Friday, May 12, 2006
Our problems - Introduction
I read in the press and hear from people comments about the dangers of the nuclear program of Iran. While I agree that the situation in Iran is dangerous and should be watched carefully, I also believe that our country faces far more serious challenges in other areas. These latter challenges have been discussed in several books and magazines (such as the Economist or the New Yorker) they rarely make it to the daily press (with the possible exception of the NY Times) or the prime time TV news. Each topic of my list will be discussed in subsequent posts.
My list does not include any "foreign threats." History shows that no major power has ever been defeated by external enemies until after it suffered significant internal decay. This is true about the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and many others, the latest being the Soviet Empire. The list is endless. This theme is central in Kevin Phillips' book American Theocracy . While there is an overlap between my list and the subject of this book, my list of problems is not the same as the collection of problems discussed in American Theocracy.
I do not pretend to offer a scholarly analysis of our problems and I am not going to include detailed documentation. Neither do I claim that the ideas I present are original. My own thinking has been influenced significantly by J. K. Galbraith's books and it was his recent death and the comments of the press about his having been wrong was the trigger for this writing.