Sarah Lyall on the Decline of America
Lyall: Well, I think the parallels with America are more like the Roman Empire, but that was way long ago. You know, the thing about the Brits is they had this huge empire and they had a lot of land all over the world, and the end of their empire is when they had to give it up, you know, a lot… Between the wars and then after World War 2, they gave up the rest of it. And they’re just this tiny little place, tiny, tiny little place, and they gave up a lot of their economic power when they gave up those places. The American empire, such as it is, isn’t a land empire. It’s not like it owns, you know, half of the world. It’s more, you know, how it manifest its power, its economic empire. It’s an influence empire. And so it’s, I’m not quite sure it’s the same. And also, Britain, you know, it always had a strange attitude towards its empire. It felt entitled, but it also felt this kind of that it wasn’t allowed to be proud of itself, you know. Brits don’t like to boast. They feel that their kind of greatness is innate and doesn’t have to be discussed, whereas Americans actually feel entitled and they feel they should talk about how great they are, and, I think, you know, to the extent our empire is ending and will eventually end here. It’s going to be devastating for the American sense of themselves, whereas the British, you know, they’ve been trying to work that out for a long time now.
Sarah Lyall likens it to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.