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Don't Stand Too Close

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Avoiding decline

Laura has left a new comment on your post "Psyop":

Section 3 is my favorite so far even though I am only a short way through it. I totally agree with Tom that for a nation to succeed it "will not avoid risk; it will avoid decline." When I think of the word "decline" I immediately think "and fall". The decline and fall of the Roman Empire as an example. How can we fight decline? Toms says "We cannot allow ourselves to be put into situations where we cannot utilize our inherent advantages." But we cannot rely on one sole strength such as military power or borders or technology. We must diversify our strengths. I believe we must look at decline in the long term. The economy ebbs and flows and we mustn't panic right away. History proves Tom's statement that "there appears to be a constant churn that allows a country or a power to rise to preeminence and then sucks it back down in a few decades or centuries." The US has a special consideration as a super power. We have responsibility and Tom says "Part of that responsibility is to act with extreme caution and malice of forethought to maintain a stable world environment." I interpret this to mean that the US cannot and should not stand alone as we make decisions. We have to realize that every action we make affects the entire world to some degree. That does not mean we should put the world first. We must find ways to measure our strengths and successes in a long term view and to stave off decline. We must change with the world situation and adjust to new political situations and technology. But we must do this while keeping before us that "the United States was created for freedom, not safety." and it is based on a "government of law." What do you think we can do to ensure that the US remains a strong super power rather than being relegated to the history books like the Roman Empire?


Blogger janet w said...

Perhaps naively I think we should learn from the lessons of history ~ read a book like Paris 1919 to read how peace should NOT be made in the aftermath of war: that peace treaty sowed the seeds that later grew into the crop of German nationalism.

In contrast, our generous help to Germany and Japan, after WW II, made it possible for their economies to recover and for democracy to take hold. Generosity, a willingness to help fledgling democracies take root -- that's how I think the United States can maintain a position of strength and respect on the world stage.


11:05 PM  
Blogger Janet Webb said...

Part II of my comments ... being a bit flippant here but one way to change the lessons of the history books is for Americans to "hit the books" :) Check out this new film:


The premise is that American school children have 2 million minutes to catch up with their Chinese and Indian counterparts. I know it has all been said before but it fits into the overarching message of "For the Courage" ... that we are not providing for the needs of the next generation and the generation after that. Education especially, imo, is suffering.

It's another kind of battle ... the fight against shortsightedness and fear.

Tuesday, 06MAY08

3:35 PM  

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