Wednesday, August 11, 2010

US is a collapsing Empire

There are two fundamental ways a government can be run, either as a government for the people by the people, or as a government for the people by a specific group of people within that society. The first represents a democracy, the second represents an Imperium. To rule a democracy consensus amongst the majority members of the society must be reached, this is possible only by propositions and situations where either a majority benefits. To rule an Imperium the only requirement is sufficient political, economic or military might to either force the subjects to submission or separate the populace to different groups that can then be pitted off against one another and the central government seen as the only unifying force. The first principle is a tyranny, the second principle is a federation.

Most republics eventually form along direct ethnic, religious or cultural lines. A large enough minority with distinct enough cultural traditions within an otherwise culturally homogenous population will almost always find their desires over-ruled in any parliament or gathering. This will eventually create a situation where to maintain the common interest of the distinct group independence must be sought. Therefore almost all republics that form historically have a distinct cultural, religious or ethnic base strong enough to work as a bond between the different factions and avoid balkanization of the political situation where voting for anything expect your own cultural group is treason.

From this base nationalism, the concept of the nation as a single unit with a single culture can only rise once people have a distinct cultural identity as a separate whole from other such wholes. Historically this happens most often in the case of cultural and political minorities from a larger republic. Good example of this would be the USA. It is well understood that Great Britain at this point was not a republic but it was however considerably closer to a republic than tyranny. The connections between the Continentals and the British in general were far less than the difference between the present day immigrants in Arizona and the New Englanders originally from Canada.

To maintain such a wide array of different groups within the nation is easiest by creating a common shared goal, which when attained will give every member more than they could possibly gain as an individual. One such goal is the leadership position in the global market, being the richest country in the world. Once this unravels, as it is doing now, the next logical way of controlling such a country is by making sure the cost of withdrawing from the union is greater than staying in the union, this is easiest to do by government subsidies to failing states and as a last resort, the use of military might. There we can see that the US, which started as a republic of a single republic of smaller states working towards a common goal willingly, with a shared history, ethnicity, language and religion, is now a multi ethnic nation with vastly different individual goals with little shared language and an assortment of different religions as well as little shared history.

Therefore it is easy to see that over the course of the centuries the US has evolved from where it was originally, a republic, to an end result where it is closer to an empire. Only by continuously creating the impression that by expansion the members of the union can gain more than they lose can an empire such as this be held together. So as long as there were resources within easy reach the empire was at its height. Once these were used up and no room to expand physically was available the next step was economic expansion, but an empire that reaches the top becomes a danger to itself. The only way to generate more gain for the members of the empire when nothing can be acquired from outside is to target a specific group within the empire and take from them and give to the rest. This has gone on in history as long as written history exists.

So, now we are viewing the US Empire as it has always been. An empire that can only survive as long as it expands, when expansion stops, the belonging to the empire is no longer profitable as the best competitors have to pay for the upkeep of the worst. Those who work the hardest have to pay for the upkeep of those who work the least, to keep up the image that belonging to the empire is for the good of all. Were it to openly admit that it is only for the good of the empire the empire would cease to exists as all ethnic groups apart from the ruling group would immediately seek their own gain at the expense of others and central coordination would collapse. Thus an empire depends on the central powers ability to convince vastly different ethnic groups that belonging to the empire is in the interest of all. This is only possible by continuous expansion of power for the whole of the empire, only through that is it possible to both guarantee that the individual member of an empire believes their power is increasing and maintain the central governments power as absolute over lesser powers. Any power less than absolute would invite the 2nd strongest political group to attempt a coup.

As no power is ever absolute the main drive of an empire is twofold, an ever-expanding base of power for the central government, this is done either by seeking resources out there that can be used for the benefit of the central government, or seeking to destroy all other focuses of power in the empire, usually done by systematic merging of all power in the hand of the central government. Once the nature of empires and republics is understood it is easy to see that the US has been an empire for at least several hundred years. What differs in this moment from all the previous moments in history is that for the first time, the US Empire can no longer expand without triggering a war it cannot win. Because of this it is now turning to increasingly desperate attempts to gain power in a series of meaningless wars and wholesale economic destruction of any group that could threaten the central government. In the case of an advanced empire such as the US, the central government can be understood as those who have the most money, or in another way. The US is the merger of all public power in the state and all private power in the corporate, these two merge at the top to form a core for the central government which is composed of no more than a few hundred most wealthy, powerful and influential.

Such a system instinctively views any entry into the core of its power as a threat to those already in the core. The same way a republic views expansion as a threat to those already in the republic, the core of an empire views its expansion as a threat to those already in the core. Just as a republic will only expand when all other options are used so will a core of the empire only expand when all other options are used. Towards this backdrop it is easy to see the progress of the US economic collapse in its natural light. As the last days of an empire that no longer has anywhere else to grow. Having enjoyed a success all great empires enjoy it is now at a fork in the road where the options is voluntary transformation into a republic, and most likely a splitting of the union or a last ditch attempt to move more resources from out there to in here. First option would create a quick revival of the continental US production and a quick economic recovery similar to the east European states after the collapse of the USSR. The second option would most likely create a global war similar to the end of the Third Reich.

In closing, US is not a republic that is now transforming into an empire. It has been an empire for hundreds of years, but the illusion is being lifted as its methods are now used against its own population and there is now a chance to turn it into the republic it was 250 years ago.

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