Is it through a strong economy where most citizens benefit and a strong central authority or is it through a libertarian, every man for himself, weak central authority? Think about of the countries in history regarded as the greatest, did any of them have weak central authority? And who may very well take over the U.S. in the economic, research and development fields? Who has great amounts of revenue to spend on infrastructure? China. Not to imply that China has no upcoming issues, environmental hazards, lax regulation, growing health problems, rising wages, and others I can't currently think of. What's the point of this post? I don't think that countries become great when segments of society try to neuter central authority, starve it, when citizens try to achieve affuency on their own, fail to hold the common good as a high priority, and revenues are not high enough to accomplish much of anything. It's a recipe for failure IMO.