Every conception is wrong. Every single one I see in American culture.
Even the points that were made in history to educate those who came after. They were twisted, misinterpreted, lost in ignorance. There is no philosophy in our philosophy, because we do not know what the study of wisdom is; we do not have any wisdom.
We are the spoiled brats of sacrificial men. We think we can argue forever, compromise forever without taking a concrete stand. Slavery would probably still be here if it weren't for outside influences and the relentless beating of a minority opinion. And still, it took too long. We respect those who act immorally because we want to be viewed as fair, and in doing so, we are unjustly punishing our own fates. It is reprehensible; a word that can fill anyone's vocabulary when they look at the history of a supposedly free nation.
What was once a moral stance has been skewed so that it became moral presentation. My brother holds fast to the idea that we are nothing but sheep now, on a never-ending decline into oblivion. But, the ironic thing is that this is exactly what any religious fundamentalist, any Neo-Conservative, any leftist or anyone else with a strong social moral stance will tell you. It is a fallacy.
In the same vein of the 'reality' problem that Creationists pose to Darwinists, the solution is obvious. It goes something like, "How can something like reality, something so beautifully complex and amazing exist without some intelligent creator?" And the Evolution-believer will say: It exists because it's here. If reality wasn't the way it was... it wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be here." To exist is not an explanation for anything, because the nature of existence itself is self-explanatory. There can't be anything like that deduced from it.
If there are Humans who understand the world for what it really is, then that means that all Humans aren't ignorant, selfish worms. If there is one tiny spark of realization, as with the beginning of the 20th Century with The Enlightenment; if one mote of meta-knowledge is present, it will try and try to replicate until it finally does, or is extinguished. As long as there is one person living somewhere who understands this, then Humans are not completely lost. Even if it does feel completely hopeless.
I believe that everything can be explained by philosophy, and if not, then by psychology. If I am the only person on the planet who believes in the slow accumulation of knowledge and application of severely critical thinking, then that means that those ideas have at least some root in humanity. Although I am much too cynical to think that it will really change, I do not believe it will never change.
I don't think many people thought slavery would ever end (which goes back far behind America). I don't think anyone envisioned any of the things that the present generations take for granted, and I don't think anyone alive today can foresee what the world will be like, even in a decade. The Human mind is way too short-sighted and, by default, selfish to dream about the future in any cogent sense.
Back to America specifically, the only thing that has really set us apart is that no one can control it all for an extended period of time. Even when it seems that the masters are pulling our strings, those masters are not the same people, or of even the same lineage as those who once did. And when the people regain their taste for violent upheaval, things will change. Far more people today know the hypocrisy of organized religion than did a hundred years ago, and that means that the world can only become more intellectual. I think that the more global societies get, as well, will mean that selfishness and greed (two totally different organs) will have a higher chance of being obliterated.
Not that it would ever happen, but if every child born from today onward was properly educated and taught about the evils of Man in the realer senses, the world would completely change forever. All of Man will die in pitiful anguish, no matter how powerful they are now. And that is the only consolation that one can give to their children. I think that people take for granted that calling someone a nigger is frowned upon and seen as abhorrant nowadays, when even twenty years ago, it was not nearly as much so. It is a relatively small example, but exemplifies the lurching, sporadic nature of progress.
We like to think that history is linear, and that the future will also be, but neither is. It was and will be a happenstance chain of cause-and-effect, of unintended consequence and the struggle of evil and good (with the former usually winning in secret). Nationalistic history is linear because it needs to be propagandized in certain ways, and it needs to be so because that is the only way people grasp it. In a lot of ways, ancient Rome was more forward-thinking than America is today; that is the simplicity of Humans as animals. Despite what external influences exist, there is a basic nature in Man that always seeks to put itself forward. While most people think that this is the evil of Man and his proud nature, I do not believe so. All psychology and philosophy I have read has led me to think that basic Human nature is much more altruistic and benevolent than it would seem. It is only opportunistic tendencies and the most basic seeds of things like misogyny and domineering cultures that shapes society for the worse. And all of those things are in the process of dying, even when it doesn't seem like it.
I have a morbid kind of hope for Man, because I know that if such basic things aren't solved, then we will commit suicide as a whole. Even though I will not be alive to witness it, I take pride in knowing that such negative processes will be brutally extinguished, and either give way for real positivity, or end in darkness. Man will either fix things and deserve his space, or will fail and die pitifully, and let the universe wait for the next, better creature. All Humans can do is relentlessly push the truth forward, and hammer it into place until it sticks. A child is the definitive vessel for either progress or obliteration.