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The Fall of the American Empire

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by speed, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. speed

    speed Member

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    The last twenty years have clearly illustrated the inevitable decline of America. Like Rome, and less-so the French (French revolution) and British Empires (Victoria) before us, we have begun an irreversible decline. Our people are obsessed with frivolous material opulance that was once considered in both Rome and earlier America, to be ostentatious and not fitting for the morale of the citizenry ( see the Roman sumptuary laws, and our rather Puritan Yankee tradition). We do not even bother to sacrifice our insatiable materialsm in times of war or disaster. Our army is stretched thin, has a hard time attracting recruits, and doesnt even have enough spare manpower to handle the problems of the hurricane at home. We can no longer protect or help our country from disaster and attack, and we spend more money on the military and homeland security and infrastructure than every country in the world. Our economy is clearly devouring itself, as we have trained and given jobs to the rest of the world in those sciences and techniques we developed and based our current success on. We produce nothing but debt, and services to facilitate debt. Our government is in debt, our people spend 100% of their income, and adding mortgages, spend 124% of their income (thats from the Economist). Our culture is neglible, and like Rome in it last 200 years, left to copy its prior masters, and even copy lesser works that are far from masterpieces. Our people have no higher aims in life but to be rats caught up in this maze of debt and material opulance, and work so many hours their mental health is beginning to suffer. We have no community at all. Everyone is left to fend for themselves, there is no community pressure, no pressure even to stay married. Everything is me, me. And with the hurricane, the final nail in the coffin was exposed; our government is not only poorly run, it is ineffectual, and cannot even offer security to its citizens. Every student of Roman history should know how the Roman republic and then Empire, crumbled, because its government apparatus was no longer up to the job of running a functioning government.

    I could go on, but whats the point? Its all so obvious.

    I would like to get reactions on this. Please, disagree with me if you wish, and call me a nut. I dont mind. Obviously, it will take some time before we crumble, but the writing is on the wall. I fully expect my children to have even worse schools, infrastructure, opportunities, and quality of life than I do--and besides having the access to so many technological marvels, I have experienced a general decline since my parents.
     
  2. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    to quote Zero Hour "beneath every tower lies its grave".

    let them fall!
     
  3. G-Master

    G-Master Insatiable Madman

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    I agree completely. This nation has been on a steady decline for quite some time now, and it seems that there is no reversing this inevitable fate of a once supreme empire.

    America has no culture, besides hotdog and hamburger gluttons; a country renown for it multitude of obese individuals. A society caught up in nothing more than materialism, a theory with insufficient, temporal rewards.

    Americans are no longer self-sufficient. The focus is primarily on impressing others, to be in constant competition for greater material possessions. What do you drive? What do you wear? What kind of house do you own? What kind of job do you have? If you don't fit this society's criteria as a truly accomplished individual, which is nothing more than a flawed perception, then you're a second-rate loser who is inadequate in the pursuit of living the American dream.

    In America's flawed society, your job defines your character. The car you drive to work, namely the gas-guzzling SUV, is a way to exhibit your remarkable success. Forgetting that you're nothing more than a tool, that could expire your use at any time to the eyes of the faceless giant you labor so hard for.

    Our society is riddled with flaws. The growing lust for greed, and the insatiable hunger to pleasure ourselves with material wealth is a strong signal of the dead end route this society has chosen.

    I can't add any more concerning the goverment. You covered the subject vividly, with dead-on remarks concerning the current incapability of caring for its citizens, and its growing mass of debt. Its current impotence sets the fall of an empire to a near date.

    Sadly, because what a nation this was at one time, eh? But, a democracy is doomed to fall from the beginning. It's only a matter of time, and the corrupt wind and sand that slowy corrodes its once, firmly planted columns only shortens its stand.
     
  4. blackeyed

    blackeyed original rude boy

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    I have been thinking this myself for a while now, admittedly since 9/11. Every dog has it's day, but they too must lie down. It is the state of the universe though, nothing remains at it's optimum for long.

    I have been reading about the disasterious results of Katrina closely in the british newspaper The Independant and I have to say that I hope the US government are thoroughly ashamed of themselves. But the government's ineffectual response to Katrina is not the only point to consider.

