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Old 12-30-2014, 12:51 PM   #21
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It seems that every generation thinks the next generation is doomed.

As for electing politicians with the most money, it seems that this too is what the US has always done. Washington was one of the richest presidents we have ever had. It seems to me, that the system is set up so politicians has to appease the rich to get the money to run a campaign that will appeal to the masses. If we change this delicate balance, like many seem to think we should, we risk politicians that rape the rich to buy votes from the poor. Very similar to what they do today.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:16 PM   #22
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Probably not to current forum members, but I am curious about 100 years from now.
Why? Nothing will come out anything at all like anyone predicts or expects 100 years from now.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:28 PM   #23
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There's plenty more in Glubb Pasha's actual essay, which largely reads like the writings of someone whose world view was solidly frozen in 1920 Great Britain, and did not age well.
Alternatively, he was correct but we moderns are too degenerate to realize that.

Ha
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:03 PM   #24
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Alternatively, he was correct but we moderns are too degenerate to realize that.

Ha
Harumph! Indeed, indeed! Why, we need merely look about us and see the signs of decline Glubb Pasha has so thoughtfully noted for us:

  • Guitar music, and degenerate lyrics
  • Women involved in public life, being appointed as judges or elected to office!
  • Celebrities and other such frivolity!
  • Spectator sports! More frivolity, and the decline of proper cricket matches!
  • Introduction of the five-day work week!
  • Providing government grants to university students!
  • Offering free medical treatment to the poor!
  • Generalizations!

Egad! We may very well be doomed. Bring back the treadmills and work houses. Re-institute an honest six and a half day workweek. Ban frivolity. Reserve university education for those classes worthy of it. Put women back in their proper place. Deal with these foreigners.

Attachment 20794
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:06 PM   #25
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By "Empire" I think we're talking about cultural and global/political influence.

Sadly, I think the US has lost that game. Our genius had been the 'melting pot' approach where we could blend a hundred different ideas and cultures into one concise cultural viewpoint.

Today, we've become a Tower of Babel with 100 different opinions, cultures and positions; each one demanding equal emphasis and consideration and allowing no room for compromise.

I don't think we can recover.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:06 PM   #26
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The USA has been a world superpower for less than 100 years. Before that we were busy with manifest destiny.

If I had my druthers, I'd rather us not be in the Empire business at all.
+1

Not that it matters in terms of the 200 year clock.

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Old 12-30-2014, 02:36 PM   #27
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This speculating about the decline of empire based on women in the professions and degree to which music is contrary to the tastes of older generations is missing the point. If the US "empire" is in decline it will be due to the shifts away from regard for education and hard work. We have higher enrollment in colleges, but the curriculum is dumbed down and we give "participation" awards to everyone. Meanwhile, China and other aspiring economic powers are building an industrial base that will rival ours. Already if you want a new heavy production machine, you more often find them from foreign suppliers than US. They are working to instil an ethics of hard work and dedicated efforts, while we denigrate wonks, nerds and workaholics, even to the point that schools routinely reward athletic performance above intellectual achievements.

We do have a small number of winner take all founders and entrepreneurs, but for the vast majority the notions of providing a good day's work for a good day's pay are quaint and out of date. People are looking for shortcuts, minimal efforts and "schemes" to get rich, and no longer expect to be rewarded for hard work and dedication. See what a minority opinion LBYM is. Family structures and community institutions are in decay. These are more likely to erode the power of the empire than choice of entertainment or the deplorable tendency of the oppressed minorities to no longer quietly accept their continued subjugation or even the choice of young black teenagers to wear sagging pants.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:57 PM   #28
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This speculating about the decline of empire based on women in the professions and degree to which music is contrary to the tastes of older generations is missing the point. If the US "empire" is in decline it will be due to the shifts away from regard for education and hard work. We have higher enrollment in colleges, but the curriculum is dumbed down and we give "participation" awards to everyone. Meanwhile, China and other aspiring economic powers are building an industrial base that will rival ours. Already if you want a new heavy production machine, you more often find them from foreign suppliers than US. They are working to instil an ethics of hard work and dedicated efforts, while we denigrate wonks, nerds and workaholics, even to the point that schools routinely reward athletic performance above intellectual achievements.

We do have a small number of winner take all founders and entrepreneurs, but for the vast majority the notions of providing a good day's work for a good day's pay are quaint and out of date. People are looking for shortcuts, minimal efforts and "schemes" to get rich, and no longer expect to be rewarded for hard work and dedication. See what a minority opinion LBYM is. Family structures and community institutions are in decay. These are more likely to erode the power of the empire than choice of entertainment or the deplorable tendency of the oppressed minorities to no longer quietly accept their continued subjugation or even the choice of young black teenagers to wear sagging pants.
In pondering your comment, It occurred to me that we may be discussing the old, 'national' version of Empire. That model just might be long gone. Because who is it that funded the heavy production equipment in other countries? It was us. Who is it that made a hard days work less valuable in the USA, thus undermining our social structure? It was us. Our corporations became global, and now they don't need us, except for our military. We gave away the national empire to a collective corporate empire, which as a whole doesn't give a hoot about the social or cultural mores of any given nation. Maybe. Just a thought.
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Old 12-30-2014, 03:34 PM   #29
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That's actually Cal Thomas's interpretation of what looks like a thumbnail summary of the actual 26 page essay by Glubb. The essay is much more fun. Glubb Pasha, as he liked to be called, was a veteran of the last of the great adventures of the British Empire, and observed many cultures in the Middle East.

