The Decline and Fall of American Empire

The Great Recession Blog
by David Haggith

 

bakersfield_california

A former US president was publicly tried for inciting a coup against congress by a congressional inquisition that ran a court circus that aired only the prosecution’s side. The video recordings of the monkey court were not even fully edited before his home was raided by an FBI that did its best for years to dethrone the wannabe monarch from his office with false claims based on a dossier they knew was concocted by his political opponent.

The former president now responds in rage about the improbity and impropriety of the invasions of his most-cherished home by feigning he does not wish to create civil war by publicly telling his prosecutor he wishes to do all he can to quell the rage that will surely grow from the prosecutor’s wrong act, thereby following exactly the modus he operated by when he didn’t incite violence last time around, but merely said “Come to the party. It’s going to be wild.” (And bring guns and clubs if you like.) More of the same for the cause of his own advancement.

Never did I think I would see a US president play so loose with the rage of a large near majority of voters who felt they had been cheated and disenfranchised. Never did I think I would see conservative US citizens so angry they would storm the capitol Antifa-style to shut down its congressional mandate to merely count the vote and to authenticate that the votes reported to them were the votes each state’s appointed electors intended to cast. I did, however, think, that electronic voting machines were ripe with possibility for mischief and have always wanted them to be nationally outlawed on the basis that convenience and efficiency are not the most important needs in a national election, and no one can see what happens inside their mysterious algorithms, making them always suspect to some. So, it is no surprise to me that controversy erupted around their secret internal electronic winks and blinks.

One of the inquisitors in the congressional court of public opinion is a pencil-necked man who did his best to establish as fact the falsehood that the president colluded with another highly imperial nation that is now desperately clawing against its own decline by trying to seize lands that legally belong to its neighbor based on all extant documents. Pencilneck did his best when running the former inquisition to hang the claims of the false dossier around the president’s neck and use it as the rope to swing him from the nearest colonnade of that same Capitol. However, the independent investigator Pencilneck set to the effort ultimately reported he couldn’t find a shred of evidence to support the allegations of collusion that were based on the known fictitious document, so the defeated leaden pencil joined a new inquisition, co-chaired by the daughter of one of the empire’s most dangerous warmongers.

Father Dick loved a slick … of oil and did his best to use the empire to seize Middle-Eastern lands rich in the black goo that lubricates modern civilization and without which that civilization does not function. He concocted lies about little yellow cakes in faraway places and weapons of mass destruction hidden beneath the desert sands in order to overthrow a truly evil dictator who had already been defanged and fully fenced in. His lies became the sole case before the world for attacking the vile despot and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of the despot’s own people in a decade-long war. He presented false claims to America’s people that the people of the other land would welcome the American liberators who slaughtered their sons and brothers and fathers in order to bring democracy to them because surely foreign democracy would matter more than the lives of those they loved.

The weapons were never found in the insecticide plants and infant-formula factories where they were supposed to lie in wait and want of times to deploy and destroy. Never mind the one they were most likely to destroy was neighbor the empire hated more than any other and wanted to see destroyed anyway — a land run by religious lunatics who seek to kill anyone who writes against their religion as they just did again last week. Ostensibly to save the lunatics it hated from weapons that existed in no form other than rusting rockets filled with desert sand, the empire waged war for a decade, always pushed by the oil-barren father of the woman tasked with running the latest inquisition against the wannabe monarch of the American empire.

And so the American electorate threw her out of office this week.

And, yet, I am not impartial to her concern because I had stood from my chair when watching normally law-abiding conservatives storm the capitol on January 6, 2021, threatening to hang the vice president and shoot the speaker of the house, bearing handfuls of zip ties to cuff and drag them from their congressional chambers. I stood from my chair and said, “How is this happening? This is an actual insurrection! They’re bashing police, pushing back barricades, carrying clubs, knocking police to the ground, throwing fire extinguishers at them and breaking through windows of the capitol; and the armed guards are mostly giving them tourist guidance to help them find the chambers and to make sure they stay within the ropes and don’t touch the paintings. This is insane!”

