The End of the American Century.

Before he died, the great Hunter S. Thompson (one of the best, God rest his soul,) often wrote about the end of what he called the American Century. With China and other nations comeing up, it seems like that may be true. So now, the question: Is America’s time in the spotlight coming to a close? I know this scares a great many people who could not fathom another superpower usurping our place at the top of the economy, but it no longer seems so far off. Thoughts?

It is quite evident to me, that the rise of fundamentalism,
signals the beginning of the end. Anytime a society or culture
looks backward instead of forward, its time is over.
We are on the downward slope of the fall,
now its just a question of filling out the paperwork.



As long as the American Dream survives I’ll be happy!


I doubt that America will stop being a superpower in my lifetime. Do I think other countries are coming closer? Yes. But, can they maintain it? Politically, England can sway almost as well as we can. Economically, Japan can. Will someone combine the two and join America in the top ranks, I don’t know. But it will be fun to see.

Stop right there: he was an idiot who ruined his mind and talent with drugs. By the end he was little more than a quiet, stammering shell of a man whose words seemed old-hat and whose logic seemed hackneyed.

Good old Hunter, he never did know anything about the world outside of the US. How ironic that he arrogantly considered himself such a critic of the US while secretly being intensely patriotic…

It won’t happen because of other countries coming up, it’ll happen because the US will fall apart. It’s an ungovernably large country as it is, it just so happens that whoever is in government has a lot of money at their disposal. They can’t really change the course of the country, but they can seek out their own interests…

The US economy is owned by foreigners - the Japs, the Ayrabs, the Chinese and so on. America sold itself off to keep it’s economy going. It’s only a matter of time…

Who knew tom and I would actually agree on something,
anything. will wonders ever cease.


No, wonders will never cease.

I obviously don’t agree with your characterization of Hunter. Ruined his mind with drugs? Have you ever read Kingdom of Fear or any of his later work? it’s just as sharp and brutal as anything else he wrote. As for being both critical of the U.S. and patriotic, what the hell’s wrong with that? If more understood the meaning of patriotism, there’d be far more critics.

Don’t worry… he knows Hunter is solid, he just needs to rip on every writer that isn’t a deconstructionist once per post. :smiley:

Hunter wasn’t secretly intensely patriotic. He was openly intensely patriotic.

Which in turn, would explain his criticism of the US government and culture. Your post makes it obvious that you believe patriotism is synonomous with the “My country right or wrong” philosophy.

But you see, protesting and legitmately criticizing your own government is one of the highest forms of patriotism there is–obviously something you have yet to understand.

Dear Gobbo

Not at all. Heraclitus wasn’t a deconstructionist… Admittedly I do have to go back that far to find a writer who isn’t a deconstructionist who I won’t tear into given the opportunity…

Thompson was a very good novelist, I enjoyed several of his books, in particular The Rum Diary, in which nothing of note happens. But as a critic/philosopher I think he had nothing to offer except drug-fuelled rants. Bill Hicks was a better critic, and he was doing little other than making people laugh…

Patriotic towards an entirely fictional and nonsensical vision of America, yes…

No. I’m being a lot more subtle than that, which is why it doesn’t surprise me that a simplifier like you would miss the point. Hunter loathed American society but was intensely patriotic towards a vision of America that he himself created and that bore little or no resemblance to America as it actually was in the 60s and 70s. That’s the point, his patriotism was ‘secret’ inasmuch as it pertained to a personal vision, not something that can easily be seen in his writings…

I understand this perfectly but that doesn’t mean that ALL criticism (however stupid, ignorant or unrealistic) of a government or culture is patriotic. That’s what you seem to be saying, or at least you are overlooking the need for some sort of criteria on which to make a judgement as to whether a given criticism is or is not patriotic.

But I wouldn’t expect you to understand that, being a sociology graduate. They don’t really teach you to unfurl assumptions, more so they teach you a whole new set of assumptions which you then go and make. You are the proof, and I advise not to open your mouth in opposition to this claim because I’m sure whatever argument you adopt will simply demonstrate precisely what I’m saying.

Those who seek easy ways to criticise America love people like Bill Hicks and Hunter S. Thompson. The standard of public debate is so low that all I’d have to do in a comedy club is make a few cracks about how Bush uses neologisms like ‘misunderestimate’ and I’d be labelled ‘hilarious’…

Get back to your tree houses, ya hippies!

