Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Friday, November 6, 2020

In Praise of a Dying Empire: America, the Beautiful

When I was a young postdoc, I was staying with my wife in a small house in the suburbs of New York. We couldn't afford much in terms of furniture but, behind our bed, we had hung a big American flag. America gave me a job, a career, a language, a way of seeing the world, and much more. America the promise, America the land of the free, America the beautiful, America the wonderful. But is also true that, "For every nation is a specified term. When their time has come, then they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede it." Sūrat l-aʿrāf (The Heights), Verse (7:34).

United States: An Obituary

by Richard Heinberg

The United States of America was problematic from the start. It was founded on genocide and slavery, and, while frequently congratulating itself on the rights and freedoms it granted its citizens, never managed to confront the demons in its past. The question would arise repeatedly, generation after generation: rights and freedoms for whom?
In short, we are living through the fall of a great power. With it will go a unique way of organizing the world. The symbolism of president Trump cowering in an underground bunker beneath the White House in late May couldn’t be plainer.

It is reasonable to ask whether the United States will continue to exist as a unified nation for much longer. The federal government has become so incompetent as to be increasingly irrelevant to the solution of many pressing problems—and a new face in the White House may not change the situation decisively. Out of necessity, states are exploring strategies of regionalism, as governors in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and the Northeast collaborate to respond to the pandemic
Read the complete post on Richard Heinberg's museletter.


  1. I dunno Ugo:

    I love to read Heinberg, and he is on the right track, but it really isn't all that bad or we in the US aren't uniquely screwed.

    The world is a changing. Probably for the best in the long run. Peoples plans are disrupted mostly because they weren't thought-out or realistic. People will deal with it after a tantrum.

    I suppose Richard is right, but he comes off as a condescending prick in this piece.

    1. This is always the risk when you write about collapse. You look a little like that old uncle who had been right!

  2. Our civilisation needed not to milk America dry of its forest and then fossil fuels resources, since 1700 - so quickly, so rapidly and so inhumane.

    Now, we may even see Europe rolling back its engagement with America to a pre-Columbus era - owing to geography and fossil fuels scarcity.

    For Europe, seeing America another Middle East or even another Iraq, from now on, is nothing 'personal', just business - by Physics!

    Humans are so primitive and they remain humans, indeed.


  3. Most if not all American nations was founded on genocide I would tend to think.

  4. I am living in the USA. I was born here in 1950. I am definitely NOT surprised that Americans who can not stand to learn the truth about their past also hate those who offer an honest look at the present and the plainly-observable future. I am a fellow Cassandra.



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)