Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Government liens, government lies and the end of the empire


"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

-- Abraham Lincoln

Lawrence here with a hypothetical scenario, loosely based in history.

The rich and the powerful conspire, and the government lies. The rich, the powerful and governments have does these things for decades, for centuries, for millennia. But now some of those lies seem worse than ever or at least in recent times, since our country seems more strained in terms of finances, education, manufacturing, the best and the brightest. Our reputation in world affairs is tarnished and vulnerable.

Some of these increasing vulnerabilities, many based on those in power conspiring to lie or limit the safeguards of our own democracy, may even make our country more vulnerable to a federal/national/international breakdown or crash.

Every empire thus far has ended. Perhaps every empire ends, and maybe this is how it will happen to the United States: Our own hubris and mistakes will make us more and more vulnerable to the competition and those whose loans keep us afloat. We will leverage ourselves and militarize ourselves into irreversible debt. Our foreign infiltrations will backfire. Some big loans will be called, and the European Union, the U.N., Japan and China will censure us and levy fines on broken and ignored treaties and trade deals.

The U.S. will get slapped down. It will be humbled somehow, and maybe that is what it will take to end this empire - the same as every other. History is right there to suggest this is how it will go.

But maybe, with America's big shoulders slumped - if not on its knees - humbled before the collective powers of wiser, more progressive, more cooperative (more "multi-lateral") nations, maybe, just maybe, the world would be a BETTER place.

Empires have had their days and maybe even done some good for the world - shown us what an empire can do and what it is likely to do - but I don't think many of us would say the world would be a better place if any empire had been able to endure much longer than it did or become "permanent." An empire is an aggressive and then institutionalized phase a powerful and rich nation goes through, but who wants one to last forever? Better to share the riches and the rights, the access to human progress, the ability to prevail as a species and as a planet teaming with life yet bound by limits.

Much of the world has already learned the lessons of America and taken those lessons to more modern means of dealing with this "global" world. The future of democracy doesn't depend on the United States, it depends on enlightened citizens around the world. We have probably taught the world our greatest lessons already, and our constitution will be a model for a long time to come.

But the current imperialism and runamok capitalism of this nation will NOT BE a model for a long time to come. The current biggest lesson the world is learning from us now is the price everyone is paying for our political (and hypocritical) audacity, our spoiled entitlements, our military might, our weapons buildup and dependency, our oil addiction, our consumption, our "holier than thou" arrogance, and our waste.

If the other powerful and influential countries in the world are learning these things faster than we are - and keeping these lessons in mind - then the end of our empire might indeed be a good thing.

We would still be a world player, still a leader of sorts, still the America Woody Guthrie was proud of, still innovative, still striving, still ripe with hope. But we would function better within the bounds of cooperation and the limits of our political and natural resources. Billions might learn better ways to do what is needed - to tread more lightly and not carry such big sticks. We as a nation and as a participant in the world might even mature a good bit, beyond this adolescent phase, and deal with the world less as spoiled teenagers and more as considerate, respectful, enlightened and compassionate adults.

We will give up our empire or lose it. We will cease to be an empire and, for it, for that gift and for the world, we will be a better nation.

It's high time we became the home of the brave: With respect to justice, cooperation and peace, here's to the end of the empire.



At 5/10/2005 12:51 PM, Blogger sojourning crow said...

yea, tell me about it. some links for you:




At 5/11/2005 11:22 AM, Blogger Rhesus Pieces said...

Aw! The system ate my comment. The paranoid would suggest there is censorship going on. That's not me! I blame technology.

The point I wanted to make was that the government isn't really behind what's going on. It's the corporations. They are the ones that can buy those priceless votes.

I don't really see the arrogance. Everyone that want's to suggest what is better or what is wrong with another point of view is arrogant. How's that for a truely liberal view point! Ha!
The true arrogant don't place themselves in a position to be questioned.

The reputation of the US in a world that lets the geneocides, injustices, etc occur that doen't really provide a good baseline unless doing nothing is better than doing something. You can talk about what is the right to do but that gets to be subjective again. Points of view are many. Pick one, any one.

The only casualty to wanting to be like Europe will be a loss of freedom. It won't be much. Maybe that's the price for living like everyone else. Oops, not like everyone else. There are more living under much less freedom than Europe. Do we have an obligation to elevate those countries to our level of freedom? I don't think so lest hubris takes hold. When their point of view says we are an enemy to be destroyed I suppose we let them.

At 5/11/2005 11:43 AM, Blogger Rhesus Pieces said...

I think that we have a responibility to take a leadership role with the world. If our way is better then we have an obligation to present it. After all, the only thing you can trust civilized people to do is to make the world one that they want to live in.

At 5/11/2005 7:28 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

Good point, Rhesus, yes, it is the corporations that are the driving force here and abroad. But, as in Teddy Roosevelt's day, it is the government's job to fend off the corporations and to stand for the people - this is how the government is failing us - by not standing up for what's best for the citizens.

The corporations DO have more clout.

At 4/07/2008 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lawrence has the whole thing pegged. our government should be working for us. not the corporations, but that's not the case.


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