History has a habit of repeating itself. The question that must be asked is are we in America prepared to learn from it, or has our arrogance risen to a level where we believe we are immune from its destiny?
Approximately 100 years ago, America took its seat as the world’s reigning “Superpower”. It did so because not one of the prior “superpowers” had been able to maintain that moniker.
History shows us that the “seat of superpowerdom” has generally migrated from east to west, hardly ever reversing its polarity to go back the other way. In classic and recent history we can track this migration from Greece to Rome, into Spain, France, the UK, and now America.
Those with a profound interest in history have taken deep dives into the reasons that not one of the past “superpowers” has been able to maintain that moniker. Certainly not the only reason, but one of the key contributing factors is that when the gap between the haves and have nots becomes insurmountable, civil unrest ensues and an implosion from within is the result. Least we forget the French, Russian, and 13 Colony revolts that led to massive change, not only within their respective countries, but on the world as a whole.
America has now had +/- 100 years to learn from past incumbents, and to put in place measures that would possibly help slow or even stem the migration. However, when we look at the country today, we are not only seeing the seeds of civil unrest, we are seeing a society that is rapidly becoming the mirror image of what it so desperately fought to leave.
Our politicians can lie about many things, what they can’t lie about though is history, so lets take a look at what could happen to the US if we as its citizens allow history to repeat itself.
We are already seeing internal population shifts based upon fundamental ideologies. Even the most rudimentary review of an electoral college map can show us what our country looks like. A deeper review shows that migrations are being driven by race, religion, sexuality, income etc., etc. The Electoral College itself is a reason for migrations. One result of this could be an America so divided that it becomes a nation of City States (as opposed to the state system we currently have). It is surely apparent that a centralized government will not be able to effectively govern such a large land and population mass, and one that would be so geographically and ideologically diverse. This has been done before, e.g. in Greece.
There is the real danger of widespread civil unrest, at worst causing either the demise of the entire country, or at best resulting in a split in the nation as we know it today. This has happened numerous times throughout history.
Either of the above scenario’s could weaken America to the extent that it could be overrun by another nation. This has also happened numerous times throughout history.
Here is another less likely scenario but one that we should not ignore as simply lunacy. "The Next Global Superpower. It Might Not Be What We Think".
America is being torn apart by the extremes within each political party. Instead of the majority of the voting public (that is socially and environmentally Democrat and fiscally and militarily Republican) banding together to drive common sense, we are allowing ourselves to be polarized by the desires of political leadership.
A real third party, built upon a consensus of the majority would help, however, there are major road blocks to that.
The current incumbents in both parties know that a middle ground would impose term limits and get money out of politics.
The Electoral College is set up to prevent the rise of a true third party.
Special interest groups are usually positioned to uphold extremist doctrines.
However, there is hope.
Throughout history we have seen numerous examples of how small groups of passionate collaborators can change the world:
A Monotheistic religion
New democracies, e.g., The United States of America
New religions such as the Mormon Church
In each case above, a small group of purposed collaborators became the catalysts for massive change.
Yeshiva was started with 3 people.
Jesus had 12 collaborators resulting in a community of over 2 billion people following Christianity.
56 collaborators signed the Declaration of Independence resulting in a community of almost 330,000,000 within less than a quarter of a century.
The Mormon Church has gone from 6 collaborators in 1829 to almost 15,000,000 in 2012, mostly by “knocking on doors”, an amazing achievement. Over the past two decades the annual growth rate of LDS membership has been approximately 2.5 percent, which means the church will double in size every 29 years. You do the math.
When they started their quest none of the above had the benefit of a community of almost 275,000,000 (the Internet) people to connect with and spread the word, but they did have a vision of something better, for which there was an interest driven by a need. Sound familiar?
We can hope that in the not too distant future we will see tens of millions of people standing up to stop this madness. Because of this, I am driven to think though the possibilities that a small group of charismatic collaborators would be capable of achieving if the rate of citizen dissent continues.
I will leave the danger of the creation of a negative group of collaborators for another discussion, although, that is clearly where we are headed no matter which extreme of either party runs the show.
In his brilliant eassay, “The Pitchforks Are Coming”, Nick Hanauer discusses the danger of the gap between the “haves” and the “have not’s” becoming insurmountable and offers his thoughts on how we must change. He is correct in saying that in the US it is not the 1%, it is the .01%, and globally the statistics are even more dramatic, if possible.
The writing is on the wall and the ink is drying very quickly. Do we stand together to change the course of history, or do we comply with the desires of Capitol Hill to divide and conquer us. The word’s “We the people” may never have had such a profound meaning as they do today.