Apocalypse soon?

A Russian academic and former KGB member, Igor Panarin, predicts the United States will dissolve in 2010, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. The immediate causes of America's self-destruction: Economic and moral collapse along with mass immigration. The endgame: A civil war fought by America's regions and, once the dust settles, the absorption of the remnants by Russia, Canada, Mexico, Japan or China and the European Union.

Surely predictions like the one offered by Panarin gain much traction during times of crisis, such as the crisis America is currently enduring. However, the nature of these judgments tends to compromise their credibility. On the one hand, they acquire plausibility from the fact that human creations cannot be immortal; but they falter, on the other hand, because they attempt to identify a unique event that has yet to occur and because the hypercomplexity of the kind of event they would predict, describe and explain makes them utterly simple hot air. In other words, contemporary circumstances coupled to features of the human condition makes Banarin's assertion look reasonable enough while the nature of his prediction makes it look fantastic. America, troubled as it is, has a number of futures, including futures in which it fragments.

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