American Decline

In essence, knowing others amounts to knowing one’s own self and vice versa, which is why I find the idea or suggestion that knowing Afghanistan enables one to know America and vice versa to be quite intriguing and valid to a certain extent. Plus, as Antonio Gramsci wrote: “[In striving for an ideal or goal] we cannot be successful…unless we also know others, their history, the successive efforts they have made to be what they are, to create the civilization they have created and which we seek to replace with our own.” Gramsci added: “In other words, we must form some idea of nature and its laws in order to come to know the laws governing the mind. And we must learn all this without losing sight of the ultimate aim: to know oneself better through others and to know others better through oneself.” 

Through employing both an analogical mode of thought as well as a comparative mechanism in order to have a broader understanding of a certain context and situation, there are certain realities and truths which then come to light. For one, the notion of ‘American decline’ is actually a real economic and social phenomenon if we take a broader and longer view of recent history. America’s share of global GDP has gone down from 50 percent to just 15 percent since World War II. And arguably, the de-growth will probably continue unless certain changes and reforms are enacted on a structural level. This de-growth will then have an impact on state-society relations. 

Also, the reason why I brought up the issue of ‘election denialism’ is because this issue is also a significant social factor and social indicator of American decline aside from the aforementioned economic factor. One must not isolate the economic factor from the social factor and vice versa, because arguably, both are mutually reinforcing and intertwined when it comes to explaining the overall phenomenon known as ‘American decline.’ Cultural and social phenomena such as ‘election denialism’ and ‘culture wars’ are also indicators of a system that is potentially on the brink of some sort of failure. Some of us have seen this movie before, and we have studied these types of cases and situations. 

As mentioned before, certain reports indicate that Donald Trump may announce a presidential run either next week or sometime before November ends. In turn, certain questions emerge in one’s mind: Will Donald Trump take the election denialism in 2024 as far as the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS)? And will Donald Trump have an audience with SCOTUS this time around? The question is not whether Donald Trump will or will not exploit the issue of election denialism. Rather, the question is about how far he will take the issue, and if the system can then absorb and respond to Trump’s pressure on the system. Is it even possible for a person to fundamentally alter the system in the manner by which Trump seeks to alter it? 

Also, is Trump’s chances of fundamentally altering the system higher or lower than last time? There are no clear answers or outcomes to these questions at this exact point in time. But the answers and outcomes may emerge over the course of time, and perhaps sooner rather than later. In turn, Liberals and Democrats should seek to determine and shape the answers and the outcomes to these questions, given that Trump and his allies have long been seeking to determine and shape these answers and outcomes.

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