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posted by Justin Oldham
I'm looking in to this very thing for a novel, so let me take a whack at the answer to your well developed question. As a political scientist and historian, I have to admit that all nations rise and fall.
There is no reason to expect that the United States will be any different. Some nations, but not all, have recovered after their fall to be re-invented. China seems to be doing just that. Re-inventing itself. We can certainly debate the nature of their "fall," but you can't argue with their economic ascent to date.
What will the Americans do? The short answer is, adapt or be succeeded. The Chinese leadership is "hungry" by Western political standards, and they aren't afraid to take the steps that America once did in order to achieve their wealth and assert their potency.
Today's American career politician has no memory of shortage, subsistence, or "deprivation" as the working classes they represent are known to think of those terms. Virtually all members of the PRC's ruling body have first-hand knowledge of the cultural revolution, and its many difficulties. In historical terms, U.S. politicians have forgotten what it was like to fight for the supremacy that they still think they have in the modern world. Like the Romans before them, they are fooled in to thinking that their past is somehow their future.
The American political elite has spent so much time and effort to divide the voting public that the national "interest" has become fractured. The political will that allows any nation to prosper is derived from the fact that the leaders preach one message which touts one point of view. U.S. leaders have been hard at work since the 1950's to promote the concept of the hyphenated American. Nobody is "American" anymore. They are "Afro-American," or "Hispanic-American," or any other derivation you can think of.
China and American will not be able to reconcile as long as one of those two parties can't speak act with a unified perspective. If America cannot rediscover it's unity, it will eventually fracture to the point of failure. Even if it does recover, it will never again rise to the lever of other more unified powers . . unless . . it can learn from the mistakes they've already made.
posted by SeaGull
I don't think the powers that be realized just how much of a potential threat the PRC could become until recently. Yes it had a large military, but it was a decade or more inferior in terms of technology. Economically, well it might as well have been centuries behind, there was no comparison between the two. Both of these "rules" are changing, and changing rapidly.
[Edited by Don W]
In time, the ruling elites will negate the voters. If they do, that will seal the fate of the nation.
It's worth noting that many elitist cliques prefer to rule impoverished nations. Makes it easier for them to stay in power. With or without meddling from China, the fate of America is in doubt. That means, IMHO, changes in the way the govt. does business, and I suppose, the way business does government. New blood in all the elective offices would go a long way in helping heal the wounds of decades of divisive two party politics. Unifying the nation is a must. [Edited by Don W]
The issues between the US and the PRC are going to come to a head within my lifetime. I can't see a shooting war starting over pirated CD's. I'd say a "hot" war is unlikely. A "cold" war. War by proxy. Sound familiar?
Taiwan has been a sharp thorn in the PRC's side for decades. It shows no sign of being otherwise any time soon. The US has gleefully supported Taiwan for that very reason. America must rise to this occasion or run the risk of going where all ill adapted political entities end up. In the Dust Bin of History. [Edited by Don W]
posted by Justin Oldham
Your interpretation of my remarks is on-target. . The Cold War with the Chinese should be noticeably under way by the end of this decade. United, we stand. Divided, we fall . . [Edited by Don W]
A lot of Americans already know this, or feel it in their gut. It's no accident that authors like me are starting to gain market share . . I really liked that encapsulation of the Chinese situation . . If our leaders continue to sacrifice the majority so that they can fill their own pockets, we’ll surely be repeating much of our past bad history.