Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rise and Fall of Nations. Is USA on its way down?

The rise and fall of nations! A lofty title and probably way beyond my abilities to write with any authority about it. So, this is just a "gut" feel article rather than a well argued political essay.

Yes, I do think in this century we may see the slow decline of US of America as the world power and rise of another nation or nations to that position. This, in my opinion, is part of the cycle in human history. That is every few centuries or so we see the rise of a nation until they dominate and influence their known world. Eventually, they get so powerful, that they stop doing the very things that got them to that position. Soon, other nations work harder, have better principles or goals until they slowly rise and supplant the one at the top. Well known examples, are the Egyptians, Greek, Romans, British, Germans, etc. The reasons for a fall are varied. The ones at the top get arrogant, successors are corrupt, life gets too easy so they become lazy and those who are down always work harder to reach the top than those who are already at the top!

Now, I am sure most would agree that USA is the top nation right now. I would say it reached its height of power between 1940 to 1970 and stayed there until recently. USA rose to the top on its strong democratic principles, moral judgment irrespective of religion, separation of church and state, internal and external philanthropy, dominating research in almost all fields and above all a very strong constitution that maintained a balance of power and did not allow a radical to control its path. Until recently....which brings me to the title of this post.

President George Bush and his close circle of advisors, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Trent Lott among others are in my opinion radicals who have managed to twist that wonderful American constitution to do their bidding. They have cajoled, scared, fooled or just confused the American electorate to go with their agenda. Now what that is I am not too sure and I don't think anybody is for that matter. Whatever it is, the dominant theme seems to be about power. They want it, fully and unconditionally to do what they think is best for the nation. That is why I think, America is now controlled by a radical group who care about winning by any means than winning by advocating what they believe in! Yes, I think they have no qualms about lying blatantly if they feel that it will get them the votes. Democracy and the hold on power is possible when the rulers are not radicals and are willing to listen to different views and change accordingly. Sadly, the group in power in USA is not capable of that anymore.

Still, you could argue, if the next group coming to power, republican or democratic, are not so radical then would that still mean USA is on its way down? I do believe so, simply because, I sense that the American public themselves have changed to being radicals! Otherwise how else can one explain the re-election of a President in 2004 who had lied and led them into a war? Any person could see they were scaring the people with the phantom terror threats. Still the people voted for him. Why? I think its because America is a frightened nation now. They are scared of terrorists, losing jobs, and basically their lifestyle as they know it. So, they gravitate towards anybody who promises to keep the status quo without having to do much personal sacrifice. Just as long as they give up some of the principles and rights which makes America as we have known it. So far, it seems that people are willing to make that choice. And that means, they will always vote for radicals who are going to lead them down the slippery slope.

Over the last 6 to 8 years the fall has been steep. It could recover a bit over the next 10-20 yrs but as the pressure mounts from other nations, I do not believe America will sacrifice as they did in the early part of 20th century. They will be a shell of the nation they are now by the end of this century. Same as the position of England today after its mighty hold over the world in the 19th century. Soon, some other nation or nations will be leading the world culturally, economically and possibly militarily as well.

Who? Maybe we will know in our lifetimes.