RE: Do you want the USA to police the world?
Bertand Russell said the wars of the 20th Century should have been called the Great Idealogical War, a second Hundred Year's War in which each idealogy attempted supremcy and was each in turn defeated by the idea of democracy. First Imperialist Monarchy attempted world domination in WWI, and this idealogy was driven into the dustbin of history by democracy and communism. Then Imperialist Monarchy's bastard child, fascism, was in turn defeated, followed by Totalitarian Communism.
He also wrote at the time that this war is not over - Capitalist Democracy and Social Democracy have yet to settle their issues - and that the second half of this war will be wars of economies, not of battle, because battle has simply become an unworkable and obsolete method of furthering the supremcy of one's idealogy -in fact Totalitarian Communism became the first victim of this new kind of defeat. I personally see his theory of history unfolding every day. China, the world's largest socialist country, a country that has abandoned Totalitarian Communism for a more benign system, and the European Union, the world's largest organization of Social Democracies, are about to clean our clock. We are already seeing the largest transfer of national wealth in history between the US on one hand, and the aforementioned countries on the other, simply affirming that these countries are developing more efficient and superior economic and social systems to our own. In the end, the US will drown in the same muck of unfettered capitalism that it drowned in, in the 1930s, for one simple reason - unfettered free market capitalism fails as a system, and fails as much as Communism did, to bring a better life to the populace as a whole.
The emerging model for successful government is not ours: A country with a socialized healthcare system, a country whose government acts as a referee between the poor and the rich instead of being the spoils and looted booty of whoever bribed the politians, a government that takes a role in financing technological advancement in those areas where risk or cost is too great for private companies to do so, are the governments of the future - these will be the successful governments of this great Technological Age that is now only beginning. We are becoming like the Ottoman Empire - while the rest of the world enters a new age, like the Ottomans in the Industrial Age, we are being left behind in the dust while being blinded to what is happening by our own arrogance in our power.
In Europe, the governments are financing the construction of the world's first fusion reactor and instituting policies that provide for free education to all through the university level, with a huge emphasis in technological fields, while in the US the right wing attempts to dismantle the public schools. In China, the worlds largest single computer installation is being built in Shanghai, a veritable nuclear reactor scale enterprise, on which they hope to store and analyze all the knowledge accumulated by mankind. The US falls every year in rank of highest median income, replaced by countries like Sweden and Norway, countries the US right wing derides as "welfare states". The value of our currency, the real measure of our national wealth, falls as their's rise, and we are unable to sell as much of what we make as we go into to debt to buy from others what we should be producing ourselves.
Meanwhile, what does the US produce? What is our great national project, the place where all the available surplus resources of our economy go? Why -into war and death of course, wars that are part of our increasingly failed idealogy, that government and armies should be for rent to capitalists who are the highest bidders, as our population becomes more ignorant, more unhealthy, and more in debt as each day passes, well, except of course for the rich - they have problems with none of those things.
Lincoln said it best - in order for a democracy to succeed it must have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Can anyone honestly say that's what we have in the US today? Zeitgiest is right - we simply have become a country that is of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. People, well, they don't count for shit.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address