An exceptional and important essay...

Everyone who is interested in our (American) future really needs to read this one --

Philadelphia Inquirer
November 18, 2007


Chris Hedges

"... All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.

Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.

The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression..."

Read the rest here:

And if it did, which it certainly looks as if it's doing, it would be pretty ugly for a while, but in the long run, how bad would it be?

How many people have longed to see these United States become a country that is by the people, of the people and for the people? By that I mean one that does not piss away it's people and fortunes insanely acquiring weapons and choosing presidents according to how many people he or she is able to have killed but minds its own business. That does not mean becoming isolationist, but involved in co-operative relations with other countries rather than having some sick need to dominate them. (Guess what? People in other countries where people just live their lives, often minding their own business, they like our ideals but THEY'RE REALLY TIRED OF US FUCKING WITH THEM, some of them so desperately that they go completely mad and strap on explosives, blowing up anything they see, or take over commercial airplanes and ride them down into buildings where they think every clerk and janitor and secretary is an emissary of Satan and must be destroyed.)

It's important that I say this:

I do not want to see the United States fail or collapse or anything of the sort...

I want to see the United States grow up.


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