The Empire at the Crossroads

You don’t have to have a tinfoil hat to notice that actions like assuming the right to open mail without a warrant and assigning political appointees to overlook government agencies aren’t exactly the actions of an administration that’s planning on clearing out fairly soon. They’re the actions of folks who are digging in for the long haul, fluffing up their power structure so it’s even more comfortable to them.

Unfortunately, as this article points out, we’re at a point where we have two options. We can have the Empire that these people want, or we can have Democracy. We can’t have both.

The combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, an ever growing economic dependence on the military-industrial complex and the making of weaponry, and ruinous military expenses as well as a vast, bloated “defense” budget, not to speak of the creation of a whole second Defense Department (known as the Department of Homeland Security) has been destroying our republican structure of governing in favor of an imperial presidency. By republican structure, of course, I mean the separation of powers and the elaborate checks and balances that the founders of our country wrote into the Constitution as the main bulwarks against dictatorship and tyranny, which they greatly feared.

We are on the brink of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation starts down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play — isolation, overstretch, the uniting of local and global forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end bankruptcy.

Chalmers Johnson, the article’s author, isn’t some armchair pundit, like the ones who promised us a safe easy victory in Iraq, were dead wrong, and continue to be able to spout forth. He knows of what he speaks. Moreover, history supports his conclusions. We’ve seen nations in our situation before, having to choose between Empire and Democracy, we’ve seen examples of both choices, and we’ve seen the consequences of them. Empires aren’t sustainable. You can’t force everyone to love, respect, or even fear you.

Considering that these are the people who have flat out said that another terrorist attack might mean we have to suspend the Constitution (not that they respect it anyway — witness Samuel Alito saying that the Constitution doesn’t guarantee habeus corpus for anyone) and who register light-brite Mooninites as a possible terrorist threat, and as I said, you don’t have to be overly paranoid to see some dots that could easily be connected here.

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2 Responses to The Empire at the Crossroads

  1. “Empires aren’t sustainable.” Isn’t that the truth. Yet it would seem some still believe ours is. I have heard people in the past speak of the falls of the ‘great’ empires as some kinfd of tragedy (Greek & Roman empires), but I would suggest their deflation was natural and unavoidable. You just can’t keep that kind of control over that wide a region without becoming the Evil Empire. I don’t see what we have to fear. Many European nations, including former world powers France, Germany and England seem to be doing just fine without such control, and its citizens apparently haven’t organized rebellions either. Oh, wait, I forgot – terrorists are going to kill us all if we don’t ramp up everything…..

  2. David Thiel says:

    Moreover, they are going to kill us via cartoon characters giving our nation’s bridges and roadways the finger.