    It is being increasingly muttered that the disaster of Katrina has served to highlight a Great American Divide rather than the Dream. There are a number of stories and speculations that the poorer black and white communities are being largely abandoned by aid attempts and there have been disgraceful reports of President Bush's delightful and economically informed mother saying 'Well most of the people in the shelters that were affected were impoverished anyway, so this is working out quite well for them' - or words to that effect. It seems godly wisdom and tact just runs in that family.

    The hurricane and consequent flooding has opened up and exposed the bowls of american society and brought it into the international lime light. I fully support your comments speed
     
  5. Iridium

    Iridium Mortality Technician

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    What pisses me off about the Katrina disaster was the fact that due to the mayor's incompetence in utilizing his evacuation procedure, and some celebrities ascribing to malice and racism what is aptly described by simple incompetence and inefficiency, the government has bent over backwards and thrown another 51.8$ billion out the window, not to mention the billions of dollars already spent on mobilizing rescue efforts.
     
  6. speed

    speed Member

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    Ah but I would take the view that almost every journalist is reporting on these days, that the federal government has been so maliciously incompetant, that one can only doubt as to the effectiveness of our governmental system--especially the huge politically appointed Homeland Security wing. Remember, besides a few growing and powerful American cities, most are suffering from declining revnues and populations; and majority populations of poor and minorities. Thus, I dont see any city faring any better in such circumstances.
     
  7. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    i'd say the mayor did a commendable job, wheras the Governor dropped the ball bigtime.
     
  8. satanicnugz

    satanicnugz Blast Beats 4 Life

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    Speed, I liked your post. I couldn't agree more. All good things must come to an end, eventually.

    I would like to point out that "they" aren't the only ones to blame. America is made out of "us."

    I have thought much about this delema...I am glad to have been born in a very prosperous country, I have alot to be thankful for. I hate to see America going down, I wish I could stop it. Although this is the way I have been raised (I'm 20). Since I was young I have gotten my way, my parent's want me to have more than them. I spend money like crazy over silly things. I have seen about 45 billion commercials in my 20 years.

    Our greed is inherent.
     
  9. metu

    metu Member

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    I disagree. :)

    While I think that our foreign influence is declining at a tremendous rate, which is probably a good thing, our society seems to be coming to terms with some things.

    Driving on the highway for the last week and a half, people are driving much more slowly; perhaps a twenty mph average. We are used to driving like hell in MI and I slowed down about 6 months ago. Now, I drive about ten mph under the limit and I get passed about the same as I used to get passed going ten over.

    Also, there's a ethanol manufacturing plant being installed about 15 miles from my house. It's a great location near the farms, near the river, and near the railroad. This could be exactly what my community needs.

    Our community college has a great electronics department which offers certificates in residential, computer, communications, and industrial electronics. At the regional University, there is a new masters program in the social sciences which can focus on American law, global studies, or race relations.

    People are still clutching to their party loyalty, but their supporting communities, which are learning more, are growing in doubt. The Bush supporters and detractors are on the tv bitching about each other while the bulk of us who refuse to vote, formerly dominated by apathy, now dominated by disgust, hunger for a new kind of leadership.

    Black people, who have been arguing appropriately that white people have been ignoring racism now have a rallying cry on a national scale. This crisis showes the lack of trust and the frustration involved with race relations which have been swept under the rug for thirty years.

    Our culture is not mtv, our culture is finger-pickin' and be-boppin'. The music scene is on a steady incline in my small town. There's a new open mic nightand a new jazz place. There is a growing scene in the city about a half hour away offering a fairly wide variety of music. Also, every year there is an art festival which draws a good crowd to a variety of local photographers, painters, relievers, sculpors, weavers, and other visual artists.

    Where I do agree, and whole-heartedly at that, is that our military is over-extended. Regardless of how well we think the process in Iraq is going, it's clear that since the first days of the occupation, we could not control the borders. I think that our emotional reaction in support of an increased level of imperialism will give way to a more conservative aproach in support of reforming the UN and ensuring that we have the moral support from the world community which we so clearly need.

