Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin, former CDL A Truck Driver at M&M Cartage (2014-2015)

Mise à jour il y a 4w

I am really perplexed. Why does everyone keep saying that America is not an empire? Is it something public schools teach?

Well I have to tell you something. Public schools are there so you learn how to get along and obey authority. The history classes are mostly propaganda. They are taught from certain angle and they are changed every so often to update the next generation in what is politically correct. Don’t except the mainstream media to tell you what is going on.

What do you call 800 military installations? Have read about the coups, assassinations and invasions carried out in the name of the CIA and the military since WW2? We have special forces involved in a countless number of conflicts around the world.

There is a reason why the US is the world reserve currency and most of the international trade is based in USD. The reason is because we have bombed or overthrown anyone who has tried to set up there own system.

China, Iran, and Russia (to name the big ones) are all trying to shift away from The US based economic hegemony and that is one main reason why they are not friends to our ruling elite (or else the ones that make the foreign policy). The average person would probably get along just fine with these people.

There are two political systems competing for primacy. Authoritarianism and Democracy. Democracy over the past decade has been on the slide based on a number of metrics. Chinese authoritarianism in particular could prove to be more efficient than democracy.

One scenario is that globalism could continue to such a degree that western civilization starts to merge with authoritarian countries and there is a big crackdown in civil liberties as Orwellian surveillance technology comes out in the open. The police/military/Intel agencies start to share information to a greater degree.

Automation continues and the western governments are forced to expand the safety net to include UBI as mega international corporations dismantle the rest of democracy.

In the US’s waning power, the US military strikes out and starts a world war with the emerging China-centric countries. Millions die. Western civilization is defeated and becomes a vassal and colony of the emerging countries. Human liberty dies and hi-tech neo-feudalism takes over with the vast majority of the world population is pushed into poverty and starvation as the environment degrades due to climate change.

Have a nice day!

(Seriously, I hope this doesn’t happen…)

Edit: The question asked WHEN the western empire will end so in that spirit I will add some dates.

China and the US could likely get into a war before 2030. China will reach military spending parity with the US around 2025. That will be an opportune time to strike before China gets too powerful.

Around that time the Orwellian police state will pop up and a war will act as an accelerant as war is the health of the state and the time to exert maximum change on society.

2040 could be the time that a basic income is put into place as AI and automation reach a critical mass.

2050 to 2150 will be a time of great change as predicted by climate models.

Michael M. Ross

Michael M. Ross, I'm a historian of human misery, myth, and meaning.

Mise à jour il y a 63w · Voté par

Vangelis Denaxas, Master History, National Kapodistrian University of Athens (2004) · Author has 1.2k answers and 1.2m answer views

There’s a theory that empires last for eight generations - that’s about 200 years. If that’s true, the U.S. is late in the seventh generation if we take the Mexican-American war to be the first phase of the “American Empire”. There are striking parallels between the decline and fall of the Roman Empire and the decline of the United States.

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Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

But first you have to establish if the U.S. is an empire in any sense of the word. It doesn’t directly rule a lot of countries, but it has a huge number of costly military bases, 800 to 1,200 (depending on how you count them), flung around the globe. These vast military commitments are the financial and administrative equivalent of an empire. And, of course, the U.S. likes to try its hand at taking over countries from time to time - such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq - in the name of freedom, but it’s just not that good at it.

Empires in decline and collapse have certain features that uncannily resemble the current state of affairs in the U.S. But first, read carefully the famous quotation that sums it up:

… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: pain et cirques

Roman satirist Juvenal (circa A.D. 100).

So responsibility for failure lies firmly with the people abdicating their agency in a democracy in favor of the following:

A completely disconnected and dysfunctional ruling class

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

The president doesn’t really control the plutocrats, but a great president can stand up against them. Unfortunately, we probably need to go back to the 1960s or possibly even to FDR (who presided over the high point of American hegemony in 1945) to find one.

Shameless greed

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

It speaks for itself. Individuals who have many times more wealth than they or their families could possibly consume for generations wanting even more - and figuratively snatching it out of the hands and health of the poor.

An abased currency based on fiat not value

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

The Federal Reserve says the U.S. doesn’t have enough inflation. However, a $100 in 1980 is worth about $300 in today’s money.

“Gladiatorial” entertainment

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

A preoccupation with spectacular, sometimes violent entertainments that distract the masses.

An obsession with celebrity

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

An obsession with sex

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

An obsession with food and celebrity chefs*

Every empire has met its end. When do you think the 'Western Empire' (American Empire) will end?

*Really, they had them in Rome too.

Adam Pleasants

Adam Pleasants

Répondu il y a 67w · Voté par

Vangelis Denaxas, Master History, National Kapodistrian University of Athens (2004)

Despite recent politics, the American Empire most likely will not end soon. One reason is economics — the obvious successor to America is China, but China’s economy would suffer immensely if the USA were to suddenly crumble, and vice versa. Another reason is the comparative stability of America. While one could point to racial violence and tensions mounting between black and white, it is nowhere near the level of instability of the other continent-spanning empires — Russia has the Chechens, China has the Tibetan Plateau, and both have rather poor average citizens.

