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snowcelt
2003-Sep-12, 02:21 AM
As an arm-chair historian I wonder if history is dead. Has the last empire (the USA) happened? Is there another empire in the wind?

As a Canadian I see nothing but American domination forever.

Am I wrong?

I would like to hear from the Americans about this because I think that what Americans have too say is what will be what happens in the future.

Musashi
2003-Sep-12, 02:25 AM
I would like to see a world-wide community where people stop fighting about petty things and all people have some kind of basic human rights. I enjoy the history and cultures of many other peoples and I hope that there are always many different cultres in the world. I hope that the USA does not assimilate everyone else. Umm, I am sure there is more...

BlueAnodizeAl
2003-Sep-12, 02:41 AM
I would like to see a world-wide community where people stop fighting about petty things and all people have some kind of basic human rights. I enjoy the history and cultures of many other peoples and I hope that there are always many different cultres in the world. I hope that the USA does not assimilate everyone else. Umm, I am sure there is more...

I don't want to see us assimilate, I'd like to see us come to a point were we INVITE others to join us. Because I think only in a melting pot of culture like in the West (I.E. N. America and Europe) can a world-wide community come to fruition. The U.S. from it's conception was the start of this process.

Sorry to add this...

People in Rome saw nothing but Roman domination for eternity (some aspects of the Empire are STILL with us).

Humphrey
2003-Sep-12, 03:08 AM
I think the option is simple. A Candian empire is necessary. Submit to our rule and we will rule with a even handed fist.


Maple Syrup for everyone!

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-12, 03:17 AM
Humphrey: Directive 5 has been carried out. Directive 6 is under way. The 3rd administrative district is now under our control.

Don't try to resist. :P

snowcelt
2003-Sep-12, 03:55 AM
I am asking for the Yanks thoughts TSC and Humpy! I Mean this! Who is the one that can say what is?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-12, 03:57 AM
I'd like to know if the Americans mind being called "Yanks." I've refrained, but seeing as they call us Canucks, it seems only fair. :wink:

Rogue_7
2003-Sep-12, 03:59 AM
I would say, also as an Historian, that history is not dead, and the United States will lose dominance. No nation or state has ever managed to hold on to the 'good life' forever. A good question a few hundred years ago would have been, will the empire of Islam ever fall, and certainly it has. Would the sun ever set on the British Empire? oh yes it has. So yeah, America will bite the big one eventually, I make no prediction on how, just that it will!

snowcelt
2003-Sep-12, 04:09 AM
Rogueunderdash7. I only ask for American thought. Is whaat you said defeatist?

Musashi
2003-Sep-12, 04:15 AM
I don't mind being called a Yank, as long as it is with good nature and not as a derogatory term.

I also want to add, in case it wasn't clear, that I do not want the USA to 'dominate' anyone.

tuffel999
2003-Sep-12, 04:26 AM
Nothing lasts forever so the US's days are numbered how numbered noone can say(I am a born citizen so sorry if I offend anyone but I get to say it). However, the world continues to move to a more interdependant state so I have a feeling the next great empire or empires will be multination groups (EU being a prime example) or eventually a single government(I'll catch some crap for that one). I just hope that there aren't any of the violent uphevels like in the past that end the current dominance(ex. the Egyptians conquered by the greeks, Greeks conquered by Romans, Romans destroyed by well lots of people, the Catholic church by well too many things to count, the French by the British, the British by a series of losses from India to America, the Ottomans by WWI, the Germans et al by the Americans). And yes I know I missed lots of empires the Aztecs and Mayans by Spain, the Indians by the British, the Chinese, hell even the Monguls had their day. So goes the world nothing is stable everything changes and it will continue.

snowcelt
2003-Sep-12, 04:31 AM
The question had nothing to do with if you want it or not. If you are an American---Say something!

Waarthog
2003-Sep-12, 04:50 AM
Ok, I'll bite.

Yes, we will fall from the perch. Unless something happens to either stop cold or reverse the standard of living from its continual rise in the US, we are doomed to fall. Each new generation takes its standard of living as a birthright and is contemptuous of the generation that provided it not know ing what it may have taken. This breeds a deadly complacency as less and less appears to need to be done to maintain the living standard. When it drops, too many people turn to government to fix it, rather than trying to fix it themselves. Already with the larger amounts of taxation and the general and seemingly inexorable slide towards even greater governmental control over our lives and livelihoods coupled with a general dumbing down of our populace, things are beginning to grind to a halt. We saw a bright brief moment after 9/11/01 when the petty things didn't matter and we thought our way of life was fully under attack we put side our differences and did what we could in whatever way we could to show we were of one people after all. When the threat never truly manifested itself via action again, we slipped back down our slide. If someone provides us with a definite external threat, all bets are off. The best way for us to just slide off the top is to just let us alone.

beskeptical
2003-Sep-12, 07:45 AM
My predictions:

English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.

The USA will become a bigger and bigger melting pot. Basis: Check the trends, it is already happening.

Then, either we will assimilate the world, because Americans will have relatives in every other country. The world will become more American, but America will become more of the world as well.

Or, the whole thing will fall apart into ethnic bickering and fighting and America will fade away like every other nation that has risen and fallen.

History tells us the latter will happen. But the new global village might just be at a point where the new world order will be a reality. We have TV, somewhat easy world travel, the internet, telephones, software that translates language for us, international corporations.....these may change the world and now might be the age it happens in. :-k

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2003-Sep-12, 10:31 AM
Actually I had a topic the other day about America overextending itself in much the same way as the Soviet Union did. My question is: How long do empires, (benign and democratic and also the despotic ones) last???

Stuart
2003-Sep-12, 12:59 PM
As an arm-chair historian I wonder if history is dead. Has the last empire (the USA) happened? Is there another empire in the wind? As a Canadian I see nothing but American domination forever. Am I wrong? I would like to hear from the Americans about this because I think that what Americans have too say is what will be what happens in the future.

You haven't seen the American Empire yet; its coming though. What we are watching now is the decline of the American Republic and the birth of the American Empire. How obvious that change will be is an interesting question - remember Rome was technically a Republic until the last day of its final collapse but nobody ever doubted it was an Empire. I think its likely that the US will maintain the outer appearances of a Republic but, in reality, it'll be Imperial in nature. Being Imperial of course raises the question of an Emperor. Even at the peak of the Roman Empire, the Purple was never strictly hereditary; it would be more accurate to suggest that it went to the most aggressive and ruthless member of a small group. We're heading that way now.

There are a lot of parallels between the formation of the Roman Empire and the birth of the American Empire. Even the timescale seems similar (which suggests that the resulting American Empire may be equally long-lasting). There is another similarity as well. The Roman Empire was founded on an idea; for its time a very powerful one. That idea was that the people who made up a country were citizens of that country. They had rights and the country had responsibilities to them. In short they were [i[part[/i] of something that was greater than themselves; they weren't just a tool used by that something. At Rome's peak, a Roman citizen threatened by barbarians could say "Civitatus Romanum Sum" - I am a Roman Citizen - and the barbarians would back off because to continue with their threat would bring the wrath of Rome down upon them. That a state could - and would - do that was a very powerful and unique idea for its time. By becoming part of Rome, people bought into that idea. When they bought into the idea, they became Romans.

