The Price of Empire

I don’t know how much longer we can keep fooling ourselves; we’ve already been at it for so long.

It doesn’t matter what Iran does. It doesn’t matter what Iraq does. It doesn’t matter what any of these countries the US insists on dominating do as we hear from our empire apologists. As the undisputed world power with both the largest military and the greatest economic strength in the world what matters, what’s important is what the US does.

When you are the undisputed world power you are also then, for better or worse, the undisputed leader of world events and The US is the undisputed leader of world events and has been, at least, since the end of the Second World War.

The rest of the world, because of America’s use of its power, is placed in the position of having to react always and according to what the US does or does not do. From Chinas factories to the Coca fields of Central and South America to the broken streets of Iraq and Afghanistan the world is influenced changed and directed by US action or in-action. China reacts to our markets, Russia reacts to our military build-up and the rest of the world reacts to our economic interference, wars and sanctions for those we wish to intimidate or markets, loans and advisors for those we wish to manage in relative peace.

The instability that we see in the Middle-East, Central and South America and so many other parts of the world is the direct result of US mismanagement because when you, as a nation, insist on ruling the world, the management of it is yours to bear. When Iran shoots a rocket or China lays down a tariff its in reaction to US actions or policies.

Regardless of the crocodile tears and feigned outrage of our two predominate parties and their constituents, the fact is that ruling the world, for better or for worse has been the ultimate goal of the country. This is not as some might say the result of the super-power status gained by the industrial revolution and successfully surviving the two world wars, it is that and something else.

Ruling the world goes back further, to the days of manifest destiny and the doctrine of discovery. American exceptionalism goes back to those days when the people arrived thinking that god was on their side and that dark-skinned savages were only good as servants and slaves and if not themselves converted to that understanding, better off dead.

Having become the dominate force and power in the world whether by luck, cunning and industry or by supernatural forces comes with a price and the US is paying that price on an imperial scale.

When I hear some individual or pundit for the empire speaking, as we are hearing so often once again, that some so and so over there or there is a blood-thirsty, evil, terrorist for the wretched crime of trying to defend their own homeland, their families or their culture I know that we are lost, blind and basically out of our minds.

How can anyone not have some sympathy for those who are defending their own lives? How can anyone criticize or condemn someone who fights for their own survival? Yet this is what I hear from station to station from platform to platform, that those who fight for their lives in their own homes are evil terrorists, that they are ungodly and that they must become servants, slaves or they must die.

This is how the US manages the world, submit or die the American peace. This is the price of empire.

Well now that we have built our empire it is ours to run and run it we must. We have inserted ourselves into every crevasse and every corner of the world and the machine is fueled now by US capital, politics and military power. But, as every empire we’ve examined eventually learns, we have bit off more than we can chew.

I do not want to hear any more about how the US must conquer and contain, influence and control everything around the world. I want to hear how the US can step-back, simplify, share and submit to the sovereignty of other nations, other people other cultures before we destroy anything more than we already have including ourselves. The way in for the US, the path to success in its time of power and glory is to stop its expansion and back-out. The mistake that we make at this time is to keep pushing forward.

As a nation we have not discussed this most obvious position we are in as an empire or our responsibility in how it’s handled in any meaningful way. That the US is an empire is hardly understood by its own citizens and only truly recognized behind the closed doors of the Pentagon and CIA. Yet the US Empire has grown and grown hidden in plain sight and until now where it’s become the unavoidable elephant in the room and it is pushing us to the walls.

The US has imposed itself so fully on the world that the rest of the nations are seeing that they are coming to have nothing but two choices, to submit and succumb to US empire or to join together to fight back. We have pushed the world into a corner, submit or fight. Overexpansion, born of conceit and mismanagement due to convince have been the undoing of empires throughout the ages. Taking on the world at every border and beyond, these grand empires eventually will crumble under their own weight. The cost in gold and human souls becomes unbearable both at home and on those upon whom the empire is burdening with exploitation and/or killing outright.

When we take what we know from the study of past empires we see a pattern of this predictable and eventual self-destruction that should cause concern for those in power, concern for their own well-being and their own empire building too if for no other reason, but lost in pride and conceit they have been blinded and “cannot discern their own best advantage”.

In this time of nuclear power the empire games become the possible end, of everything.

The US holds the key to peace and to survival, in peace, in environmental stewardship and in economic reform and justice the US can and must lead the way. Leading the way is not to dominate anyone or anything or to “bring democracy” to some far off land but to control its own self destructive impulses and tendencies and to practice and perfect its own democracy.

A hands-off others, self-aware and conscious form of leadership would be most welcome in this world at this time. An America that uses what’s left of its resources and energy in the service of repairing its own out of date and out of place institutions and methods, an America focused on true education and the advancement of science and scientific solutions, an America that is focused on providing the rights and privileges guaranteed by its own constitution to its own people, an America that leads by observing international laws, agreements and treaties would be most welcome in this world at this time.

If the US does not wake-up to and begin to take seriously its role and position in the world and the awesome responsibilities that come from such a position of strength and influence we will all pay the price of our failure.