Tag Archives: American empire

Japan Reenlists as Washington’s Spear-Carrier, by Patrick Lawrence

Japan is now a paid-up U.S. vassal. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

Patrick Lawrence reflects on Prime Minister Kishida’s radical turn toward the militarism his country’s pacifist constitution forbids.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida with President Joe Biden at the White House on Jan. 13. (White House, Cameron Smith)

It is always the same when Japanese premiers travel to Washington to summit at the White House. Nothing seems to happen and nobody pays much attention even when important things happen, when we should all pay attention, and, when we do pay passing attention, we usually get it wrong. In January 1960, when Premier Nobusuke Kishi visited Washington, President Dwight Eisenhower blessed a war criminal and signed a security treaty the Japanese public vigorously opposed. That week Newsweek marked Kishi down as “that friendly, savvy Japanese salesman.”

Kishi proved a salesman, all right. Three years later he used armed police to clear the Diet of opposition legislators and force ratification of the Anpo treaty, as the Japanese call it, with members of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) the only ones present to vote on it. “A 134–pound body packed with pride, power and passion — a perfect embodiment of his country’s amazing resurgence,” TIME wrote of the man who ought to have been hanged a decade earlier.

Now we have Premier Fumio Kishida, who summited with our asleep-at-the-wheel president in the Oval Office a week ago. I do not know how much Kishida weighs or how proud of himself or his nation he is, but, in an uncanny echo of the Kishi–Eisenhower summit, Joe Biden blessed his radical turn toward the militarism Japan’s pacifist constitution forbids.

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Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome, Part IV, by Doug Casey

Part IV of Doug Casey’s exploration of parallels between the Roman and American empires. From Casey at internationalman.com:

rome

See here for Part III

Now to gratify the Druids among you.

Soil exhaustion, deforestation, and pollution—which abetted plagues—were problems for Rome. As was lead poisoning, in that the metal was widely used for eating and drinking utensils and for cookware. None of these things could bring down the house, but neither did they improve the situation. They might be equated today with fast food, antibiotics in the food chain, and industrial pollutants. Is the U.S. agricultural base unstable because it relies on gigantic monocultures of bioengineered grains that in turn rely on heavy inputs of chemicals, pesticides, and mined fertilizers? It’s true that production per acre has gone up steeply because of these things, but that’s despite the general decrease in depth of topsoil, destruction of native worms and bacteria, and growing pesticide resistance of weeds.

Perhaps even more important, the aquifers needed for irrigation are being depleted. But these things have all been necessary to maintain the U.S. balance of trade, keep food prices down, and feed the expanding world population. It may turn out, however, to have been a bad trade-off.

I’m a technophile, but there are some reasons to believe we may have serious problems ahead. Global warming, incidentally, isn’t one of them. One of the reasons for the rise of Rome—and the contemporaneous Han in China—may be that the climate cyclically warmed considerably up to the 3rd century, then got much cooler. Which also correlates with the invasions by northern barbarians.

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The Oldest Lie and Why the End of the American Empire Was Delayed, by Batiushka

A short history of empires, and why the Russia had to wait until 2022 to sound the death knell of America’s. From Batiushka at thesaker.is:

Roman Imperialists linked with Scotland. To their right is the first braveheart, Calgacus

Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy is rich, they are rapacious; if he is poor, they lust for control; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter and plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they create a wilderness and call it peace.

Calgacus, AD 84

Introduction: Babylon and the Kingdom of Gold (1)

In Chapter 5 of the Old Testament Book of Daniel, we read of the feast of King Belshazzar and a mysterious hand, which wrote the following words on his palace wall: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. These words were interpreted as meaning: ‘God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting; your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians’. It was the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, of the Kingdom of gold, as that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. It was 539 BC. The End of Empire.

Rembrandt’s Portrayal of the Writing on the Wall

Rome and the Kingdom of Silver

The first person to appear in Scottish history by name was called Calgacus (‘the Swordsman’). He was a leader of the Caledonians, later called the Scots, and is mentioned at the Battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84. He is referred to by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Agricola, who attributes a speech to him before the battle which we quoted above. A modern historian of Scotland has put it like this, in words that would sound familiar when applied to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine:

‘The reality is that the Romans came to what is now Scotland, they saw, burned, killed, stole and occasionally conquered, and then they left a tremendous mess behind them, clearing away native settlements and covering good farmland with the remains of ditches, banks, roads, and other sorts of ancient military debris. Like most imperialists, they arrived to make money, gain political advantage and exploit the resources of their colonies at virtually any price to the conquered’ (2).

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Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome, Part III, by Doug Casey

The third of Doug Casey’s examination of the Roman and the American empires. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Wars made Rome. Wars expanded the country’s borders and brought it wealth, but they also sowed the seeds of its destruction, especially the three big wars against Carthage, 264-146 BCE.

