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SmashTheState's avatar

When some future Gibbon or Toynbee writes "The Rise and Fall of the Amerikan Empire," what will he cite as the beginning of the collapse?

Asked by SmashTheState (12814points) June 13th, 2010

Bear in mind that it needn’t be an historic event; Rome’s lead pipes are often cited as a potential vector for their collapse, for example.

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13 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

Financialization.

bolwerk's avatar

9/11 is a possibility. The beast has overextended itself for nothing.

It’s been a while since I read The Rise and Fall, but I think a very important aspect was the imperial territories ceased to identify with the Empire. Such a phenomenon could affect the U.S. similarly someday.

envidula61's avatar

The US is still the tail that wags the dog. Look at the impact of the recession in all the rest of the world. Look at the strength of the dollar. Who would have predicted that when AIG was going under?

No. I think it’ll be something like global warming—making the Southern US uninhabitable. Well. That’s far fetched. Mexico is hot and it is doing ok. Unless the South gets desertified, like the Sahara. Then there will be slow, continuous migrations Northward, perhaps pushing up into Canada, giving it population and power, while the US loses significant population due to reverse migrations.

Well, we’re just dreaming, right?

The_Idler's avatar

The industrialization of Germany and the USA China and India caused British American Industry to become steadily less competitive, leading to an unsustainable reliance upon deregulated finance, which, when faced with a global collapse of confidence, was laid bare as only so much pen on paper numbers on screen, smoke & mirrors.

Trillian's avatar

Blood sport.

prescottman2008's avatar

Women’s Suffrage

josie's avatar

The New Deal

filmfann's avatar

The fall of the Soviet Union.

Mamradpivo's avatar

the post-WWII military-industrial complex

filmfann's avatar

Okay, I like @Mamradpivo ‘s answer better than mine!

bolwerk's avatar

@envidula61: the southern U.S. already is uninhabitable. The only thing that kind of changes that is air conditioning.

envidula61's avatar

And here I thought it was the grits!

Live and learn.

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