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Thread: The Future of the American Empire

  1. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    #1

    The Future of the American Empire

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    I realise itís a provocative title, but a fascinating article has come to my attention that asks exactly this question, and it would hit home much more for most of you than for me.

    Is America failing?

    If you think the answer is yes, when did the rot begin, when will it end and how can it be undone?

    If you think the answer is no, why do some seem to fear that it might be yes?

    Are you guys an empire at all, or something different and more unique? American Exceptionalism is an undeniable stance held by a sizeable percentage of the US population...so how exceptional are you really?

    Read the article, and have at it. Iím mostly going to sit this one out, but Iíd be fascinated to see what if any discussion the article might provoke.
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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    #3
    I never saw this thread because it was posted at the heat of finals, I'm sad no one took the bait


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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    I never saw this thread because it was posted at the heat of finals, I'm sad no one took the bait
    I kept waiting for it. Like, what on earth?


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    #5
    It just makes me sad.
    I used to be so patriotic, I sewed curtains (the only thing I can sew) that had an Americana patern to them, decorated our kitchen red, white and blue.
    Now I'm kind of ashamed.... maybe not of our country in general so much as the loudest parts. I'm so ashamed of our representatives.... I feel like they can get away with so much. How would the nation have reacted if Barack Obama was accused of sexual assault?
    Yet we have to FIGHT these white guys.... I just.... I'm tired.
    I don't even enjoy seeing SNL skits anymore of trump because it isn't exaggerated, this shit is real. You can't make it up!
    I'm really sad that it has gone the way it has.... I think the answer to America failing is highly dependent on the next few years...

    there.
    I took the bait :p
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medic2Doula View Post
    It just makes me sad.
    I used to be so patriotic, I sewed curtains (the only thing I can sew) that had an Americana patern to them, decorated our kitchen red, white and blue.
    Now I'm kind of ashamed.... maybe not of our country in general so much as the loudest parts. I'm so ashamed of our representatives.... I feel like they can get away with so much. How would the nation have reacted if Barack Obama was accused of sexual assault?
    Yet we have to FIGHT these white guys.... I just.... I'm tired.
    I don't even enjoy seeing SNL skits anymore of trump because it isn't exaggerated, this shit is real. You can't make it up!
    I'm really sad that it has gone the way it has.... I think the answer to America failing is highly dependent on the next few years...

    there.
    I took the bait :p
    Can't say I disagree with much of what you're saying here (other than I never had Americana curtains, lol. Didn't ever get to dig out the sewing machine and decorate!)

    I think if anyone asked me what it was like to be American I'd just say it was tiring. For so many reasons. And that's about as far as I'd want to go on that topic, because my brain and heart start to ache.
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  7. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    I never saw this thread because it was posted at the heat of finals, I'm sad no one took the bait
    Quote Originally Posted by rayfinkle View Post
    I kept waiting for it. Like, what on earth?
    If it makes you feel any better, it honestly wasn’t bait.

    I read the article, and thought that the guy made an interesting point - all great powers have a finite lifespan, and you guys have held absolute dominance for decades...when and how does that dominance come to an end? - but wasn’t sure what to make of his assertion that The End Is Nigh right now.

    So I handed it over to you. It’s YOUR country, you would know how it looked and felt from the inside far better than I could from the outside.

    Is he right? Is he wrong?
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    I realise it’s a provocative title, but a fascinating article has come to my attention that asks exactly this question, and it would hit home much more for most of you than for me.

    Is America failing?

    If you think the answer is yes, when did the rot begin, when will it end and how can it be undone?

    If you think the answer is no, why do some seem to fear that it might be yes?

    Are you guys an empire at all, or something different and more unique? American Exceptionalism is an undeniable stance held by a sizeable percentage of the US population...so how exceptional are you really?

    Read the article, and have at it. I’m mostly going to sit this one out, but I’d be fascinated to see what if any discussion the article might provoke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    If it makes you feel any better, it honestly wasn’t bait.

