It’s too late for the USA, but from a theoretical perspective, Steve Sailer is correct about the impossibility of using liberty to lead by engaged example:
It’s time for us good guys to take a lesson in prudence from the bad guys. As you may recall, Trotsky and Stalin had a little falling out. Trotsky wanted to pursue “permanent worldwide revolution.” In contrast, Stalin thought it wiser to concentrate on “revolution in one country,” and only pick off buffer states as circumstances allowed. Stalin won the debate with Trotsky through the penetrating power of his logic (and ice pick), and went on to be the most enduringly successful of the 20th Century’s sizable cast of monsters.
This is what libertarians must realize: There is staggeringly too much inequality in the world for America’s love affair with capitalism to survive importing massive amounts of it.
As my Southern Baptist pastor used to say, it is much easier to pull someone down than it is to lift someone up. Free trade and open borders have turned out to be nearly as significant factors in the American decline as increased government spending and women’s suffrage. None of which, of course, were as important as the establishment of the third central bank, but it is worth noting these things in the process of the ongoing decline and fall in the hopes that future generations will turn out to be wiser than we were.
Just as many of the arguments that pervade our political debate today were presaged one hundred, and sometimes one thousand years ago, we can reasonably expect politicians of the far future to be arguing over whether free trade with the aliens in the Gar Zephrod sector will be of benefit to the economy or not. And we can also expect that leftist equalitarians of the far future will be shocked when the carnivorous Hleetongs of Xpicol IV, who were permitted to settle en masse among the posthuman colonists of New New York, begin devouring their neighbors.