I read this and just nodded along to the whole thing. I think it’s missing several other things that are pathological in our society, but it all comes down to: we have come to accept, and expect, to witness each other struggling and suffering and dying and being murdered.
From one side we hear “this is a hard problem” and “there’s nothing we can do” and “things are always bad, we’re only becoming more aware of it.” From the other side we hear “those people should just take some personal responsibility” and “that’s the price of freedom” and “LOL SJW snowflake” and worse.
He notes correctly that the UK is going the same way. And why? Because we have many people in power with strong links to the US Right who are trying to turn us into a failed Texas. They are working on achieving the same in Poland and Ukraine too, if you believe the reports. There’s a Russian narrative that they tried to do the same in the Yeltsin era and that Putin is needed to prevent a US takeover, asset strip and destruction of society.
The UN recently had a vote on opposing Nazi philosophy. 133 countries voted in favour. Against? The US and Ukraine. It’s a straw in the wind but I think a significant one.
Well, it’s US collapse in question, specifically. The US has never had a cohesive identity, and I doubt if any state so large ever can or should. The classic ideals of the US I think are inspiring, but it does not need to be a country to do that. From the indigenous perspective, the US is an occupying colonial force, and not that much different from the Russian annexations people are getting so nervous about. If it’s really about the ideals of the US constitution, and not cynical control of resources and populace, then why not franchise the constitution so anybody can start their own version of the US?
I prefer to see it as an opportunity to create something better. Nation-states are failing to adapt quickly enough to modern society, and corporations are not sustainable. It’s obvious to those of us who never on board with those. What I am trying to implement is a group to help any people secede from captive governments anywhere, and start their own voluntary ones.
I used to think the US was just too large, and it’s probably true.
But historically it’s also been a defender of human rights in places which would otherwise abrogate them (e.g. the Civil War). Certainly a less than perfect defender, and becoming less so now thanks to a certain reality show actor.
But I can’t help but think it would be even more terrible to be a woman, or black, or gay, or Muslim, or… really any non-wealthy human being in a place like Kentucky or Mississippi, if federal oversight goes away.
Quite the opposite, people matter far more than countries do, So we need to help them to form actual communities rather than be captive audiences of imagined communities. It is a matter not of who we identify with, but what we do in daily social life.
Reagan really started it, I think. That, and the period when US oil demand exceeded national supply.
A lot of the problems of Imperial Rome were caused by the need to get grain from Egypt to feed the Roman drone population, a rough equivalent.
This is where I think the Westphalian model breaks down, and polystates take over. When a “state” is based upon affinity instead of locking down territory, then there is no way to mount or defend against “invasion”, because the borders are so fluid. It is much easier to start several new countries in the same geographic area than it is to push a single geographical border from outside.
Also, much of the conflict that is happening is a result of trying to have representative systems which prevent large population segments from living in certain ways - ie one system of values fits everyone. When people are free to make their own, they don’t need to take over yours. Basically, industrial scale and capital have incentivized consolidation, yielding societies based upon maximizing influence, rather than facilitating diversity.
Are we? What I see is an America in the middle of the greatest crisis since the civil war. I want America to be saved, I really do, but I am not sure I believe it anymore. It is easy to dream of Mueller in shining armor, of people rising up or, slightly more cynically, of a cabal of billionaires deciding that Trump is only president and bad for business. But is any of that plausible? And more importantly would it even help? The dysfunction runs so deep. So many applaud America’s collapse. The country should be able to turn things around, but I can’t help feeling that it isn’t. Perhaps I was just born at the wrong time. I saw America triumph as a child and it has been falling apart ever since.
Pretty sure you’re wrong. Every successful Russian tsar has brought about stability. I imagine what he wants is a slow transfer from US hegemony to a multipartite world in which India and China are the superpowers and Russia is still the biggest country with vast natural resources.
Contrary to what Biden said, since 2000 on the whole Russia has had steady growth with a dip around the latest round of sanctions. That’s why despite everything Putin is still in charge. He wants an end to sanctions, whereas a US in a downward spiral helix would thrash about and worsen relations. Which is kind of what’s happening now.
Although the Persian empire was the enemy of Rome, the Roman empire did not want instability in Persia.
That’s pretty hard to forget if you aren’t American.
But yes, this isn’t something you can watch burn from a safe distance like Venezuela. It will affect everyone on Earth. And if America is lost, then I think democracy as we know it may very well come to an end throughout most of the world.
There will, almost certainly, be violent revolution and war in/between states where the US has been interfering; that’s what happens when there is a massive upset to the status quo.
But many of the places where this will happen will be affected because they’re not true democracies, but places that put on a sham of democracy and who the US supports in the name of stability. In places where there is a strong tradition of democracy (like the entire continent of Europe), they’re not going to immediately abandon that tradition because a superpower failed an ocean away.