This is from clearly-only-America-can-save-the-world kind of book (at least that's the impression I have got from what I have read so far) Hot, Flat, and Crowded written by Thomas L. Friedman.
The well-known Indian author Gurcharan Das remarked to me during a visit to Delhi in 2005 that ... America was a country "that was always reinventing itself," ... because it was a country that always welcomed "all kinds of oddballs" and had "this wonderful spirit of openness." American openness has always been an inspiration to the whole world, he told me. "If you go dark, the world goes dark."
I agree with all that Mr. Gurcharan Das has to say about America except that last bit about the world going dark if America going dark. I think - just to give him the benefit of doubt - being an Indian, Mr. Gurcharan Das was being polite to his American guest. For I cannot think of any other reason how he could forget the decline and fall of empires through the ages. One doesn't have to look too far. There was once this empire in which the sun never seemed to set. So great was its reach. Great Britain too declined. The world did not go dark.