    In this way, I agree that the American empire is dead. None of us, other than a few in power, (beyond party lines into departments and corporations), wants to rule the world. We want people to stop blaming us and our children for their problems. As we learn more, we can come to terms with why so many people do blame us for so much.
     
  10. DreamingofUr

    DreamingofUr Desolate and Forsaken!!

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    You can't reason with an unreasonable form of government. Liberals should call for RADICAL reform, not try to reason with the fuckin conservative agenda! No compromise. Violence!
     
  11. DiscipleOfPlato

    DiscipleOfPlato The Observer

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    Excellent post, Speed. Hardly anything remains to be said.
     
  12. the alumnus

    the alumnus Member

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    the evidence speaks loudly to the contrary. in the last 20 years, the US has:

    vanquished its biggest historical rival (the soviet union)
    experienced its longest period of economic prosperity
    reduced its military spending as a percentage of GDP
    continued its best traditions (democracy) as it always has

    basically, i see no real concrete evidence that the US is going down the toilet. sure, america has its problems. it always has. but the doom and gloom stuff seems contrite to me. violent crime is down. unemployment is a far cry from historical highs. what more do you want?
     
  13. DreamingofUr

    DreamingofUr Desolate and Forsaken!!

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    continued its best traditions? lmao! 2 rigged elections in a row. has its problems? leading cause of global warming and the depletion of earth's natural resources are more than just your basic problems. forcing our will on weaker countries? unemployment doesnt show underemployment and poverty is magically rising. violent crime is down in the MOST violent country on earth? thats good news.

    while the ussr is gone. china (thank God) is becoming an economic superpower with potential that seemingly has no end. record surplus turned into record debt in the last 4 years much less 20.
     
  14. speed

    speed Member

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    The alumnus and metu make excellent points. There are a number of very positive things happening in America, and one would be remiss not to appreciate them.

    The main point I am essentially making, is that it is patently obvious there are serious irreversible structural problems in America's political, social, and economic spheres that obviously cannot continue for too much longer into the future without serious repercussions. Here are a few main points of each three:

    1) Politics: our government is essentially bought and sold, and is hardly democratic; 2) Social: we have absolutely no communities left where people know each other, help each other, can walk down to the locally owned store and buy locally made products; racial tensions are very very serious; immigration problems; violence which is so much higher than any other industrialized country, that it would take all the other industrialized countires combined to equal the same number of acts of violence in the US; our rapidly eroding mental health; our poor values, and total lack of virtue; our shitty public schools; 3) Economics: The fact that buying power for the poor and middle class American has dramatically declined over the last thirty years, and median income declined .05% last year during an economic boom; poverty has increased during the same boom; every American is 12,600 dollars in credit card debt; ridiculous college debts; the government is in debt borrowing from asian investors; the housing boon, which has been propping up the economy is starting to slow down, and what happens when valuations of homes decrease?; large corporations run everything and have no problem laying workers off, outsourcing, or hiring contract no benefit temp workers to staff positions; all decisions are based entirely on profit and no other consideration; due to derugulation in the last 20 years, large corporations can buy oil, and any other products for as cheap as they can, while smaller local and regional companies do not have the buying power to buy such products for the same low prices, effectively causing each regions economy to be spending money on national corporations that do no put money back into each region unless they have headquarters there.

    And as for defeating the USSR--which collapsed internally, and is on the rebound in the minds of most RUssians--we have failed against three small, relatively poor countries, as we cannot fight a insurgancy at all. how does the US lose in Vietnam, Somalia, and Iraq?
     
  15. Hawng

    Hawng Internationaly known

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    Conspiracy theorys, morally problems and hollier than thou attitudes. This is the problem with America. You got people who belive the goverment is out to get us. Then you have people who belive change is needed so badly that they should take up arms and fight for what they want. Might not be what everyone wants, but damn it, they are going to fight tooth and nail to ruin what they belive is "not right".
    Hurricane Katrinia came through and destroyed 90,000sq. miles, including a couple of large cities. Alot of people have kicked in to help...while alot of people sit back in their chairs at home blaming everyone for it happening.
    I read about people talking about racial tensions,and violence.America is so violent, yet you have countrys in Africa where people are killed daily for their religious/political beliefs,because of the color of their skin and are killed just to take their farm land. That happens so much in america.

