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America and its empire may or may not be on the brink of collapse - I suppose that depends on how apocalypse minded one is.

I think, beyond a ten or fifteen year window, this isn't even an interesting question. Since the industrial revolution (or maybe the agricultural revolution) we've been building towards an all consuming "human empire." Today about 98% of human lives and an equivalent percentage of the planet's physical resources are dedicated exclusively to this project - the structure of which is well outlined by ARGeezer in this comment.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Sep 15th, 2010 at 01:22:10 PM EST
To which I should have added that it's the human empire we need to concern ourselves with - as it's our reality and it's in a lot of trouble.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Sep 15th, 2010 at 01:23:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not just that the American empire is over - the idea of empire is over.

It's about to go the way of pharoahs and kings as an outdated and redundant political concept.

This may not be obvious yet, but it's an expected and perhaps even an inevitable philosophical progression from the current rather dismal state of affairs.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 15th, 2010 at 11:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well said.

The dolphins who lifted conquest-centric empires for ever more-brief periods of time have insisted that their image shall only be used on causes they believe in.

"Be the Change," their guidon reads.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Sep 16th, 2010 at 08:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
the idea of empire is over.

wouldn't that be great...

i think that's probably what we said every time another one hit the rocks of hubris and foundered.

perhaps you are right, and we are finally ready to want/deserve an existence untrammelled by empires/bubbles/yoyo pendula/calculated earthquakes/wars of conquest/attrition and institutional thievery.

there comes a time in every species' life...

secular, moral, civic, political, economic education, get em by seven, they'll be liberal humanists for ever!

(some perhaps after an obligatory period of fashionista rebellion ;))

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 16th, 2010 at 11:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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