End of Empire

December 20, 2010

UPDATES BELOW

America as world empire is tottering on the brink — in this modern age of so many different and terrible events are taking shape, the life of the vast majority of US peoples could be quickly coming to an end.
All the tell-tale signs are here.

The collapse of past empires only came after:

– overspending on the military
– exporting jobs
– an increased presence of crazy religious zealots
– stretching the military too thinly
– a class widening between rich and poor

Are we there yet?

(Illustration found here).

Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who was arrested last Thursday at the White House along with 131 others in protest of President Obama’s Afghan war policy, sees America on the edge of darkness.
Hedges says the US can topple into the dustbin of history at any time.
An interview at Raw Story:

“We’re losing [the war in Afghanistan] in the same way the Red Army lost it,” he said.
“It’s exactly the same configuration where we sort of control the urban centers where 20 percent of the population lives.
The rest of the country where 80 percent of the Afghans live is either in the hands of the Taliban or disputed.”
“Foreigners will not walk the streets of Kabul because of kidnapping, and journalists regularly meet Taliban officials in Kabul because the whole apparatus is so porous and corrupt,” he said.

“We’ve undergone a corporate coup d’état in slow motion,” he said.
“Our public education system has been gutted. Our infrastructure is corroding and collapsing. Unless we begin to physically resist, they are going to solidify neo-feudalism in this country.”
“If we think that Obama is bad, watch the next two years because these corporate forces have turned their back on him,” Hedges warned.
Hedges, author of “Death of the Liberal Class,” said that his vision of America is one with a functioning social democracy, which stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of the corporate state.
“American workers, as they are repeatedly told, will have to become competitive with prison labor in China,” he said.
“That’s where we’re headed, and all the pillars of the liberal establishment are complicit in this.”
“At least if you get sick in the UK, you don’t go bankrupt or die,” he added.

The bottom line:

“As long as we have relative stability, these lunatic fringe movements can be held at bay, but if we don’t undertake serious structural reform, which we’re not doing, then it is inevitable that we will come to a tremendous crisis – economic and political as well as environmental.”

Et tu, Brute?
No, man, I done ate.

UPDATE #1
Chris Hedges explains why he offered himself up for arrest last Thursday — along with 131 others — during a demonstration at the White House in a compelling commentary posted Monday at TruthDig.
Read the whole piece, gut-gripping.
The money bits:

War perverts and destroys you.
It pushes you closer and closer to your own annihilation — spiritual, emotional and, finally, physical.
It destroys the continuity of life, tearing apart all systems, economic, social, environmental and political, that sustain us as human beings.
War is necrophilia.
The essence of war is death.
War is a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction.
It is organized sadism.
War fosters alienation and leads inevitably to nihilism.
It is a turning away from the sanctity of life.

The sophisticated forms of industrial killing, coupled with the amoral decisions of politicians and military leaders who direct and fund war, hide war’s reality from public view.
But those who have been in combat see death up close.
Only their story tells the moral truth about war.
The power of the Washington march was that we all knew this story.
We had no need to use stale and hackneyed clichés about war.
We grieved together.

UPDATE #2
In the theme of Empire USA on the fall, there’s a most-excellent piece at ClubOrlov, aptly titled, ‘Peak Empire.’
Most-interesting, and pretty-much chilling.
Some choice parts:

As far as the speed of imperial collapse, it varies: Rome took five centuries to collapse but USSR took just a couple of years.
Alfred W. McCoy, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently wrote: “empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, 11 years for the Ottomans, 17 years for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003.”
My hunch is that McCoy’s 22-year estimate is overly generous, and that the collapse of the USA will set a speed record, unfolding over just a handful of very strange days.
When will this happen? According to Chris Hedges, it could happen any time now.

In the case of the US empire, it has not continued to expand by territorial acquisition.
The last territory acquired was the Marshall Islands in 1947, which then became a UN Trust Territory, followed by Independence in 1986.
What has continued to expand is the presence of US military installations all over the world.
As the recently deceased analyst Chalmers Johnson explained, the US is an “empire of bases”, not an empire of colonies.
The US has 800-1000 foreign military bases and 4-5000 bases in the US.
Colonies are so passé these days.
Why bother with colonies when you can impose your will with a few bases, and you don’t have to manage the whole country.
Besides you can outsource most everything to contractors, so you don’t even need the consent of the governed.
All you need is their tax money, which the sheeple continue to provide with barely a bleat.

Yes, indeed.
Most US peoples it seems are suffering from “war fatigue” as news from the war front accounts for only about 4 percent of the news-time pie on a daily basis, through early December.
Sheeple, yeah.

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