Here he ties the decline of the Arab Empire to guitar music:
Many of our members will enjoy this bit:
There's plenty more in Glubb Pasha's actual essay, which largely reads like the writings of someone whose world view was solidly frozen in 1920 Great Britain, and did not age well.

That figures! Thanks for enlightening me. You saved me the trouble of reading Glubb's essays.

I'd like to start my own empire and will name it Erorg. I always wanted to be an emperor.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:20 PM   #30
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Harumph! Indeed, indeed! Why, we need merely look about us and see the signs of decline Glubb Pasha has so thoughtfully noted for us:

  • Guitar music, and degenerate lyrics
  • Women involved in public life, being appointed as judges or elected to office!
  • Celebrities and other such frivolity!
  • Spectator sports! More frivolity, and the decline of proper cricket matches!
  • Introduction of the five-day work week!
  • Providing government grants to university students!
  • Offering free medical treatment to the poor!
  • Generalizations!

Egad! We may very well be doomed. Bring back the treadmills and work houses. Re-institute an honest six and a half day workweek. Ban frivolity. Reserve university education for those classes worthy of it. Put women back in their proper place. Deal with these foreigners.

Attachment 20794
hey, I am just as pious in our modern social religion as you are. I merely assert that these beliefs and the ensuing practices may have no relation to the maintenance of empire, or may even be negatively associated.

It is a possibility, though not one to be discussed here.

Ha
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:35 PM   #31
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hey, I am just as pious in our modern social religion as you are. I merely assert that these beliefs and the ensuing practices may have no relation to the maintenance of empire, or may even be negatively associated.
I have a suspicion that Glubb absorbed a healthy dose of Spengler's "The Decline of the West", and mapped his own observations on empire and 'kids these days' onto it, resulting in the essay that Cal Thomas may have glanced at. The original essay is more an insight into Glubb's world view than into the maintenance of empire.

I blame the guitar music.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:36 PM   #32
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Several writers have made this observation. I remember reading Asimov's take on how civilizations have 'always' come and gone twenty years ago too.

No 'superpower' civilization has ever lasted forever. Though one seems to be poised to revive itself...China?

But the 250 year hypothesis doesn't hold water, it's simply not correct.
  • Roman Empire 27BC - 1453AD
  • Greek Empire 800BC - 600AD
  • Ancient Egypt 3150BC - 30BC
  • Chinese Empire 221BC - 1912AD
  • Mayans 2000BC - 1540AD
  • United States 1776AD -
  • and many others
So the US may have a few years left...

Interesting, but what to do about it - move somewhere else? Best of luck wherever you choose...
The lives of past empires are listed in Glubb's paper as:

Assyria 859-612 B.C. 247
Persia 538-330 B.C. 208 (Cyrus and his descendants)
Greece 331-100 B.C. 231 (Alexander and his successors)
Roman Republic 260-27 B.C. 233
Roman Empire 27 B.C.-A.D. 180 207
Arab Empire A.D. 634-880 246
Mameluke Empire 1250-1517 267
Ottoman Empire 1320-1570 250
Spain 1500-1750 250
Romanov Russia 1682-1916 234
Britain 1700-1950 250

Will the US economic and military power remain superior and be longer lasting? Will it be "different this time"?

I don't know how it will work out. Will I live long enough to know for sure? Probably not, but if it is in a decline, I will see more evidence near the end of my life. And if this forum is still around and if I still remember (two big ifs), I will search for and reopen this thread for further discussions.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:45 PM   #33
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I blame the guitar music.
I worked with a guy who quite seriously blamed The Beatles. Said that will inevitably cause the downfall of America.

So Al Qaeda need merely be patient.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:48 PM   #34
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I worked with a guy who quite seriously blamed The Beatles. Said that will inevitably cause the downfall of America.
So it's been 50 years since the Beatles. This a very long slow decline they caused. Another 100 or 200 years and the full evil majesty of their effects will be known. Or perhaps something else that happened in those decades (centuries) could be part of the problem.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:59 PM   #35
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Are Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift somehow better for society than the Beatles?


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Old 12-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #36
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Are Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift somehow better for society than the Beatles?
I am sure they will accelerate the trend launched by The Beatles.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:09 PM   #37
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The difference is now that in "the old days" each empire was essentially isolated (unless it was conquering it's neighbor). Now, in the words of Thomas Friedman, the world is flat. That's just a fancy way to say "This Time It's Different", LOL!
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:11 PM   #38
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I am sure they will accelerate the trend launched by The Beatles.
We will be saved from all this empire crashing stuff by Facebook...an American Invention.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:36 PM   #39
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Is the American Empire on the Decline?

It certainly sometimes feels that way.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:13 PM   #40
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And for still another view of such "megapolitics," see James Dale Davidson and Sir William Rees-Mogg's book The Great Reckoning. It has a discussion of what they see as 500-year-long epochs. I found it an interesting read, although it's been some 20 years since I read it cover-to-cover.
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