Previous posts in this discussion:
PostUS as Fallen Empire? (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 11/27/21 3:28 am)
While reading most people's opinion on international rivalries with the US, I never cease to be amazed at the doubletalk: how we expect other nations to lie down when we build our military power closer to their throat, and our feathers get ruffled when they take steps not to be too weak, militarily speaking.
We need a better perspective: Who has the strongest military in the world? Who continuously tries to move NATO forces closer to the Russians after promising not do so when Gorbachev dismantled the Warsaw Pact/USSR? Who has encircled China with hundreds of deadly military bases capable of evaporating China at a moment's notice? Who is worried about China attacking another country while doing that with many smaller nations for several decades in the name of freedom, democracy, and apple pie? Who lets military treaties controlling the spread of nuclear-capable missiles and other weapons expire? Now we are worried about Russia and China trying to catch up to our military power? We are even worried that many nations who we have owned for decades now want to do more profitable business with China?
There must have a special word to express such blatant doublespeak. If we keep this nonsense up, first the world is laughing nervously at us (we might use our muscle as usual in the past), but next the world will see us as the fallen empire. We must grow up quickly to retain any semblance of world leadership, and perhaps recover our shine.
JE comments: History has shown that every hegemon eventually gets displaced. The question is when--and for us in the "West," what it means if liberal democracy proves not to be the model of the future. (It's still too early to know if this is the case.)
Is Liberal Democracy Doomed?
(Tor Guimaraes, USA
11/29/21 2:41 AM)
John Eipper commented on my last post: "History has shown that every hegemon eventually gets displaced. The question is when--and for us in the 'West,' what it means if liberal democracy proves not to be the model of the future."
To sit and wait until the fire gets to the upper floor of your house has never been a good idea. And for me personally, America the Beautiful has been just that and I can't just watch it. Unfortunately, I also have no power to do anything significant to save it, other than speak words which are either ignored or fall on deaf ears.
When I was a boy growing up in Brazil, I remember reading a book entitled The Rise and Fall of Civilizations. It ended with a positive view that America would be different because we have learned so much about economics, political science, sociology, etc., that we would not make the same mistakes. Little did I know that someday I would personally be experiencing the demise of my adopted nation. It makes me very sad, frustrated, and powerless. I have been discussing on WAIS the symptoms of the American Gotterdammerung for the last twenty years, much to my frustration.
There is no doubt that liberal democracy as we have implemented it has failed. I challenge anyone to share any viable scenario whereby our American system could be saved. We still don't know the best model of the future, but hopefully it will be more truthful to our professed ideals: a government by the people and for the people, strictly based on scientific knowledge and promoting education and entrepreneurship; democratic capitalism based on truly free markets, with reward for performance but abhorring indecent income inequality, with justice based on the rule of law where all people are truly equal, regardless of sex, race, or religion.
JE comments: Tor Guimaraes has indeed raised this alarm for twenty years. Have we learned anything since that annus horribilis 2001, or have we moved backwards? I see strong arguments for both views. This could be an interesting subject for a full-blown WAIS discussion. In particular, are the gears of history moving towards a more just society, or the opposite? Can justice and economic progress be reconciled?
WAISers, what do ye think?