The US is founded on an idea as well. More than that, the US isn't just founded on an idea, it is an idea. The US isn't a patch of land bounded on East and West by sea and North and South by land. It isn't a defined "people" be that "people" a tribal or racial group. In fact, Americans are basically the ones all the other countries didn't want. The US idea is a lot more complex than "Civitatus Romanum Sum" but it boils down to leaving people alone; that people can be trusted to run their own lives. It is also a very powerful and unique idea - and it has lead to the development of a very powerful and efficient society. America is defined by that idea and, if people want to rival its efficiency they have to buy into the basic idea that makes it work. As soon as they do that, they've become Americans, whether they know and accept it or not.

I don't think the birth of the American Empire is a bad thing or that it'll change who and what we are. We are already the only world hyperpower and we are the world Hegemon. Unless that collapses, we are going to stamp our image on the world - in fact we've already done it. The world is much more American now than anything else (count the national capitals with a Macdonalds). Being hegemon means we do make the world in our image. That isn't so bad; we have our faults but they're minor compared with those of any potential replacement. There is no doubt that we're going to be replaced as Hegemon eventually but when and by whom is an interesting question. I suspect it may not be for a very long time.

Argos
2003-Sep-12, 01:17 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.


I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!

As to American dominance I´d say it would not be that bad. I loved the Clinton years, and I would be glad submitting myself to the empire of the american soft power. But some say that the U.S. will not withstand the economic burden of a global empire, and will eventually collapse. Some interesting articles on it here.

http://www.skyhen.org/decline_of_empire.asp

[edited for fixing errors. Ok, I like it, but writing it well is another story...:)]

Argos
2003-Sep-12, 01:25 PM
But I should also say that I don´t believe in Empires. Wait other 100 years and you will see one world, one people, or something close to that. There´s no way back to the old-fashion nation-state. We are doomed to integration.

Ripper
2003-Sep-12, 01:35 PM
If America declines it is going to be because we seem determined to expand the welfare state and become more and more socialist. The modern world is not about military power, it is about economic power. Those accusing America of being an empire are talking about our economic domination of the world, not our military. If we can't keep our industries up and running and competitive in the world market we will fall. It is as simple as that.

gethen
2003-Sep-12, 01:40 PM
Maybe I read too much sf, but I guess I see something similar to what beskeptikal described. The world is becoming so interconnected because of the ease of travel, the internet, television, that I imagine a time when we realize that everyone on this earth is so interdependent that the artificial lines of nations begin to blur. Idealistic? Probably, but the alternative is not something I wish to contemplate. I do hope though that if this happens it's not at the expense of ethnic diversity. It wouldn't be much fun to travel if everywhere was the same, would it?

Ripper
2003-Sep-12, 02:01 PM
A lot of other countries will have to change before that happens. Of the 191 nations in the UN, only about 50 are democracies. The rest are theocracies, dictatorships and monocracies. None of those countries have a right to have any say in how we Americans run our country.

Donnie B.
2003-Sep-12, 02:02 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.


I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!
That's interesting. I assume you're not a native English speaker?

Though I love English, there are one or two other languages that I find more "musical" to listen to (though I don't speak or understand them). One is Portuguese, as spoken in Brazil -- or better yet, as sung in Brazil.

Another is Navajo. On vacation a few years ago, I tooled around the Four Corners country listening to the Navajo radio station. I didn't understand a word, but I loved listening to it... at least the spoken parts. They played some pretty Bad Music though...

Besides those two, there are probably a number of other sweet tongues that I'm not familiar with. Maybe English sounds good because we steal the best words from every other language!

mike alexander
2003-Sep-12, 05:30 PM
As Mark Twain said, the past may not repeat itself, but it does tend to rhyme.

As an alternative to the 'rise and fall' pattern of control, you can try looking at history from an evolutionary point of view. For example, the British empire didn't 'fall', it speciated and America ultimately replaced it.

If economics is important (and of course it is) should we look to a region with entrepenurial population, decent climate and relatively untapped natural resources?

Finally (as others have mentioned), can something replace, or subsume the concept of nation? Nationalism was a great step forward in human civilization (not without unmixed blessings), but is there a way to make it larger? America itself may offer a clue. Remember that we are the United States of America, and the history behind that.

mutineer
2003-Sep-12, 08:45 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.

I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!
Para me, prefiero español. ¡Usted tiene que aprender solamente la lengua - y usted ha aprendido cómo deletrearla también!

Sigma_Orionis
2003-Sep-12, 09:26 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.

I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!
Para me, prefiero español. ¡Usted tiene que aprender solamente la lengua - y usted ha aprendido cómo deletrearla también!

Disculpa mutineer, pero no entendi que quisistes decir....

beskeptical
2003-Sep-12, 10:01 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.

I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!
Para me, prefiero español. ¡Usted tiene que aprender solamente la lengua - y usted ha aprendido cómo deletrearla también!

Disculpa mutineer, pero no entendi que quisistes decir....

I think he knows what he says. :wink: I agree that Spanish is a much more logical and phonetical language, thus easier to learn. But English is becoming a world language by default, not by plan.

nitefallz
2003-Sep-12, 10:04 PM
Just my two cents...

If you look at some statistics, last I knew of anyway, spanish was overtaking english as the main spoken language in the states and I always grew being told it was the second(first ? ) most widely used language in the world.


Of course my mind is fuzzy right now since I'm at work. What I really wanted to say is that I absolutely do not see the one world one nation thing ever happening, or not happening anytime soon. Things are deteriorating fast around the world and America(ns) isn't as highly regarded as it used to be. Heck when polled the young people of S. Korea see America as more of a threat than N. Korea who's got their entire army poised to attack. Our continuing war on terrorism is really ticking alot of people off. If anything in the near future our only real ally is probably going to be Britain and I see them changing their tune about things sooner than we do.


I think if there is a downfall of America it'll be sooner than later.

mike alexander
2003-Sep-12, 10:09 PM
beskep notes:
I agree that Spanish is a much more logical and phonetical language, thus easier to learn. But English is becoming a world language by default, not by plan.