A nation captive to lies

The ever-lying press for its part spent the four years of the wannabe monarch’s reign trying to depose and humiliate him with their fabricated fantasies, leading off with a tale about how the new president lied about the size of his … audience attending his grand and magnificent inauguration. This they did by comparing his inauguration to the most historic inauguration in US history — the installment of the nation’s first president who shares the race of the nation’s original slaves, making their first claim on the presidency. As though setting the comparison of a rich White president against that historic inauguration were not false enough basis of comparison (as they could have just as easily compared to that Black president’s second, and therefore not historic, inauguration), they cherry picked photos to prove their fantasy attacks against the new man in town. A closer look revealed that audiences of the slave-president and of the “Golden Gollum of Greatness” were nearly the same size. Both were a sea of waving heads as far as the eye could see from where each president stood when each gave his address. So, the difference in opinion over crowd size could be easily forgiven once one realized that, from the field of vision of the speaker, it was impossible to see any difference at all. But this comparison played on all channels and all pages of the mainstream press in an all-out assault just because the braggadocios president had claimed he had the biggest audience ever … as he does about all things that he does.

That set the tone for four years of combat with a press that readily spread the false information about presidential collusion with the other “Evil Empire,” as it was formerly called by conservatives, leading the conservative third of the nation to believe anything the press said must be a lie all the time since they lied about that all the time, speaking of collusion as foregone conclusion. Yet, it was never ultimately concluded at all but, rather, refuted by the investigation this same press constantly vaunted as one of the most thorough and well-equipped and funded in history. Armed with the nation’s ultimate investigators, charged with protecting themselves from claims they lied, the investigators failed to find a shred of proof against the president.

When the watchdog barks constantly for years at intruders that don’t exist, the watchdog loses all respect. And then what can you count on to be true? Such became the plight of Americans where the mainstream press relished in falsehoods and never admitted it errors or outright lies. So, of course, the electorate trusts no one except whatever person they’ve chosen to stand by as their hero. The two main political camps of the country stand fiercely divided by a fabric of falsehoods perpetuated for years. The champion of one side would rather see his nation collapse into civil war — whatever the cost to all — than see himself lose an election and then make an electoral comeback later. So, he indefatigably seeks to rile the masses toward revolt, and that isn’t hard to accomplish in light of their considerable and understandable rage over all the lies they were constantly fed and the rank partisan politics by leaders who seem obsessed with spectacle over seeing the country through a time of great hardships.

The cases brought by both sides are overseen by a Supreme Court where female justices say in sworn testimony they have no idea what female is — showing the justices, themselves, will say any absurd thing they have to in order to appeal to their own camp. Another of the justices was accused of raping young women in blacked-out drunken fugues, and even admitted to the drinking problem, but swore he cannot remember … as if that is not exactly what happens when you drink until you black out. You remember nothing you did while drunk, including how those panties ended up on your face and when you woke up from sleeping beside someone you’ve never seen before. The man who is now the most senior of these judges was similarly accused of indecent liberties many long years ago when he ran for his position; but it was all he-said v she-said in this world of lying coverups and/or lying accusations.

We are regularly expected these days to believe the unbelievable in this House of Lies watched over by a press that routinely lies until no one knows what is true any more, except the things they choose to believe are true because they want them to be. So, they stand by their man when he boasts of grabbing women by their female parts as women on the other side claim that those female parts are not even FEMALE parts at all, but merely interchangeable parts that don’t make you male of female until you CHOOSE to change them, then they mean something because you chose to believe they do. So, choice is what makes it true. There are no objective facts in such a society, not even on things as basic as male or female.

Is it any wonder such a deluded nation can no longer govern itself?

