Crisis?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Crisis?
3
Thu, 08-07-2014 - 12:18pm

      What does the word “crisis” mean?  The Random House College Dictionary defines “crisis” as “a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events is determined; turning point” also as “a condition of instability, as in social, economic or political affairs, leading to a decisive change.”  I don’t see anything that is happening now that is a turning point for the United States in the sense of determining all future events for the average person of that nation and while one could possibly say that there are conditions of instability in the world today I don’t see them leading to decisive changes for the United States and I feel that at any time in the past one could say there are conditions of instability.  I fully expect that the future of the United States will pretty much continue along the same trend line.  Therefore as far as the United States and the average citizen of the United States is concerned there are no current crises.  Now, other nations and their people may be facing crises and that is important and in some cases even tragic, but I do not feel that is anything unique to the present time or that there are more crises than average.  I feel that the following were crisis for the United States:

      The Shelling of Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861 

      The Austrian-Hungarian attack on Serbia, July 28, 1914

      The Banking panics of 1930 to 1933

      The Battle of Midway, June 1942

      The Battle of Stalingrad, July 17, 1942 to February 2, 1943

      D-Day, June 6, 1944

      The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 1962

      But I don’t feel the United States is facing any crises now in that I do not believe that any current event is likely to determine the trend of all or many significant future events for the United States.  There are problems and issues to be dealt with, but that was always the case.

      Tom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2012
In reply to: tom.j.g
Fri, 08-08-2014 - 11:17am

Huh?? You don't think the US is facing any kind of crisis right now that could change the future of the country? Look around, I can name two immediately: obesity and the antiquated education system. Not to mention our disfunctional government and it's crippling entitlement programs.

Just because we aren't all in bunkers waiting for a bomb to hit or someone to attack doesn't mean we don't have crisis situations in this country.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
In reply to: tom.j.g
Sat, 08-09-2014 - 10:33am

      Turkeyplease, what I think is important about the definition of “crisis” that I quoted is the difference between “a sequence of events” and “a stage” in that sequence.  Something that has been going on for quite a while without determining the trend of all future events is not a crisis.  I see a crisis as being a relatively short event that leads to a drastic change in the trend of future events.  For example prior to 1861 there was a growing tension between the north and the south in the United States, but that was not a crisis.  It led to a crisis which was the shelling of Fort Sumter.  As a result of the shelling of Fort Sumter future trends in the United States changed in regard to the constitutional outlawing of slavery, the increase in the power of the federal government as compared to the state governments and the economic weakening of the south as compared to other parts of the country.  That is the shelling of Fort Sumter was a turning point.  I do not see the examples that you have mentioned as being turning points and therefore I do not feel they are crises as the word is defined in the dictionary I quoted.  The examples you mentioned may lead to a crisis, but they are not crises in and of themselves.

      I did say that “There are problems and issues to be dealt with, but that was always the case,” but problems are not necessarily crises.  I would tend to agree with you that obesity is a problem, but I am not sure how it would determine the tread of all future events.  Despite what appears to be an increase in rates of obesity life expectancy continues to increase.  I do not feel that our educational system is antiquated.  People have been complaining about the educational system of the United States since at least the launching of Sputnik in 1957, but the United States has continued and I believe is continuing to be a very innovative nation.  I do not believe a nation would be as innovative as the United States is with an antiquated educational system.  I see the function of government is to represent the people who have elected the government.  My belief is that the current government represents the people as well as previous government so I do not see the current government as being anymore dysfunctional than previous governments.  “Entitlement programs” take money from some and gives it to others who tend to be worse off, so I do not see how “entitlement programs” are crippling.  So far since the beginning of Social Security that program has taken in much more money than it has paid out.  That may change in the future, but it is not clear to me that that change will be a crisis.

      Thank you for replying.

      Tom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2011
In reply to: katsung47
Sun, 08-10-2014 - 5:36pm

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 Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014

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