Partly, I think, because English is a vacuum cleaner language that shamelessly sucks up words and phrases from other languages and makes them feel at home.

tuffel999
2003-Sep-12, 10:23 PM
English speakers : http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=ENG
849,000,000 total
341,000,000 first language speakers

Spanish speakers : http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=SPN
775,000,000 total
358,000,000 first language speakers

These are from 1999 but then there were more total english than spanish. However there were more native spanish than english.

tuffel999
2003-Sep-12, 10:30 PM
And here is the US language data from the 2000 census:

LANGUAGE SPOKEN AT HOME


Population 5 years and over


262,375,152



English only 215,423,557 82.1
Language other than English 46,951,595 17.9

Speak English less than "very well"
21,320,407 8.1

Spanish
28,101,052 10.7

Speak English less than "very well"
13,751,256 5.2

Other Indo-European languages
10,017,989 3.8

Speak English less than "very well"
3,390,301 1.3

Asian and Pacific Island languages
6,960,065 2.7

Speak English less than "very well"
3,590,024 1.4






http://factfinder.census.gov/bf/_lang=en_vt_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U_DP2_geo_id=01000US .html

Sigma_Orionis
2003-Sep-12, 10:46 PM
Actually I find english much more convenient for scientific and technical concepts, but that is probably because most of these concepts are described originally in english. I think Mike Alexander has a point, English incorporates terms from any language it counters, that makes it harder to learn (particularly the spelling and pronunciation) anyways that's my 2 cents :)

Archer17
2003-Sep-12, 11:34 PM
I don't see the downfall of the U.S. as some do. I think this country will continue to set the standard for the rest of the world to follow. This country is largely misunderstood in that many people of the world fail to see the difference between it's temporary political administrations and it's most impressive commodity .. it's people. This country's lack of xenophobia is one reason it has continued to thrive. Unlike some, the French, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic-extremist cultures come to mind, there's not the "preserve our culture/ideology" mindset here that's seen abroad. Countries/ideologies that limit "outside" participation in their societies lose what positive qualities those "outsiders" can provide.
The United States isn't, or ever was, perfect .. and most US citizens (myself included) find some of the negative feelings generated our way by foreigners could have merit in some cases as this country's policies aren't infallible and you can never make everyone happy, but most are a misinterpretation of what an American really is. There's a couple reasons for these anti-US feelings .. resentment for our government's support of Israel is a biggie, along with slanted portrayal of this country by some foreign media. You can imagine what the North Koreans hear about us. Another reason is outright envy (maybe fear in some cases) of our power and status .. I call this the "New York Yankee Syndrome". Any follower of baseball will know the Yankees are an elite team because they are super-rich and can purchase the contracts of any superstar player (and usually do) of anyone they wish. I HATE 'em! :evil: Do I really know the people that play on that team, besides their statistics? No. Probably nice guys. I hate them not because they are successful, I hate them because teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates could never compete with 'em, financially or on the field. I don't agree with everything this country does (or doesn't do) but despite not being perfect and with everything that's going on, I still don't see the U.S. going down the tubes. Anyway that's my 2 cents ..

mutineer
2003-Sep-13, 12:21 AM
I agree that Spanish is a much more logical and phonetical language, thus easier to learn. But English is becoming a world language by default, not by plan.
Tristemente, usted tiene razón.
English is a horrible mess of a language by comparison with Spanish. As a young child I loved wonderful logical mathematics but hated the stupid irregularity of English spelling. I simply refused to have anything to do reading ... the illogicality of the spelling irritated me beyond endurance. (So also, I must admit, did stories involving stupid magic and anthropomorphized animals ... which seemed to be most of them.)

In all truth, when I think back to my childhood, I still feel angry about English spelling! What an utter waste of time and memory it inflicts upon us. What is the point of a semiphonetic language? We'd be better off going for the Chinese option.

If only the east coast of the USA had been bordered on the west by the Andes instead of the Appalachians, and the Argentians had had all that land to the west instead ... well, history would have worked out differently wouldn't it? We might be talking about the Pax Argentiniana now. And the language of academia would be lovely logical Spanish. (Not that Spanish couldn’t be smartened up here and there.)

Ah well, it's no use dreaming!

Sever
2003-Sep-13, 12:37 AM
All empires are doomed to fall EXCEPT MINE!! HAHAHAHA :D \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

Colt
2003-Sep-13, 02:04 AM
You can call me a Yankee as long as I can call you future-minion. :wink: I'd prefer Alaskan though. :P


I completely agree with Stuart on this matter. I think that the American culture as it is will decline and something like what Stuart suggested will rise, the American Empire, maybe the Western Empire. The first acquisitions of the United States, if ever, will be Canada and Mexico. Sorry guys but that's the way it goes.. It will truly be the United States of America (north at least). Maybe it will even change its name to United States of North America, USNA.

If the US were to really fall I can see two potential players coming onto the field. The first is the European Union, there is already a combined currency in place. Many European countries have long histories with each other, common borders, common enemies. The other is China, they're a rising superpower now. They have the manpower and the will to reach farther. Their economy is growing and they have alot of land and resources (AFAIK) yet to tap. Even now they are planning a moon shot.. I have the feeling that that could start another cold war between the US and China. Maybe not as much a war as the first one was but more on an economic and technological grounding.

In my honest opinion a world government would not be a good thing. Frankly, the world's countries up and saying "Ok, let's do it!" and handing over all authority to a single world governemnt is a fairy tale. If such a thing did occur (which I highly doubt) it would likely bring internal struggles worse than those that occur between countries today. With seperate nations there is the idea of "If you hurt me I will hurt you." An eye for an eye. With a single government there would be nothing to attack except for the opposition and those loyal to them. A huge political war.

The only possible world government that I could foresee happening is one nation assimilating others, politically and through warfare. This is the way the Roman and British empires were built. They didn't show up at a country's doorstep and ask them to join. They simply took over. If it were not for the Americas breaking away from England it is quite possible that we could have a world government now, or most of it at least. There has to be a single, unifying and controlling body for that to work. Something with a will to impress upon others.


That's the longest post I've written in a long time.. I love threads like this where we discuss something of interest. :) -Colt

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-13, 02:43 AM
I agree totally. I can see some sort of USNA in the future. But I'd only accept it if we had a say in things and didn't have to submit totally. Otherwise, no dice.

I can also see the EU emerging as a world power. Their economy is quite large and that's all that really matters these days.

Finally, a world government is unfeasable. Even if all of the world's governments said "Let's do it" their citizens would never agree. There would be too much discord and violence in the population for it to work.

Archer17
2003-Sep-13, 02:44 AM
Colt and Stuart, I hope you're wrong. I have nothing against American dominance in it's current context, because it's the best there is. Scientifically, technologically, and obviously militarily, we have no equal, nor will we for some time. I have a lot of respect for Stuart, based on his posts. His knowledge of history, especially in the military context, is probably second to none on this board. I would hope the American people (which I think the three of us would agree makes our country unique), would prevent an end to the "republic" Stuart describes. I'm not saying it won't or can't happen, I just hope it doesn't. I disagree that the EU will ever be a "power" (Europe's population, especially "old" Europe, is in decline) although the "Dragon" is another story. If China would ever develop efficient infrastructure, planning, and technology to go with their population, they would be at least be "regional empire" material in their own right. I think their current situation is so sad, it'll take them quite some time .. for instance, Taiwan would bloody their nose right now (before succumbing if we didn't intervene), if they crossed the Straight. They say that those that don't study history are destined to repeat it .. so I know the parallels of Rome can't be ignored, I just hope they don't have to be followed.

Colt
2003-Sep-13, 02:58 AM
Well, the one point that I don't really agree with Stuart on is the emperor bit.. I doubt that the American people would ever allow something like that. The President wields enough power as it is.

