheses are not usually the same people who apply the best test to them.
American influence in the world is certainly considerable, but the United States does not control, directly or indirectly, the politics and economics of other societies, as empires have always done, save for a few special cases that turn out to be the exceptions that prove the rule.