The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

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The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby turtle » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:39 pm

Here we go. We have been in decline for several years. There will be no quick fixes that will do anything. We have fallen socially, economically, morally, spiritually, and psychologically we are yelling out for help.

The only solution I see is to observe what is going on and start treating each other as if we were in the same boat that is sinking and that it will sink.

We will not be helped by looking to a god for help.
We either do it or it will be tougher to survive.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Smirk » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:57 pm

Okay, big-picture time:

Let's consider where we are compared to, say, fifty years ago, or a hundred.

What are some concrete statistics or even examples showing this social, economic, moral, spiritual, and psychological decline?
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby turtle » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:01 pm

Smirk wrote:Okay, big-picture time:

Let's consider where we are compared to, say, fifty years ago, or a hundred.

What are some concrete statistics or even examples showing this social, economic, moral, spiritual, and psychological decline?

What is your opinion?
What statistics do you have?
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Smirk » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:24 pm

I have no opinion. I'm following your claim to see where it leads, but questioning the premise.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Faust » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:37 pm

We have fallen socially, economically, morally, spiritually, and psychologically we are yelling out for help.


Yeah - I don't see any of this as true.

I'm not sure what "socially" means.

Economically, we're in very good shape, considering that we're near a low point in the inevitable cycles our economy goes through. Everyoine thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was.

Morally, I'd say we're making very good progress, but that's always a personal judgment.

Spiritually, I'd say we're doing just okay. We're still a ridiculously religious country, but the number of people who will admit to being atheists in a phone survey isn't a very good indicator. It's only anecdotal, but I think the number of atheists is actually growing, which is good.

Psychologically - I'm not sure what that means, either.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Smirk » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:06 pm

Faust wrote:the number of atheists is actually growing, which is good.

The goodness or badness thereof being a debatable (off topic) point, of course.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Faust » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:00 pm

Of course - but that's part of my point. You can define progress or decline any way you want, to ensure that your point is being made. If you think that gay people should be treated the same as straights, for instance, you will cite moral progress. And you will cite regress if you don't.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:41 pm

The fact that Americans can, with all that is so comically apparent, continue to assert their country is fine is, literally, the very reason why it's already past the point of fucked.

I feel sorry for Americans, but honestly, ignorance is bliss. They'll be lining up for their police-state food insisting all is well - and if you can live your life in happiness like that, then hey, good for you.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Blurry » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:46 pm

Old_Gobbo wrote:The fact that Americans can, with all that is so comically apparent, continue to assert their country is fine is, literally, the very reason why it's already past the point of fucked.

I feel sorry for Americans, but honestly, ignorance is bliss. They'll be lining up for their police-state food insisting all is well - and if you can live your life in happiness like that, then hey, good for you.



I'm sure there are Americans who feel this way. However, to assume that we all do, or even that most of us do, is lazy and irresponsible. You've taken the hard, "Fuck all Americans" view that has become so popular in the last few years, but it's really played out. Many Americans ARE aware of the issues our country is facing, at least partially. The problem is that at this point, short of an Egyptian-esque mass protest, there's not a whole lot we can do. The truth is, the American government isn't "by, for, and of the people", and it's going to take extreme action to correct that. Being aware isn't enough, but that's not to suggest that we're not aware.
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'" - Jim Jarmusch
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:49 pm

However, to assume that we all do, or even that most of us do, is lazy and irresponsible.


To assume that everyone does is stupid, and a waste of time to point out. I would hope no one reading this is so ridiculous to assume I was talking about 100% of American citizens.

To assume that most are not is actually what is lazy and irresponsible. If most were not idiot fucks then you wouldn't have the problem that, if you ask literally any person from outside of America, you most definitely have.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:52 pm

And where did I even make the distinction? Oh wait, I didn't. I just said 'Americans' and you ran with it.

Good job.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Blurry » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:56 pm

Literally ANY non-American would be able and willing to tell me the flaws of my country? So EVERYONE outside of America thinks we're a country full of idiots who are unable to comprehend the problems we are currently facing?

Okay, ignoring the obvious problems with that, I'll ask you this -- How many people who live outside of America are familiar with the issues we're having beyond what they hear on the news or read on the internet? How many people outside of America have had to live these problems every single day? I realize that the rest of the world has been affected by the issues our country has, but you really think the American people are UNAWARE of our problems? Next time I talk to an uneducated "idiot" who is forced to be on welfare because they can't find a job, I'll be sure to let them know.
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'" - Jim Jarmusch
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:00 pm

but you really think the American people are UNAWARE of our problems?


It's funny you're actually arguing this. Of course you are. I mean, come on.

Your country has a failing economy and draconian social laws. Like I said before, if the majority of Americans were aware of their problems then don't you think you wouldn't have those problems? Unless what you're saying is that Americans are the type of people who are super astute, and know exactly what is going on with their country, but they are so weak-willed and nihilistic than they simply don't care they're about to get kicked in the face for the next century.

I wonder which it is....
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Blurry » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:04 pm

Old_Gobbo wrote:It's funny you're actually arguing this. Of course you are. I mean, come on.

Your country has a failing economy and draconian social laws. Like I said before, if the majority of Americans were aware of their problems then don't you think you wouldn't have those problems? Unless what you're saying is that Americans are the type of people who are super astute, and know exactly what is going on with their country, but they are so weak-willed and nihilistic than they simply don't care they're about to get kicked in the face for the next century.

