Summary: Part four of four part series. Here is part one, part two, and part three.
Forecast #5: the next cycle begins
There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
Marcus Aurelius, in the movie Gladiator
This coming crisis might test America more than anything in our past, including the Revolutionary and Civil wars. This forecast says that America will lose both what defines it and what we hold most dear: our Constitution, our wealth, and our role as global hegemon.
Al-Qa’ida, Iran, Russia, and others prepare for a larger role in the New World Order, while we drift in our dreams.
This transition is like a singularity in astrophysics, a point where the rules breakdown – and beyond which we cannot see.
It’s a commonplace event in history. Consider 1942 Russia. Ruled by a madman. Their government having betrayed the hopes of the revolution, killed tens of millions, and reduced the nation to poverty. Many of their generals dead, their armies in full retreat, vast areas under the control of ruthless invader.
The mark of a great people is to carry on when all is lost, including hope. We can learn much from the Russian people, and their experience in such frightful times. I doubt we will fall so far into such peril. But our situation might be far more complex, with no clear enemy to unify us.
People, Ideas, and Hardware. “In that order!”
the late Col John R. Boyd, USAF, would thunder at his audiences
Our wealth is just hardware, an inheritance from past generations. What we lose we can work to replace.
Our Constitution is just an idea, inherited from the founders. We created it, and the failure of the first version just gives us experience to do better with the second.
Our culture is a collection of discordant ideas, despised (perhaps rightly in some respects) by much of the world – an easily understood disgust to anyone watching certain of our TV shows and movies, or listening to some of our popular music.
The people are America. We are strong because of our ability to act together, to produce and follow leaders. We are strong due to our openness to other cultures and ability to assimilate their best aspects. We are strong due to our ability to adapt to new circumstances, to roll with defeat and carry on.
We will be what we want to be. The coming years will reveal what that is.
There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
Maximus Decimus Meridius, in the movie Gladiator
Please share your comments by posting below, relevant and brief please. Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).
For more on these topics
- Articles with Good news! about America’s future
- Articles about the End of the post-WWII geopolitical regime
7 thoughts on “Forecasts – Why wait? Read tomorrow’s news … today! (part 4)”
Fabius worries that we will have or have lost our Constitution. But the Constitution is not just a document, but a history of interpretations and changes to it. A history.
History is by definition fluid — a stream — and we’re in it. OK, I’m being pedantic, but I resist the concept of something precious, 230 years old, that we could recover. That’s “strict constructionism”.
On the other hand, there’s plenty that needs fixing — secret prisons, torture, rendition, domestic surveillance, executive wars without congressional approval, weakening of congressional oversight, domination of public media by a few corporations (who happen to be military providers, to boot!), etc. In general, the concentration of state power in a few hands, without accountability, or responsibility for the common welfare.
Instead of blaming ourselves for not locking our doors at night, let’s identify the thieves.
Fabius Maximus replies: I referred to nothing so ethereal. The Consitution is a document specifying the rrules for operation of the US government. When it no longer governs that organization, it is dead. As is the poltical regime based on it.
The power of American people is NOT when acting together, it is when acting thru peaceful free will AND accepting some who disagree.
Those who complain about the concentration of state power in a few hands, the elite, the rich and the powerful, yet then want to have more gov’t action to “identify the theives”, are historically silly. The gov’t big and strong enough to stop the powerful will be coopted by the powerful to make themselves more so.
“Plenty that needs fixing”: Darfur, Iraq, Zimbabwe, N. Korea, Palestine, Lebanon, Tibet, Cuba; Russia, China, India — most countries in the world have so much bigger problems, the America-bashing folk typically miss the single biggest problem, voters vote in favor of getting benefits paid by Other People’s Money. In almost all democracies.
Fabius Maximus replies: These things are beyond proof, but I disagree. Community resiliance is largely a matter pulling together when under pressure. That covers a wide range of phenomena, such as self-help groups like the Blue Star Moms, charity and fraternal organizations, and scrap drives during WWII to penny auctions during the Great Depression.
Darfur, Iraq, Zimbabwe, N. Korea, Palestine, Lebanon, Tibet, Cuba; Russia, China, India — most countries in the world have so much bigger problems, the America-bashing folk typically miss the single biggest problem, voters vote in favor of getting benefits paid by Other People’s Money. In almost all democracies.
Certainly that’s not the biggest problem in North Korea or Zimbabwe.
And even here, secret prisons and torture look like bigger problems. In comparison, unwise tax and welfare schemes look like annoyances.
“The gov’t big and strong enough to stop the powerful will be coopted by the powerful to make themselves more so.”
(Plato) I agree. It’s already happened. I believe Fabius wants to scale back government to release old citizen virtues of self-reliance. However, I think “the powerful” will simply feast on smaller government. Both my and Fabius’ positions are idealistic in the real world. The “powerful” have already abandoned their home countries and are moving to set up some form of world government of NGOs, trade laws and appointed bodies to run things. The nation state’s sole function will be to tax and police its own citizens.
Fabius Maximus replies: While this formula is a bit too romantic for my tastes, it is essentially correct. I agree with the last section, about the growth of trans-national elites.
“A lost battle is one which we believe lost.” Aleksandr Vasilyevich Suvorov
The mark of a great people is to carry on when all is lost…
I agree with Tom’s points, but the whole game board is dumped on the floor if Obama is assassinated. The US would be faced with a civil war or insurgency, and all forecasts become moot.
Fabius Maximus replies: I suspect that civil war or insurgency are unlikely scenarios, even in the unfortunate event of President Obama’s assassination. I remember confident forecasts like this following the race riots of the late 1960’s. Instead we had a great expansion of welfare and civil rights programs.
Yes, the government paid welfare to bribe violent people to refrain from violence, like the Romans and Visigoths. In fact, the sub-prime debacle was more of the same, thinking if they owned their own houses, they wouldn’t burn them down. However, there is no more money for bribes, but an increased sense of entitlement.
You might want to buy more ammo.
Fabius Maximus replies: perhaps so, but I give low odds to such extreme scenarios.