    I read the article, and thought that the guy made an interesting point - all great powers have a finite lifespan, and you guys have held absolute dominance for decades...when and how does that dominance come to an end? - but wasn’t sure what to make of his assertion that The End Is Nigh right now.

    So I handed it over to you. It’s YOUR country, you would know how it looked and felt from the inside far better than I could from the outside.

    Is he right? Is he wrong?
    That's not how this works.

    When someone starts a debate it's typical for that person to say where they stand on the topic. So what are your answers to the many questions that you have asked?




  9. "...now do Classical Gas"
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    Quote Originally Posted by idratherbehiking View Post
    That's not how this works.

    When someone starts a debate it's typical for that person to say where they stand on the topic. So what are your answers to the many questions that you have asked?
    Okay. I’m still thinking, so these answers are not fixed in stone, but here are my thoughts

    American Exceptionalism is bullshit. You’re not uniquely special, and eventually you will fail as all empires (and yes, whether you call yourselves this or not, I think the modern United States fits a lot of the criteria for an empire...a mostly - with exceptions; I swear to God I will spit on Kissinger’s grave when he finally dies - benevolent one, but nevertheless) fail. All great powers have a finite lifespan.

    However, I disagree with this guy’s assertion that the fall is definitely happening right now. I think it’s not inevitable, not yet.

    Events over the last few years have exposed some weaknesses in American institutions (hyper-partisanship comes from somewhere, and serves to hijack a lot of the checks and balances that otherwise keep the ship of state afloat) but these can still be corrected. You have challenges coming your way from a rising China. Trump’s erratic aggression has created a real impetus for other countries to try doing things (like major trade partnerships) without you, which is a challenge too - having gutted the State Department, it’s going to be a real challenge to keep your primacy in international relations...you have a huge military, but carrying a big stick isn’t always enough.

    Domestically, there are fairly staggering issues with inequality and poverty (you have some of the worst social mobility of the developed world; if you’re born poor you stay there) which have to be dealt with too. The whole idea of the “American Dream” was that anyone could succeed if they worked hard...right now, that doesn’t seem to be true, so something has to give. Either inequality drops, or all that rage and desperation starts to create problems.

    IF you can stabilise, I think you’ll be okay for a few more decades. Perhaps not the sole superpower (China will carry on doing what China does, and there’s only so much you could do to prevent that) but A superpower still.

    If you can’t, you’re going to slide. Almost no one in living memory remembers a time when you weren’t the stable, prosperous, shining city on the hill that your biggest idealists have always claimed you were...but if you guys can’t put it right they’ll eventually have to learn.

    Can America adjust to being a smaller player? I have no idea, but they might need to.


    There’s my answer, from the outside. Personally, I’m far more interested in answers from the inside.
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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    #10
    See I already disagree with you. And it's probably because I'm American. American exceptionalism isn't bullshit. The British had their empire. The Ottomans. The Arab Spanish. Golden ages. Arguably ours is the 20th-21st century. (though you could say 18th and 19th too if we're talking technology/industry) But ours is *different*. There is no story quite like the American one.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with America history, but this isn't new. Actually, it's a lot of the same old shit it's just publicized to the rest of the world a lot more than it was before. How old are you? Were you around for Nixon? the second time I mean. Oh man, was that the end of American democracy. (I say this as a historian, not someone who was present). People thought our country was pretty doomed after our president was assassinated. In 1963 AND 1863. This whole "America is declining" thing has been around since... well 1776. Every time we've fought a war, had a political scandal, lost a president (eight by the way, four assassinated), or done anything really. It's all comparative.

    And Trump's rhetoric isn't new. It's old. Really old. "Golden days" America old. He's an isolationist (which our first president advised actually), and originally he seemed like a teddy (he wishes), though he seems to be more of the wield a big stick and talk later kind of guy in reality.

    America isn't likely to fall apart. It's just growing pains. It's happened literally every decade for the last 200 years. There's always something new, some divisive issue, some crazy thing. And we always figure it out.

    There's your inside view. From me anyway.


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