I wonder which it is....



BlurredSavant wrote:The problem is that at this point, short of an Egyptian-esque mass protest, there's not a whole lot we can do. The truth is, the American government isn't "by, for, and of the people", and it's going to take extreme action to correct that. Being aware isn't enough, but that's not to suggest that we're not aware.


To comment further on the bolded text, there's not a whole lot we can do RIGHT NOW that will fix everything. Trying to rebuild a country is no small feat. What would you suggest, Gobbo? You've obviously got it all figured out, so tell us. Should we throw a fit, Egyptian-style, and force change? Will that be a guaranteed success?
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'" - Jim Jarmusch
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:09 pm

All you need is knowledge. You cannot be brainwashed if you understand the brainwashing.

If you truly believe there's nothing you can do then... that is pathetic.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Blurry » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:11 pm

Old_Gobbo wrote:All you need is knowledge. You cannot be brainwashed if you understand the brainwashing.

If you truly believe there's nothing you can do then... that is pathetic.



Let me quote myself for you one more time.

"...there's not a whole lot we can do." As in, we can take this slowly, one step at a time, but nothing is going to happen overnight. It's much easier to destroy a country overnight than fix it, no?
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'" - Jim Jarmusch
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:13 pm

Yeah, you're right. You should continue on like you have been.

That makes sense.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Blurry » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:15 pm

Really, Gobbo, saying "all you need is knowledge" is bullshit. That's a cop-out. I may KNOW that the transmission on my car is going out, but without action what does that knowledge do for me? You avoid answering my question. What do YOU suggest we (the American people) do to fix our country? You claim to have the "knowledge", so put it to practical use. Where's the game plan?
"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'" - Jim Jarmusch
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby rasava » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:18 pm

I'm just old enough to have seen a few cycles of this thinking pass through the years, where all seems lost and then things rebound. If there is overall decline, it is not linear as your OP may suggest. If anything, the graph would look sort of like a telephone cord. It cycles down a little but, loops up, but perhaps not up enough that it has regained all its losses from the down spiral.

The very title of the post is seemingly an attempt to analogize the US with the Roman Empire. When looking at the Roman Empire from our vantage point thousands of years later, it looks like a catastrophic decline in civilization. But it took 600 years to peak and the next 400 to fall, depending on what historian you talk to. One thousand years of relative success? And the US is in year 234? That's good enough for me.

And when we "fall", what will that fall actually look like? Again, you distill 1000 years of Roman history and it looks so awful when it "fell". But what did it feel like to a person living at the time? I'd venture to guess that the average person kept on doing what they were doing farming their fields and supporting their family, with some inconvenience here and there but maybe some benefits to boot. The loss of culture and technology eroded slowly over many years afterward but started to pick up again. From the standpoint of history it looks far more debilitating than it may actually have been to the people living at the time.

All this is speculative, but so is the OP. I think you have a lot of concepts to define before we can really discuss with some thoroughness, The terms I see are:

Decline
fallen socially
fallen economically
fallen spritutally
fallen psychologically
yelling out for help
Last edited by rasava on Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Faust » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:19 pm

The fact that Americans can, with all that is so comically apparent, continue to assert their country is fine is, literally, the very reason why it's already past the point of fucked.


I can't remember the last time I heard an american say that everything here is fine. Gobbo must know more americans than I do.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:29 pm

Blurred,

This is the most sophomoric response I receive when talking about this type of stuff. The sniveling, infant tantrums that demand me to just lay out some grand plan that will solve everything. I hear it SO much it's become entirely cliched.

Instead of just getting in gear and doing something you'll waste all this time on a forum trying to play devil's advocate when it's apparent to anyone with a working brain what I'm saying is near 100% correct. Your country is fucked because the majority of you are lazy, eat horribly, and know nothing about who runs your country. That is a FACT.

Here's your 'game plan.'


Action:
Stop watching television, as it's a military brainwashing device.
Stop watching the MSM, as the ENTIRE thing is a corporate brainwashing tool.
Demand your skies stop being sprayed with chemicals designed for apathy and subservience.
Stop eating the chemicals introduced by Rumsfeld-esque people that are soft-kill weapons.
Read. Just in a general sense.
Exercise. You're pretty much useless if you're some fat fuck.

Knowledge:
Learn the occult symbols used in your media: their origins and effects.
Learn the meta-governmental geopolitical think-tanks that run the world, and who belongs to what: Club of Rome, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The Trilateral Commission, CPAC, etc.
Learn about the history of the Anglo-American Establishment -- Carol Quiggley is the best resource for that.
Learn about how the Bush's are Nazis, and the Clintons are murderer sociopaths.


That's not a bad little summary. If the majority of Americans did those things -- fuck, even like half of them --- your country would not be in the state it is right now.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:32 pm

Faust wrote:
The fact that Americans can, with all that is so comically apparent, continue to assert their country is fine is, literally, the very reason why it's already past the point of fucked.


I can't remember the last time I heard an american say that everything here is fine. Gobbo must know more americans than I do.


I see you're still good at saying clever things that get us nowhere.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Faust » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:39 pm

It must be the contrails, Gobbo.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Gobbo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:40 pm

So just to check, Colbert, you're essentially just here to make jokes right?

Just making sure.

When you want to join the big boys table you let me know. It's too bad that we all age, but not all of us mature.
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Re: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Postby Faust » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:44 pm

The lizard men made me say that.
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