Ive always been struck by Ibn Khalduns definition of government, "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself "The Historian Ernest Gellner thought this to be the best description in all political history.
Ibn was also famous for the Orange grove theory of history, or in other words, as soon as a society becomes the dominant culture, thereafter starts its decline, or to put it more in Ibn's thoughts,any society that is going so well that they have time to relax and plant orange groves is henceforth doomed.
Could this be Americas future? (I will not bother bringing Europe into the equation that's undoubted in long term decline) So what could be Americas Orange Groves? Is it going to spend its time making political points to one another, inventing new rules and regulations that condemn its society and economy to inertia? Tying the hands of the people that get their hands dirty protecting its national interests? The empire of liberty is not very self confident at the moment is it?
It would be better to judge Mr Obama at the end of his presidency rather than 100 days in, but the more I see of him, the more I see someone trying to manage decline.