Friday, November 21, 2008

The unprecedented, unclear, fascinating future of America

For the first time in my life, for the first time in your life, for the first time in the life of anybody alive today, America is not a rising power. It is a declining power. Nobody alive has experienced this fact, till now, and we are only starting to experience it. The fact of this relative decline will lose its obscurity in the years and decades to come. But really, to those with their eyes open, how obscure is the fact? We are right now losing two wars, or have already lost them. And we are right now struggling to salvage anything with redeeming value from a deeply structurally flawed capitalist economic system. America's foreign and domestic policies have failed the country, and there will be consequences. The specific shape of these consequences -- rather than whether there will be any -- is the question going forward.

But, if you don't believe your own eyes, perhaps you believe the American government. What interest would they have to exaggerate their own decline? America is indeed losing power relative to the rest of the world, or so says America's own National Intelligence Council. The NIC recently published an unclassified forecast of the country's future within the world, titled 'Global Trends 2025.' You can read the whole thing here.

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