Bonnie Jacobson, thank you for the detailed response. I’m tempted to say you are more pessimistic than I am but the reality is that I have long since given up on fixing this nation state and this civilization, dependent on your definition of civilization, is evolving into new forms. And I really am trying to make suggestions that could help to move us to a new and more positive planetary civilization. I kind of backed into that but it is actually the basic change that is required to avoid the disasters that you are most worried about. We need to begin the transition to a managed planetary civilization and that does not mean 1984 or Matrix.
This is very complicated and that is the core of the problem. Using the fall of Rome as an example, since you cite that, that was not the end of Roman civilization. It was the fall of the western Roman Empire when the capital transferred to Constantinople. Many people do not seem to realize that the last version of the Roman Empire (the Holy Roman Empire) did not end until 1918. The HRE took over from the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Most of what we call Western Civilization, popular again as being ‘under attack’ is completely intertwined with the 2,000 years of the Roman Empire. We are basically the products of that civilization. That one is definitely long in the tooth. Realizing that it becomes a bit more likely that we are at a bigger point of change than just America. In fact you could say that America became an empire after 1918 emulating the Roman Republic.
My own expectation is that we are in not only a massive technology driven paradigm shift but is a massive cultural resurgence of the Chinese Empire. The point here is that China, India, Rome, Mayan and Central Africa were regional empires. Rome and its descendants pushed out to planetary dominance and that is the new model purely from the historical perspective. Administratively it no longer makes sense to run giant regional, let alone planetary centrally governed empires or nation states.
On the other hand it does make sense for a planetary commonwealth that maintains planetary sustainability, rights, and a common judicial system supporting regional metropoles. These provide diversity at a geographic level with virtual communities providing a much finer scale diversity. This would be the completely new layer that never really existed before and may mean that different people operate under laws for the virtual communities to which they belong. I think this is something we will need to start doing to avoid the conflicts that we are beginning to see with tribalism. Still thinking about this.