Rome began as a republic of yeoman farmers, each with his own plot of land. You had to be a landowner to join the Roman army; it was a great honor, and it wouldn’t take the riffraff. When the Republic was threatened—and wars were constant and uninterrupted from the beginning—a legionary might be gone for five, ten, or more years. His wife and children back on the farm might have to borrow money to keep things going and then perhaps default, so soldiers’ farms would go back to bush or get taken over by creditors. And, if he survived the wars, an ex-legionary might be hard to keep down on the farm after years of looting, plundering, and enslaving the enemy. On top of that, tidal waves of slaves became available to work freshly confiscated properties. So, like America, Rome became more urban and less agrarian. Like America, there were fewer family farmers but more industrial-scale latifundia.

War turned the whole Mediterranean into a Roman lake. With the Punic wars, Spain and North Africa became provinces. Pompey the Great (106-48 BCE) conquered the Near East. Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) conquered Gaul 20 years later. Then Augustus took Egypt.

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Explaining Multipolarity, Decline of US Hegemony, by Michael Hudson

The U.S. is going to be less important, the rest of the world more important. From an interview between Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson at unz.com:

Transcript

RADHIKA DESAI: Hi everyone, and welcome to this Geopolitical Economy Hour. I’m Radhika Desai.

MICHAEL HUDSON: And I’m Michael Hudson.

RADHIKA DESAI: Every fortnight we are going to meet for an hour to discuss major development in the fast-changing geopolitical economy of our 21st-century world.

We’ll discuss international developments. We’ll discuss their roots in individual countries and regions. We will try to uncover the reality beneath the usually distorting representation of these developments in the dominant Western media.

We plan to discuss many subjects: inflation, oil prices, de-dollarization, the outcome of the war over Ukraine which is going to determine so many things, the threats the U.S. is making against China about Taiwan, China’s increasingly prominent role in the world, how China’s Belt and Road Initiative is going to reshape it, how Western alliances and the Western-dominated world that was built over the past couple of centuries is so rapidly fracturing.

We’ll discuss financialization, the West’s productive decline. Many important things. Michael, am I leaving any important things out?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Well we have been talking about this for many decades. Already in 1978 I wrote a book, Global Fracture, about how the world is dividing into two parts. But that time, other countries were trying to break free so they could follow their own developments.

And today it’s the United States that is isolating other countries – not only China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, but now the Global South – so the United States has ended up isolating itself from the rest.

What we’re going to talk about is how this is not only a geographic split, but a split of economic systems and economic philosophies. We’re going to talk about what the characteristics and the policies [are] that are shaping this new global fracture.

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Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome, Part II, by Doug Casey (With Link to Part I)

The second part of Doug Casey’s excellent comparison between the Roman and American Empires. From Casey at internationalman.com:

See here for Part I

Like the Romans, we’re supposedly ruled by laws, not by men. In Rome, the law started with the 12 Tablets in 451 BCE, with few dictates and simple enough to be inscribed on bronze for all to see. A separate body of common law developed from trials, held sometimes in the Forum, sometimes in the Senate.

When the law was short and simple, the saying “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (ignorance of the law is no excuse) made sense. But as the government and its legislation became more ponderous, the saying became increasingly ridiculous. Eventually, under Diocletian, law became completely arbitrary, with everything done by the emperor’s decrees—we call them Executive Orders today.

I’ve mentioned Diocletian several times already. It’s true that his draconian measures held the Empire together, but it was a matter of destroying Rome in order to save it. As in the U.S., in Rome statute and common law gradually devolved into a maze of bureaucratic rules.

The trend accelerated under Constantine, the first Christian emperor, because Christianity is a top-down religion, reflecting a hierarchy where rulers were seen as licensed by God. The old Roman religion never tried to capture men’s minds this way. Before Christianity, violating the emperor’s laws wasn’t seen as also violating God’s laws.

The devolution is similar in the U.S. You’ll recall that only three crimes are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution—treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. Now you can read Harvey Silverglate’s book, Three Felonies a Day, which argues that the average modern-day American, mostly unwittingly, is running his own personal crime wave—because federal law has criminalized over 5,000 different acts.

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A Rift in the Lute? By Batiushka

Unlike Europeans, Americans don’t have to encounter people from other countries on a regular basis. Living in this bubble has not been to the U.S.’s benefit. From Batiushka at thesaker.is:

A U.S. 51-star flag has already been created just in case there ever is a 51st state

Foreword

Joke of the Decade from the quisling Stoltenberg: ‘NATO is united’. (Amazing what a few million dollars deposited into their bank accounts will do to some people’s sense of truth-telling. Ask the President of the Ukraine, if you do not believe me). Apparently, Stoltenberg has not heard of Greece and Türkiye (whose President the NATO US tried to assassinate). Or Romania and Hungary. Or try Germany and Poland. Many Non-Norwegians, for example all Germans and Poles, are aware that Germany and Poland are not on good terms. The current Polish government wants even more money back from Germany in war reparations – yes, for that war which ended 78 years ago.

