Article 43

 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

America In Collapse 5

image: the end is near

We’re In The Final Years Of The American Empire

By Rainer Shea
Medium
May 19. 2019

The United States has reached a point where its entire claim to global hegemony is based on a series of largely fragile geopolitical alliances, and on a worldwide military presence that can’t be sustained for much longer. As the political writer Dmitry Orlov said in an interview last month: “I think that the AMERICAN EMPIRE is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case.”

The last few years military budget expansions, war campaigns against Iran and Venezuela, and attempts to strong-arm Russia and China are all part of the American empire’s reaction to this fragility on its part. So is the fact that the United States has been directly at war for the last eighteen years. Throughout this time, the American empire has been in a state similar to that of the British empire after it attacked Egypt in 1956, or to that of the Athenian empire during the Peloponnesian War of 431404 B.C. When these empires launched these great military adventures, they both experienced a rapid decline in their ability to hold together the power structures they֒d created, and soon they were no longer dominant. The same has been happening to the U.S. since the start if its disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since that time, endless wars and military expansions have drained the U.S. economy while the Great Recession and increasing income inequality have further impeded the country’s ability to economically function. The U.S. has mostly lost its ability to persuade formerly loyal countries to serve its foreign policy goals; the Trump administration’s push for war with Iran is mainly getting support from Saudi Arabia and Israel, with the international community overwhelmingly rejecting Trumps Iran agenda. Overall, the hand that America plays during its regime change attempts is now decrepit and increasingly ineffectual; the U.S. has ended up isolating itself on the world stage by supporting GuaidoҒs illegal coup attempt in Venezuela, with 75% of the worlds countries backing Maduro. And in a world that’s become multipolar, Russia and China have lately been outmaneuvering the U.S. economically and militarily, such as with their preparations to protect Venezuela from an invasion.

The U.S. still can still do great damage through sanctions-as its doing right now in Syria-and its military remains the largest in the world. But without strong international support or an economy that works properly, the country is only retaining its power through endless violence and military buildup. The U.S. is an international outlaw whose government is widely hated and distrusted both at home and abroad, and mass revolt against it could easily break out in the coming years as lower class discontent reaches a boiling point.

None of this is hyperbole. In 2017, a Pentagon report stated that American power “is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing.” The report even recommended that the government try to maintain its control through propaganda, increased surveillance, and more military expansionism.

But reality will catch up with the empire’s attempts to stop its own unraveling. Americas great undoing will be the collapse of the dollar-an eventuality which the U.S. has been trying to stave off by intervening in Iran and Venezuela for their rejection of America’s currency. If the U.S. were to conquer both of these countries, it wouldnt be able to halt the transition away from American trade dominance that nations around the world are making. With Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, the U.S. lost the respect of many nations around the world, and Trumps TRADE WARS and rejections of international agreements like the Paris agreement have accelerated this rupture between the U.S. and the rest of the world. America’s global dollar reserves are being replaced by other currencies. And as this process continues, its going to combine with the country’s internal financial mismanagement to create a 21st century Great Depression.

By the end of the 2020s, the U.S. may be so economically crippled that it will have to massively withdraw its global military forces. This will represent the death of the American empire, which the author Alfred McCoy has predicted will come around the year 2030. At that point, writes McCoy, the country will be experiencing soaring prices, ever-rising unemployment, and a continuing decline in real wages throughout the 2020s, [as] domestic divisions widen into violent clashes and divisive debates, often over symbolic, insubstantial issues.Ӕ

“The decline of the dollar, as well as potential wars with Iran, Russia, and China, are going to be the stress test” that Orlov anticipates will end America as we know it. This collapse cant be stopped. The question is what will happen after America goes under.

This question will be decided by those who make the choice between whether they’ll continue to support capitalism, or fight for a world that isn’t controlled by fascistic governments and powerful multinational corporations. After the U.S. loses its power, the corporatocracy will use the private armies of mercenary companies like Blackwater to carry out its regime change projects. Already, Blackwater is aiming to cash in on American desires for continued military involvement by becoming part of the wars in Afghanistan and Syria. This privatization of the empire will be an unprecedented corporate takeover, and it will be facilitated by a collection of world powers that have embraced ethno-nationalism and authoritarianism.

The European Union will likely work as one of these authoritarian powers; the EU’s recent efforts to control information and exert police power over the populations of its member countries show that the EU could soon become an instrument for social control within its region. This will be paralleled by a plethora of countries which are already quickly shifting towards despotism and ethnic nationalism, with America having some of the greatest potential for falling into tyranny. As Chris Hedges has written about what America will look like if it continues on its current path:

The central government will be reduced to its most basic functions - internal and external security and collecting taxes. Severe poverty will cripple the lives of most citizens. Any essential service once provided by the state, from utilities to basic policing, will be privatized, expensive and inaccessible to those without resources - The mass media will become nakedly Orwellian, chatting endlessly about a bright future and pretending America remains a great superpower. It will substitute political gossip for news - a corruption already far advanced - while insisting that the country is in an economic recovery or about to enter one.

But the world DOESN’T HAVE TO end up like this. There are people who are fighting back against corporate power, fascism, and imperialism. They may be on the margins, but they have the advantage of being the ones who are fighting on behalf of a population which is outraged at declining living standards and widening inequality. We need to unite all of these freedom fighters around the goal of overthrowing capitalism and building a socialist workerŒs state, or the forces of empire will continue to subjugate us.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 05/23/19 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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