America The ‘Torn Superpower’ Is Biggest Global Risk, Not COVID: Report

America The ‘Torn Superpower’ Is Biggest Global Risk, Not COVID: Report

You might be inclined to think that COVID-19 naturally lands at the top of every "biggest risks" list for 2021. After all, the pandemic killed 1.8 million people in 2020 and catalyzed the most acute economic downturn seen since the Great Depression. Although science appeared poised to triumph over the virus as the calendar flipped, western nations spent the winter months grappling with outbreaks far more acute than those seen during the onset of the crisis. When a more aggressively transmissi
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10 thoughts on “America The ‘Torn Superpower’ Is Biggest Global Risk, Not COVID: Report

  1. The good news (assuming that one looks hard enough for one) is that autocratic rule is not , by definition, ineffective.

    Going by the historical precedent of the Roman state, its apogee of wealth and power was reached during its imperial phase. When Rome was ruled by effective and capable emperor’s, it thrived. With supreme personal authority and a rubberstamp imperial senate emperors were able to achieve military as well as economic expansion.

    The bad news (if one is inclined to examine the Roman parallel further) is that during imperial instability and misrule, things fell apart quickly with the state facing one crisis after another.

    Alas, while the Trump family seems eminently capable of reproducing the internal dysfunction of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Donald Trump does not appear to be an Augustus in the making. Needless to say, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is not an appropriate stand-in for Marcus Agrippa (who was possibly the genius behind Augustus’ many accomplishments).

    As a footnote the above musings are simply a bit of levity in these ‘interesting’ times (with tongue firmly in cheek).

    1. The Imperial Rome under Caesar destroyed the democratic Roman Republic and its Senate. Take your choice, the Republic or Pax Romana.

  2. H-Man, This Emperor weaves his own clothing while touting the quality of the weave. We await the little boy to shout out “he is wearing nothing”. It could be a long wait.

  3. Trump has been exposed as a failed leader. Figurehead is what he has left. Like a website, he’ll have to deliver eyeballs to the faithful or they’ll look elsewhere.

  4. Armies march on their stomachs as do mobs. The differences are measured in time, with the mobs falling apart quickly without any internal organization. Trump was terrible at organization – hurting himself very often – almost a mob. He failed as a result.

    Thr GOP will probably ruin the 2021 recovery with very tight fiscal policy and enforced gridlock. The economy is likely to be crushed like 1920 and 1946 and 1974. FED might be able to print its way out Biden will not be able to support a Democratic political leftish army and he will be very vulnerable by 3Q 2022 and the GOP will dominate Congress in mid-terms. There will be a very bad recession into 2024 killing Democrats and giving us autocracy and TRUMP II

    1. “Trump was terrible at organization — hurting himself very often — almost a mob. He failed as a result.”

      Trump may be terrible at organization, but the Republicans are not. They have come this far in their quest for power due to strong organization with every member marching in lockstep to the message. I don’t believe the R’s ever really wanted Trump until they realized the persuasive power he held over the disaffected. Once they saw this they fell in lockstep behind him seeing that he was the greatest force in delivering what they always wanted.

  5. This piece causes me to reflect on Ray Dalio’s work regarding the cyclical nature of so-called great nations and their inevitable downfall, and their eventual eclipse by the next power. These developments, perhaps a consequence or symptom, will likely sap the nation’s energy and only hasten that decline. Oh the misfortunes of history – shooting oneself in the foot in the middle of a gun fight.

  6. Like Hitler, Trump gave voice to the bigoted stupidities most Americans hold close to their hearts. Embracing these contemptible lies will destroy the US.

    H.L. Mencken: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents… the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”

    1. It is terrifying how the masses are so ignorant of this and allow themselves to be conned and coerced. The evolution / deterioration of objective news media into political public relations organizations has to be at the core of this dispiriting development. Compare the media coverage with Nixon, Watergate, and Congressional Hearings; we are living in a seemingly different world in 50 short years.
      Very sobering.

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