I would hate to see the American culture completely assimilate all other cultures. I was speaking politically. If some of you thought that.. -Colt

wedgebert
2003-Sep-13, 03:53 AM
The way I see it right now is this: America as it is currently is doomed. The time frame for this is unknown, but America has one major problem: it cannot adapt as well as it needs to.

The only way to save America is to go in and "fix" some of the fundemental core parts. I don't mean a revolution or a new form of government, but take some of the rules and modify them so that they actually work. Many of the rules and procedures are outdated. Our country has changed greatly since it was founded, and I'm not sure the founding fathers could anticpate how much.

A few examples of what I see as major problems with our government:

The big one is that many of our laws, rules and regulations are too interperative. The intent of a law should be as clear as possible and written in no uncertain terms. The best example of this is the 2nd amendment. Some people interpet it as anyone can own firearms. Others, like myself, see it as "people in a militia can own firearms". In today's terms that would mean that only National Guard members would be allowed to own guns (our militias were renamed the National Guard a while back). However, due to the extremely poor wording of the amendment, there's no way to settle it.

Next, look to the situation that recently happened in Texas when the state senators (or whatever the were) fled Texas to keep an issue that they knew they would lose from ever coming to vote. I don't know how long this issue dragged on (a couple of weeks at least), but the fact that it worked at all is just plain wrong. The fleeing officials should have either been arrested on the spot or just plain fired. Anything that interferes with the proper operation of the government outside of legal means should be taken care of swiftly and harshly. I don't pay taxes so the government can run off and cry when it loses.

On the legal side of things, we need a way for judges to declare a lawsuit frivolous and have some way of fining the plantiff and his legal team if it is determined to be a complete waste of time. The whole "I'm fat because I eat at McDonalds" or "My son/daughter was kicked off the football/cheerleanding team (because there were less qualified typically)" types of cases should never make it court and for something that stupid you should be fined.

Finally, I just wanna say that a few more presidents like Bush and the end is near. I'm not sure how giving my tax money to people who don't understand the concept of "being broke" helps the economy, but I know I'm not helping the economy when my rent is late.

What needs to happen, as a country, is for us to look beyond ourselves for a few minutes and realize that some things need to change. We need to take a look at our "elected" officials and realize that many of them are scum and would be in jail if they tried running a civilian company like they run their section of the government. Finally we need to go in and fix what needs fixing, even if it means we have to sacrifice something to get it.

Who knows maybe Arnold will win the CA elections and he'll somehow fix the state up. I don't see him as a corrupt person and I don't anyone could intimidate him, but I'll bet even if he tries, party politics will defeat him.

In closing, all I want to say is "for the love of all that is good and right in the world, when you're at the register in a store STOP TALKING ON YOUR CELLPHONE!"

beskeptical
2003-Sep-13, 05:23 AM
Wedgebert, I'd respond to some of those Texas misconceptions of yours, but we can't discuss politics here.

Mojo_the_Mi-Go
2003-Sep-13, 07:11 AM
Hi all, first post here EVER and one of the reasons I joined this bored in the first place was it is, it WAS, :roll: non political.

As for the future of America, I am with Ripper and Archer mostly. I am a bit concerned America being referred to as an "Empire". I do not think we are an empire, and even though I really agree that we need to look at the parallel between America and Rome, there are huge differences. The thing is, there is something America has that Rome didn't, and that Rome's History. Combine that with general modern ideologies, I think America has a better chance to maintain it's economic fortune and not having a violent and bloody demotion from the biggest economic and military powerhouse.

Wedge brings up some important points, but I can't see America as being doomed. I think a lot of what was said about crooked politicians as they are now (I don't believe President Bush is) are going to bring down the house. Also, I see the loose translation of law is a good thing. America is a very regional place, and to bring about rigged laws, one American region imposing on another, could be fruitless and just stir up more problems. Also, rigid made laws are harder to change. Now, I know the argument is we should make rigid laws, but make them easy to change. The thing is I don't see it working that way, its either loosely translated laws that are quick to fix, or rigid made laws that are easier to fix. The last thing is frivolous lawsuits. Now, I do agree that these things are very stupid, I do not see them posing a threat to the nation.

Now, I'm only 20 so I could be way off base here. Anyway, nice to be part of the board. :D

Colt
2003-Sep-13, 07:15 AM
Don't worry, I'm 17 and I get along fine. Welcome!

I hope this doesn't turn into a "My pet peeves about America." thread, if you want to list what you think is soo wrong, start another thread so the BA can lock it and not this one. Someone is probably going to say "But that's what this thread is about, what's wrong with America." No, it's not. It's about American influence in the world ("empire") and if it will last. Thank you. -Colt

Archer17
2003-Sep-13, 02:52 PM
Welcome to the board Mojo. I usually avoid threads like these, with it's potential to devolve into politics but, basically, the contributers have skirted the political issue and just posted their views. If you notice, we all haven't agreed .. the cool thing is this thread hasn't turned sour as a result. Everyone here has posted their two cents and respected their fellow members when they've done the same. 8)

wedgebert
2003-Sep-13, 03:59 PM
Wedgebert, I'd respond to some of those Texas misconceptions of yours, but we can't discuss politics here.

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong. But as far as I know, what basically happened is that a proposal to redistrict Texas (or was it just one city?). One party (demo or repub?) felt that they would be definite losers if the proposal was passed and they knew that they lacked the votes to keep it from being passed.

Howver, by fleeing the state, they kept a quorum from being met so the proposal couldn't be voted on.

I didn't really follow the issue past an article or two on MSNBC and a few blurbs on the Daily Show (which just let me know it was still going on). I think I remember hearing something about one of the absentee officials came back and that resulted in the proposal going to vote.

But I'll give you a tip, any rant I post at night on a weekend you should take with a grain of salt. I work weekend nights at a gas station to pay for college and the constant stream of people who dumber than the lastest reality TV show can really put me in a bad mood. :)

But to be constructive, I think the best step we could do to "fix" America would be to teach people to think for themselves and not vote for a canadiate or against a proposal just because they're members of a particular party.

TriangleMan
2003-Sep-13, 03:59 PM
Welcome to the Board MigoMojo. (aren't you supposed to be from Yuggoth?)

My 2 cents . . .

Comparison of America to ancient empires like Roman is moot given the changes in technology for rapid travel and exchange of information. If America were to go the way of the Romans then Americans shouldn't be too concerned, you'd probably have at least another 300 years or so.

With the advent of fast/travel and information it is difficult to say just how long things will last but so far the general experience has been that empires rise and fall a lot faster. Examples:

Soviet Union - beginning to end in less than 80 years
Europe - from devastating World War to Iron Curtain to union of countries in less than 60 years
China - communist rule in existance less than 60 years (and at least one poster already feels its the next 'empire')
Japan - from war-ravaged to economic powerhouse to start of decline in slightly over 50 years.

Kinda scary, huh?

For America I think they really started becoming a nation to reckon with around 1920 or so. The devastation of WWI hampered Europe greatly and allowed the US to start to come into its own. It became the major world player after WWII and the only one once the Soviets collapsed. So obscurity to dominance in 70 years. I think America has got a lot of time to go yet but things can change so quickly now, who knows?.

