January 02, 2005

Off With The Old On With The New

A Happy New Year To One And All
By Fred H. Arm
And now it’s 2005! My how the year just flew by. For many of us, 2005 was not quite such a good year. The world registered its shock when the earthquakes and Tsunamis reaped death and destruction in Southern Asia. We were stuck once more with four more years of Bush as the exalted leader of the so-called free world. The bloody and foolish war in Iraq became even bloodier. We lost one fascist Attorney General only to be replaced by one a little farther to the right than Attila the Hun.

Our coasts have been lashed by multi-billion dollar hurricanes. Millions of jobs have been sent overseas. America’s deficit is the highest it has ever been. Gay marriage and abortion rights have suffered major setbacks, perhaps not to recover during this administration. We have the highest per capita homicide rate in the world. We also have the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita rate of citizens serving time in prisons. I would suppose it couldn’t get much worse, yet one never knows does one?

Perhaps there is something to be learned from all this. Unfortunately, those in power seem to like the direction we are heading. The rest of the Planet has lost a tremendous amount of respect for Americans these last couple of years. The animosity towards Americans is quite palpable to anyone traveling abroad nowadays. We used to set an example for the rest of the world. Now it seems to be Europe that is most respected.

The European Union (EU) is having a renaissance that will most likely surpass the United States as greatest country on Earth. They have abolished the death penalty in all their nation-states; yet have a far lower homicide rate. They have fewer people in prisons. They are not as obsessed with religion as Americans. Their Constitution will be totally secular, whereas our Constitution is replete with references to God. They seem to have a more solid economy as the recent rise in the Euro against the dollar have illustrated. They haven’t sent their jobs overseas. On the contrary, they have generated many new industries with the labor forces in their own countries.

So what if 2004 has not been so great. Is it too late for a turnaround? We seem to have recovered from similar crises in years past. Can we do it again? On the other hand, it’s a completely different ball game today. No longer are we the only big kids on the block. Europe, China, Southeast Asia, and India are formidable economic engines that no longer need to solely rely on the United States for technological, economical, and military support. This could very well be the end of the American hegemony. In the past, most other nations who more or less led the world seemed to have a life of about two hundred years. Those 200 years are now over.

Perhaps it will be a good thing for all of us. Being the world leader for so long has created a despicable arrogance among us. Perhaps with a more level playing field we may stop being the world bullies we have since become. Perchance we will have more respect for the environment, the civil rights of all peoples, and leave room in our hearts for the poor, the sick, and the not so fortunate. The rich may have to share some of their bounty and we may not wallow so much in the materialistic or other selfishness. In fact, it could be a darn sight better for the whole world. It is possible, maybe probable. Why not go with the flow.

Posted by fredarm at January 2, 2005 10:18 PM