Monday, May 14, 2007


While I was traveling (the always-useful “slacking and blaming it on work” defense), IOZ was busy writing:

Still, it isn't really the Third Reich on which the US is currently modeled, but the very USSR from whose titanic corpse Putin is reanimating a respectable giant. Doddering, unweildy, and self-deluded. Publicly grandiose, but rusty within. Bedevilled by dusty revolutionaries. Confounded by Islam.

There’s some truth to that, but I don’t believe the U.S. is quite as close to collapse as IOZ does. I think the situation the U.S. finds itself in at some point in the next 20 years may be more akin to Britain and France’s humiliation in Egypt in late 1956, in which the former great powers spectacularly misjudged the balance of power and world opinion at a crucial juncture, leading to a harsh devaluation of the national brand. (Perhaps we’re living through our Suez now, and will only realize it later.) But those societies didn’t then fold in upon themselves, rotten to the core, as did the USSR. They remained quite wealthy and still today retain influence disproportionate to their population and output. They even managed later, first in Algeria and then Iraq, to pick ill-advised fights with impoverished nations and get their asses handed to them. I see something similar in our future, but probably not wholesale disintegration.

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