Humphrey
2003-Sep-13, 04:57 PM
Wedgebert, I'd respond to some of those Texas misconceptions of yours, but we can't discuss politics here.

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong. But as far as I know, what basically happened is that a proposal to redistrict Texas (or was it just one city?). One party (demo or repub?) felt that they would be definite losers if the proposal was passed and they knew that they lacked the votes to keep it from being passed.

Howver, by fleeing the state, they kept a quorum from being met so the proposal couldn't be voted on.


As far as i know it is still going on.

But in short here is the facts:

The republican lead legislature decided to redistrict texas. Every single one of the redistricting would fall in their favor, heavily. This is Illegal. There is a term for it that i can't remeber, but there are laws preventing this. But for some reason nobody was doing anything about it being illegal. So to stop the vote the democrats fled to another state.



Thats all i will say. I don't want to turn this into a "whats wrong with politics" thread.


------------------------


I agree with stuart. Even today more power is being focused in the power of the president and the political party (any political party. Republican, democrat, etc). America has slowly becoming centralized into the power being contained to a few people. Think of it this way. Many senators do not follow their own personal beliefs on that subject anymore. Several follow the party line. There is big news if a fellow member of a party stands out against the party line. It raises a big hooplah and there is infighting. So in essence (with a few excetions) each party has become a single entity. The president follows his/her party line tottaly and without fail. Now if half the legislature and the execuative branch have merged into a single entity, the only thing standing between us and a imperial state is the judicial branhch. And guess who chosses the judicial nominees?


Now i know this came out poorly. Let me sum it up some more.

Basically senators and house representatives do not care about their local areas except during election time. The vote for the party line of the major tipic. Thus the leaders of each of the major parties have nearly absolute say in what becomes laws.


Yes the American public does have a say in things, but how many times have you heared someone criticize their own parties actions?

darkhunter
2003-Sep-13, 05:35 PM
Wedgebert, I'd respond to some of those Texas misconceptions of yours, but we can't discuss politics here.

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong. But as far as I know, what basically happened is that a proposal to redistrict Texas (or was it just one city?). One party (demo or repub?) felt that they would be definite losers if the proposal was passed and they knew that they lacked the votes to keep it from being passed.

Howver, by fleeing the state, they kept a quorum from being met so the proposal couldn't be voted on.


As far as i know it is still going on.

But in short here is the facts:

The republican lead legislature decided to redistrict texas. Every single one of the redistricting would fall in their favor, heavily. This is Illegal. There is a term for it that i can't remeber, but there are laws preventing this. But for some reason nobody was doing anything about it being illegal. So to stop the vote the democrats fled to another state.



Gerrymandering (spelling?)

Kaptain K
2003-Sep-13, 06:41 PM
wedgebert,
I tried to stay out of this, because politics does not belong here. But you have maligned my state and my elected representatives. Some facts that you may not be aware of:

1) Redistricting occurs every 10 years, after the census.
2) The Repubicans got their chance to redistrict Texas in 2001.
3) They botched it so badly that the courts threw it out and gave them another chance.
4) They blew it again and a panel appointed by the courts had to do it.
5) Even the Republican Attorney General says that the resulting districts are legal, valid and binding.
6) At the command of U.S House majority leader Tom Delay, the Republican Governor and the Republican leaders of the state House and Senate tried to ram redistricting through the legislature, while ignoring important state business.
6) They were thwarted in the regular session by House Democrats who left the state to prevent a quorum, until the end of the regular session.
7) The governor called a special session and the Republican Senate leaders suspended rules (that had been in place for decades) to insure that the Democrats could not block passage.
8) 11 Senate Democrats left the state to prevent a quorum. They stayed away for two months (two special sessions)..
9) The Governor has called a third special session to start on Monday.

PS five of the districts that the Republicans wish to restructure to their advantage vote Republican for statewide offices, but prefer their Democrat representatives. In other words, the Republicans are attempting to take away the right of these citizens' to choose their represenatives.

wedgebert
2003-Sep-13, 07:30 PM
Just to clarify my apolitical stance in this, no matter who is to blame, the sitaution got out of hand. If the republicans were doing something illegal, someone should have stepped in and stopped them. I thought that's what the judicial system was for, but after watching the Ten Commandments plague issue in my own state of Alabama, I realize that they can ignore, I mean reinterpet, the law as they see fit just like everyone else.

However, I don't think fleeing the state was the proper response in the matter either. If the republicans are willing to bend the law to get the redistricting done, what is going to stop them from bending the laws required to vote on the issue?

Btw, I'm not maligning texas in anyway. I wish more states would follow in Texas's example and make anything worse than jawwalking subject to capital punishment :)

beskeptical
2003-Sep-13, 08:18 PM
To try to keep a neutral stand in my response, I'd first like to thank the others for making the points I would have made.

But just looking at the legalities of the Texas situation, Can you find the law that says the action taken was illegal?

Didn't the Republicans get in trouble for using some Homeland Security resources to track the Democrats down? Didn't the neighboring state's law enforcement refuse to get involved because it was political and not a legal issue?

As to whether it is still in progress, one Democrat returned. If the Governor calls another special session a quorum will be met. The Democrat involved thinks the redistricting will fail a court challenge and wants to get on with it so the matter can be resolved.

I can say no more without expressing my political opinion in the matter. I hear the key turning in the lock already.

wedgebert
2003-Sep-13, 09:24 PM
I can say no more without expressing my political opinion in the matter. I hear the key turning in the lock already.

Yeah, I didn't mean for that to get so out of hand :) I was just trying to show why I don't think America (as it stands) will form an empire and will instead begin to sink into decadance.

My point is that we need to get people in office who care more about doing what is good for the country than what is good for themselves.

Humphrey
2003-Sep-13, 10:16 PM
My point is that we need to get people in office who care more about doing what is good for the country than what is good for themselves.

I wish that too. But for some dang constitution rules i cant become president. :-P



Kidding aside, i do think that most of our probelms currently could be resolved by the dissolvement of the two party system. Let each district in the U.S. have a representative that is voted in each year. That way there is a very short turnaround time if he/she sucks and they actually have to spend the entire time in office focusing on their area's need than the last few months of a 4 year term.

Make it so that anyone can join in for a measly sum and a few signatures. Then a couple dozen of those are chosen at random and they have to state their case and credencials. No party politics, if the person does not work, then they are booted out. What would be even better is if the person comes as a team. One goes to washington and one stays behind to listen to the needs of the local people.

Kaptain K
2003-Sep-14, 02:18 AM
beskeptical
Didn't the Republicans get in trouble for using some Homeland Security resources to track the Democrats down?
Yes! And for destroying DPS (Department of Public Safety - i.e. Highway Patrol) records on the case.

wedgebert
My point is that we need to get people in office who care more about doing what is good for the country than what is good for themselves.
Until this recent power grab by the Republicans, the Texas legislature was remarkably bi-partisan. Senators and Congressmen (and women) were known (and admired) for putting the good of the state and it's people ahead of personal and party interests.

