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Is Primacy Overrated?

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  • Is Primacy Overrated?

    Power can be both absolute and relative. A state's absolute power can increase while its relative power declines; or its absolute power can diminish while its relative power increases. I suspect the United States will be in the second situation in the twenty-first century. America's ability to influence world events will increasingly diminish, but the power of other great states and blocs of states will diminish even further, leaving America in relative terms more powerful than before, to less and less effect.

    The United States surely has its problems: economic, social and political. Its economy does not grow fast enough and in the right way to increase the number of good jobs that can support a respectable living for families. Socially, the digital age, despite the overload of information it brings, has also brought with it decadence and ignorance of a post-literate sort, with people reared on television shows rather than on books. Donald Trump is the very personification of digital barbarism - a man who is like the summation of the angry and insulting comment streams that appear on the web. Politically we are both more fractured and more extreme.

    But I'll take America's problems over those of Russia, China and the European Union any day. Those powers have all of the above problems, too. Meanwhile, Russia is in economic free fall, facing a disruptive future with a possible break-up that would be a milder version of what happened in Yugoslavia. China's ability to orchestrate a soft landing for its decelerating economy is doubtful, even as its Turkic Uighur Muslims demonstrate how the Middle Kingdom is a prison of nations that could degenerate into ethnic upheaval as the economy continues to slow. As for the European Union, politicians in too many member countries lack the courage to fundamentally reform the social welfare state, reform without which growth cannot resume. Thus, you have stagnant societies beset by angry populism at home and Muslim migrants streaming in from abroad. No wonder the administrative superstate in Europe is in deep crisis.


  • #2
    Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
    Socially, the digital age, despite the overload of information it brings, has also brought with it decadence and ignorance of a post-literate sort, with people reared on television shows rather than on books. Donald Trump is the very personification of digital barbarism - a man who is like the summation of the angry and insulting comment streams that appear on the web. Politically we are both more fractured and more extreme.
    Even our complaints about technology's social influence are growing banal.



    I'm sure that Notre Dame's monseigneur made the same complaints about the influence of the printing press in his day. Please, let's all keep out panties on.
    I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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