Empires collapse from their own internal rot, not by being crushed

Now we come to how it is that empires fall — how they lose their strength until they cannot sustain themselve. I see an America in a state that looks very much like the decline and fall of Ancient Rome. One of the hallmarks of Rome’s decline was that it could no longer build the armies it took to maintain its vast empire because the softened citizens were no longer willing to fight for their empire. Roman citizens refused to fight for Rome because they grew soft with luxury, so their government hired mercenaries to fight the battle; but an army fighting for money doesn’t have the fiber to win the wars that hold empires together or even the legitimate wars that seek to defend a nation from actual invaders. Their souls are not in the battle.

The US now finds itself in a similar situation. As The Epoch Times reports, the US military is no longer able to recruit sufficient soldiers to maintain its strength. It’s expected to fall 40,000 troops short of its normal recruitment needs over the next two years. And why wouldn’t this be the case when the rot of lies and deeply divisive partisan politics and forced vaccinations removing troops and lying leaders serving only themselves at any cost and endless impeachment trials and seemingly endless wars for imperial advancement, many of which have been lost, have eroded patriotism by disenfranchising the nation’s citizens?

The US army is facing its most unsuccessful recruitment efforts since the debacle of the useless war in Vietnam that ended in a victory for communists who rapidly became successful capitalists once the French-American war against the Chinese proxies came to a close, leaving US tanks and artillery to be seized by the commies who went on to create a tourist Mecca for Americans (and others of course) after the Americans left a war they had no business ever enjoining because there was no threat there to America just as happened again in Afghanistan recently. And now Vietnam is home of Apple tech so becoming a new capital of capitalism. That war also happened because warmongers no different in character than the father of the recently deposed deposition-daughter insisted the war must be waged (in order to sell tires made from oil) on the basis of democracy.

That man, by the way, was once the VP and a hero of the very conservatives who now voted the daughter The champion, himself, never actually got us entirely out of those wars as he had promised. Then he was replaced by a doddering old man known as NoMoJo who bungled our way out of a two-decade fiasco of defeat that became a fiasco because we shifted from attacking our enemy to the imperial hope of regime change. In public argument that was in order to establish another one of those unwanted democracies.

Since patriotism is waning, as could be expected under such constant deceit by the rich seeking to improve their oily gains at the cost of everyone, the oft-defeated empire is now upping its recruitment Roman-style by adding a billion dollars to the recruiting budget and, like the Red Empire that is invading its neighbor, relying more heavily on calling up old recruits that have retired into its reserves. In the Epoch Times article one of those recruiters lays out his observations about what is making it hard these days to pull together a willing army of citizens among the hundreds of millions in the empire to fight for America:

First, he said, “only 23 percent of American youth are qualified to serve without a waiver, [noting that] obesity, addiction, medical, and behavioral health are the top disqualifiers for service.”

In other words, as with Rome, the empire has grown soft and fat due to endless indulgence made possible by its imperial wealth.

Patriotism is also waning because the youth are not brought up in the values of the motherland as they once. That is the case because many of their teachers would rather spend all their time teaching their children about everything that is wrong with America, while deconstructing its hero’s and defiling its former core beliefs and endlessly sowing divisions based on history, race, sexuality, etc., but also because

“Social media’s virtual public square shapes the values and perceptions of American youth, which is increasingly unfamiliar with the benefits of Army service.”

Unfamiliar with the many benefits of America itself, including the liberties America once safeguarded, which are now casually thrown off, such as freedom of speech in order to express your opinion no matter how wrong it might be as well as rights that are unwritten because they are so basic they are just assumed, such as to decide for yourself what the government can and cannot inject into your body, and the right to simply go out in the public square if you have not committed a crime or to meet in church or be with your dying relatives.

All these rights have been thrown off in just two years by an autocratic government that has sought to control Americans (for the good of all, of course). It has isolated them from normal social intercourse (divide and conquer?) and even enlisted them in battle against each other by claiming from the top presidential level that the pandemic that is overwhelming the world is the fault of those who don’t trust the emergency experimental vaccine developed under Operation Warp Speed advocated by the Great Pumpkin who now routinely advocates for civil war as if the bloody deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in battle against each other is better than him losing an election — whether rightly or wrongly.

