There are no time frames in this discussion. Everything is dependent upon various domestic and international factors. We have been living in a post World War Two America, The American Dream, when the country was riding high and was the epicenter for politics and commence. Well, it's all but over now and this is only the beginning. Global geopolitics as well as the global financial system is gradually changing. America's inevitable collapse as a global power may take a few decades to fully come about or a few years, it may be catastrophic or simply bad. Nonetheless, there will be a drastic decline in America's economic and political capabilities.

It does not have to be this way. We don't need a fucking empire. Empires live big and they die big. If this nation down sizes, tightens its belt, eats less, wastes less, purchases less, lives simply, lives within their means, stops borrowing money unnecessarily, stop using credit cards, recognizes that the financial system is utterly corrupt, recognizes that the Federal Reserve is ruining the nation, recognizes that US politicians don't serve the people they serve special interests, recognizances that globalism is ruing the nation, recognizes that we are fighting wars overseas to feed the mouths of a select few, recognizes that our relationship with nations like Israel, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are major liabilities, recognizes that the trillions spent of wars and dictators overseas can be better spent within the nation, recognizes that the nation needs alternative energy... we might just pull through this mess.

Like individuals, nations have to live within their means. The US, like its citizens, has been living way beyond its real means for a long time now. And like when individuals who are living beyond their means go bankrupt when times are rough, so can nations. That is where the US stands today. In short, the bigger your liability is the harder will be your eventual fall. And there is a growing fear of a major global war. Their profound fear of losing their wealth and power will force them to react in violent and unpredictable manner. The wars in Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan and the future war in Iran and their rabid hate of Russia are inherently tied to their desire to protect their global hegemony. For those who say America will rebound sooner or later, I answer by one of my favorite Wall Street saying: "Past performance does not guarantee future results"



The American Empire: Too Big to Fail?

Who gets bailed out – and who doesn't

September, 2008

In reading about the federal bailout of all those financial wheeler-dealer outfits that are supposedly "too big to fail," the layman may be forgiven for failing to comprehend the intricacies of the arcane financial instruments currently backfiring on their whiz-kid inventors. Such exotic creatures as "credit default swaps" may elude the understanding of the hoi polloi, but one thing the man in the street does know: he'll never be "too big to fail," of that he can be sure. He's just not the Bear-Stearns type, and Congress would never shell out a penny before he loses his savings and his home, which – due to the propaganda of Panglossian economics, whereby houses stopped being homes and became investments – amount to pretty much the same thing. The paper-pushers of Wall Street made untold trillions out of a policy that was doomed to fail [.pdf] in advance, and whose critics have long predicted would end in precisely the manner our tale of economic woe is unfolding.

The policy of bank credit expansion, which enriches the already wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, has a fatal allure. It induces an initial euphoria, the false promise of permanent prosperity. This Panglossian view is the perfect economic system for an emerging empire, especially one with such inflated pretensions as ours. It is the economics of hubris – the same grandiosity that let us imagine we could implant "democracy" in the arid soil of Iraq and make the desert bloom. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. bestrode the earth like a colossus, America's stock was rising, and the pride that goeth before a fall imbued our leaders with the illusion that they couldn't fail. The American empire, they thought, is too big to fail. It's the end of history – and the rest will just be a mopping-up operation, that will be well worth the costs. The failed policies that led to our current economic predicament – the whole system of central banking and fiat currency – are precisely those policies that benefited those who are now demanding to be bailed out. They may have bankrupted the country, but you can be damned sure they aren't going down with the rest of us, no sirree!

This outrageous rip-off is mirrored in the foreign policy realm, where the very same crowd that dragged us waist-deep into the Middle Eastern quicksand are lecturing us from every podium. The neocons who brought us the Iraq war are directing John McCain's campaign, hanging on to power for dear life, shamelessly touting their alleged "success" even as the $3 trillion bill comes in and the people ask "For what?' These are the real dead-enders, the ones who believe that George W. Bush never implemented his self-proclaimed "global democratic revolution," but they will. The same foreign lobbyists who pushed for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S. force of arms have now turned their sights on Iran. The same newspaper columnists and professional know-it-alls who imagined that we would have a quick victory in Iraq – that it would be a "cakewalk," as one of the more arrogant neocons once put it – are still dominating the official discourse with their calls to action on this front and that. Bill Kristol, the little Lenin of the neocons, who made the Iraq war his vocation, was awarded a coveted pulpit on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Other people are demoted for advocating failed policies, but members in good standing of the War Party are promoted. They, too, are too big to fail. When the bill comes due, American taxpayers – and grieving parents and loved ones of the fallen – will have to pay, while the authors of our suicidal foreign policy get off scot-free.

