You continue to beat the drum for America’s collapse. Are we really as close to the precipice as you suggest?

When a teen gets pimples they fear that it is the end of the world because they won’t be able to get a date next week. This teen has no sense of perspective.

There is much wrong with America today, and the larger world. Life, as Nietzsche pointed out, is essentially tragic. And I myself have repeatedly quoted Robert Burns’ observation, “Man’t inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.”

And yet, neither of these — the evidence of which is all around us — imply the collapse of America.

Above you wrote: “But many human beings in America didn’t start to become people until the 1970s. Intermarriage, for example, was illegal until 1967. When I put history that way, does American collapse begin to suddenly snap into much sharper focus?”

I would suggest there are dozens of examples like this. One most people hardly know about is that over 30 states legalized forced sterilizations as a result of Eugenicists’ efforts to make a “better future” by purifying the citizenry. (The London Times was praising Hitler as later as the late 30’s for having gone even further than we were willing to go.) Those laws were on the books as late as the 1960s in some states and maybe the 70’s in a couple.

These kinds of horrors do not imply demise. There are countries which for centuries took their mentally deficient out into the jungle and tied them to trees.

You end with your concern that the nation is becoming fascist but your argument is weak. I do not see anyone “siding with the superpeople.” I do see people playing the Lottery and Powerball hoping to join the ranks of those with excess wealth. They play to win because they don’t see any rungs on the ladder that will bring them there any other way. Unfortunately.

I do not envision a collapse because the size of the middle class in America is so massive that they’re not interested in making the wager that things will be better with a revolution. People accommodate, for better or worse. People may say capitalism/America is broken but there are now nine million millionaires who were mostly on lower rungs of the ladder a generation ago.

Each individual has to choose a path to make their lives meaningful. In this manner they can give hope to others in a world that seems to erode hope.

I also believe the “haves” need to do what they can for the “have nots” and the disenfranchised. I do not see shrill pronouncements about the end of America as being an effective means for getting people to buy in to helping the needy or doing whatever it is that you want to see happening.

Years ago I was going to write a letter to the editor about how self-centered Americans as. The Atlantic had done a cover story on cocaine and how Americans had snorted 100 billion dollars worth of coke the year before. This seemed like a self-centered use of one’s money and I was going to say so. But then, as I was about to mail my letter (this was before internet) I heard on the news that Americans had done 200 billion dollars worth of volunteerism the previous year. It undercut my argument.

Americans are all these things… generous and selfish, rich and poor, black and white and everything in between. Goethe once said that all the possibilities of all people are in his own heart, from murderer to sacrificial giver, etc. America is the same.

Your articles stirred me to reflect. I don’t see what you are seeing, but I’m trying to hear you. Best to you in your quest to make sense of a broken world.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store