Furthermore, America is culturally cohesive — the Deep South and possibly Hawaii are the only places you’ll meet people serious about leaving the Union, and they’re in the minority even in their home states. Tellingly, we think of the US as “is”, rather than “are”, which is a postbellum development. In short, the USA lacks enough internal conflict to implode into civil war.

But when America does lose its supremacy, it most likely will not see a massive devolution of territories that the British Empire or Soviet Union saw. Most likely, the torch will quietly pass to the next superpower, which will then begin its own golden age, continuing the cycle of empires.

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Christian Lolis

Christian Lolis, former IT Intern at ParentJobNet (2016)

Mise à jour il y a 65w

I think using the word empire is a little archaic but I see what you’re trying to ask. Personally, I don’t think that the “empire” is ever going to end.

This is probably not a popular opinion— most note that all other empires have collapsed eventually. Some would argue that America is already on the downturn, and either this event or that event is the turning point. (I’ve seen Kennedy’s assassination and the Vietnam War as peaks, for example).

However, we live in a new world where massive globalization runs rampant. The success of any one country is usually linked to another’s. And for the US that idea holds doubly true. America’s economy slowing down would invariably hurt any other economy on the planet, and no government of those countries wants to let their nations be hurt— even at the expense of the big bad US.

Even if China, with its rapidly growing economy, has no vested interest in slowing down America’s economy nor seriously challenging its military around the globe.

America’s government is a constitutional republic, and it has the good fortune of having a very well-intentioned set of founding fathers. The constitution enshrines the ability of the people to always protect itself from a tyrannical government, even if that process can get mired in bureaucracy.

Due to this flexible nature of government, the people remain relatively happy with their freedoms while also maintaining the ability to prevent a tyrant from ever getting too much power. (Sure, people may argue that Trump is a very authoritarian president, but he is still only limited to 8 years max, and many of his more authoritarian policies are constantly challenged by other government entities. In fact, he is the perfect example to show how the system curtails a tyrant’s powers).

Finally, in addition to the lack of countries that want to see the American economy flounder and the lack of countries/coalitions that would challenge its military, there’s the issue of pervasive American culture. No amount of proactive or direct action from countries can eliminate American cultural influence in their countries without a serious backlash from their own citizens.

American singers and songs can often be found at the top of other countries’ charts. American fashion brands are some of the world’s most popular. American movies, TV shows, and video games almost single-handedly dominate the market by numbers. (With exceptions, of course. I’m just trying to note their prevalence.)

Besides the world’s lack of interest in American Football, American culture is a pervasive element in almost all nations.

I personally feel like the breadth of American cultural involvement is quite large, and this point could be more thoroughly explained in a much longer post, but I hope that the small explanation I gave is enough to suffice to prove the point.

Based on this evidence, most notably the impact of globalization but not discounting the strength of America’s military, I don’t think this “Western Empire” will ever end.

Dimitris Almyrantis

Dimitris Almyrantis, Lover of stories the world has forgotten (2016-present)

Répondu il y a 67w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 1.6k et de vues de réponses 9.7m

In its own good time; Aeneas was given mandate by the father of the gods to make Rome into the imperium sine fine (‘empire without end’), and the West has so far shown every sign of living up to that promise. Who today is far-sighted enough to discern whether and in what future the Western wind is to be snuffed out, or transfigured into something so different as to be unrecognisable?

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I find such questions deeply unsettling. The specter of the West looms large in the Zeitgeist of the world - disproportionately larger than any American fleet could hope to warrant. This is unhealthy, to say the least - even if I were to venture for a historical prediction, who am I helping? If America didn’t exist, the people of the world would have to invent her. Maybe they already have.

Personally, I see more of the image of the world in Tolkien’s Akallabêth than in any doomsayer’s curse. As is often the case, men are wiser in play than in seriousness. Courtesy of the Orchard of Sa'adi:

Qizil Arslan possessed a fort, which raised its head to the height of Alwand. Safe from all were those within its walls, for its roads were a labyrinth, like the curls of a bride. From a learned traveler Arslan once inquired: "Didst thou ever, in thy wanderings, see a fort as strong as this?"
"Splendid it is," was the traveler's reply, "but methinks not it confers much strength. Before thee, did not other kings possess it for a while, then pass away? After thee, will not other kings assume control, and eat the fruits of the tree of thy hope?"

In the estimation of the wise, the world is a false gem that passes each moment from one hand to another.

Eugene Podrazik

Eugene Podrazik, Partner and surgeon

Répondu il y a 66w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 82 et de vues de réponses 28.3k

Perhaps you need to acquaint yourselves with the late Professor Harold Rood from Claremont College. A good starting point is a book by his former students: You Run The Show Or The Show Runs You.

The maps proffered in this series of post tell me a different message, one from Professor Rood. Namely, we are an island nation surrounded by the Eurasian landmass.

We cannot afford, therefore, to fight a war on our home turf. We have the longest coastline on earth. Sitting seemingly secure behind our oceans gives our enemies the luxury of picking the place and time of battle (which is why the ‘law enforcement’ model of foreign policy is so foolish). Nor, can we have the extingencies of war fighting in close proximity to the Bill of Rights; there needs to be a large physical separation such as an ocean.

Therefore, our military has developed polities and capabilities to fight our wars on our enemies’ home turf. We have alliances specifically for forward deployment to wage war overseas.

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