PS to Humphrey
Representatives are already elected every two years. Making it every year year will mean that they will spend all of their time trying to get re-elected, rather than the mere 3/4 of the time they spend now.

Fun fact - The U.S. Senate (six year terms) has a lower turnover rate than the Brittish House of Lords, which is hereditary! :o

Humphrey
2003-Sep-14, 03:17 AM
PS to Humphrey
Representatives are already elected every two years. Making it every year year will mean that they will spend all of their time trying to get re-elected, rather than the mere 3/4 of the time they spend now.

Fun fact - The U.S. Senate (six year terms) has a lower turnover rate than the Brittish House of Lords, which is hereditary! :o


I thought it was four years. Oops.

Yes i think the fact that some senators are in there for 30 plus years at a time cannot be good for a constantly changing state.

wedgebert
2003-Sep-14, 03:38 AM
PS to Humphrey
Representatives are already elected every two years. Making it every year year will mean that they will spend all of their time trying to get re-elected, rather than the mere 3/4 of the time they spend now.


Well, that could be a good thing. The best way to get re-elected (ideally) is to do your job well.

One solution would be to not let the elected official campaign on government time. His staff can do whatever they want like now, but the official has to stay and do his job. If he wants to go do anything himself, well that's what weekends are for, unless there's an emergency of course.

Argos
2003-Sep-15, 12:58 PM
That's interesting. I assume you're not a native English speaker?

That´s right. Portuguese is my native language. I started learning English when I was 9.



Though I love English, there are one or two other languages that I find more "musical" to listen to (though I don't speak or understand them). One is Portuguese, as spoken in Brazil -- or better yet, as sung in Brazil.


I also like French and Italian. Spanish is good for certain kinds of music (it´s superb for Tango) but not as good for poetry. The spoken Portuguese seems a little "harsh" for me (some say that the Brazilian Portuguese sounds like Russian), though it´s cool with music. The lower Portuguese spoken by the non-educated people is dreadful. Even the lower English of the streets is better (except for the cockney patois, which I just hate)


Maybe English sounds good because we steal the best words from every other language!

And I believe that´s the future of the planetary language that´s forming. A great "melange" of idioms. I hope it will not turn out into a cacophony.:)

Argos
2003-Sep-15, 01:14 PM
I agree that Spanish is a much more logical and phonetical language, thus easier to learn. But English is becoming a world language by default, not by plan.

I think that English and German are the best languages for expressing scientifical concepts. They are clearer in their meaning. In Portuguese or Spanish(*) you have many words to describe few things, what complicate the scientific discourse.

(*) Spanish and Portuguese are both derived from the "romances" [Low Latin derivatives] spoken in Iberic peninsula. The language of Castilla, the current "Spanish" is the most modern of the great idioms in the world, since it´s the last one that was formed.

Stuart
2003-Sep-15, 01:31 PM
Well, the one point that I don't really agree with Stuart on is the emperor bit.. I doubt that the American people would ever allow something like that. The President wields enough power as it is.

We won't have an emperor per se or anything like that. What I believe will happen (is happening) is that the Presidents will be drawn from a steadily-shrinking pool of candidates. Many factors will drive that, one being the need for money to run Presidential campaigns, familiarity with the system, the ability to make and maintain contacts. In Imperial Rome, the Purple rarely went from one Emperor to the next by direct succession; it went to the candidate most acceptable to the various power groups. In the nascent American Empire, we'll still have a President (elected every four years), both Houses etc etc etc. Its just that the power in those institutions will shift and change and the amount of real choice between various candidates will steadily reduce.

Gmann
2003-Sep-15, 01:37 PM
How long will it be before the BA 8) puts this baby to bed :-k
It's starting to get ugly 8-[

Musashi
2003-Sep-15, 04:19 PM
Actually, it looks like it is getting less ugly, but for a while there...

informant
2003-Sep-15, 08:24 PM
English will eventually become the universal language. Basis: It is already becoming the scientific and engineering language.


I hope so. To me it´s the most musical language humans invented. The sounds of the English language poetry are like candy in my mouth. Long live the English-language empire!
Maybe English sounds good because we steal the best words from every other language!

All languages sound lovely to foreigners, and vulgar to native speakers. :)

With English, there's the additional fact that it's the language of progress, culture, modernity, and wealth. Not because of any particular linguistic virtues, mind you, but because the tides of history determined that English-speaking countries were to be the first to go through the Industrial Revolution. Ever since they crossed that door, they've been ahead of everyone else, and they will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

mike alexander
2003-Sep-15, 08:41 PM
My secret wish (please don't tell anyone) is a very loose world confederation, preserving the best of regional values under a few common rules of order and polity. A vague vision is some sort of super alliance, starting with America, Britain, Canada and Australia and expanding out from there.

This isn't meant to be chauvinistic in any way. The chosen countries merely (maybe it's not so mere) share a fairly common language (with delightful variations: I once read a Brian Aldiss story where the car driver parped his hooter instead of honking his horn.), a common social background (in a way they are in the same clade) and a commonly derived set of rules and laws (again in the primitive sense). They also share a common level of high technology that can make integration faster.

The trick is not in making other countries or regions join (making rarely works), but rather making them want to join. I have hopes but no terribly unrealistic illusions about the time or difficulty involved. Remember Tom Lehrer's song 'National Brotherhood Week':

It only lasts one week, so have no fear...
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

Argos
2003-Sep-17, 01:10 PM
My secret wish (please don't tell anyone) is a very loose world confederation, preserving the best of regional values under a few common rules of order and polity. A vague vision is some sort of super alliance, starting with America, Britain, Canada and Australia and expanding out from there.

I would include South Africa in that list. It´s a multiethnic society, in this sense very similar to the US. Technologically, SA seems almost leveled to Australia.

But I got a feeling that all those societies are indeed separated by a common language. Besides language, I can´t see much similitude between a typical American and a Briton.

Doodler
2003-Sep-17, 01:56 PM
I don't see a Imperium Americana surviving very long. Our society's openess, even in post 9/11, works against an Imperial modus operandi. While we are tolerant of some particularly disturbing regulation of certain freedoms, there are limits beyond which the critical mass of the population will not tolerate. If there is a 'fall' from power that the US eventually goes through, it will more likely have to do with the remainder of the developed world catching up to us. Pax Romana failed because it was of a military nature. Territories were conquered and its populations integrated by force and the boundaries of the Empire expanded beyond their ability to effectively control. Pax Americana is not conquest oriented (Gulf War 2 aside, I'll get there in a moment), most American deployments of military force have been in peacekeeping roles. We're not out conquering territory, we're keeping other nation's territory under control (relatively speaking). I think America has more staying power because Manifest Destiny was satisfied before the country outgrew its ability to function as a cohesive whole. Now, as to Gulf War 2. GWII was a blantantly aggressive strike by the US, there is no other way to call it. We went in, we flattened the ruling government and we are working to install a more globally compatable government. The saving grace of this action is that a permanent occupation of this nation is the LAST thing we want to go through. If it were, we'd finance it by taking control of the oil industry and using the proceeds to finance the operations. That's not even on the agenda. The American government isn't interested in global domination, Its simply seeking to be in a position where we can't be screwed with from outside. 9/11 shattered some illusions we had over how effective our ability to deter such manipultions really was, but we are working to correct this, both in the Al-Qaida hunt and the Iraqi Operations.

