Destructiveness

This is a huge subject, and I am not sure how to tackle it. But I saw so much of it when I was working in the States, from 1960 to 2000, that I became allergic to the stuff – and am liable to go crazy whenever I think about it. Why on earth did Americans become so self-destructive?

This must have been a long process – probably going back to the American Civil War – which had its roots much earlier – in the beginning of the nation – that could not solve its Slavery problems.

And now cannot solve its Business problems – how to make profits compatible with human rights and environmental issues.

Instead, Americans have decided to destroy the whole mess! And force it to start over, from scratch. Fixing it is not possible, they think.

This has happened many times in the past – people built empires, and then destroyed them. With no idea this was happening. Historical forces were at work – that they had no awareness of.

This applied to the Nazis as well – they were in the grips of their historical processes also. Which also destroyed them.

Do these historical forces doom us to repeat the same boom-and-bust cycle forever?

Perhaps, and if that is the case, the best we can do is locate our situation on the correct place in this cycle. Which is not hard to do – we are somewhere past the peak, and on the decline part of the curve.

The American economy peaked out in the two decades after WWII – from 1945 to 1965. In retrospect, this is not hard to see. But the seeds of its destruction were buried within it.

I was a young man then, just beginning my career as an Electronic Engineer. I should have seen this happening – but did not – I didn’t have a clue. Like everyone else, I was in the grip of History – and it was calling the shots. We were all dancing to its tune – and we wasted our magnificent achievements in the Cold War.

One of the monuments to that war was the AN/FPS-35. The most powerful radar every built. It was designed to detect Soviet bombers – that never existed.

I joined that war, because the pay was so good, and I didn’t have to do anything to earn it. I remember seeing a sign on someone’s desk “Millions are out of work – but most of them have jobs!” It never occurred to us, that this state of affairs could not go on forever. We just played this idiotic game while we could – with no thought for the future.

We were destroying America – and we could not rebuild it.

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