He could battle it out in the courts where it belongs, but all courts rejected his abject claims, even the courts he appointed. He could battle it out in the next election, as peaceful alternative to the courts, rather than inciting violence of the kind that not long ago sought to hang the long-dedicated, subservient and loyal Christian vice president. That formerly obsequious man failed the Golden One because the Gollum of Greatness finally pushed him to cross a bridge too far, which his conscience simply would not allow him to do even in loyalty to the president he loved because he actually valued the US Constitution more and knew it did not allow what the president was pressing him to do. He knew that doing such an abject thing would ignite civil war on the other side who would certainly see their vote as being overthrown by congress in a role that congress doesn’t have. He couldn’t bring himself to be the man who caused civil war.

We have become ungovernable. And, so, says the recruiter,

The American population is “increasingly disconnected” from serving in the Army and military service.

Disconnected from serving in the military because it is disconnected from America, itself.

“Oftentimes, influencers [such as parents, teachers, and coaches] do not recommend military service,” he said.

True, they don’t. They often spend their time telling their children why they should feel victimized by the other half of America and how their favorite histories are a farce and how they cannot even know if they are boys are girls because all objective reality has been thrown out in preference to believing truth is whatever you want it to be in the create-your-own-truth society.

Spears also noted that “the share of youth who have seriously considered military service is at a historic low of 9 percent.”

Finally, Spears cited issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic severely limited the ability of recruiters to interact with prospects in person, [and] also exacerbated academic and physical fitness challenges, limiting the pool of qualified applicants.”

Childhood, itself, has been disrespected and badly wounded as children are forced, on the one hand, into making adult choices about their sexuality that almost all children never experienced through all prior millennia of human existence while, at the same time, being deprived of interaction with other children for two of their most formative first seven years. They have been hidden behind masks, making it harder for them to learn and understand language, and gain the benefits of friendly human expression; and they have been left to decline in fitness as all public sports were cancelled in order to avoid a disease.

Those who forced such damaging things upon children have not been held to account, and there is reasonable evidence they participated at one level or another in concocting the disease, if by no other means than financing experimentation with illegal exploration until some mad scientist accidentally inflicted the world with it as we all feared might someday happen. They have not been held to account because they are the ones who conduct the reviewing and regulating. Yet, who can know if wrong has been covered over because even the realm of medicine has been saturated with lies from all sides — corporate and political and press — and conducted in many cases contrary to what the science really indicated while those who questioned any of the science claims were put in social cages by the medical establishment and silenced or shamed by any legal means possible and maybe sometimes by illegal means? Instead of “follow the science,” it became “silence the science” if it disagrees with the establishment view.

We still pay the cost of lockdowns that began under the now raging Great Pumpkin and that continued spasmodically under NoMoJo via his mandatory terminations of needed workers and his party’s mayors and governors who forced local lockdowns all due to a pandemic that some call a “plandemic” because surely it couldn’t have been more perfectly planned by the Davos elite than what we saw. I’m not saying it was planned, but I’m certainly not going out on a limb to say it wasn’t either.

The damages the pandemic caused were so well orchestrated by human planning and mandates that bulldozed over constitutional limits without a care that it becomes hard to imagine all that could have happened without planning. But then the planning would have been as much by the Orange One as by Big Brother on the Left because he chose the medical teams that guided him and flaunted them daily. He funded the development of the vaccines, created the legislation and presidential edicts that cleared a path for rapid approval and approved the protections for their makers, and then advocated the vaccines … and still does.