End of line, I do not see a decline. I see some parts of the world catching up to us, and in some cases exceeding us. But plan on seeing an American flag fly for a good number of decades to come.

informant
2003-Sep-17, 02:16 PM
Pax Romana failed because it was of a military nature. Territories were conquered and its populations integrated by force and the boundaries of the Empire expanded beyond their ability to effectively control.

I disagree! The Pax Romana succeeded because it was of a military nature (economical also, in the early days). When the Empire broke down in the 5th century A.D., the fall was dramatic and messy, and one of the reasons was that many people hated it - starting with its inhabitants!

So how did it last for a thousand years? Because of its military might. That was the only thing that kept the Empire together in the troubled days of the 3rd and 4th centuries (well, perhaps some social minded laws issued by the Emperors too).

American leaders are no doubt fully aware of this, and that's why they keep having, by far, the biggest military budget in the world. This is not to say that they intend to use force in the crude way that the Romans did; there are cheaper ways to get what you want. But force helps, even if it's only as a deterrent.


Pax Americana is not conquest oriented (Gulf War 2 aside, I'll get there in a moment), most American deployments of military force have been in peacekeeping roles. We're not out conquering territory, we're keeping other nation's territory under control (relatively speaking).

Conquering territory is a thing of the past. To be used in case of an emergency, only. Even the Soviet Union was able to control a third of the world without actually invading it.

snowcelt
2004-Nov-09, 11:32 AM
After posting this thread over a year ago I think it may be worth a second look.
There have been some interesting developments that may prompt new responses.
Iraq is getting uglier for one.
President Bush was successful in his re-election bid.
Libya has left the "Axis of Evil" fold.
American technology is paying in spades. Re. Martian probes and so on.

Is the concept of Pax Americana an inevitable thing, or is it a contrivance?

I just re-read this thread and I am so surprised as to how much my ideas have altered.

I wonder if any one else has noted how different the world seems to be from just one short year ago?

I could not help but notice how little passion the American BaBBlers had about there being a Pax Americana, or, for that matter, if there should be one. There seems to be no doubt that the American posters had opinions about what is good about what they have done, what they are doing, and about what they could/should be doing. What seems to be the question is: do they really want to be in the position they are in? Would Americans sooner just let every one do their own thing like they would like too themselves?

Ultimately, I think that the USA is falling into a game they do not want to be in. And on top of this, they seem to be in this game without consensus. Or am I wrong?

I would love to hear comments on this. I think that the future of planet earth depends on how the US plays this game.

Argos
2004-Nov-09, 12:42 PM
In fact, Americans are basically the ones all the other countries didn't want.

I wouldn´t say that. Americans (half of them, at least) are still admired throughout the world, and the "pre-2001" American ideal inspires many people. Otherwise, how can you explain my presence here? :)

People used to turn to the US in search of light and liberation in critical historical moments. I´d say the world does not recognize old "America" for the moment, as if an old friend started to behave strangely, showing signs of mental confusion.

Bawheid
2004-Nov-09, 12:51 PM
I'll avoid the short term to circumvent any political arguments.

The main argument against an eternal US imperium is demographic. The developed countries have ageing, static (and in some cases shrinking) populations. In 20 years the US and EU will have populations older and less able than now, with even lower birthrates.

China has a growing population, a growing economy (just passed Japan and lining up Germany for second place) and is unlikely to want to play second fiddle.

All empires decline, some just take longer than others.

snowcelt
2004-Nov-09, 01:02 PM
Bawheid said that...

China has a growing population, a growing economy (just passed Japan and lining up Germany for second place) and is unlikely to want to play second fiddle.

All empires decline, some just take longer than others.[/quote]

You have Japan and Germany in reverse order, not that this would take away from your main thrust.

China may have a large GDP, but, it will be a while before they have a vast amount of money that the GOVERNMENT can spend. Forget not that most of the money the average person in China generates is for subsistence. Hundreds of millions of Chinese pay virtually no tax.

Bawheid
2004-Nov-09, 01:21 PM
D'oh! must get a better short term memory.

True many Chinese don't pay tax, but their manufacturing base is increasing, often at the expense of other countries. As are India's and other developing nations.

Hmm, a race between the West imploding with underpopulation and the East exploding with overpopulation.

Wally
2004-Nov-09, 01:28 PM
A few examples of what I see as major problems with our government:

The big one is that many of our laws, rules and regulations are too interperative. The intent of a law should be as clear as possible and written in no uncertain terms. The best example of this is the 2nd amendment. Some people interpet it as anyone can own firearms. Others, like myself, see it as "people in a militia can own firearms". In today's terms that would mean that only National Guard members would be allowed to own guns (our militias were renamed the National Guard a while back). However, due to the extremely poor wording of the amendment, there's no way to settle it.



Ok. since this got dredged up from over a year ago, this is probably past its statute, but I gotta comment anyways. . .

Careful with this Wedgebert. I think you're misinterpretting what the founding fathers really had in mind with the 2nd amendment. Their goal (IMHO) was to ensure no government could force its people into submission by use of firepower. By ensuring the rights of the people to arm themselves, this could not happen (at least not in their times).

Your view on the 2nd Amend. would ensure only the government had arms. Not what the F.F.'s had in mind in forming a government "by the people, for the people".

Bawheid
2004-Nov-09, 01:40 PM
The second amendment, is that "the right to arm bears"?

A neat summary of the position is here (http://slate.msn.com/id/1007957). Don't forget that most firearm legislation is state rather than Federal.

snowcelt
2004-Nov-09, 01:41 PM
D'oh! must get a better short term memory.

True many Chinese don't pay tax, but their manufacturing base is increasing, often at the expense of other countries. As are India's and other developing nations.

Hmm, a race between the West imploding with underpopulation and the East exploding with overpopulation.

I have no argument about what demographics tell us as too what will happen in the future. But you must see that for the next generation, AS A MINIMUM, the USA will dominate the planet economically. As for America's military, it could be a lot longer.

The Soviets were weak economically throughout the cold war, but though the inertia of the 2nd World War, they were a major power militarily for decades; furthermore, the successor state Russia still is: even if their GDP is not a lot more than Canada's.

Hutch
2004-Nov-09, 03:54 PM
Just read the whole thread from the start and find it facinating...and much more civil than a like discussion on the JF Randi Forums would likely be!! :evil:

(Thanks BA) =D>

I think we are looking at a future in the near term of consolidation into "bloc" primarily for economic purposes, such as the EU or NAFTA (will Japan see it's SE Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere happen, but with China as the dominant partner?). Because the economies will be so ties together and multinational companies will be the rule, chances for major wars breaking out will decrease over time.

This will also mean that no one block will dominate, and this includes the US. The US will remain a major player, but the cost/benefit of keeping a military at the cost we do versus the economic benefits that our competitors/partners get from not investing so heavily in military technology and more into "basic" science will eventually cause us to move towards a lesser military.

