American civilization could be next to collapse
(The Tampa Tribune) -- by SILVIO LACCETTI --
Can American civilization collapse? You bet. All others have. We don't need a Mayan calendar to foreshadow the end. Signs are everywhere, we just need a brain to process the onslaught of information.
Of the various cataclysms that 2012 may herald, the first significant one is the Dissolution of the American State.
In America, when we speak of "the state" we mean something like New Jersey. In Europe and elsewhere, it is the central government, including provincial and local governments. It is an entity or apparatus with a life of its own. For most of the history of the world, with very few exceptions, "the state" has been legitimized by gods and kings. As Louis XIV of France declared, "I am the State." Until the American Revolution, there was a wall of separation between government and its people.
Our American State is founded on the principle of "We the People" as the source of all legitimate authority. Its operation is exemplified by Lincoln's famous characterization of it in the Gettysburg Address: a government of, by and for the people. But who today believes our current government embodies these principles?
There is no government "of the people" because "We the People" can't afford to run for office. Candidates need personal fortunes or else most (but not all) will sell out to the special interests.
"For the people"? Only in a convoluted way. Almost 60 percent of all Americans (dependents included) get 100 percent of their income from government (federal, state and local): as workers, Social Security and SSI recipients, other pension beneficiaries and general assistance. The American State, as paymaster to so many people, has created a class of servants. Perhaps this is why the government has no fear to serve itself first. For example, Congress has its own retirement program (not Social Security) its own health benefits and other lifetime perks. The American State also spends billions and billions on programs for corporate and other special interests, thus assuring its survival.
Worse yet, our government is now a "house divided against itself." It is clearly dysfunctional. Elections are an excuse to sow seeds of hatred and discontent.
There is ubiquitous belief that government doesn't serve the public good, and there is an overwhelming lack of confidence in Congress.
Our state can save itself, but not its people. It cannot solve any of the complex problems we face, such as crushing debt, health care, educational reform, immigration policy, failing infrastructure, poverty and underemployment.
When the general population has no faith or stake in the state, it will collapse...MORE...LINK
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