General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Major nations throughout time have fallen. What if the United States failed as a nation?

Asked by willbrawn (6609points) April 12th, 2009 from iPhone

What would happen?

How would the rest of the works benefit or get hurt by it?

How can we prevent it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

squirbel's avatar

Personally, I believe it will, and a one-world government will take it’s place. It will begin with the financial sector.

I say this with a dead-pan face, and a similar tone [but no humor.]

Jeruba's avatar

No nation or empire is really permanent. Entire civilizations fall. Mountains rise up and flatten, and forests pass away. Stars burn out and worlds collapse. It’s okay. That’s the rhythm of nature, and we are part of it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

If the United States failed as a nation, there would be a lot of residual repercussions throughout the world and here at home. My following choices are no way all inclusive and they are just thoughts of mine about what could possibly happen.

1. Since we’re the world’s policemen, other countries couldn’t rely on us anymore to help fix their problems and get involved in their affairs due to our failed status.

2. We wouldn’t have the ability to be ‘perceived conquerors’ and go invade countries for selfish reasons to suit our own purposes. (You can thank George Bush for that one)

3. Economies of other countries could possibly suffer due to us not being able to import their goods anymore and us exporting far less goods.

4. We would have a more difficult time taking care of and providing for our own citizens. (Even harder than it is now)

5. There could be the very distant chance that one country or several countries could entertain ideas of invading America and doing with us as they please.

6. The United Nations would become even less viable than they are now and the United States, as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, would have a far less important voice in the matters pertaining to world affairs. I could see the other 4 members (China, France, Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom) exploiting America’s weaknesses for all they’re worth. (Britain is an ally but they can be fairweather friends too.)
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As far as preventing the failure and demise of the United States as a nation, I’m going to let someone else tackle that conondrum. Thinking about all the problems we have in America and trying to figure out solutions makes my brain hurt.

Qingu's avatar

I see nations as more than a chunk of land.

In one way, the Roman Empire “failed.” But in another way, it lived on, evolving in the east and in the Muslim world and eventually came back in a big way during the Rennaissance and Enlightenment.

America has changed a lot since it was founded. Even if America is no longer a world power, the ideas it has contributed to the world stage will probably still live on and keep on evolving somewhere else.

Nially_Bob's avatar

When the US no longer possesses the most dominant culture and economy it is very probable that another shall take its place using the ideas and knowledge left behind by previous powers (as explained well by Qingu) in executing the duties expected of cultures placed in such a position.
I believe that there are many means by which to delay the falling of the American civilisation as the world power but none which shall prevent it with the exception of our species becoming extinct (in which case the matter is irrelevant). Nothing can be at its prime indefinitely, such is life.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by “failure.” Do you mean when the country breaks apart? Or do you mean when it becomes a third world nation? Or do you mean when we lose a war and some other country takes us over?

I think the most likely scenario is just that we fade into being a third or fourth power in the world China, India, maybe Pakistan might all become the preeminent nation in the world at some point.

I think we’ll stay together, and we’ll be fine, the same as European nations are fine even though we’ve become the preeminent power. We’ll take a back seat, and focus on our own welfare, and, as a result, we’ll do better. Let China police the world.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

If you’re referring to failure as us no longer being the ”#1” nation then there are a lot of criteria by which you could base your consideration. Military strength (well over 100x better than #2 right now), cultural impact (easily the biggest in the world), population (I think we’re like 4th or 5th?.... 3rd at best though), technology, etc… or a combination of them all.

You could also use our independence. Obviously if our nation were conquered (EXTREMELY unlikely) we would be a “failure.”

If you’re referring to simply the “end” of our nation, it is inevitable. The current record is the Roman Empire (and even it changed drastically a few times in it’s existence, a thousand or so years). You could probably make an argument for the Egyptian Empires, but they changed ruling families constantly. I think we’re in a day and age where technology and culture will allow the “life stages” of a nation to stretch out. But EVENTUALLY the United States will end (via one of a long list of methods).

mattbrowne's avatar

@Bluefreedom – I agree with most things you’ve said. The US won’t fail, but the question was about ‘what if’

@westy81585 – Losing a little bit of rank economically doesn’t necessarily mean disaster. Germany was #3 for several decades and just last year got ‘demoted’ to #4 overtaken by China. Nothing happened except our country has to deal with the current severe recession like anyone else. If China became #1 and the US #2 most people in the US will still have a good life. What’s far more dangerous is a restriction on too much short term thinking and greed. Developed nations can’t stay developed without good education, innovation and sound long term thinking.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Well yah, but I was really just listing criteria someone could base the consideration off of

MooKoo's avatar

I really don’t see the United States falling. I just see an upcoming error of terror. It’s going to get bad, real bad, but we as a Nation I don’t feel are going anywhere. People thought it was the end of the United States before many times, but we’re still here. It’s been bad before, and we’ve worked through it, and I believe we will continue to do so. Also, there haven’t been any major Nations to fall sense the Roman Empire. A lot have come close, but they’re all still here, and not doing too terribly bad.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

“What if” ? You must not be in the same United States that I am in…

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