FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Where Empires Fail

It is a common misconception that the power and might of the US is waning because of such ‘set-backs’ as the agreement forced upon it by the Russian propaganda on Syria’s chemical weaponry. On the contrary, the US fully employs the constant threat of the might of its military and does not even need to go to actual wars to press its demands. It will get what it wants with the destruction of Syria’s threat to Israel as demonstrated by the fact that Kerry went directly to Israel after the agreement was signed to assure Israel’s government about his achievement of a much diminished pressure from Syria on Israel.

Israel is after all the heavily fortified outpost of US power controlling the sea lane of the Suez Canal much like the Rock of Gibraltar fulfills a function for the British government for control of the narrows of the sea lane entrance into the Mediterranean. Yemen may well be the next project to be tackled because it is at the narrow entrance to the Red sea (as the US is already proving by its drone actions on that country). Securing the tactically important access into the Mediterranean has been a project for a long time and Turkey has to be controlled carefully not to evoke too much pressure from Russia about its own access though the Dardanelles.

America’s strength grows exponentially with its financial banking power which rests on the fact that the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency used for all transactions in basic energy resources. Threats to its financial hegemony by such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi to transfer payments for their raw energy products into the European Euro have been effectively and quickly resolved by their overthrow and elimination. Neither Russia nor China forms much of a threat to the US commercial and military enterprise because both large nations have huge problems with their own building up of prosperity for their populations. We live in a uni-polar world entirely regulated by US demands and requirements.

In fact it is highly probable that the 2008 financial crash was very carefully engineered to considerably weaken the world economy in order for the US to strengthen its control which was cemented by heavily investing its public funds into the Wall street banks that in fact form the core of its power. There is therefore no separation of government and the financial institutions as there was no difference between the government and industry in the years between 1940 and 1970. The common purpose is and has been to form a strong block of undivided totalitarian-like interests to control the Western hemisphere. That this is no longer very easy does not detract from the fact that the power of the US is not at all diminishing but is remaining vital, despite heavy competition from the increased world production of goods. The US acts and the world reacts.

Every political executive is carefully vetted before installation so that every president represents the US power block whether he/she was elected from either branch of the ruling Democrat / Republican Party. The debate about the vote and its restrictions has only propagandistic value, as in the end it does not matter who is elected because the power block is being served in whatever shape or flavor the president and congress come. In the mean time of course the nation is entertained by the jockeying for position of the basically identical candidates on television and in the newspapers. Indeed the engineering of the public mind is so strong that the myth of such as the belief in ephemeral American values is still pressed as a fine promise of happiness that the whole world should follow. Individual freedom is praised despite the fact that opinion is carefully being shaped from kindergarten onward and great care is being taken that homogeneity of support is never broken for what are still called the democratic principles of the Republic.

The clearest example of public opinion engineering is the recent Kerry/Lavrov agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons. The US may never even have intended to attack Syria and Kerry’s ‘mistake’ of uttering the word “inspection” really meant “dismantling”, after his absurd war-like performances before the senate and representatives committees. Real strength lies in hypocritical meekness and the sanctimonious expressions of relief by the president. Which fall neatly in line with the foreign policies that allow an even stronger US after the 2008 events, and to exert pressure without military force (the threat alone will do ). In fact Andrew Cockburn recently outlined that old but very effective cruel foreign policy to isolate resistant nations by economic blockade in his article “A Perfect Instrument”. War is redundant in this policy; we can starve nations into submission. And should that create some extremist movements, then quick military action will take care of the problem.

The circle of containment is complete. The US has determined what the parameters are for its sphere of influence. Interest in South America has waned and it is considered more or less a lost cause after its populist movements of the last years. The Pacific remains a vital area for restricting Chinese influence, but a compliant Japan is in the way and the distances are such that a direct threat remains remote. But Africa and the Middle East appear to fascinate by the abundance of available raw materials and strategic importance. There is where one sees the constant signs of US involvement and its competition with Russia and China. And because direct conquest is geared towards full destruction of the countries attacked, it is clear that pacification for business purposes is not sought. Rather it appears that control over the supplies of oil and raw materials is secondary, but that it is clearly a struggle for the control of access to those materials by competitors like Russia and China.

