I’m en­rolling in Chi­nese classes

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: The USA’s place in the world

Through­out his­tory, ev­ery dom­i­nant civ­i­liza­tion has gone through sim­i­lar stages of ex­is­tence. They start out with strong, pa­tri­otic lead­ers with a small cadre of ad­min­is­tra­tors and a vig­or­ous pro­duc­tive pop­u­lace. They then morph to hav­ing more self-cen­tred lead­ers, a larger ad­min­is­tra­tive over­head and less do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion. In the lat­ter stages they have to­tally self-cen­tred lead­ers, an over­whelm­ing bu­reau­cracy, min­i­mal pop­u­la­tion in­volve­ment and in­creas­ing do­mes­tic strife. Th­ese civ­i­liza­tions were fi­nally con­quered and buried by their more vig­or­ous neigh­bours. It took var­i­ous lengths of time for this to oc­cur. The Egyp­tians took 2,000 years; the Ro­mans lasted al­most 1,000 years; the Greeks re­quired only about 600.

The United States was born in rev­o­lu­tion 235 years ago un­der the fiercely pa­tri­otic lead­er­ship of Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton, John Adams, Thomas Jef­fer­son and oth­ers who saw them­selves as build­ing a na­tion. Ev­ery­one worked. Ev­ery­one con­trib­uted to growth and strength.

To­day the U.S. is fall­ing be­hind in pro­duc­tion as it in­creas­ingly ex­ports jobs and wealth. It is torn by civil strife. Most tellingly, it is about to elect as leader ei­ther a pos­si­ble crim­i­nal or an al­leged crazy per­son.

This dearth of good lead­ers sug­gests to me that the time of the U.S. is over. The time of China is about to be­gin.

I am en­rolling in Chi­nese-lan­guage cour­ses. Ed­ward A. Col­lis, Burling­ton

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