Georgia Firearm Forums - Georgia Packing banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
GeePeeDoHolic
Joined
·
6,413 Posts
My third heresy says that the United States has less than a century left of its turn as top nation. Since the modern nation-state was invented around the year 1500, a succession of countries have taken turns at being top nation, first Spain, then France, Britain, America. Each turn lasted about 150 years. Ours began in 1920, so it should end about 2070. The reason why each top nation’s turn comes to an end is that the top nation becomes over-extended, militarily, economically and politically. Greater and greater efforts are required to maintain the number one position. Finally the over-extension becomes so extreme that the structure collapses. Already we can see in the American posture today some clear symptoms of over-extension. Who will be the next top nation?
Why 1920? I'd always thought that WWII was considered the period of American ascendancy, taking over from Britain. One writer even put the "handover" at a specific event, when FDR and Churchill met for the Atlantic Charter.

[Crick] said he was thinking of giving up physics and making a completely fresh start as a biologist. He said the most exciting science for the next twenty years would be in biology and not in physics. I [Dyson] was then twenty-two years old and very sure of myself. I said, “No, you’re wrong. In the long run biology will be more exciting, but not yet. The next twenty years will still belong to physics. If you switch to biology now, you will be too old to do the exciting stuff when biology finally takes offâ€.
Talk about a career change! Crick started studying biology in 1947 and does his Nobel prize paper on DNA in 6 years, 1953. I'd always just assumed biology was Crick's lifelong career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,956 Posts
The reason why each top nation’s turn comes to an end is that the top nation becomes over-extended, militarily, economically and politically. Greater and greater efforts are required to maintain the number one position. Finally the over-extension becomes so extreme that the structure collapses. Already we can see in the American posture today some clear symptoms of over-extension. Who will be the next top nation?
I would tend to agree with that position but I'd also posit that a nation that can keep itself functioning properly without becoming over-extended militarily, economically and politically can still be a top nation. Not necessarily the top nation but a top nation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,956 Posts
Why 1920? I'd always thought that WWII was considered the period of American ascendancy, taking over from Britain. One writer even put the "handover" at a specific event, when FDR and Churchill met for the Atlantic Charter.
That was my understanding also. We were still pretty backwater in the 20s and 30s.
 

·
Lawyer and Gun Activist
Joined
·
28,519 Posts
No, I think America's decisive involvement in World War One proved that we were a serious world power, if not "the" greatest and most mighty nation in the world.

We declared war on Germany in April of 1917, actually put troops into combat later that summer, and and less than 1.5 years later, it was over. A war that had been going on for 3 years was over in about 16 months after our troops got "over there." The idea of Americans ("Yankees") going "over there" and kicking butt to save the world got a lot of traction in the minds of people worldwide.


But even in the early 1900s, we were a huge powerhouse of a nation with plenty of heavy industry, a well-developed infrastructure of roads and bridges and railroads. (Ok, no Eisenhower interstate highway system, but a bunch of U.S. highways. Most freight went by train in those days, and railroads were well-developed by 1920. You could say they probably peaked in the early 1900s).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,956 Posts
No, I think America's decisive involvement in World War One proved that we were a serious world power, if not "the" greatest and most mighty nation in the world.
Our involvement wasn't decisive. Wilson did not want to drag us into the war. The only reason the US eventually did enter the war was because of continued German u-boat attacks against US merchant ships and Germany's attempts to get Mexico to become a German ally and attack the US on the southern borders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,956 Posts
We declared war on Germany in April of 1917, actually put troops into combat later that summer, and and less than 1.5 years later, it was over. A war that had been going on for 3 years was over in about 16 months after our troops got "over there." The idea of Americans ("Yankees") going "over there" and kicking butt to save the world got a lot of traction in the minds of people worldwide.
I'm not downplaying American involvement but you're giving us too much credit for being the reason why the war ended. US troop strength was only about 10% of the total Allied Powers forces. And our tactics were outdated. We were still employing deadly frontal assaults. The British and French had already learned that lesson. It was really better overall Allied tactics and a matter of attrition. 45 million Allied Powers forces against 25 million Central Powers forces. Our ability to keep fresh supplies flowing into the battlefields helped immensely also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,956 Posts
But even in the early 1900s, we were a huge powerhouse of a nation with plenty of heavy industry, a well-developed infrastructure of roads and bridges and railroads. (Ok, no Eisenhower interstate highway system, but a bunch of U.S. highways. Most freight went by train in those days, and railroads were well-developed by 1920. You could say they probably peaked in the early 1900s).
And with the exception of international trade, we kept mostly to ourselves. The end of WWII witnessed our foray into world meddling.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top