The Empire’s Sea of Woes, by Robert Gore

The noose cinches.

Second-rate George H.W. Bush got a first-rate Washington send-off. For one day it interrupted the downtrend in equity markets. It may mark the US apotheosis of inflated grandiosity. Across the Atlantic, Emmanuel Macron, pretentious popinjay of Gallic grandiosity, has gotten a deserved comeuppance. Brexit, Trump’s election, and nationalist uprisings in Southern and Eastern Europe apparently insufficient warning to the globalists who would rule us, the French rioters are sending yet another wake-up call. If that’s not enough, so too are many of the nations outside the Euro-American welfare state asylum.

The crazies’ kings, queens, and courtiers face a dwindling inheritance and mounting debt, but spend lavishly to keep up appearances. Falling markets and rioting taxpayers are unwelcome reminders that the money’s running out, leaving behind a stack of IOUs that won’t be paid. The aristocracy wants to offload the pain to the peasantry, but the riots demonstrate that the peasantry has other ideas. Our betters also want to blame their sea of woes on Eurasia’s leaders, but Russia, China, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are having none of that. They are, however, delighted to see the West crumbling and will do nothing to stop it.

Empire is America’s noose, hubris America’s curse. Once upon a time it didn’t matter much to the American people or their politicians what happened in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or even Europe. During the nineteenth century, for the most part we minded our own business, and what a business it turned out to be. America became the world’s industrial, technological, and commercial powerhouse.

Success may be the hardest human condition to endure. Few individuals withstand it. For empires, it’s always temporary. They fail and topple from the pinnacle with monotonous regularity. Preceding the fall is that heady feeling of invincibility, just as the those you ignored, scorned, or subjugated on the way up are putting in place their plans to take you down.

World War II left America and its satrapies at the top of the global heap. They neither recognized that their position was the result of fortuitous circumstances nor that their embrace of income taxes, central banking, welfare and warfare states, and governments’ ever-expanding interference in the lives of their citizens would eventually undercut their preeminence. Not until financial catastrophe, insurrection, and the relative progress of nations outside the empire unmistakably confronts them will they recognize that things have changed.

Donald Trump, titular leader of the empire, hasn’t gotten the news. He made some encouraging noises during the campaign and early in his administration about taking on corruption and reigning in military commitments, but it’s only been talk. He may yet get a scalp or two from the bungled attempt to depose him, but he hesitated and lost. The incoming Democrat-majority House of Representatives will stymie him at every turn.

Trump’s foreign and military policy is indistinguishable from the policy of Bush father and son, Clinton husband and wife, Cheney, Obama, and the rest of the neoconservative/neoliberal clown posse who run this country. No kerfuffle is too trivial for the US not to intervene, no hamlet too remote to send the troops and hardware. The only requirements are that the intervention projects power—Washington-speak for forcing somebody to do what they don’t want to do—and funnels money to the connected.

Trump, Pompeo, Bolton, and the motley menagerie of mendacious mendicants who run the European and Asian divisions of US Empire Inc. might want to ponder the meaning of place names, maps, and their countries’ balance sheets.

Why is the Persian Gulf called the Persian Gulf, and the South China Sea the South China Sea? Here’s a hint: proximity. The former is next to Persia, the latter China. The difficulties of far-flung interventions are magnified when your naval staging areas are proximate to nations that can put up a fight. Persia, or Iran as it’s now called, would be a lot tougher nut to crack than uncracked nuts Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Libya, no matter how many carriers we park in the Gulf. China is an economic and military superpower. Ludicrously, we’re trying to “contain” it in its own backyard while indulging in policy schizophrenia. Trump talks Let’s Make a Deal, but our northern satrapy arrests an important Chinese executive for not observing our Iranian sanctions.

