Throughout history, civilizations rise to heights in academia, science, the arts, governance, philosophy, et cetera that distinguishes them from other civilizations of their ages and puts them in the pantheon of great historical empires…until their inevitable decline and collapse. In no particular order the Greeks, the Romans, the Carthaginians, the Egyptians, the Sumerians, and at least 30 other distinct civilizations are known to have had some impact on the larger human narrative on earth in the last 5000 or more years…and then are lost in the sands of time.
The United States of America is also one of the hegemonic of its day. Its Constitution had yet to ever be attempted in human history and though many in Western culture want to disregard the founding fathers because some were slave owners there is no doubt that their spirit to the world has brought more light than the darkness of any of their faults.
The Americans of the day fought for their independence from tyrannical royals in Britain and made a new way of governance that included life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yes, there were slaves. (By the way, there were plenty of white slaves which had harsher lives than African slaves, but I don’t want to ruffle anyone feathers about that fact.) But it would be less than 100 years after freeing ourselves from tyranny that the United States of America would fight a war to free all men and women from state sponsored slavery. A quick note: some say the Civil War was more about a dictatorial jab by the American government of the time to force southerners into economic hardships brought by the northerners who had most of the American Government including President Lincoln in their pockets and wasn’t really fought over the right to own slaves. I encourage you to read some of the things Lincoln said about African slaves to draw your own conclusions as to what the Civil War was actually about. Maybe this was the first of many acts by our government to bed down with corporations for their own political and financial gains.
Certainly, the invasion of the Philippines Islands in 1899 signaled the beginning of American’s use of the military to strong arm foreign natives into giving very profitable economic concessions to American corporations in their countries. While Western history books talk about the Filipinos declaring war against America, I would ask you if you believe that considering the Gulf of Tonkin incident that led to the Vietnam War? For further reading on what was happening with the American imperial military at that time I would ask you read Smedley Butler’s, “War is a Racket.”
If we are to first agree that America is an empire then we can move onto where it is currently at in regard to its powers in the world and at what part of the Imperial life cycle it is at right now. No doubt there have been many books written about the rise and fall of the American Empire dating back to the early 1900s. A more “modern” look I have acquired is the book by Jim Nelson Black called, “When Nations Die. America on the Brink: Ten Warning Signs of a Culture in Crisis,” and I will be using some of Mr. Black’s wisdom to highlight where we are at today considering his book was published in 1994.
(As I write this blog post right now I am filled with a sense of foreboding and some trepidation because I feel treasonous to be speaking about the ills of a land I and many others love and because America was a bastion of hope and freedom the world hadn’t known before its founding many moons ago. Never the less, I’m hoping that I spend the rest of my life trying to free the good citizens of this great country from debt slavery and malice brought about by the oligarch ruling class in this country. Onward.)
Jim Nelson Black’s first warning sign of the decline of the American experience is lawlessness. He accurately points out that the end times for many historical civilizations included much lawlessness within the citizenry of their nations. He also equates the American experience as one of lawlessness and during the days when he researched and wrote his book, the early- to mid-1990s, crime was a bit more of a problem than today, and according to the FBI crime statistics (if you believe them) show a decline in overall criminality in America in the last 20 years.
We might conclude then that lawlessness is NOT a problem, but I will give some crime statistics for the year 2017 to prove that though it is down, crime is still a factor in American life.
(By the way, you can check these stats on the FBI’s website for verification if you so choose.)
So in 2017 there were 7.6 million property crimes. MILLION.
2017 saw larceny-thefts at 5.5 million. Or 15,000 per DAY.
2017 had 1.4 million burglaries.
There were 773,000 motor vehicle thefts.
319,000 robberies were committed. The price of having shiny baubles is the possibility that someone will forcibly take them from you or take them while you aren’t looking.
There were 1.28 million violent crimes in America in 2017. Or approximately 3,500 times per day that someone in America is beaten, stabbed, murdered, or hurt in some physical way by a criminal assailant. Sometimes these criminals are very close to us, sometimes they are law enforcement officials.
There were 810,000 aggravated assaults in America in 2017.
Statistical reporting of rape has change in the last 5 years. In 2017 the new rape report includes 135, 000 rapes. In the old system it would be 99,000. I will let you read the differences on what the FBI considered rape then and what it considers rape now. I would also like to point out that the FBI does NOT include instances of incest and statutory rape as part of the “rape” statistic. These are apparently included in another data set for some odd reason. I would also like to point out that the FBI’s definition of statutory rape is an adult having “consensual” sex with an underage FEMALE. (Sorry, boys, your rape doesn’t count at all.) So there were at least 271 rapes every day in America by the old standard and 370 per day by the new one.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes. Almost half of female and male rape victims were raped by an acquaintance. (No wonder we don’t get to know our neighbors well anymore.) 45.4% of female and 29% of male rape survivors were raped by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence is also an issue in America. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
And the big one, murder. 17,284 in 2017 America. On average almost 2 people per HOUR were killed by another human being in America.
(One last note. The FBI admits that these crime statistics are lower than the actual number of crimes committed because some, maybe, many crime victims didn’t report their assaults to law enforcement officials).
Is crime (lawlessness) a problem in America? I think the statistics speak for themselves while many say that criminality is down and things are going quite well in the empire. I will agree with Mr. Black that the end times are nigh.