But perhaps the critical change for the empire happened in the military, itself, which no longer, in the eyes of some soldiers, embodies what America long stood for, leaving them uninclined to remain:

“In the past,” [said one solider], “the Army targeted a specific demographic of people based on their values, [and these recruits] were patriots and loved America.” In today’s general population, he doesn’t see the same interest in patriotism. “Much of the country doesn’t love America like it use to,” he said. “And with a military no longer upholding the values, the oaths, or the creeds it once did, what kind of new recruits should we expect [to join the Army]?” he asked….

Instead, he said, “they happily encourage mandated vaccines, back the transgender issue, and speak out in opposition to the Supreme Court of the United States in regard to Roe v. Wade—all of which are very political.”

In his opinion, “we now have a Department of Defense [DoD] that has taken various political positions that are very much opposed to the heart of America.”

The military used to try to remain apolitical — to be a broad tent under which conservatives and liberals could join in the defense of the nation that gave them the right to hold their divergent views — but now it is as politically divisive as the nation’s politicians, being used to actively promote and parade social changes, rather than simply to defend the nation and its longstanding allies.

As the soldier summarizes,

“From a macro perspective, we had a significant breach of trust in the last election.” By oath, he said, the military swears to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Who can tell which are the lies and which are not when they are ubiquitous on both sides, with the conservative side maintaining congress has the right to overthrow the election, knowing ALL conservative courts refused to overturn it and even after the most conservative Supreme Court in decades refused to overthrow it or even to touch such a stinking rotten corpse of a case, while those running the elections in many Democratically controlled regions operated in such non-transparent and deplorable ways, such as not allowing election monitors to view closely enough to actually see what was happening (for the first time in election history) on the claim that it was just one more right that had to be given up due to Covid, and allowing votes to come in past deadlines, due to Covid, with some individual Democrats even caught stuffing ballot boxes and voting for the dead. All of that created ample grounds for suspicion. We are barely any longer a nation of laws on either side because certainly what happened on January 6th was not “peaceable assembly.” It was like the worst of BLM or Antifa riots. Nor was the subsequent public parade in congress anything like a fair hearing of the evidence.

The Champion of the “Deplorables” claimed the election would be rigged in 2016 when he ultimately won and then stuffed a cork in it as soon as he won. Then he extolled as “good people” the woman he had said he would lock up. All Roman theater for the masses. Subsequently, he did nothing of significance to clean up elections when he was actually in power and could do something helpful for four years — with the full power of congress behind him for two of those years — to fight the rigging he said was certain. But, then, his time was largely taken up with battling those false claims launched by his rivals to overthrow his election, claiming “Not my president,” just as the Right now does with Slow Joe, even though they thought it deplorable when the Left said that.

The Left continues to claim the Great One wrongly tried (as he did) to overthrow their election in 2020 because one thing an obvious narcissist can never, ever do, is admit he lost. But, again, his detractors provided him with ample grounds for suspicion; although, as dozens of supremely conservative courts told him, “grounds for suspicion” are not legal evidence. By such divisiveness on both sides is a nation broken as our great Abraham Lincoln warned, whose statues will someday be pulled down, too, because someone will discover he once, as an amorous young man, kissed a pretty slave on the cheek who did not solicit his affection.

For years now, nothing but accusations with always nameless sources under the press’s new standards have flown around everywhere in the declining empire. So, is it any wonder the military cannot find people who feel patriotic enough to defend their own nation anymore? The nation has left the true citizen without a country to fight for. However, the current presiding president cannot complain about the diminished military because he chose to diminish it further by firing everyone who refused the previous president’s vaccine, a “great achievement” the prior president has desperately tried to claim for himself as his own electorate asks him to please shut up about those particular bragging rights; but he did it hoping for credit that has evaded him, and that is hard for any true narcissist to let go of.

From this mess of America the military tries to recruit, even as it messes with it more:

Rather than watching the military “decay,” he said, “military leadership needs to take action for the good of the America people.” But he’s not convinced this will happen, because “for the most part, the higher-ups are cowards and they lack the personal courage to take the actions needed to put an end to this sad state of affairs.”

