From time to time "Anon On A California Mountain" leaves something in the comments section that IMHO deserves more exposure. Hope you like it.
Don't you find it amazing that there isn't a government on this planet that has a logical approach to finance, business or its country's economy? That there is not one government that operates on sound fiscal policy, has reserves, a surplus of cash, and spends less than it makes (from taxes or whatever)?
There is no model to aspire to.
History just continues to repeat itself, or rhyme. All of these empires, dynasties and countries on Earth that have amassed such great power, wealth and influence have all gone by the boards: Babylonia, Egypt, Chaldea, Persia, Rome, Portugal, Ottoman, Holland, Spain and England, to name a few.
Do you think Japan, Europe, the USA or China will NOT have the same fate as their predecessors? Current facts and events seem to point to the reality that they will.
Some empires faded due to war, conquest, pestilence, weather changes, etc. Yet, many faded due to the mishandling of finance within the government and poor oversight and/or proper support of their economies. And over-reaching and meddling in the private affairs of its citizens (aggressive taxation, regulation, etc.).
Man never seems to learn his lesson, does he? These civilizations have just faded to dust and blown away, and then new ones appear to follow the same cycle of action.
Some start out with excellent tenets. Like the USA: small government, Bill of Rights, Constitution, no income tax, support of a free market and entrepreneurship, property rights, rule of law, etc. Yet, somehow they get corrupted or altered and go by the wayside.
It is not that those in the past, or we in the present, didn't or don't have the basic knowledge or technologies to accomplish a strong and logical infrastructure that fosters creation, growth and longevity. We haven't lacked in the sciences or industry. I think we've been weak in the humanities to some degree in that science and technology have moved forward in quantum leaps, but the human studies have mostly stood still, as if frozen in time.
I believe that the human mind, human behavior and the human spirit are the areas that are least understood and form the common denominator behind the fall of most all of our past attempts at civilization. I think the answers lay in these areas... not in the areas of political science, quantum physics, math, medicine, economics, etc.
Note: I didn't include psychology, psychoanalysis or psychiatry above, as none of them are sciences (per definition) and neither has made any true inroads towards the goal of man understanding himself. They were all quickly converted into government control mechanisms anyway.
Man has demonstrated that he is capable of cooperation, creativity, production, prosperity, peace, etc. yet there is a virus or series of viruses that tend to break these virtues down over time on a micro level, which then does everyone in on the macro level.
However imbalanced, Man is on a slow but positive trajectory of evolution and progress. He's been going through governments and empires like a persistent inventor (e.g. Edison and his light bulb) in an attempt to get it right. He's had his dark moments and his bright ones.
Looks like we are closing the book on a bright period and ending off with another dark period.
The most important points are to somehow be prepared for whatever comes, as a few more of our empires come to their end (i.e., how do we preserve our wealth? have access to clean water and food and shelter? maintain or create quality in our lives?, etc.) and most importantly to be building a new civilization now, based on all of the positivity and knowledge of our past, so our kids are offered a new path to prosperity.
Copyright 2012 by Jim Brubaker