No, he was patriotic of the vision of what America is suppose to be. What vision is that you ask?–It is the one the founders laid out in the Constitution.

It wasn’t his vision. It is the the vision of America laid out by our Constitution. That is what patriotism is all about. Defending the founding ideals of your nation.

Hmm, that is what I seem to be saying? Apparently you overlooked, or are ignoring, that I said legitimately criticizing the government is one of the highest forms of patriotism.

Since I made a gaff before and assumed you were American, I won’t be so hard on you but I will point out that I am not a sociology graduate.

I have only taken one sociology class–an Introduction to sociology at that.

Blah blah blah. Must suck that this criticizism of me is invalid since you based it off your assumption that I was a sociology major. Maybe next time…

Can you please just admit that you are a closet Bush supporter? Hell you once even said that you considered a Bush win better than a Kerry win back in 2004.

Honestly, your charade is getting tiresome.




I bet you look real patriotic in your klan outfit.

and I am certain you wish to abolish the unpatriotic garbage that the founders never imagined… like income taxes…


Impenitent, we went over this before. Slavery was not a founding ideal. The founders allowed it because it was a necessary evil in order to gain the passage of the Constituion.

Your assertion is correct. I believe that taxes are necessary in order for a government to function.

A flat tax system is one that makes sense and is acceptable by our Constitution.

not according to the founders…


Dear FtheNaysayers,

I don’t remember Hunter talking about the constitution. I’m willing to be corrected on this…

Have you ever read the Magna Carta? By your definition it would be patriotic for me to uphold the ‘principles’ set down in that document…

Besides, Hunter didn’t defend the founding ideals, but his personal vision of the founding ideals. That’s the whole problem with this individualist trash that the Americans wank over - that it can be read in ANY number of different ways. There is no founding principle when that founding principle can be and is interpreted in vastly different ways depending on one’s social grouping and political affiliation…

Haven’t you noticed how BOTH of the main parties claim to be the party of Freedom? Does it not occur to you that the American notion of freedom (which of course originates in Europe) is almost entirely rhetorical, and that Hunter used it in the exact same way?


I’m not ignoring it, I’m simply dsagreeing with it. I don’t think that Hunter’s criticisms were legitimate, for the most part. Hence why I said that he was a very talented novelist but I didn’t think much of him as a critic…

Funny, I’m positive that you’ve told me before that you studied sociology. Nonetheless, you clearly aren’t a philosopher…

The same criticism applies to any number of other academic subjects, so I’ll take a leap and guess that whatever it is that you studied, it wasn’t formal philosophy. Your inability to unfurl your own presumptions remains, regardless of what you studied.

I made that comment many times, but you’ve forgotten the reasoning I offered (which of course doesn’t split into an easy dualism so you’ll have massive trouble understanding it) because you want to claim that I’m a Bush supporter. My reason was that I’d rather have Bush in power under pressure to deliver because of the mistakes of his first term than Kerry in power with a clean slate to make fresh mistakes.

You probably don’t track the world press outside of the US, and I won’t pretend I know much about the media outside of Europe, but since 2000 the European media has, for the most part, been childishly and sickeningly anti-Bush. Irresponsibly so, since most of it has taken the form of immature jokes and acting all shocked that someone ‘soooooo bad’ could get into power.

When the election came around the press continued in their anti-Bush vein but didn’t really have anything good to say about Kerry. This smacks of a narrow-minded and short-sighted view of politics, indeed the press ignoring it’s own role in creating and manipulating what the people as a group perceive as ‘politics’ which is a frequent problem. A metaphor would be a footballer who has the choice to go to any one of 5 top clubs who only assesses the strengths of the clubs as they are, rather than with his added ability and influence. Same mistake.

But of course the press is full of people like you…

criticizism - I’ve just noticed this. You do make me laugh sometimes…

You know, for being the self-proclaimed judge of who is and who isn’t a philosopher, you are rather petty. Criticising a typing mistake I made? Give me a break. :unamused:

self-proclaimed? Hardly. The difference between me and you is that I criticise philosophy as a philosopher…

I wasn’t critising your typing mistake, I was simply trying to add a tone of levity to proceedings in the hope that you wouldn’t seize up, become defensive and refuse to discuss things decently, as before…

LOL, what a huge burden off our backs, the big gorilla is always hated, just as the Brits, French, Spanish were.