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Bill Bonner: In Defense of the Empire

“Trouble is, politics is expensive and unproductive. The more of it you have – either at home or abroad – the poorer you become…until you can no longer afford it. That’s the situation we’re in now. We’re already way beyond the point of no return…the point where the debt depresses growth. It’s only a matter of time before we can’t go on. “The real question is whether we do something about it now…bringing our spending in line with our ability to spend…or whether the market forces us to do it. As Ayn Rand said, you can ignore the market. But you can’t avoid the consequences of ignoring the market. Now, we’re facing the consequences. “And what I’m proposing is to eliminate the deficit by renouncing the empire. Of course, this would come as a huge shock to the public. They thought the Pentagon was defending them from something. They don’t even realize that we have an empire. They have no idea what it costs, what it means, or what might happen if we didn’t have one. We’ve never had that debate. Woodrow Wilson launched the nation directly on the path of empire, but there was never any discussion of it. No debate in Congress was ever held. Instead, every time we went further and further away from real national defense – such as when Wilson sent troops in WWI – it was always justified in defense terms. Even then, we were supposedly ‘making the world safe for democracy.’ “But that’s just the way it works. Every empire transforms its own expansion into self defense measures. Germany invaded the Sudetenland, and then Poland largely to secure its own frontiers. Japan marched down Southeast Asia to secure its lifeline of resources. Britain conquered half the world to protect its manufactures….and Napoleon invaded Russia to remove the threat on the East. “The US didn’t have any real enemies – after the Soviet Union folded up – so it had to invent this whole terrorism thing. Now, we have our forces all over the Mideast and now North Africa, to protect the USA from terrorism. That’s what they say. “And here’s the scary thing. In all the many examples of empires, none…not one…ever backed up. None ever renounced its imperial destiny. None ever thought better of it. Instead, they all went headlong…forward…until they finally got their butts kicked.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

    Empires have always been the result of the deluded, self-righteous machinations of a very few psychotics who managed to insinuate themselves into the power structure of any given culture...Mostly under the guise of religious mandate; and/or some lunacy of 'birthright"; and, almost without fail, the primacy of "destiny". (We muisn't forget the modern iteration of such crap: Public mandate - This one piles it so high you can't even see it.)

   As for their butts, when have the purveyors of any of this crap ever really gotten their "butts" in a sling? As best I can tell, hostorically speaking, the "public" has always taken it in the shorts. [Did anyone you know get the U.S. into the financial mess that it is in? Do you know anyone who, outside of the low-life money changers in Congress, industry, and the "money market", who signed off on the illegal national debt?]

   Let's let the "destined few" pay for the nation's wealth that THEY squandered, fight and die in the Money/Power Wars they start, and get real jobs doing some- thing they can screw up without destroying innocent lives and the world.

   Remember this (though somewhat glib, it works for me): If the opposite of "pro" is con, then it follows that the opposite of "progress is "Congress".

   None of us will remember any of this when we are dead; but, we are all present at the end of reason, integrity, freedom, and civilization. This is the new Common Era - peopled and run by the most COMMON of men and women.


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