I do see that some mentioned that the revolutions in travel in the last 50 years have reached hundreds of millions of people who would never have left their borders a century ago, and that the Internet, less than 20 years old, have connected people around the world (see this board for example) and have led to thoughts and ideas (albeit some of them woo) spreading farther and faster than ever before in history, and I think this trend will continue.

Of course, there are the pitfalls of fundamentalism (and not just the religious kind, mind you), the possible financial collapse of the current world order, and always the unknown factor (I mean in 1994 who among us had ever heard of Osama Bin Laden?).

It should be an interesting century. I plan to stick around for at least the first half of it.

Careless
2004-Nov-09, 04:42 PM
The second amendment, is that "the right to arm bears"?

A neat summary of the position is here (http://slate.msn.com/id/1007957). Don't forget that most firearm legislation is state rather than Federal.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
I'm not sure if pointing out the logic of the sentence structure (And therefore the meaning) of this would be too political, so I won't

Bawheid
2004-Nov-09, 04:49 PM
The second amendment, is that "the right to arm bears"?

A neat summary of the position is here (http://slate.msn.com/id/1007957). Don't forget that most firearm legislation is state rather than Federal.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
I'm not sure if pointing out the logic of the sentence structure (And therefore the meaning) of this would be too political, so I won't

Thanks Careless. Perhaps I should have put a smiley after the question mark. #-o

Stuart
2004-Nov-09, 07:09 PM
A neat summary of the position is here (http://slate.msn.com/id/1007957). Don't forget that most firearm legislation is state rather than Federal.

Neat but wrong; its actually a lift from Handgun Control Inc . It ignores a whole slew of court decisions that support the "individual right" interpretation and fundamentally misrepresents (in fact reverses the meaning of) the Miller decision.

Be that as it may.

I'd suggest that the last year has born out a lot of what I suggested. The "circle" of people from whom Presidential candidates are being draw is steadily decreasing. Yet again the Democrats have run a candidate from the Massachussetts-based Kennedy clique. Bush and Kerry are actually distantly related and, as has been pointed out by a variety of conspiratorial websites, they have a lot of cultural antecedents in common (Skull and Bones anybody?). We are heading towards a system where presidential candidates are drawn from a very narrow list and basically represent different aspects of the same interests. We are also getting an alarming increase in the amount of government by executive order that bypasses the rest of the government completely - that was Clinton by the way.

The trouble I think people have in accepting the idea of an Imperial America is that they envisage an empire in its old sense of physical rule and control. That isn't going to happen; what is happening is far more subtle; that American ideas and values infiltrate and displace what wa sthere before. I'd suggest that we can see that in the UK, in Australia as well as in the US. The Australian election result was as interesting - and as startling even down to the polls problem - as the American


Stuart wrote: In fact, Americans are basically the ones all the other countries didn't want.

I wouldn´t say that. Americans (half of them, at least) are still admired throughout the world, and the "pre-2001" American ideal inspires many people. Otherwise, how can you explain my presence here?

What I was getting at is that America is a country that is almost entirely derived from immigrants, most of whom came here because their original homelands didn't want them. It is quite literally true that Americans are the descendents of the people nobody else wanted. I think that explains a lot about current attitudes to America as well (and they aren't just current. Go back to statements in the 19th century by various self-appointed elites about Americans and they are very similar to those made today by equally self-appointed elites.

snowcelt
2004-Nov-09, 07:37 PM
And Stuart said that

[t]he trouble I think people have in accepting the idea of an Imperial America is that they envisage an empire in its old sense of physical rule and control. That isn't going to happen; what is happening is far more subtle; that American ideas and values infiltrate and displace what wa sthere before. I'd suggest that we can see that in the UK, in Australia as well as in the US. The Australian election result was as interesting - and as startling even down to the polls problem - as the American[/quote]

Is this an indication that, for instance, Australia is becoming American? Or, is it because the bat and bird both fly and the bird says that bats flies because we told/taught them too?

The Australians do similar things in their elections because, like the States, they have a like system. Before anyone quibbles, a democracy does the same thing: vote for what is presented to them.

Another way to look at what happened in Australia is that they are scared. If there is one thing an Australian knows is that the Americans can help them when they are in need. Witness WWll. the British did not help them, it was the Americans. Every Australian with half a brain knows were help will come from---as long as they keep good relations with the States.

I think the Australians are doing what makes sense; they are looking out for number one. They could not care if there was a MacDonald's in Perth or not. Culture has nothing to do with what they want from America. All they are concerned with is their own safety. If they get to see Shreck ll, bonus.

Bawheid
2004-Nov-10, 09:02 AM
A neat summary of the position is here (http://slate.msn.com/id/1007957). Don't forget that most firearm legislation is state rather than Federal.

Neat but wrong; its actually a lift from Handgun Control Inc . It ignores a whole slew of court decisions that support the "individual right" interpretation and fundamentally misrepresents (in fact reverses the meaning of) the Miller decision.

I stand corrected. I know little about this and included the link for those outwith the US. Thanks.

Jim
2004-Nov-10, 01:28 PM
What I was getting at is that America is a country that is almost entirely derived from immigrants, most of whom came here because their original homelands didn't want them. ...

Not so. The large majority of emigrants to the US came here because they didn't want to stay in their home countries, not the other way 'round.

The English came for economic betterment. The Germans came for land. The Irish and Chinese came to escape famine.

And many of those who came were from the best their countries had to offer... nobles, craftsmen, artisans.

(My great-grandfather came to the US because his country - both of them - wanted him too much. Our family's from Alsace; in the 1870's, the French wanted him to fight the Prussians and the Prussians wanted him to fight the French. Being a peaceful man, he left.)

Stuart
2004-Nov-10, 01:59 PM
Not so. The large majority of emigrants to the US came here because they didn't want to stay in their home countries, not the other way 'round.

In this context, its the same thing. Immigrants left because they found, for whatever reasons, the conditions in their own country intolerable. This might have been because of a lack of economic opportunity, a lack of religious freedom, a desire to escape military service (your greatgrandfather being an example of the latter). In a situation where a significant proportion of a population find living in a country intolerable, there are two options open (well, actually more than two but after these two, they get steadily more horrifying). Either the country changes to accommodate the people or the people leave. If the country won't change the aspects that people find intolerable and the people leave as a result, its reasonable to describe that situation as "the country didn't want them".

As to your comment about nobility emigrating, that is a perfect case of "nobody wanted them". Back in those days, it was required to have largish numbers of children to allow for child mortality (the "heir and a spare") . This raised the problem, what does one do with surplus male children? Some countries divided up estates between all male children, resulting in the estates being subdivided to the point where the "heirs" all had to stand on one leg (the other effect was to greatly increase the rate of fratricide). In other countries, primogeniture ruled - the eldest son got the lot, the others had to find another career. Usually this went the first son got the goodies, the second joined the Army, the third the Church but the fourth? They went out and explored the colonies. Again, nobody wanted them