If you are a poet, a madman even, certainly a thinking person, the last place
you want to be is in the backwaters of history. America has become, not an empire
in the negative Star Wars sense, but the inheritor of the center of world
history and culture. And, for better or worse, the world moves through these
entities one at a time.
Rome, which is always raised in relation to America, is an excellent place
to begin because Rome, like America, absorbed everything that came before it.
And when Rome began to disintegrate the power shifted to the middle-east and
the rise of Islam. And Islam absorbed the great Hellenistic culture centered
in Aristotle to produce a flourishing culture as well as military empire.
And then the remnants of the barbaric tribes that had overrun Rome began to
organize against Islam over the question of Jerusalem. And in the conflict that
took place, Europe began to understand that it was a backwater, was stimulated
in many ways to progress. It rediscovered the ancient world, it applied science
and produced advances in sailing, navigation, weapons and, over time, became
the center of history. That ended in 1945.
America does what every other of these entities has done; put military
outposts to protect its interests and incurred the worlds wrath. And it could very likely be that the temperment of the world vis a vis the United States will be the dominate issue of the 21st
The good thing is that, now, America will have to fulfill its potential as a culture.
The bad news is that it will have many enemies and many conflicts will break
out here and the experience will be unnerving for the citizens.
It is more an intuition than anything else but there is a kind of logic
to it that transcends whether one wants it to be that way or not. It's too late for
that. The deed has been done.
Posted March 27, 2004
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March 27, 2003