By Paul Edwards
July 23, 2016 "Information
- All life systems have laws that govern them,
identified or not. Many are beyond human capacity to
catalog and comprehend. But not all.
Newton said that for every action there is an equal
and opposite reaction and nailed that to the wall of
physics. Social sciences can’t match such precision.
John Stuart Mill observed that against great
political power, a small resistance does not have a
small effect: it has no effect at all. One could
argue sentimentally, of course, but history tends to
bear him out.
Are there laws that govern empires? Formed by
conquest and exploiting subject nations, they must
have the might both to subdue and to rule. (Viz.
Rome, Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, Victorian
Another constant is that their intake of loot from
abroad and from bleeding their own people is
endlessly consumed in fueling the engine of dominion
until the running balance goes negative. Then
imperial recession begins.
A third is that as the capacity to rule its colonies
fails, repression at home must increase to quash
incipient rebellion. The death camps of HItler and
the gulags of Stalin were final solutions to largely
These may or may not be laws, exactly, but they are
common to the genus and it is abundantly clear by
now that America belongs to it.
No point in recounting our expeditionary insanities.
Everyone’s memorized them. They’re the recurring
nightmares of our collective consciousness.
Routine police murder of blacks is the obverse of
the horrific brutality our mercenaries inflict on
the peoples of countries we’ve destroyed. Imperial
murder abroad necessitates commensurate racist
homicide at home.
This is how it works. And the darkest reality is
that all our killing power--and there is much in
reserve; our deluded elite may yet provoke world
war--is useless to maintain our shabby and corrupt
hegemony, shattered as it now is by a long string of
appalling, degrading, and shameful failures.
Kipling wrote of Brittania waning but his words
frame the end of all empires: “Far-called, our
navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the
fire: Lo, all our pomp of yesterday, is one with
Nineveh and Tyre!”
Imperial America is functioning predictably,
robotically, on kinetic principles it cannot alter.
The Last Best Hope of Mankind has evolved into a
cruel, blind, autonomic Death Star, hurtling
inexorably toward its end. Ironically, the fact of
the Exceptional Nation’s demise will be entirely
No one can say what the trigger mechanism will be or
what will follow. Imperial dissolution is as complex
as expansion and less predictable.
There was general and total disintegration in Rome.
Systemic breakdowns in Bourbon France and Romanov
Russia led to revolutions that tore those societies
apart. The pulverization of Banzai Japan and Nazi
Germany led through ashes to reconstitution. And war
bankruptcy and implosion sank Great Britain from
power to welfare basket case.
What will be undeniably unique in the American
Empire’s end is the scale on which disintegration
will occur. Never in history has so mighty a power
inextricably and irremediably entangled with so much
of the world.
Whether our dissolution comes through annihilation
by war or evisceration through financial meltdown,
it will be the greatest act of state terrorism ever
inflicted on mankind. In this catastrophic imperial
suicide the collateral damage will be the world.
Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana.
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