They are cowards just like Colin Powell was when he finally caved into the rest of the Bush Admin., as pressed by Father Dick, and made his yellow-cake presentation to the UN with pictures of pesticide factories, claiming they were WMD factories with no evidence of the W that is required before the MD can actually happen, just evidence of nasty chemicals, which you can find being manufactured in any advanced nation. But, hey, it was Iraq and Saddam, so you knew it had to be getting weaponized somewhere with nothing but pictures of chemical factories to go by. Who needs evidence when there are ample grounds for suspicion?

Says another recruiter,

Military readiness has been impacted in the past few years by “a toxic combination of poor leadership and the politicization of the military.” He said there has been “a steady reduction in readiness due primarily to reckless policies that have eroded the trust of the rank and file service-members.

And that is because the military has been co-opted by a liberal president to advocating certain socio-political causes that go beyond the basics that once inspired American patriotism — fighting for freedom of speech and self-rule and our OWN democracy versus parading new so social norms that many don’t want to fight for.

It really came to light in the wake of COVID when service members began to see that senior leaders chose to put politics ahead of military readiness,” he said. “Senior officers and senior civilian executives have run the military into the ground in the name of career stability and progression instead of keeping faith with Marines and their families.”

We weaponized our money with sanctions for years and monetized our military, using it for years to make money for oil Execs.

America has lost faith with Americans. Leaders on both sides put their own advancement or retention of power ahead of their nation and have sacrificed basic human rights faster than ever under the claims that the pandemic made it necessary. All sides fail to check their own lies now because they believe them if the lies advance their cause. This military lost the 40,000 it will fall short of in the next two years recruitment by firing exactly that many for refusing the current president’s mandatory vaccination with the previous president’s rushed experimental medicine.

We will keep losing people qualified to run complex weapon systems because the ultimate cause of the decline and fall of great empires is hubris. Peak pride makes you think you are invulnerable so you believe you can absorb one harm after another and always remain the strongest. Even if some of us don’t want America to be an empire but simply the America they grew up believing in, we want to see it succeed in its original ideals, but it is rapidly sacrificing those ideals people once fought for, and it exists on the hubris that believes great strength means you can never fail, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is precisely such pride that assures failure.

A tale of two cities

As author Chris Hedges just wrote in an article I’ll be featuring here on Sunday,

We Are Not the First Civilization to Collapse, But We Will Probably Be the Last

The archeological remains of past civilizations, including those of the prehistoric Cahokia temple mound complex in Illinois, are sobering reminders of our fate.

The Chris Hedges Report

Chris wrote about standing on a mound outside the declining city of St. Louis from which one can look back at the modern metropolis while standing upon the city of an American civilization that declined into ruin under the plagues of its own time and failures of its own rulers.

I am standing atop a 100-foot-high temple mound, the largest known earthwork in the Americas built by prehistoric peoples.

I look out from the structure—-known as Monks Mound — at the flatlands below, with smaller mounds dotting the distance. These earthen mounds, built at a confluence of the Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri rivers, are all that remain of one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements north of Mexico, occupied from around 800 to 1,400 AD by perhaps as many as 20,000 people.

This great city, perhaps the greatest in North America, rose, flourished, fell into decline and was ultimately abandoned. Civilizations die in familiar patterns. They exhaust natural resources. They spawn parasitic elites who plunder and loot the institutions and systems that make a complex society possible. They engage in futile and self-defeating wars. And then the rot sets in. The great urban centers die first, falling into irreversible decay. Central authority unravels. Artistic expression and intellectual inquiry are replaced by a new dark age, the triumph of tawdry spectacle and the celebration of crowd-pleasing imbecility.