The war profiteers aren't just the arms manufacturers, the Halliburtons, and the "private" international security firms who do the empire's dirty work. Key to the War Party are the intellectuals who gain prestige and real power over policymaking and public opinion on the strength of their reputations as paladins of interventionism. In some cases, these two types are embodied in the same people, Richard Perle being the exemplar. In any event, what's becoming increasingly clear is that the bailout brothers are all members of the same clan: think of them as a Mafia family, with a strict hierarchy of authority and command, albeit an informal one. At the top is the Don, finance capital, which controls the engine and sits at the dashboard pressing buttons according to a pattern: first inflation, then deflation, boom then bust, peace and then war again. But the bailout boys always parachute to safety before disaster envelopes the rest of us. Which is why failure only emboldens them. Our rulers really do believe their empire is too big to fail, but of all the would-be lords of creation, our own ruling elite may have the shortest reign – and the hardest fall. The engine that runs the machinery of imperialism is breaking down at key junctures, and the whole structure is teetering and creaking ominously, as if to presage the coming implosion.

For the truth of the matter is that the very bigness of the American Imperium, the sheer scope of its rulers' ambition, is precisely what is fated to bring about its downfall, and a very messy and painful descent it will surely be. As I relate in Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, during Rose Wilder Lane's eye-opening trip to the Soviet Union in the 1920s she met a Russian peasant who predicted, with perfect accuracy, the fate of the commissars some 70 years later: "'It's too big,' he said. 'Too big. At the top, it is too small. It will not work. In Moscow, there are only men, and man is not God. A man has only a man's head, and one hundred heads together do not make one great head. No. Only God can know Russia.'" The problem is that some men think they are gods. In the end, however, we will all pay the price for their hubris – the guilty as well as the innocent – as the American empire meets the fate of its Soviet predecessor, and for the same reason.


US superpower status is shaken

October, 2008

The financial crisis is likely to diminish the status of the United States as the world's only superpower. On the practical level, the US is already stretched militarily, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now stretched financially. On the philosophical level, it will be harder for it to argue in favour of its free market ideas, if its own markets have collapsed.

Pivotal moment?

Some see this as a pivotal moment. The political philosopher John Gray, who recently retired as a professor at the London School of Economics, wrote in the London paper The Observer: "Here is a historic geopolitical shift, in which the balance of power in the world is being altered irrevocably. "The era of American global leadership, reaching back to the Second World War, is over... The American free-market creed has self-destructed while countries that retained overall control of markets have been vindicated." "In a change as far-reaching in its implications as the fall of the Soviet Union, an entire model of government and the economy has collapsed. "How symbolic that Chinese astronauts take a spacewalk while the US Treasury Secretary is on his knees."

No apocalypse now

Not all would agree that an American apocalypse has arrived. After all, the system has been tested before. In 1987 the Dow Jones share index fell by more than 20% in one day. In 2000, the dot-com bubble burst. Yet both times, the US picked itself up, as it did post Vietnam. Prof Gray's comments certainly did not impress one of the more hawkish figures who served in the Bush administration, the former UN ambassador John Bolton. When I put them to him, he replied only: "If Professor Gray believes this, can he assure us that he is selling his US assets short? "If so, where is he placing his money instead? And if he has no US assets, why should we be paying any attention to him?" Nevertheless, it does seem that the concept of the single superpower left bestriding the world after the collapse of communism (and the supposed end of history) is no longer valid.

