Tag Archives: empires

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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When the Money Supply Dries Up, by Jeff Thomas

The most ostensibly rich and powerful empires have gone bankrupt and collapsed. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Money Supply Dries Up

In 1944, the US had been the primary supplier for arms for the allies during World War II and, as such, exited the war with more wealth than any of the other nations that had entered the war earlier, draining their treasuries of money. Since payment was largely demanded in gold, the US held three-quarters of the world’s gold and therefore was in a position to call the shots with regard to the free world’s economic future.

At Bretton Woods, the US took advantage of this situation, setting up the World Bank and the IMF and declaring the dollar to be the default currency for all countries concerned. From that point on, the US was in the catbird seat, able to dictate economic terms to other countries and even to behave irresponsibly, eventually creating previously unheard-of levels of debt, thereby inspiring other nations to do their best to create their own debt in order to keep pace as best they could.

Eventually, of course, such irresponsible economics will cause any country, no matter how powerful, to collapse economically, no matter how many Keynesian economists such as Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and Larry Summers declare otherwise.

Beginning in 1944, the US became the world’s foremost empire, for the strongest of reasons—it held the world’s wealth. This advantage led to a period of great power and, in the latter years, as the empire began to stumble economically under its own great weight, led to the creation of organisations and legislation designed to bring in new revenue, as the old forms of revenue declined.

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How Empires End, by Jeff Thomas

Insolvency has probably felled more empires than foreign invaders have. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

How Empires End

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Histories are generally written by academics. They, quite naturally, tend to focus on the main events: the wars and the struggles between leaders and their opponents (both external and internal). Whilst these are interesting stories to read, academics, by their very nature, often overlook the underlying causes for an empire’s decline.

Today, as in any era, most people are primarily interested in the “news”—the daily information regarding the world’s political leaders and their struggles with one another to obtain, retain, and expand their power. When the history is written about the era we are passing through, it will reflect, in large measure, a rehash of the news. As the media of the day tend to overlook the fact that present events are merely symptoms of an overall decline, so historians tend to focus on major events, rather than the “slow operations” that have been the underlying causes.

The Persian Empire

When, as a boy, I was “educated” about the decline and fall of the Persian Empire, I learned of the final takeover by Alexander the Great but was never told that, in its decline, Persian taxes became heavier and more oppressive, leading to economic depression and revolts, which, in turn led to even heavier taxes and increased repression. Increasingly, kings hoarded gold and silver, keeping it out of circulation from the community. This hamstrung the market, as monetary circulation was insufficient to conduct business. By the time Alexander came along, Persia, weakened by warfare and internal economic strife, was a shell of an empire and was relatively easy to defeat.

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The Chinese Mindset in a Hybrid War With the US, by Xiaoran Tong

Sometimes it’s enlightening to hear what foreigners have to say about your country. From Xiaoran Tong at antiwar.com:

I recently came across a Facebook comment from a Hongkonger, arguing that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is nothing communist given China’s prosperous private sector after 1979’s reform. He then linked a video to mock the western electoral democracy that put Trump and Hitler into the office, leading to the conclusion that the West has no credential to criticize the one-party system of China for the lack of democracy. His comment represents the contemporary Chinese sentiment and is quite understandable given the ongoing color revolution in Hong Kong 2019, which is still lukewarm to this day, and the unrelenting blame of COVID19 on China. Although the hybrid war waged on China is unjust, the current Chinese mindset does not help to diffuse but only fuels the conflict even further.

The Facebook comment was right about CPP not being Communist that seeks total control of the economy by the state. Yet, China is state capitalism, an oligarchy, or crony capitalism. China is a plutocracy by the marriage between the party leadership (the state), and the monopolizing mega-corporations (the money) like Huawei, Ali, the four state-owned commercial banks, and Sinopec Group. It is far from a free-market where the only way to win a competition is to provide excellent products, where the state has no role in deciding the winner and no ability to finance itself by forcing the circulation of central-banknotes. China does have a private sector – the semi-free-market, the good part of our bad plutocracy. Still, even that part is weatheringafter supreme leader Xi took power, and most Chinese do no realize that we are marching back into a more planned, more communism, more Mao Zedong like system, slowly but surely. In China, life is artificially expensive under the tightening state control that imposes layers upon layers of covert taxation, to the point of causing hesitation to have more children.

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The Geopolitics of Epistemological Warfare: From Babylon to Neocon, by Matthew Ehret

Do those who propound the theories that threaten mankind with extinction actually believe them? From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

I think any sane human being can agree that while war was never a good idea, war in the 21st century is an absolutely intolerable one. The problem we currently face is that many of the forces driving world events towards an all-out war of “Mutually Assured Annihilation” are anything but sane.

While I’m obviously referring here to a certain category of people who fall under a particularly virulent strain of imperial thinking which can be labelled “neo-conservative” and while many of these disturbing figures honestly believe that a total war of annihilation is a risk worth taking in order to achieve their goals of total global hegemony, I would like to make one subtle yet very important distinction which is often overlooked.

What is this distinction?

Under the broad umbrella of “neo-conservative” one should properly differentiate those who really believe in their ideology and are trapped under the invisible cage of its unexamined assumptions vs. that smaller yet more important segment that created and manages the ideology from the top. I brushed on this grouping in a recent 3 part study called Origins of the Deep State and Myth of the Jewish Conspiracy.

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An Empire Self-Destructs, by Jeff Thomas

Empires never last, and the US’s certainly won’t. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

In the Victorian Age, we Brits were proud to say, “There will always be an England,” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” So, where did we go wrong? Why are we no longer the world’s foremost empire? Why have we lost not only the majority of our colonies, but also the majority of our wealth?

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He Said That? 4/2/17

From Fred Van Lente (born 1972), American writer, primarily of comic books and graphic novels,  Ivar, Timewalker, Volume 3: Ending History (2015):

Do you know why empires fall? Because they can no longer believe their own lies.