    These are the problems with America,
    1) to many people with opinions that they belive are the correct solution to a imaginary problem.
    2) pointing fingers at anyone whose opinions differ from yours and calling them the problem
    3) ignoring the big problem and focusing on the little things that dont make a difference.

    Why all the negitivity? Why cant people focus on positive things that have happened? Heres an example, $51 billion in aid is put aside by the gov. for the people who have lost everything in the floods. This is a good thing. but then some people say...

    So we shouldnt have put aside that money for the good of the people? Remember the key words here people, "for the good of the people".....
     
  16. Hawng

    Hawng Internationaly known

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    Because to many people are against total destruction of a country. If they werent, dont you think that we could bomb them into submission. The anti war types are the ones who make it so we have to send ground troops in to protect the "innocent" civilian population.
     
  17. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    yes to all but the last word!

    and also yes to "we can't just blame the government", a majority (or near enough) elected those morons, a majority of "us". therein lies the big problem.
     
  18. speed

    speed Member

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    True hawng, alot of people complain (conservatives and liberals both) and think they have a solution. I dont see any solutions thus my pessimism. I also have no desire to see the country run into the ground, but what can one do? I see no reason why people cant complain and demand something better, nor do I see anything wrong with some of the conspiracy theories. One must realize that the head and co-head of FEMA wee both Bush friends and politically motivated appointees who had no experience in disaster relief. Now this is not a conspiracy, but a fact of the spoils system going to far.



    I dont agree with your opinion regarding the war. It was obvious from both camps liberal and even more so the conservatives, that we would need ground troops to restore order and set up a friendly democratic gov. The conservatives just believed quite erroniously, that the Iraqis had some grand democratic aims and traditions, and thus the need for ground troops would abate after just a year or two. But it would defeat the purpose of the war to pull out and leave the country in a total state of anarchy. That is not democracy building.
     
  19. Lord SteveO

    Lord SteveO Hero in a world of demons

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    Not being from the US i don't really know all that much about your economy or politics or social structure. I do know what us outsiders see when they look at the US.
    Here is what some people round here would describe the US as:

    Over patriotic: leading to ridiculous attempts by some (as mentioned by Hawng) to solve imaginary problems threatening their "special country"

    Loud: as in a large amount of what the US does overseas seems to just be making enough noise for people to be affraid of it.

    Narrow-minded: i suppose this is a problem with a lot of western governments now but i've noticed the US seems particularly so, especially regarding the environment, terrorism.

    On the whole i'd aggree with the first post, though i don't really have any experience.
    I don't think the world hates all Americans, only the "american way".
     
  20. MURAI

    MURAI -

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    Good quote but who or what is Zero Hour? Every civilization has up and downs just like a living thing and has to ultimately face its death just like everybody here.

    Yeah, they say praise "diversity", multi-culturalism, and other feel good words like freedom but like you said the truth is there is serious alienation. America doesn't have any values other than living passively serving McDonalds and MTV. Being on one's homeland is living within it's society's culture which is a build up of religion, food, architecture etc.. for thousands of years and there's barely anything of a respectable culture in the states. This alienation is brought onto because immigrint parents can not really pass on their culture to the 2nd generation. The generation now are living all bunched together in a shroud of grey. I am a 2nd generation Japanese Canadian and I have an interest in my culture but sadly it's likely if I were to have children they wont be able to pass on Japan's culture. Even some of my friends who are also 2nd generation Japanese can not even speak or write it all sadly. I brought up that point because Canada is pretty much like the States but more on the multiculturism and less national power obviously. Different races here live in peace but with a cost; no culture and no values. In both the States and Canada there's this forced compassion for so called minorty groups (blacks, gays etc) and different lifestyle choices except anybody too religious. It's cool to be "open-minded" and not be too religious when ironically everybody passively serves the god which is the TV set.

    Americans after 9/11 realized finally that they were the target for hate from the Middle East. After being the only superpower after crushing the Soviet Union they were able to do as they please while their population passively serves the corporate god. Now, there's only left this paranoia of terrorism.
     

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