Chris Hedges, journalist, offered a bleak, personal critique of the American “empire” back on December 28th in New York. His view is that the current system can not be reformed no matter the degree of tentative tinkering we undertake.
The question still remains how we begin the serious creation of new resilient communities, which likely means we will have to confront at some point an increasingly undemocratic status quo. See
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/12/18/chris_hedges Empire of Illusion.