Sunday, August 12, 2012

All Empires Fall

NPR is a fantastic source of news. Tonight, a man was talking about empires. I didn't catch his name and I can't find the link to the story on the website, but it made perfect sense.

If you look at history, every single empire of the past has eventually collapsed. The Assyrian Empire, the Egyptian Empire, the city-states of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, etc., every one of them eventually collapsed, sometimes in the face of foreign invasion, but also often under the weight of their own poverty. It is incredibly naive and short-sighted to believe in American exceptionalism. If history has anything to teach us, it is that even America, some day, will implode. We can already see a tremendous disparity between rich and poor, which is often a prelude for societal collapse. The top 1 percent of earners have 40 percent of the nation's wealth, while the bottom 80 percent only has 7 percent of the wealth. (source :

Under dire economic conditions such as these, it is entirely conceivable to see a socio-economic collapse of this country in our lifetime. I sincerely hope not, because it would be absolutely miserable. "BUT!" you say... "This is America, this could never happen here!" Really? Do you have blinders on? Did you not study history? Remember Babylon? Remember Carthage? Remember the dark ages, that lasted for a thousand years after the fall of Rome? Remember the Aztecs and the Incas? Do you really think we are so much better than previous generations? At its height, no one could have ever conceived that Rome could ever fall. But it did. It faltered economically and then was vivisected by barbarian plunderers. People who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Which is why civilians should be allowed to be armed; because when society eventually falls apart, the people themselves will be responsible for their own safety, and for hunting their own meat. Now of course, when a mass murderer shoots up a bunch of innocents, the public panics and asks for more gun control. But the truth is, these mass-murder events are statistically insignificant. One is more likely to be hit by lightning than to be the victim of a crazed gunman. Yes, those things are horrible, but being unarmed in the event of the fall of an empire is worse. The solution to the crime problem is not to ban guns; it is to fix the poverty problem through education and social safety net programs and it is to offer mental health treatment to those who need it. Yes: gun rights are a liberal value. Right-wing conservatives are the ones who want you to stay poor, religious, uneducated and unarmed: that's how they plan on enslaving you.

Here's an interesting story about the politics of gun control as they relate to gun violence. The take away from it: stricter gun control will not fix the problem of gun violence in this country.


  1. For all his faults my experience of the issue tells me that Michael Moore was spot on in Bowling For Columbine when he observed that some countries are "Cultures with Guns" while the US is a "Gun Culture". I grew up in a society and a family which was riddled with weapons. Two armed members of the security forces, three more licensed to carry arms for use in farming. We never talked about it any more than we talked about owning cars, tractors or chain saws. Weapons were unremarked upon tools. A big part of the problem in the US seems to be that the solution of problems via violent methods, particularly ones involving fire arms, is part of the national mindset. To that extend I think you're correct - the issue of guns will never be solved until there is a cultural change - in a sense the issue will never be solved until it isn't an issue.

  2. Dear Anonymous, thank you for your comment.

    The violence problem in America is most certainly cultural. The meme of the crazed gunman has entered the public consciousness via the news media, violent movies and videogames. As much as I am entertained by action films, I worry about the psychological impact upon society, especially the young.

    Violence is a symptom of social problems, and fixing the violence symptom directly will not fix the underlying causes.

  3. 5000 whining atheists vs the Great Prophet

    one applicant right here...

    get the POINT, Randi....