Multi-polar world

Even leading neo-conservative thinkers accept that a more multi-polar world is emerging, though one in which they want the American position to be the leading one. Robert Kagan, co-founder in 1997 of the "Project for the New American Century" that called for "American global leadership", wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine this autumn: "Those who today proclaim that the United States is in decline often imagine a past in which the world danced to an Olympian America's tune. That is an illusion. "The world today looks more like that of the 19th Century than like that of the late 20th. "Those who imagine this is good news should recall that the 19th Century order did not end as well as the Cold War did." "To avoid such a fate, the United States and other democratic nations will need to take a more enlightened and generous view of their interests than they did even during the Cold War. The United States, as the strongest democracy, should not oppose but welcome a world of pooled and diminished national sovereignty. "At the same time, the democracies of Asia and Europe need to rediscover that progress toward this more perfect liberal order depends not only on law and popular will but also on powerful nations that can support and defend it."

New scepticism

The director of a leading British think-tank Chatham House, Dr Robin Niblett, who has worked on both sides of the Atlantic, remarked that, at a recent conference he attended in Berlin, an American who called for continued US leadership was met with a new scepticism. "The US is seen as declining relatively and there has been an enormous acceleration in this perfect storm of perception in the waning days of the Bush administration. The rise of new powers, the increase in oil wealth among some countries and the spread of economic power around the world adds to this," he said. "But we must separate the immediate moment from the structural. There is no doubt that President Bush has created some of his own problems. The overstretch of military power and the economic crisis can be laid at the door of the administration. "Its tax cuts were not matched by the hammer of spending cuts. The combined effect of events like the failures in Iraq, the difficulties in Afghanistan, the thumbing of its nose by Russia in Georgia and elsewhere, all these lead to a sense of an end of an era.

The longer term

Dr Niblett argues that we should wait a bit before coming to a judgment and that structurally the United States is still strong. "America is still immensely attractive to skilled immigrants and is still capable of producing a Microsoft or a Google," he went on. "Even its debt can be overcome. It has enormous resilience economically at a local and entrepreneurial level. "And one must ask, decline relative to who? China is in a desperate race for growth to feed its population and avert unrest in 15 to 20 years. Russia is not exactly a paper tiger but it is stretching its own limits with a new strategy built on a flimsy base. India has huge internal contradictions. Europe has usually proved unable to jump out of the doldrums as dynamically as the US. "But the US must regain its financial footing and the extent to which it does so will also determine its military capacity. If it has less money, it will have fewer forces." With the US presidential election looming, it will be worth returning to this subject in a year's time to see how the world, and the American place in it, looks then.


Nightmare on Wall Street as U.S. debt hits record high

America - the end of an era:

The United States has the highest level of foreign debt in the world, which has nearly doubled during the Presidency of George W. Bush. The country’s national debt has also just reached its ultimate high. A debt clock was put up in a New York street in 1989. Then the figure was around 2.7 trillion dollars. Nearly 20 years later, that number has increased almost fivefold and exceeded the expectations of the clock’s designers. Just a few weeks ago, the clock ran out of space. When the figure hit 10 trillion it forced the dollar sign out of its allocated space. A re-design is underway, with enough space for a quadrillion - a number so obscure that few could imagine what it amounts to. Manhattan's Times Square is a favourite tourist hotspot. Now, more and more Americans come to take photos of the frightening figure - because even though the economy is taking a kicking, this clock just keeps on ticking. Very few U.S. citizens can say they are free of the credit vice - and who can blame them? Low rates, alluring deals - and all you ever wanted, but couldn't afford, suddenly becomes possible. But this American Dream is turning into a nightmare. Wall Street is likely to take most of the blame. “During the age of Reagan Wall Street was immune to that kind of criticism and political attention,” says historian Steven Fraser. “Now we can see enormous widespread anger. I think in the foreseeable future Wall Street will be the object of great scrutiny, supervision, anger and suspicion.” Fraser has been fascinated by the enigma of Wall Street for years. History repeats itself in many ways, but the scenario right now reminded him of another famous figure. “They created a Frankenstein. Nobody knows what is going on, that’s what makes the moment so frightening,” he said. It seems history has presented this crisis in a new light. Ever since the end of WW2, national debt decreased with every Democratic administration. After the presidency of Ronald Reagan, every Republican term has seen a steep rise in debt. When George W Bush took office, the figure stood at 5.7 trillion dollars. But the fact that figure has nearly doubled has led to accusations he’s used the nation as an AmEx Black card. His time is about to run out, but someone else will have to pick up the tab.


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