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David, one of the long-time readers here at BFS, emailed me the following after reading a recent post, Internet Censorship through the Death of Net Neutrality:

I tell people all of the time… I think in our lifetime we will see the collapse of the U.S. It’s sad, but that’s the way we are headed.

Don’t believe me? Take a look in history at all of the great nations. Why did they collapse?? Hmmm…. It’s sounding awfully familiar.

Economy

My Opinion

I also think there will be a collapse of America, but I don’t think it’ll be in my lifetime.  There will be a point that people realize that nearly all of our rights have been stripped away.  That when economies collapse and strikes/uprisings start.  Then whoever’s left rebuilds by creating a somewhat new system.  It’s what societies do.  My best guess is that it will happen in the next 100 to 200 years.

I certainly hope it isn’t in my lifetime since I am a classic, spoiled consumer with minimal survival instincts.  I’m getting better with age, but I don’t think I would handle any sort of collapse well at all.  I’d probably survive but my inner-whiner would be working overtime.

What This Means for Us

Whether or not the whole government collapses, the current trend to let our rights be stifled little by little in the hopes of being kept safe will lead to problems.  As Benjamin Franklin said,

Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

Those words mean a lot to me now, because I am one of the people who didn’t feel violated when airport security went sub-dermal.  I didn’t mind metal detectors at the entrances of public locations.  I think that anyone wire-tapping my phone or reading my emails right now has way too much time on their hands and won’t find anything interesting.  I honestly think I am on camera nearly every time I leave my house.  And political correctness has gotten so bad that simply stating opinions like this will make people cringe.  I just haven’t cared.

Now I do.  I didn’t think it mattered, but being okay with losing my personal privacy is the same as giving them permission to keep going.  Sorry, permission denied.  We may all be watched and recorded, but that’s not acceptable.  We can’t accept losing our privacy, internet censorship, and the loss of our rights of free speech.

Being okay with these “small” losses of rights will push the line further and further back until we wake up to a world where we are all living with imaginary freedoms but spend our time following nothing but rules and restrictions 100% of the time.

When that situation is finally realized by the majority of a country’s citizens, that’s when collapse happens.  All governments rule because the citizens allow it.  If the citizens ever are pushed too far, then they overturn the government and the process begins again.  That’s how I’ve come to my 100-200 year hypothesis.

What This Means for Our Kids

But if I’m right, that means that my generation’s children or grandchildren will have to deal with it all.  That’s truly depressing since my generation is passing its spoiled mentality and then some onto our kids.  How will the uber-coddled deal with a gigantic collapse?  It’ll be a shock.

How many friends do you have that you would believe could deal with collapse of your government?  Are those friends older or younger than 35?  I’m sure there are lots of people in my age group that could handle it, but there are more that couldn’t cope.

If I ever have a kid, my general plan is to raise it similarly to how I was raised.  That’ll include a lot of time outside, pets, and lessons in responsibility early on.  I can’t promise not to pass on my consumerism too, but hopefully my kid(s) would learn to be self-sufficient.  That is becoming sort of rare.

In the end, David and I disagree on the timing, but not the results.  What do you think?  Will you or your offspring see the collapse of America?  Do you think it’s preventable or already in motion?  All opinions are welcome here as always, so don’t be a jerk to anybody’s comments.