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American Decline

An Exceptional Decline for the Exceptional Country?

Tom Engelhardt | Posted 07.14.2014 | Politics
Tom Engelhardt

Today, the U.S. looks less like a functioning and effective empire than an imperial basket case, unable to bring its massive power to bear effectively from Germany to Syria, Iraq to Afghanistan, Libya to the South China Sea, the Crimea to Africa.

America Can Still Lead the World -- With Coalitions Abroad and by Getting Our Own House in Order

Carla Seaquist | Posted 06.26.2014 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

Great nations decline and fall through a fatal combination of too many wars abroad and a hollowing-out of institutions at home. If America gets its own house in order while leading coalitions abroad, we will do the world great good

Behemoth in a Bathrobe: A Dialogue

Carla Seaquist | Posted 07.06.2014 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

I am that still, small voice -- inside, at the back -- that says, "I can." And I've pushed my way to the front, because, even a dozen years after 9/11, "the day everything changed," I'm hearing, "I can't." What has happened to us?

Killing More Than Kennedy

Christopher Holshek | Posted 01.25.2014 | Impact
Christopher Holshek

Kennedy's call to action, from his first to his last day as president, was a constant call to citizenship - local, national, and global. It was a call to embrace the promise of American reinvention and renewal.

It Takes a Nation to Fix a Government

Christopher Holshek | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Christopher Holshek

Should we merely await the next manufactured crisis, frustrated that the only thing that stands between us and national success is our government, making us feel more and more helpless or hoping it will all somehow go away?

Books for Our Times: This Town by Mark Leibovich

Carla Seaquist | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Carla Seaquist

Sadly, the book confirms our worst suspicions of how our nation's capital works -- or rather, doesn't. It also reflects a news media failing in its watchdog function. Still, there is hope beyond the book's negative portrait, about which, more later.

Football and National Greatness

Aristotle Tziampiris | Posted 10.20.2013 | Sports
Aristotle Tziampiris

Football's status augurs well for the future international standing of America. This is because football teaches the significance of time management, the importance of teamwork and the imperative to cultivate mind and body.

Books for Our Times: Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Carla Seaquist | Posted 09.22.2013 | Books
Carla Seaquist

The book is especially illuminating on the ways extractive elites extract and do their harm. For example, from an extractive point of view, technological progress is not always a good thing.

Books for Our Times: The Unwinding, by George Packer

Carla Seaquist | Posted 08.27.2013 | Books
Carla Seaquist

In The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, what George Packer has gifted us with is a vital X-ray of the body politic, the nervous system of the demos

The Return to America

Maria Rodale | Posted 06.15.2013 | Travel
Maria Rodale

I'd never been out of the country for three weeks before. I missed my kids like crazy and was happy to come home. But I'd be lying if I didn't tell y...

The Archeology of Decline

Steve Fraser | Posted 02.02.2013 | Politics
Steve Fraser

"Debtpocalypse" didn't just appear in time for the last election season or the lame-duck session of Congress to follow. It is merely the latest installment in a tragic, 40-year-old story of the dispossession of American working people.

America's Global Revenge

Dr. Jim Taylor | Posted 10.14.2012 | World
Dr. Jim Taylor

The fact is that the world loves what America represents: freedom, wealth, popular culture, and materialism. Most of the world wants what we have. And, by gosh, we're going to give it to them, the good, bad, and the ugly, whether they like it or not.

The Sun Hasn't Set on China

Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba | Posted 10.02.2012 | World
Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba

China's economic power could match or even surpass U.S. power in 20 years -- and there are serious signs that the United States is actually the country in decline. But the United States still has several aces.

A Great Speech About Why America Isn't Great Anymore (But Can Be Again)

Carla Seaquist | Posted 09.09.2012 | TV
Carla Seaquist

For those of us heartsick over the moral state of things in this country, this is pure catnip.

The Carnival of Catastrophism and Its Critics

Robert Teitelman | Posted 06.10.2012 | Politics
Robert Teitelman

Declinism and catastrophe are in the air, like this early spring's hay fever. We live in a complex, dangerous world. We also live in a time of bounty and relative peace. The real sin here on both sides of this debate is exaggeration, reductionism and the urge to politicize.

Humor: There's Funny -- and There's Symptom of Decline

Carla Seaquist | Posted 05.01.2012 | Home
Carla Seaquist

Any culture that can laugh at torture and murder is a culture in deep, deep trouble.

The Imperial Way

Noam Chomsky | Posted 04.16.2012 | Politics
Noam Chomsky

Why exactly is Iran regarded as such a colossal threat? The question is rarely discussed, but it is not hard to find a serious answer -- though not, as usual, in the fevered pronouncements.

"Losing" the World

Noam Chomsky | Posted 04.15.2012 | Politics
Noam Chomsky

American decline is real, though the apocalyptic vision reflects the familiar ruling class perception that anything short of total control amounts to total disaster.

America: Let's Re-Invent It

Christopher Holshek | Posted 04.09.2012 | Politics
Christopher Holshek

The "rise of the rest," which has been going for more than a half a century, is the product of how successful a job the United States has done as Chairman of the Board of Planetary Management. We are victims of our own success, having globalized everything but ourselves.

Dispatch From a High-Temperature Republic

Peter Mandel | Posted 03.28.2012 | Politics
Peter Mandel

Prices may be low, but the Republic's economy is slow and there are hundreds of thousands who can't keep up. "Jobs exist," insist local experts. "But our workforce isn't trained." In fact, many high school graduates here have a hard time reading and doing basic math.

Change or Be Changed

Christopher Holshek | Posted 01.23.2012 | Impact
Christopher Holshek

We Americans have a lot to be thankful for. As a land of inordinate opportunities, our success has not been because we're really any better than anyone else -- but we have been luckier.

Beyond Blaming

Christopher Holshek | Posted 01.02.2012 | Politics
Christopher Holshek

In the more than three decades I've been involved in nation-building, civil-military coordination, and just trying to help make peace in broken places...

Did We Lose the War?

Michael Vlahos | Posted 11.07.2011 | World
Michael Vlahos

We will learn nothing and gain nothing from ten years of tragedy, waste, and ruin unless we face up to the fact that we have lost the wars we initiated after the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Critics and Other Cultural Gatekeepers: Mind the Gate!

Carla Seaquist | Posted 10.26.2011 | Books
Carla Seaquist

Where is the recognition that a "book of raunch," rather than reflecting a mature and vibrant culture, is symptomatic of one in steep, full-on decline, drunk on its power and narcissism (including Baker's pet vice, sexual titillation)?

Self-Criticism: A New Habit of Mind

Carla Seaquist | Posted 09.25.2011 | Politics
Carla Seaquist

Once again we do the rigid Kabuki dance, leading once again to political stalemate -- this time over raising the federal debt ceiling. Even with the ...