The US sees itself as self sufficient to a large degree and able to regulate the supplies of materials that it needs from other parts of the globe. The financial primacy and power of its banking system guarantees and protects the base of its power. The stasis of this system is remarkable but because of its financial greed, it will over time hollow out the power of the US from within. It is a self devouring system which excludes too large a part of the US population. Exhortations of exceptionalism and free enterprise will not sustain very long the obvious status differences that emerge to the surface of a gleaming and steely propaganda class structure that gets shriller every day. The more the public is faced by poverty and disorder in the large cities and their own nearness to it in essence and reality in full contrast to the opulence of the favored classes, the more justifiably resentment will grow. Power breeds contempt and with it blindness to the effects of its own misuse. That is where empires fail and though the days of its decline still seem to be far off, the day will surely come that the public will rise up and put paid to the betrayals of government. The increasing gun violence and the lateral hostility in the poorer districts are already a clear telltale of intense frustration with the status quo. Though nature may well intervene beforehand and create a fitting end to all human endeavor.

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.

More articles by:

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.

November 13, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Midterm Results are Challenging Racism in America in Unexpected Ways
Victor Grossman
Germany on a Political Seesaw
Cillian Doyle
Fictitious Assets, Hidden Losses and the Collapse of MDM Bank
Lauren Smith
Amnesia and Impunity Reign: Wall Street Celebrates Halliburton’s 100th Anniversary
Joe Emersberger
Moreno’s Neoliberal Restoration Proceeds in Ecuador
Carol Dansereau
Climate and the Infernal Blue Wave: Straight Talk About Saving Humanity
Dave Lindorff
Hey Right Wingers! Signatures Change over Time
Dan Corjescu
Poetry and Barbarism: Adorno’s Challenge
Patrick Bond
Mining Conflicts Multiply, as Critics of ‘Extractivism’ Gather in Johannesburg
Ed Meek
The Kavanaugh Hearings: Text and Subtext
Binoy Kampmark
Concepts of Nonsense: Australian Soft Power
November 12, 2018
Kerron Ó Luain
Poppy Fascism and the English Education System
Conn Hallinan
Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
Robert Hunziker
Tropical Trump Declares War on Amazonia
John W. Whitehead
Badge of Shame: the Government’s War on Military Veterans
Will Griffin
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
John Eskow
Harold Pinter’s America: Hard Truths and Easy Targets
Rob Okun
Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Mid-Term Divisions: The Trump Take
Dean Baker
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Destroy Insurance Pools
George Wuerthner
Saving the Buffalohorn/Porcupine: the Lamar Valley of the Gallatin Range
Patrick Howlett-Martin
A Note on the Paris Peace Forum
Joseph G. Ramsey
Does America Have a “Gun Problem”…Or a White Supremacy Capitalist Empire Problem?
Weekend Edition
November 09, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Louis Proyect
Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing
Andrew Levine
What Now?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Chuck and Nancy’s House of Cards
Brian Cloughley
The Malevolent Hypocrisy of Selective Sanctions
Marc Levy
Welcome, Class of ‘70
David Archuleta Jr.
Facebook Allows Governments to Decide What to Censor
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Zika Scare: a Political and Commercial Maneuver of the Chemical Poisons Industry
Nick Pemberton
When It Comes To Stone Throwing, Democrats Live In A Glass House
Ron Jacobs
Impeach!
Lawrence Davidson
A Tale of Two Massacres
José Tirado
A World Off Balance
Jonah Raskin
Something Has Gone Very Wrong: An Interview With Ecuadoran Author Gabriela Alemán
J.P. Linstroth
Myths on Race and Invasion of the ‘Caravan Horde’
Dean Baker
Good News, the Stock Market is Plunging: Thoughts on Wealth
David Rosen
It’s Time to Decriminalize Sex Work
Dan Glazebrook
US Calls for a Yemen Ceasefire is a Cynical Piece of Political Theatre
Jérôme Duval
Forced Marriage Between Argentina and the IMF Turns into a Fiasco
Jill Richardson
Getting Past Gingrich
Dave Lindorff
Not a Blue Wave, But Perhaps a Foreshock
Martha Rosenberg
Dangerous, Expensive Drugs Aggressively Pushed? You Have These Medical Conflicts of Interest to Thank
Will Solomon
Not Much of a Wave
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Yemeni War Deaths are Five Times Higher Than You’ve Been Led to Believe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail