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American Disaster

From John Michael Greer’s The Long Descent, whose theme is the shape of the world in an emerging era of resource scarcity:

    No empire, even in its prime, can afford to pursue policies that estrange its allies, increase its overseas commitments, make its enemies forget their mutual quarrels and form alliances with one another, and destabilize the world political order, all at the same time. American foreign policy in recent years has accomplished every one of those things, at a time when America’s effective ability to deal with the consequences is steadily declining as its resource base dwindles and the last of its industrial economy fizzles out. To call this a recipe for disaster is to understate the case considerably.

Greer is a peak oil theorist and head of a sect of modern druids. His thought-provoking blog The Archdruid Report is worth checking out.

My question to you is, is he right? Has America’s potential been squandered beyond repair, through a combination of terrible policy decisions and the tendency to overreach that is the curse of all empires? Or can the sorts of strategic adjustments proposed by Barack Obama for the financial, energy, health care and educational sectors give America the boost it needs to be a leader again in the 21st century, even in an era in which resources are more limited than they were in the past?

Comments

Comment from nordin
Time: February 26, 2009, 06:30

USA for that matter should stop expressing herself as the leader and stop exerting to others as a great empire. Lets share together with the rest of the world. After all, we are one big family. It may sounds rather naive, but do you have better options in the short to long terms?

Comment from eatbees
Time: February 26, 2009, 15:49

Nordin, I don’t have a better option, because I often make the same point you do! If the U.S. insists on dominating everyone, it will burn through its advantages and lose them a lot sooner. But by sharing, we can all be stronger. Yes it’s naive, but it’s also logical! Perhaps the instinct to dominate is too strong, not just in the U.S. but among all global elites, but we should keep trying. I don’t see any other way.

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