Russia throws off no handy nomenclatural clues; you have to know some geography for insight into Imperial idiocy. A glance at the map reveals that the Baltic and Black Seas, and the Sea of Azov are proximate—there’s that word again—to Russia. Ukrainian grifter Petro Poroshenko, who in the rogue’s gallery of dubious US allies ranks right up there with Mohammad bin Salman, decides to tickle the bear. Russia responds and the US talks tough while parking ships and flying jets over what are essentially Russian lakes. Putin is not reported to have lost any sleep.

If hubris and stupidity don’t fell the Empire, insolvency will. France’s revolt can spread like a California wildfire. The dirty secret of the welfare state is that somebody has to pay for it. France has the highest tax burden in the developed world, but there’s a long list right behind where it is almost as onerous. Especially galling is the largess bestowed on immigrants The horror: taxpayers might get the idea that they—not the state and its wards—own their own lives. Around the globe, the French revolt could inspire those stuck with the tab to do something more drastic than vote for candidates who pledge to cut tax rates a percentage point or two.

Crashing stock markets and a global recession, or worse, would expand the ranks of the Gilets Jaunes. Crashing bond markets would drive up interest rates for profligate governments and tighten the noose, just as they’re faced with aging populations, unfunded liabilities, shrinking economies, and demonstrations and riots. Any sympathy for the ruling class rather than its victims would be woefully misplaced.

Meanwhile, the Eurasian powers are building a network of trade, telecommunications, infrastructure, and transport links spanning Halford Mackinder’s center of the world. If successful, such links could lead to unprecedented peace and prosperity in that historically troubled region.

In America, particularly in Washington, the concept of patriotism has tragically transmuted from pride in one’s country and heritage to: We run the world. SLL has said that the eventual goal of President Trump’s foreign policy is to make peace with multipolarity, leaving superpowers China, Russia, and the US dominant in their geographic spheres of influence (see “Trump’s New World Order” and “The Eagle, the Dragon, and the Bear”). Alas, SLL may be wrong. With Pompeo and Bolton whispering in his ear, it now appears Trump is trying to turn the clock back to The Ugly American 1950s.

To the consternation of faux patriots like Pompeo and Bolton, the effort is doomed. Hubris won’t generate prosperity, pay debts, keep the disaffected off the streets, or challenge the aspirations of competing global powers. The imperial delusion has felled another empire. Its potentates and subalterns won’t realize it until grasping creditors and deplorable barbarians have stormed the gates. By then, it will be too late to forestall the fate that lurks as their deepest fear.

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50 responses to “The Empire’s Sea of Woes, by Robert Gore

  1. Right on the money again, Bob.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Huh, Israel– the country that won’t allow Jews to marry non-Jews, does a DNA test on anybody who wants to immigrate, and is building a wall around
    the ENTIRE country– didn’t sign the Marrakech “commitment”?
    Here’s my shocked face.


  6. This article would be a well deserved Christmas card for those “…motley menagerie of mendacious mendicants…”.
    Best wishes and Merry Christmas and a HNYear.


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    Nailed it, Robert. Now, “what if?” Could the can be kicked down the road with another round of QE? Could the POTUS devalue the currency? Could we end up like China with a dual-currency system? Could TPTB just declare a “Jubilee Year” and wipe out all debt?
    I pose these questions because I do believe TPTB hear the ghostly patter of distant drums and know the angry, broke, citizen wage-earners are on the march. TPTB are greedy, Godless, and corrupt. They are not stupid. They all cannot hide in Patagonia or New Zealand. What do you think they will pull to keep from swinging from the lamp posts wearing hemp cravats?


    • “What do you think they will pull to keep from swinging from the lamp posts wearing hemp cravats?”

      I’m not sure if things get bad enough that there’s anything they can pull to avoid that fate, short of riding one of Elon Musk’s spaceships to a distant planet.


      • Centurion_Cornelius

        Heh! Heh! Cancel the imagery of the “quick getaway” by TPTB in anything of Elon Musk’s. With exploding and immolating TESLA vehicles, what would a few thousand gallons of highly flammable LOX on a Musk space-shot be other than an accident waiting to happen in space?

