And also in the "baking a cake" category, Kevin Phillips (the lastest in the Fukuyama-Bartlett chain of former supporters of the Bush
In analyzing the fates of Rome, Hapsburg Spain, the Dutch Republic, Britain and the United States, he comes up with five symptoms of "a power already at its peak and starting to decline": 1) "widespread public concern over cultural and economic decay," along with social polarization and a widening gap between rich and poor; 2) "growing religious fervor" manifested in a close state-church relationship and escalating missionary zeal; 3) "a rising commitment to faith as opposed to reason and a corollary downplaying of science"; 4) "considerable popular anticipation of a millennial time frame" and 5) "hubris-driven national strategic and military overreach" in pursuit of "abstract international missions that the nation can no longer afford, economically or politically." Added to these symptoms, he writes, is a sixth one, almost too obvious to state: high debt, which can become "crippling in its own right."Obviously, this is not new, but it's good to be reminded that it's not all the fault of the Bush Administration, though it's also very much the case that they epitomize these trends rather than resist them.... Don't Panic, as they say. Be aware and be aggressive.