I’d like to see fleshed out the idea that America is in “relative decline” — particularly, I’d like to figure out 1) to what extent it’s really the case, 2) is it for better or worse, and 3) is there anything we can do about it.
As to 1, I think it’s clear America is in relative decline economically; given the rise of China and India alone, this point is inarguable.
However, I think it’s less clear that we are in relative decline militarily; the new playground is technology, doctrine and infrastructure, and it’s not clear to me that other nations are gaining ground in this area. I’m open to the argument, of course.
But relative cultural decline? I don’t see how you make that case; in fact, I would argue that our relative economic decline is symptomatic of our relative cultural ascendancy. (And in the 21st Century, in the era of immediacy, connection and information, is there anything more powerful than cultural ascendancy?)
But again, I’d love to have a conversation on this, and, insofar as I’m wrong, I’d love to be made right.