And isn’t that what we have now — the endless crowd-pleasing imbecility designed by both sides of the political spectrum to please their own crowd — whether it is mock courts and endless impeachments to nowhere over charges with little basis in fact tried in the court of public opinion without legitimate cross-examination or the White House version of The Apprentice directed by a president who loved to make as much spectacle out of the press as it made of him because he loves a great cock fight better than anything, thrives on negative energy and theater for his amusement, such as the fighting he elicited among his own cabinet members, and who relishes in rallies for his own aggrandizement where he falsely claims he’ll lock up his competition if he gets into office and that elections are certainly rigged … until he wins, albeit endlessly if he loses?

It’s all theater by both sides for the Roman masses who largely eat it up, so long as their side is the one giving the peformance. They will readily eat up their side getting into power and taking NoMoJo into impeachment trials over his and his son’s nefarious activities that we were told never happened by a press that remains relatively quiet now that it is known the son’s own computer shows much of it did happen — as readily as the other side relishes endless impeachment trials against the wannabe monarch even after he’s out of office and investigations that aim to make sure he never gets back into office. None of it ever goes anywhere in court, but it masquerades as important action before the masses.

“Collapse is possible only where there is no competitor strong enough to fill the political vacuum of disintegration.”

Not to worry: the daughter of the Warmonger VP says she may run for president now that she’s been deposed in order to set the nation right again. That is to say the daughter of the man who shoots the face off his hunting buddies — an act he never seemed too apologetic for, almost as though the wished to maintain the fear that it could be anyone who ever opposes him.

Several centuries ago, the rulers of this vast city complex, which covered some 4,000 acres, including a 40-acre central plaza, stood where I stood. They no doubt saw below in the teeming settlements an unassailable power…. Cahokia warriors dominated a vast territory from which they exacted tribute to enrich the ruling class of this highly stratified society.

And, so, American warriors dominate the world today, but they are declining in number because patriotism in America is being endlessly damaged by the ambition of both sides that put party over country and seek to govern by endlessly agitating the worst fears and instincts of the governed against their opponents.

Across the Mississippi River from Monks Mound, the city skyline of St. Louis is visible. It is hard not to see our own collapse in that of Cahokia. In 1950, St. Louis was the eighth-largest city in the United States, with a population of 856,796. Today, that number has fallen to below 300,000, a drop of some 65 percent. Major employers — Anheuser-Busch, McDonnell-Douglas, TWA, Southwestern Bell and Ralston Purina —have dramatically reduced their presence or left altogether. St. Louis is consistently ranked one of the most dangerous cities in the country. One in five people live in poverty. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has the highest rate of police killings per capita, of the 100 largest police departments in the nation, according to a 2021 report.

This is the truth about an America in decline from its own internal rot as it divorces itself from the ideals it once taught and seeks to govern by spectacle.

When people are desperate, undernourished and without hope, they blame their governments, which they see as responsible for or unable to solve their problems. They try to emigrate at any cost. They fight each other over land. They kill each other. They start civil wars. They figure that they have nothing to lose, so they become terrorists, or they support or tolerate terrorism.

And when the leaders are desperate they seek to distract the people with political theater aimed at blaming the other side for all the nation’s problems. As several like Hedges and Charles Hugh Smith have pointed out, our technical complexity actually makes us more subject to the possibilities of rapid collapse because there are so many delicate pieces the whole operation might be dependent on.

Now we live in a year of soaring temperatures, scorching inflation due to spreading global shortages, wars on European ground with nuclear former superpowers that seek to be superpowers again against the worlds greatest-ever-known alliance, droughts in coincidence with drops in crop yields due to that war and the global sanctions enacted to battle the invader, diseases whether they are zoonoticly derived or manmade that plague the entire world, in a time of elections no one fully believes in, governed by parties that do nothing but endlessly attack each other in public spectacles of grand theater, rather than in legitimate courts, electrical power outages in a time where we are intentionally expanding our dependency on electrical power to overcome our shortage of petroleum … used to create that electrical power. And on and on it goes.