        Humm…on second thought. maybe TPTB out to try it–just once!

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Robert!


  27. As the former assistant, to Former Forbes Chairman. Sir Caspar Willard Weinberger, from, post Iran Contra to Arlington…Some have their September 11th, I had my September 10th. We worked quite well together /don’t ask/don’t tell. How he made it to ’88 when he would get me, a former champion, winded at half his age!
    I knew Donny would win, having met him early 90’s, but having had seen his treatment day after the election, and the choice of original cabinet, I knew that too,, would not bode well. At least i gave some a heads up, may the “frazzled rat” have her head handed to her.
    Hope springs eternal. At least I can deal with the facts now, that I have better things to look forward too; global reset/poles reversal!!!!



    Excellent encapsulation of the current doom sentiment. Still, life goes on. Gotta go check my stocks. Merry Christmas.


  29. “pretentious popinjay of Gallic grandiosity”……..I love reading you because you are such an incredible wordsmith! What a fabulous description of that smarmy little weasel! It was actually heart warming to see the Yellow Vest protests. I knew the pirates were in the mix, somewhere. I think that all of us are wondering when the “event” kicks off. All we can do is prepare for an uncertain future. And God help those that who cannot see The Matrix.


  30. “motley menagerie of mendacious mendicants”

    absolutely trumps

    “nattering nabobs of negativism”


  31. I wish more people read Straight Line Logic, but I suppose it’s similar to the anthropic principle. If we lived in a world where Straight Line Logic was widely read, it could not be a world in which Straight Line Logic would be written. If this blog was read by the masses, the world would not have the problems it does. That’s why I wish more people would read this blog, but also why that world can’t exist because it would be self exclusionary. I guess what I’m actually saying is that more people should read this as a remedy to what ails our nation.


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  33. Why do we count on one man to do our bidding ? Yes, the President could have come in making sweeping changes and caught a bullet.

    Does Kennedy or Lincoln ring any bells ? No, you don’t corner rats. Wait, set the trap and wait. Let’s keep supporting the President.


  34. I was once sent to take over a business that was bankrupt without anyone knowing/acknowledging it. I checked the flight schedules back home but decided to try something different. I called in all the creditors and told them the bad news was we had little cash and furthermore there were no meaningful assets that they would get from a bankruptcy. They weren’t happy but didn’t kill me since I had just arrived. I asked them how long they could wait for their money if I was able to pay on all new business and got mixed results. The problem was that we were a general contractor that brought them most of their work so they had a vested interest in our survival. Gradually we came to an agreement where they were privy to our books until all debts were paid and the profits from present and future jobs would be proportioned to debt payment. The situation was impossible to resolve without an agreement to work together. There were no banks or other sources of funds involved.

    This was just a tiny little company in the scheme of things but I don’t know why huge organizations cannot operate this way in a crisis. Maybe the rest of the world could focus on their own problems and we could utilize the historical methods that made us great to “actually” make us great again. I came from Pittsburgh and spent my early career working for one of several Fortune 200 companies that had large quantities of stock owned my the Mellon Family Trust. Andrew Mellon loaned money to men that convinced him that they had good ideas like and as a result he financed companies like Alcoa, Koppers, Carbourundum and Gulf Oil. Since the founders had no capital he took worthless shares to fund their ideas. These “handshake” deals made one of the world’s richest men and he lived in the company or Rockefeller, Carnage, Frick other builders of business in America.
    But, maybe we will just keep supporting our tribes, fighting the Crusades, saving dictatorial regimes because they are allies and printing fiat money.


  35. It’s a parable based on a real life situation.


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  38. Hi, Robert!

    I was perusing the Lew Rockwell site this morning and came across your excellent article. I clicked onto your site to finish reading. After reading the article I clicked on your bio. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I graduated with you from LA Highschool in Los Alamos way back in 1976! I now remember you well. Any chance you could drop me an email sometime when you get a moment. I would love to catch up with you. By the way great site.

    Eric Jacobson


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