Meanwhile the Germans continue to use the expression ‘polnische Wirtschaft’, literally ‘Polish economy’, meaning total chaos. And then there are Germans who would like Silesia back, those cities like Breslau and after all, why not Danzig? As for the provincial Polish obsession with recovering their ‘greatness’, a Polish Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, by taking over and perhaps ethnically cleansing the western Ukraine (remember Akcija Visla in 1947; the parents of some of my best friends lived through it), Germans shake their heads in despair. However, there is also another international ‘rift in the lute’, or crack in the violin creating disharmony. It could be fatal. Read on.

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What would it take? by The Saker

Few Americans realize how much the American government is loathed throughout the world. From The Saker at saker.is:

How NATO “celebrated” the Orthodox Nativity

NATO did “celebrate” the Orthodox Nativity, but in its own way. First, a few headlines:

Remember the truce offered by Russia?  It was rejected.  Instead we got this:

And, just to clarify, NATO uses Serbia as a defenseless victim to show Russia what it can do to its allies, the message being, as Stoble Talbott said, “after Serbia, you are next”, so the link here is strong.

NATO did not stop at that, it also continued its policy of persecutions, see these headlines:

Speaking of issues of freedom of religion, NATO is planning to completely ban the parishes which used to have an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchate, which then turned against Moscow and condemned the SMO.  But that was not enough, so, just like in NATO occupied Kosovo, the persecution of Orthodox clergy and faithful is both a “feel good” operation for Orthodoxy-haters and a “message” to Moscow.

NATO did not stop at that, it also announced yet another military aid package for Banderastan: (no translation needed I suppose)

None of that will be enough to make a difference, but there are many more such “aid” programs being discussed, so NATO wants to continue to draw out this war for as long as possible and fight the Russians down to the last Ukrainian.

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Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome, Part I, by Doug Casey

Doug Casey has his own take on the parallels between the U.S. and Roman empires, a subject that elicited a fair number of Internet articles. From Casey at internationalman.com:

rome

As some of you know, I’m an aficionado of ancient history. I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss what happened to Rome and based on that, what’s likely to happen to the U.S. Spoiler alert: There are some similarities between the U.S. and Rome.

But before continuing, please seat yourself comfortably. This article will necessarily cover exactly those things you’re never supposed to talk about—religion and politics—and do what you’re never supposed to do, namely, bad-mouth the military.

There are good reasons for looking to Rome rather than any other civilization when trying to see where the U.S. is headed. Everyone knows Rome declined, but few people understand why. And, I think, even fewer realize that the U.S. is now well along the same path for pretty much the same reasons, which I’ll explore shortly.

Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107, when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure.

The U.S. reached its peak relative to the world, and in some ways its absolute peak, as early as the 1950s. In 1950 this country produced 50% of the world’s GNP and 80% of its vehicles. Now it’s about 21% of world GNP and 5% of its vehicles. It owned two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves; now it holds one-fourth. It was, by a huge margin, the world’s biggest creditor, whereas now it’s the biggest debtor by a huge margin. The income of the average American was by far the highest in the world; today it ranks about eighth, and it’s slipping.

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Systems Dynamics Follow Their Own Rules – and Not Groupthink, by Alasdair Crooke

What happens when reality refuses to follow the rules. The decline and fall of the American empire is offering a concrete demonstration. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

While America’s cultural and economic ascendency is portrayed as an End of History ‘normal’, it represents an obvious anomaly, Alastair Crooke writes.

Toward the end of his The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), “[Yale Historian] Paul Kennedy expressed the then-controversial belief that great power wars were not a thing of the past. One of the main themes of Kennedy’s history was the concept of overstretch – that is to say, that the relative decline of great powers often resulted from an imbalance between a nation’s resources and its commitments”, writes Professor Francis Sempa.

Few in the western Ruling Class even accept that we have reached such a point of inflection. Like it or not, however, great power combinations are fast rising across the globe. U.S. influence already is shrinking back to its Atlanticist core. This shrinkage is not simply a matter of resources vs commitments; that is too simplistic as an explanation.

Metamorphosis is occurring both as the result of the exhaustion of the political and cultural dynamics which powered the previous era, as much as is energised by the vitality of new dynamics. And by ‘dynamics’ is meant too, the exhaustion and coming demise of underlying mechanical financial and cultural structures which in, and of, themselves are moulding the new politics and culture.

Systems follow their own rules – the rules of physical mechanics too – as in, what happens when a further grain of sand is added to a complex, unstable sand pile. Thus, unlike in politics, neither human opinion, nor election outcomes in Washington, will necessarily have the capacity to mould the next era – any more than the opinion of Congress alone can reverse a cascade in a financial sand pile – if big enough – by pouring more sand grains on its top.

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