Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Noble Roman Lights a Candle to Guide America's Path

After a recent post, Will China's Economy Overtake That of The U.S. By 2035? I received a comment from fellow blogger Fabius Maximus. This led to an exchange that called attention to my latest post A Look Back At Doom and Gloom.

Fabius responded and noted that our themes about America tend to overlap. Those posts really appealed to my historian roots. And with his permission, I am linking them, and encouraging my readers to introduce themselves to Fab's thoughtful insights.

Here is a little tease of what Fab has to say.

Innovation of new forms of society and technology. It is the key to our progress. It has allowed us to evolve from naked hunter-gatherers to the dominant species on this planet. This process is slow, normally taking hundreds or even thousands of years. But occasionally evolution leaps forward. **
Many people look to the future with fear. We see this fear throughout the web. Right-wing sites describe the imminent end of America: overrun by foreigners, victim of cultural and financial collapse. Left-wing sites describe “die-off” scenarios due to Peak Oil, climate change, and ecological collapse - as the American dream dies from takeover by theocrats and fascists.
Most of this is nonsense, but not the prospect of massive changes in our world. But need we fear the future?
The past should give us confidence when we look ahead. Consider Dodge City in 1877. Bat Masterson is sheriff, maintaining some semblance of law in the Wild West. Life in Dodge is materially only slightly better from that in an English village of a century before. But social and technological evolution has accelerated to a dizzying pace, and Bat cannot imagine what lies ahead.

As we start a New Year I find it useful to review my core beliefs. It is easy to lose sight of those amidst the clatter of daily events. Here is my list:
1. We are a people with a great past.
2. The challenges ahead are no greater than those behind us.
3. The American people can surmount these challenges if we work together.
4. We will be what we wish to be, if we but make the necessary effort.

I have made Fab a welcome addition to my blogroll, under History and Culture.

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