And we think we cannot fall during such times when we are falling apart from each other, no longer valuing what we once did of America? Or fall into civil war as we tease the disenfranchised to consider such actions? It is not without such inflammatory words by our leaders that the nut jobs become excited and arise to carry out acts of terror in our daily headlines. No one truly seeks to tamp down the rage and address its causes. Instead, they seek to weaponize it against their enemy — the other party or the other candidate even within their own highly divided party.

As the Arctic melts and ice sheets crack and retreat, we become more dependent on coal and oil in the nations that claim coal and oil are the cause.

Civilization is an experiment, a very recent way of life in the human career, and it has a habit of walking into what I am calling progress traps. A small village on good land beside a river is a good idea; but when the village grows into a city and paves over the good land, it becomes a bad idea. While prevention might have been easy, a cure may be impossible: a city isn’t easily moved. This human inability to foresee — or to watch out for — long-range consequences may be inherent to our kind, shaped by the millions of years when we lived from hand to mouth by hunting and gathering. It may also be little more than a mix of inertia, greed, and foolishness encouraged by the shape of the social pyramid. The concentration of power at the top of large-scale societies gives the elite a vested interest in the status quo; they continue to prosper in darkening times long after the environment and general populace begin to suffer.

Are we so sure we will not destroy more than just our empires, but maybe our very existence as our leaders seek to exploit our differences and our rage and as individuals divide into armies based on the leader each person chooses to trust when perhaps none are telling the truth and all are seeking to serve themselves?

“The archaeologists who dig us up will need to wear hazmat suits. Humankind will leave a telltale layer in the fossil record composed of everything we produce, from mounds of chicken bones, wet-wipes, tires, mattresses and other household waste to metals, concrete, plastics, industrial chemicals, and the nuclear residue of power plants and weaponry. We are cheating our children, handing them tawdry luxuries and addictive gadgets while we take away what’s left of the wealth, wonder and possibility of the pristine Earth….”

As Cahokia declined, violence dramatically increased. Surrounding towns were burned to the ground. Groups, numbering in the hundreds, were slaughtered and buried in mass graves. At the end, “the enemy killed all people indiscriminately.

What I’m getting at is we have seen that enemy, and it is us. I hear people speaking of civil war as if it is the only solution that might get our country back with no concept of the destruction the country would be left with. If we want to avoid the plight of the ungovernable, we must commit ourselves to the quest for truth about ourselves and not loyalty to party or especially to persons. But are we even capable of doing that as we see the culture we loved receding and wish to fight for its salvation in a culture of lies spreading around us to such degree we are not even always sure if we are promoting some of the lies — if we are honest — in belief that we are promoting the truth? There is never anyone so duped as someone who thinks he or she can’t be duped.

In the later stages of Cahokia, the ruling class surrounded themselves with fortified wooden stockades, including a two-mile long wall that enclosed Monks Mound. Similar fortifications dotted the vast territory the Cahokia controlled, segregating gated communities where the wealthy and powerful, protected by armed guards, sought safety from the increasing lawlessness and hoarded dwindling food supplies and resources.

And, so, we see the leaders of our own civilization and the rich guarding themselves and creating underground silo mansions for their own protection as they fear apocalypse. As we heat up our wars above the ground and try to antagonize new ones over faraway islands and heat up our inflation and heat up our world’s seas and atmosphere and heat up ourselves toward civil war with divisive politics, we do so believing we have endless resilience to keep surviving all that we add to our calamities. But do we? Are we any safer from rapid decline than the Cahokia, from whose temples we can now gaze upon St. Louise, which has declined 50% from what it was less than a lifetime ago and is moving to become the next and greater mound, and will there be anyone left to stand on the mound of its rubble in a thousand years?

The historian Arnold Toynbee, who singled out unchecked militarism as the fatal blow to past empires, argued that civilizations are not murdered, but commit suicide.

We seem to be doing an admirable job of that. It’s hard to imagine how we will fail to commit suicide, being so far along that path already with all leaders seeking to divide us even more.

 

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