(We’re Here because We’re Here, because We’re Here.)
All Empires Fall
Some last longer than others, some fall harder than others, but nothing lasts forever.
America has had a medium-sized run so far. From a thin ribbon of settlement huddled on the East coast, and a population that would be lost in modern New York City, we have spread across the continent to a hundred times the size of our beginnings. Along the way we displaced a series of peoples who knew not gunpowder (and when they found out, gave a good account of themselves, until overwhelmed by the European immigrants.) The survivors we herded into “reservations”.
America is larger than some Empires of the past, not the biggest, but once one of the most energetic. And we have one characteristic of Empire, in that we are not (contra the claims of certain “nativists”) a homogenous people. We are like the language we speak, a polyglot derived from everywhere, and molded by convention into a unity. (Which is why we can have Steak on Sunday, Tacos on Tuesday, Pizza on Thursday, and Chow Mein on Saturday.)
Some question whether our Day In The Sun is over, whether we have run out of energy, or ideas, or ideals. Others think we may be entering into our maturity as a nation. And nobody really knows.
The Future will be whatever we make, or fail to make of it. A single vision, promoted by a special interest, will not be what we get to, it the only real certainty. There are many options, and we need to think about them. There are many voices, and we need to hear and understand them.
An Idea which is unchallenged is a weak, flabby, worthless Idea. If we do not work on figuring things out, in free and open debate, our Future will likewise be weak, flabby, and worthless, and soon expropriated by someone else with more vigorous means.
As it should be.
Retired person here. Not as old as some, as my memory only goes back to Eisenhower’s first term as President. But is is time to reminiscence, assess the past, and ponder the future. Not all the Old was good, and not all the New is bad. So let’s sit down with a cup, a cuppa, or a stiff drink, and think about the Meaning of Life.