- Date published:
12:20 pm, October 6th, 2015 - 93 comments
Categories: colonialism, defence, Globalisation, International, kremlinology, leadership, Spying, us politics, war - Tags: empire, power, transition, United States
No empire lasts for more than a handful of centuries. Most, far less. Think French, Spanish, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, British.
The concept of the United States as an empire in decline is neither new nor novel. I first came across the idea via Dmitry Orlov‘s unique model of the “Five Stages” of superpower collapse, comparing the collapse of the Soviet Union to the collapse of the United States. His conclusion: that the Soviet Union and its peoples were far more prepared for collapse than the USA and its peoples are.
But what happens when the individual talking about superpower decline isn’t the ‘fringe’ voice of a former Soviet citizen and émigré like Orlov, but an establishment figure like Lawrence Wilkerson, former US Army Colonel and former Chief of Staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell. ZeroHedge has a good write up on the presentation entitled “The Travails of Empire” that Wilkerson gave at Lone Star College. Apparently he has been delivering similar talks in countries all over the world, some of which are friends and allies of the USA, and some, less so.
Some of Wilkerson’s statements which grabbed my attention include:
– The purpose of empire is to maintain the status quo of imperial superiority. (Which puts the TPPA into an interesting light).
– The US supports countries all over the world with training, equipment and support which is sometimes used to oppress the ordinary citizens of those same countries.
– In the modern age we can see the accelerated progress and demise of empire – you might go to sleep on Monday night and everything is fine, but wake up Tuesday morning and it is all gone.
– Empires in decline prefer the use of the military instrument. The remaining resources of empire are poured into the maintenance of a massive military infrastructure and support capacity. Mercenaries and contractors become heavily used as ordinary citizens no longer fight for their own country.
– Empires in decline become financially and morally bankrupt as an elite class of financiers and bankers take over.
– Senior people are no longer held accountable to the founding laws and principles of the land.
– History tells us that the US empire is probably finished – the question is how do we pick up the pieces afterwards as a major power facing a field of equal powers.
– The United States is an empire in decline: it cannot even govern itself or look after its own people, but still decides to go involve itself in plenty of fights and distractions overseas.
– Only the Department of Defense within the US Government is taking climate change 100% seriously.
– NASA experts predict that by 2100 there will only be sufficient arable land left to feed 400M people.
– The climate stability of the last millenium has been especially conducive to the human race “but it’s going away.”
– No one in Congress, elected or professional staffer, has sufficient technical expertise to challenge or perform effective oversight on the largest defense contractors.
– The rest of the world has already seen that “1) The United States is strategically inept and 2) Not the power it used to be. And the trend is to increase that.”
As well as:
We’re either going to change this country, or we are going to go down with it.
It makes you wonder what the real purpose of a Pacific trade agreement which excludes the major economies of China and Russia, is.