Archive for the ‘A Basic Introduction’ Category

The United States is no longer at the peak of its game. This is not to say there is another nation as powerful or as rich as the U.S. It is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that no nation can be exempt from the typical pattern of world dominance and subsequent decline. Historically, nations take quite a while to ascend the top of the pyramid. Once there, a period of well-being ensues, because military peace facilitates economic prosperity. Subsequently, however, there is a rather sudden and precipitous drop initiated by complacency and internal decadence, which other nations eventually exploit.

While being at the top is never an unmitigated high, the United States has already generally passed through its period of economic scarcity and basic struggle for survival. Despite experiencing several recessions and at least one depression, it emerged as a world leader in the twentieth century. Since then unprecedented economic prosperity and military peace has ensued, resulting in the current period of complacency–a perfect storm for future problems.

Why does this matter? It matters because whatever happens here affects all of us directly, and, if you have children, it will affect them too. As touched as we might be when we hear about earthquakes in Japan or political upheaval in the Middle East, it’s not our families that are being washed away by a tsunami or killed in the streets. Over two centuries of safety from attack on our own soil have engendered in us an attitude of invincibility. When 9/11 happened, we were caught off guard and forced to contemplate the frightening possibility that we might not, in fact, be as invincible as we had believed.

So what’s the solution?  The problem is complex and thus, the solutions are too, but the bottom line is that we must stay on top of our game.  This involves each and every one of us as citizens of our nation keeping up to speed with what is going on in the world today.  It means committing to excellence in whatever we undertake and not settling for second best.  Most importantly, it means adopting a more disciplined personal code as a people group, because the lessons of history teach us that decadence as status quo is never permanent.

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