“It’s easy to say and easy to document, but quite difficult to really internalize, that the United States is in the process of imperial collapse.”
I suppose one could argue that the “imperial collapse of the United States” is the biggest thing going on in world politics today. But if so, I have to agree with Greenwald that it is still damn hard to internalize it. Maybe that’s because no one at this point really knows where it’s all going to end.
For instance, as of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined, down from 24th place as recently as 1999. Well, one asks, does our declining life expectancy end there, or will will we slip even further in the rankings? It’s hard to internalize what is still unsettled.
To some large extent, I’ve made my peace with the imperial collapse of the United States. I have an image of some people being surprised the day the inevitable barbarian hordes capture Washington — “Jesus, Claude! How’d that happen? I thought we were number one.” — but when that day — or its equivalent — comes, I don’t expect to be among those who didn’t see it coming and who have not, in any way, prepared themselves for it. Yet, perhaps oddly, my having made some measure of peace with what’s happening to the US has not at all helped me to internalize it. Glenn Greenwald is right. It’s as if both the significance of, and the facts of, what is happening are too large and too many for anyone to competently grasp.
But does anyone think they have managed to internalize what’s going on?