Three related articles today (if you are tired of the heavily ideological stuff don’t worry, the next few posts will be about other things I am interested in that are less political).
Commenter Fortitudine Vincimus reminded me of this great analysis of the class division that has arisen in America over the last few decades:
Commenters on yesterday’s thread changed the subject to demographic decline, so I expect interesting debate on the following excellent article, which covers a lot of ground:
Both of these articles prepare one to recognize the applicability of the following amazing essay:
which is well-summarized and discussed here:
I don’t know how objective and complete the analysis of historical empires is, but there are certainly enough examples to establish a pattern which is all too familiar today.
ADDED 10/28: I don’t think there can be serious dispute that the American Empire has weakened in the same ways many historical empires have weakened, and on a similar time scale. But the weakness is what follows a pattern; the actual demise when it occurs is contingent on who is waiting in the wings waiting to become the new hegemon. I see problems everywhere in the world, and the American military is good enough that external conquest seems very unlikely. So the sign of the end of this empire would be an internal breakup — one or more states secede. What is a plausible time scale and a likely set of circumstances for this to occur? I’m not asking for a prediction of the most likely future, just a fleshed-out believable scenario . (This will help me decide which state to move to next 😛 ). Someone I know bet me this would happen within 10 years and I took that bet, since I think if the USA does breakup it won’t happen for much longer (if Obama is reelected and the Democrats control Congress after the 2012 elections, THEN I think breakup by 2020 would be an even money bet, but I don’t expect the Democrats to be able to stay in power).