Pax Americana as the new Pax Romana

Cullen Murphy has a new book out titled, Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. The journal Reason has an article about it by David Weigel. Weigel agrees with Murphy’s assessment that America is the new Rome, but he criticizes Murphy for doing what Al Gore does with global warming: “working from pessimism and drawing a straight black line from the present into the infinite, ominous future.” Whether or not Murphy and Gore are justified in being pessimistic (as I think they are), the article is still worth reading. Weigel summarizes some of Murphy’s biggest fears:
He sees three bleak possible future for Pax Americana. In one, the borders are locked off and the security state peeks into every bedroom. In another, America's megalopolises break off into city-states: Cosimo di Medici, meet Michael Bloomberg. In his grimmest scenario the breakdown of controlling authority and the sense of "in-this-togetherness" that government provides leads to "the rise of corporate feudalism on a global scale."
[Reason Online]

Comments

Anonymous said…
I see that the incessant advertising for the book in the back of the Atlantic has finally broken through to you.
D.W. Congdon said…
Actually, I don't read the Atlantic. I just came across this article online by a whim. I'd never heard of the book before.
I missed this book among the many recent ones dealing with empire. I just got back from the summer conference of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, where this year's theme was "As the Powers Fall: Sustaining Our Faith and One Another as Empire Crumbles."