American Empire

First of all, I’m not anti-America. I’m anti-Bush, which is not the same thing. Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Pearle, and other members of ultra-right wing thinktanks seem uneducated in matters of history, particularly the decline of the British Empire, and the activities of Nazi Germany during the lead-up to World War 2.

Keep in mind that the US is no longer the economic superpower it once was. It has been in steady decline economically and politically since the Vietnam War, and only has the military dimension of its power left to its disposal. Its flagrant abuse of this military power has now isolated it from much of the rest of the world and accelerated its own decline. If you are in any doubt about this, just look at the performance of the US dollar over the last four years and US debt as a percentage of GDP since 1940.

The world’s financial markets are already starting to abandon the US dollar for the Yen and Euro. Not to mention the ensuing repercussions that would ensue if China ever open up (i.e. unpeg) their currency. India is booming right now at a rate that will supercede China within the decade, and it is doing that largely through leapfrogging industrialisation and becoming a world leader in IT.

The most ingenious thing about the propaganda machine in operation in the US is that it is only partly the fault of the US government. It doesn’t need a 1984 scenario when there are people like Rupert Murdoch who are doing an adequate job independently. The other thing to keep in mind is that it has been progressively built up over nearly a hundred years, with each roll-back of a regulation here, each buy-out of a local radio station there. Alex Carey, an Australian sociologist, has done seminal work on the corporate control of government, media and education in the US.

There aren’t smoky backrooms where people gather, rub their hands together and plan the domination of the world. It is much more of an emergent, systemic effect. Current US foreign policy is the inevitable result of an 18th century social and economic system that still wrongly assumes (to give two examples) infinte growth and unlimited resources. Whilst they may have been sensible assumptions to make in the age of wooden sailing ships before the advent of steam-powered mass production, human civilisation has now expanded to all corners of the globe and we now tread upon the world with very large collective feet indeed. We (globally) have become ever more efficient at fishing the ocean, milling the forests, eroding the soil, heating the atmosphere and polluting fresh water supplies.

It is a pretty mundane affair to predict US actions over the next term in the light of this knowledge. That it isn’t covered in the mainstream media means it is therefore easy to write off as conspiracy theory, and invented explanations can be used instead in order to engineer public thought. Here’s my prediction – North Korea will be all about summit talks, treaties and agreements, whereas Iran will be another invasion (probably with some new pretext, perhaps even an engineered “event” in order to precipitate it). It won’t be as straightforward as Iraq however, because Iran is not as crippled, and they have recently been making big oil deals with China. So expect to see a lot more negotiation and sabre rattling beforehand.

Klare, M. T. Resource Wars: The New Landscape Of Global Conflict.
Wallerstein, I. Decline Of American Power.
Wasserstein, B. Israel & Palestine: Why They Fight And Can They Stop?
Brzezinski, Z. The Grand Chessboard.