Make America Great Britain Again

Make America Great Britain Again May 16, 2016

Make America Great Britain Again

I wanted to share the above anyway, just for laughs. But I think it makes a nice pairing with a point that John Pavlovitz made today, about the fact that America is not undergoing worse moral decline than in the past. Here is an excerpt from his post:

America is not in decline any more than at any time in its history. This is just lazy religious-speak that seeks to paint the picture of everything being terrible so it can name drop the “Last Days” and leverage the ensuing fear such language invariably creates in suggestible God-fearing folk.

Click through to read more. Randal Rauser also posted today on the same topic, highlighting how the high school experience in particular has changed, and concluding that “By many measures (indeed, I’d say by most measures) the western world is a far more civil and humane place today than it was thirty years ago.”

Life always faces challenges. And the instinct is often to go back to an idealized past. But the past was never as unchanging or as safe as we are prone to mythologize it as having been.

 

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  • John MacDonald

    “This is just lazy religious-speak that seeks to paint the picture of everything being terrible so it can name drop the ‘Last Days’ and leverage the ensuing fear such language invariably creates in suggestible God-fearing folk.”

    Jesus taught the world was about to end in the lifetime of his listeners. It didn’t.

    Paul thought Jesus being raised was the “first fruits” of the general resurrection. The general resurrection never happened.

    Two thousand years after Jesus died, scores of Christians believe he will return within their lifetimes. Take a hint: It’s been 2000 years – Jesus isn’t coming back!

  • histrogeek

    Alas America will be 1970s Northern Ireland if we return to the UK, heavily armed, tribal, and at war with ourselves.

  • Nick Gotts

    By many measures (indeed, I’d say by most measures) the western world is a far more civil and humane place today than it was thirty years ago.

    – Randall Rauser
    Setting aside environmental issues which have got much worse (primarily anthropogenic climate change), but which as yet have had limited effects on inhabitants of “the western world”, the big exception to this, which neither Rauser nor Pavlovitz mention, is the huge increase in economic inequality which has taken place in all rich countries and many poor ones: the greed of those at the top of the economic pyramid appears to be unlimited, and pretty much shame-free. See Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century for copious documentation. We are also seeing, in different forms in the USA, Europe and Japan, the rise of far-right populism, shading into fascism 2.0, and in the USA into theocracy. I think this is in fact linked to the rise in inequality*: the elite need scapegoats to distract the masses from that huge rise in inequality – but as Trumpery illustrates so vividly, they may lose control of the monsters they helped create.

    *That is certainly not its only cause. Both in the USA and Europe, resentment of refugees and immigrants is important, but this is being stirred up and exploited by the most unscrupulous sections of the elite.

    • Very good points, although I would point out that in the past, economic inequality also existed, with the main difference that far greater numbers were equally poor, and for much of history there wasn’t really anything that could be considered a middle class.

      • Nick Gotts

        True, although it’s hard to get meaningful measures of economic inequality from times and places where systematic gathering of relevant statistics did not occur! Piketty claims to show that in those rich countries with the best statistics (the UK, USA and France), inequality has now reached levels last found shortly before WWI; and in the absence of deliberate policy decisions to curb it, will go higher still (because the rate of profit will probably exceed the rate of economic growth). He deals specifically with the novelty of a significant middle class over the last century and a half.

        • Indeed. And whether or not economic disparity is an example of something that may have actually gotten worse over the span of human history, we can agree that it is something that needs to and should get a lot better.

  • Tim

    Meanwhile, Great Britain is trying to turn itself into America – to its detriment.

    • John Barksdale

      Tim, it’s just Britain, ain’t nothing “great” about it. Britain’s former colony eclipsed your little island long ago. France gave us the Statue of Liberty, you useless Subjects of an unelected Crown gave us two invasions. Who was the FIRST world leader to come running to the White House after Trump won the Presidency? Your Prime Minister.

      • Tim

        You mean the one that nobody elected? Aye. We Scots hate her just as much if not more than anyone else. I was using ‘Great Britain’ in its proper name historical sense, not its actual current condition.