Hedges' article I mentioned in my previous post, I'd like to clarify my position a bit.
Is the United States really "over the cliff?"
Dark, reactionary forces seem to be in ascent. Not just here, in the United States, but all over the globe. Our national debt is staggering. Our treasure, which has been squandered in military adventures and short-sighted, greedy policies, is even now leaving our shores for China and India. Our empire is in decline. And history offers countless examples of empire in decline that shed light on our potential future. Rome, 455? Paris, 1793? Moscow, 1917?
(Further, from a purely biological aspect, things look bleak. Species die-off, global warming, disappearing aquifers, deforestation... it's all leading to something, people. A while back, I posited an idea (Final Days) about the repercussions of the relatively sudden explosion of the human population on Earth. I haven't read or heard anything to dissipate my fears since then.)
It ain't no picnic getting up in the morning thinking that this country has already seen its best days. But I can't dismiss the evidence I see all around me. As I see it, our best hope is that we can somehow accept the new reality with wisdom and grace. I don't hold out much hope on that score. November 2, 2004, dealt a mortal blow to my faith in my countrymen.
"[H]ippie optimism dies hard," says Joe Bageant, in his article, The Ants of Gaia. I agree. I cherish those moments of baseless optimism that come to me, unbidden and unexpected. And I reserve an irrevocable faith in the Great Whatever:
All will be as it must.