Is America at last mature?

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Upton_O_Goode
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Is America at last mature?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:48 pm

I quote here from Hegel's Philosophy of History:

Hegel wrote:As to the political condition of North America, the general object of the existence of this State is not yet fixed and determined, and the necessity for a firm combination does not yet exist; for a real State and a real Government arise only after a distinction of classes has arisen, when wealth and poverty become extreme, and when such a condition of things presents itself that a large portion of the people can no longer satisfy its necessities in the way in which it has been accustomed so to do. But America is hitherto exempt from this pressure, for it has the outlet of colonization constantly and widely open, and multitudes are continually streaming into the plains of the Mississippi. By this means the chief source of discontent is removed, and the continuation of the existing civil condition is guaranteed. A comparison of the United States of North America with European lands is therefore impossible; for in Europe, such a natural outlet for population, notwithstanding all the emigrations that take place, does not exist. Had the woods of Germany been in existence, the French Revolution would not have occurred. North America will be comparable with Europe only after the immeasurable space which that country presents to its inhabitants shall have been occupied, and the members of the political body shall have begun to be pressed back on each other. North America is still in the condition of having land to begin to cultivate. Only when, as in Europe, the direct increase of agriculturists is checked, will the inhabitants, instead of pressing outwards to occupy the fields, press inwards upon each other – pursuing town occupations, and trading with their fellow-citizens; and so form a compact system of civil society, and require an organized state.


Begins to look like Hegel might condescend to consider us comparable to Europe.
"We survivors did not seek death. We did not take to the streets when our Jewish friends were taken away. We didn’t raise an outcry until we ourselves were being annihilated. We preferred to remain alive, with the flimsy though accurate excuse that our death would not have helped. We are guilty of being alive."

Karl Jaspers (1883–1968), at the re-opening of Heidelberg University, 1945

Subaru7
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Re: Is America at last mature?

Post by Subaru7 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:03 pm

'
“[Pope] Alexander VI did nothing else but deceive men, he thought of nothing else, and found the occasion for it; no man was ever more able to give assurances, or affirmed things with stronger oaths, and no man observed them less; however, he always succeeded in his deceptions.” -- Niccolò Machiavelli

But now we have Trump!

The American Frontier disappeared in the 1890's.

"America has gone from barbarism to decadence without the usual interval of civilization."
.

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Re: Is America at last mature?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:11 pm

Subaru7 wrote:'
“[Pope] Alexander VI did nothing else but deceive men, he thought of nothing else, and found the occasion for it; no man was ever more able to give assurances, or affirmed things with stronger oaths, and no man observed them less; however, he always succeeded in his deceptions.” -- Niccolò Machiavelli

But now we have Trump!

The American Frontier disappeared in the 1890's.

"America has gone from barbarism to decadence without the usual interval of civilization."
.



OK, you win the prize. I was wondering who would be first to recognize Trump in Machiavelli's description of Alexander VI, aka Roderigo Borgia. (Maybe some thought the parallel was so obvious that it didn't need any commentary.)

We certainly meet Hegel's criterion of having a division into wealthy and poor classes, and yes, that started about 1890, when the frontier closed and the Gilded Age was in full swing. It got briefly better between 1945 and 1980, the years when I grew from toddlerhood to beginning middle-age, but that was a very narrow mesa to walk across, and now we're falling off a cliff.
"We survivors did not seek death. We did not take to the streets when our Jewish friends were taken away. We didn’t raise an outcry until we ourselves were being annihilated. We preferred to remain alive, with the flimsy though accurate excuse that our death would not have helped. We are guilty of being alive."

Karl Jaspers (1883–1968), at the re-opening of Heidelberg University, 1945