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The End of Empire


#1

The End of Empire

The deep disillusionment and anger that led to Donald Trump’s election—a reaction to the corporate coup d’état and the poverty afflicting at least half of the country—have destroyed the myth of a functioning democracy
Chris Hedges

The brutality abroad is matched by a growing brutality at home.


#2

"The deep disillusionment and anger that led to Donald Trump’s election—a reaction to the corporate coup d’état and the poverty afflicting at least half of the country— . . . "
If, in my view contrary to fact, Chris Hedges had written nothing else of value to the human condition within and beyond the US, this alone should give him a prize.

A perfect rebuke to the various “Democratic Party” and Clinton attributions of blame – From Sanders to the “basket of deplorables” to “the Trump voters were just stupid.”

Thank you! Chris Hedges


#3

Hedges’ stance on the issue of national mystique is really important and, ironically, the Tweeting Idiot of Orange has helped to rip away the last vestiges of the mask of U.S. exceptionalism in all of its ugliness.

However, I fear that the Empire is not going down fast enough to save humanity and other species. Not only that, as its decline accelerates, the violence - as Hedges says and shows - only gets worse.

Unless and until a critical mass of the U.S. population rejects its history of white male property-owning supremacy and national legacy of genocide and slavery, things will not change for the better. It is that clear - and that complex.


#4

“Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt…”

This surely would hasten the End of Empire, however I fear most Americans wouldn’t find time in their busy schedules to attend the Revolution.

Too much of an inconvenience.


#5

IMHO, any who voted for either of the Duopoly candidates were stupid.

Both parties support the Empire and it’s Evils.


#6

Let’s break out the booze…

This existential song by Kurt Weill seems appropriate here. Is that all there is?


#7

One can only hope that the inevitable collapse of the US dollar will lead to the collapse of the US itself and end its influence on the rest of the world. In the absence of any US credibility, the rest of the world may possibly address global warming in a time frame that prevents it from becoming truly civilization destroying. Is global warming going to lead to the collapse of industrial civilization? Probably, but there is still some hope that some form of human civilization may emerge from the dark ages ahead in the absence of the US pushing the world over a civilizational ending tipping point.


#8

Doesn’t that photo, by Mr. Fish, just say it all?


#9

Sorry to see that you were responsible for the election of Trump. If you were in a one sided state then you could responsibly choose an alternate candidate. If you were in a close race state and voted for a third party they you were either ignorant of the danger of Trump or willfully stupid.


#10

That’s quite the summation by Chris Hedges !

Unusually for Chris - a very balanced article - finishing with a hint that all may not yet be lost - even though the description of present day America and the path to here is deadly accurate.

‘Never underestimate the Americans’ - my Mom used to say - referring to the ‘idea’ of America and its average people, rather than to the gross and sickening facade which Chris Hedges has so graphically portrayed.

Thomas Carlyle said this:

“The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully.”

That’s our calling now - all of us.

Drop the three jobs - drop the wife at work - the hunger for more - drop it.

Live well - not as your present society expects.

It works - I know this from personal experience.

You know exactly what I mean - and as one of my favorite mountaineers once said:

‘Just put on your boots and go’.


#11

Sorry to disappoint you but I was neither ignorant of Trumps danger or willfully stupid.

I was Never Trump and Never Clinton from the beginning.

It took me decades to realize that I had been supporting the Death and Human Suffering that the parties of the Duopoly have been dispensing for as long as I have been alive.

Never again. If I’m lucky I might have another 20 years, and I refuse to support the monsters posing as politicians of the Duopoly.

You will be the one to take responsibility for that.


#12

Capitalism has always been boom and bust. The problem is that capitalism has reached a dead end of being too productive and consuming with dwindling natural resources and a population explosion. The neoliberals would like to do away with all social programs and privatize Social Security so that could be the next bubble and bust, but the bubbles only last a decade or so. The only long term solution is socialism or a low wage capitalism with a new world order of an internationally wealthy 1%, a thin managerial middle class, and two thirds of people barely subsisting. Famines, plagues, wars and even geoengineered induced natural catastrophes would be used for population control to keep control. Socialism or barbarism is the future as Hedges has consistently pointed out for decades now.

There is consensus between the right and the left that a big economic worldwide collapse is coming, probably within the next decade or so, that could leave most area’s ungovernable without even the basics such as food, water or power. It would usher in a a new dark ages of complete economic collapse and technological breakdown. The right advises buying gold or silver but in that scenario it will be as worthless as paper money; barter will be the method of exchange and food will be the most precious currency.

The left advises learning self-sufficiency and farming while the right survivalists emphasize weaponry but starving rioting hordes can overrun anything. It will be the dark ages all over again with gang rule. Want to prepare for it now then join a gang and learn the techniques of personal combat and thievery.

The only question is will the human race die whimpering in the collapsing ecology and social chaos or go out with a bang as the obscenely wealthy try to fight off the hordes and each other with the weapons of mass destruction.

It is entirely appropriate that greed destroys the human race. Evolution grants brains to predators so they can hunt and kill the ones that don’t need any brains to eat grass all day long. For that reason most intelligent creatures that develop technologies in the universe may destroy themselves; so isn’t it wonderful that the universe has more suns than all the grains of sand on all of the world’s beaches and deserts with an uncountable number of planets? Our planet will regenerate itself after the human race is gone. Perhaps more socialized creatures such as army ants won’t destroy themselves with technology. All hail the Queen!

Socialism, barbarism and/or the end of the human race are the only choices left.


#13

I could care less about the collapse of the American Empire–good riddance. The quoted growth rate is what’s scary. We’ve already killed off 60% of animal life in the last 40 years, the oceans will be all but dead by 2050, we drink plastic in our water and eat Roundup in our food, 200 species go extinct every single day, the last person to speak a language dies every 2 weeks.

You gotta admire the perfect death machine that Capitalism is. It must grow or it will die, and to grow it must consume. And it consumes everything it touches: cultures, our health, the natural world, our humanity.


#14

Every time I read Hedges I see Mad Max and The Thunderdome playing in my headroom, yes Max Headroom, remember the pilot? It’s here or the web, on Youtube. Combine the two and your ready for “This Is Your Life”.


#15

The bitter harvest of an induced ignorance


#16

For those who would like a more detailed description of “The End of Empire”, I suggest the trilogy of books written by Chalmers Johnson:

American Empire: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. A former cold warrior, his fears for the US changed:

"A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship."  These books were written in the early 2000's.

#17

Yup, great books all. Add to the list Jared Diamond’s Collapse


#18

They can’t be bothered to look up from their nifty phones. They are too busy posting endless “selfies”, pictures of their food, and checking to see who “liked” their latest update.

Does anyone else feel like they must be from another planet?


#19

I don’t think the dollar can collapse. It is not real money, but a diktat of the private banks via the Federal Reserve and is the main currency for much of the world. Frankly, I don’t know how to easily deal with that other than to nationalize the Federal Reserve, seize its assets and tie an actual U.S. bank to something that resembles a real economy of actual goods, services and loans to build productive sustainable capacity. I dream.


#20

Chalmers Johnson was ahead of his time, and very wise. I have read 2/3 of the trilogy.