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Obama Won't Stop the Collapse of the American Empire

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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:24 PM
Original message
Obama Won't Stop the Collapse of the American Empire
Political insider and veteran reporter Kevin Phillips has documented that every major empire over the past several hundred years has undergone a predictable cycle of collapse, usually within 10 to 20 years of its peak power.


The indications are always the same:


- The financialization of the economy, moving from manufacturing to speculation;

- Very high levels of debt;

- Extreme economic inequality;

- And costly military overreaching.
Will Obama rebuild America's manufacturing base, reduce our debt, restore economic equality, and reduce military adventurism?

So far, indications are that he wants to increase the debt with massive "stimulus" programs, instead of letting the raging financial inferno and deleveraging process burn itself out.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2008/11/obama-won...
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Better we let Americans starve and die?
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. No
We need to rebuild our nation so that we can exist without needing to maintain an empire.
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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Predicting failure
before Obama has even been sworn in is counterproductive. Also the claim that "every major empire over the past several hundred years has undergone a predictable cycle of collapse" is bogus. Great Britian didn't collapse and it sure can be considered an empire. It's hardly the empire it once was and neither will we be.

Phillips also neglects to point out that Obama has indicated cutting spending and increasing some taxes which hopefully will pay for some of the programs he proposes. Nothing Obama has planned is set in stone. He's not even in office yet and will probably be making decisions based on the information he is given after he is sworn in.
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Britain's economy most certainly did collapse/decline
As did it's position as the world's leading superpower -- which it held for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Britain's empire rivaled even Rome's less than a century ago. Now ask yourself when in the past 50 years anyone has referred to Britain as "a superpower".

This took place at the beginning of the 20th Century. You should do some reading on the General Strike of 1926.

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Mz Pip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Decline, yes
Collapse, no. Maybe it's a question of semantics but I think there is a wide range between superpower and collapse. While I wouldn't call Britain a superpower it still is a pretty powerful nation with an economy certainly much more stable than a lot of places in the world.

The General Strike was hardly a good period in British history but it did not result in a total collapse of the country.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. The British EMPIRE, which spanned the globe, DID collapse. NT
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Britain realized that they could no longer maintain their empire
They saved themselves by voluntarily giving it up.
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AZ Criminal JD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. You are re-writing history for some agenda
Britain lost some colonies as a result of World War II. They did not voluntarily give up anything. It kept some other colonies, mainly in Africa and lost those by insurrection in the 1960s and beyond.
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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. It was the way I heard it. I might have wrong information
links to accurate information on it would be great.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well, it makes sense that the decline would come soon after the peak.
Otherwise it wouldn't be a peak, would it?
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wish I hadn't wasted the bandwidth on that! lol.
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lelgt60 Donating Member (417 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well, being #1 wasn't all that great anyways...
Maybe we can just give the title to the next sucker
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. Well, I remember some #1's...
that we once had that were good- like #1 in science, #1 in education, #1 in medicine, #1 in industrial might. Oh, I miss the good old days.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. We the people can't afford the imperial ambition of the wealthy.
That's just the bottom line, right there.

We need to redefine the military as one of defense. We need to put the Pentagon, that 5 sided welfare office for arms contractors, on a strict diet. We need to pull out of "strategic" bases. We need to end the multinational drug war first, then the domestic one against US citizens.

We need to abandon the dogma of free trade that has beggared our people and polluted the third world.

We need to turn inward, repair our infrastructure, live within our own means, and develop industries that are based on and which produce renewable energy.

Empire is OVER. We just need to convince the wealthy.

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zonmoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Exactly what I am trying to say that obama needs to do if he is to save our country.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Great Post and wonderful line.....
"We the people can't afford the imperial ambition of the wealthy." Is it yours?
I would make a Tshirt from that tagline.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. It's mine
but once I threw it up on a message board, it became public domain.

Go ahead and make those t-shirts. You won't get sued.
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Thank you very much!!!
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. Empire. Who Needs It, Anyway?
All those in the market for Viagra and magic pills....
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sheldon Donating Member (197 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. Brilliant statement.
For its simplicity and truth.
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tonycinla Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. Is that so?
Sounds like Pat Buchanan to me!
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. I agree. On convincing the wealthy...
how about we tax them out of the stratosphere first? Then convince them - once they're mere mortals again. After all, they threw the funfest we're paying for.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. Obama never claimed to be an anti-Imperialist.
He has stated over and over that he was not anti-interventionist and that he was definitely NOT anti-war. Obama has always been an "anti dumb war candidate" - the operative phrase, however, is "war candidate". He wants to increase the size of the military and escalate the Afghanistan War/Occupation. He has said repeatedly that he would use violence to further American interests and "defend" the nation "abroad". The MIC should have no problems with President Obama.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. here's to hoping he doesn't even try.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
15. rome is burning right now...fire not contained
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
17. Comparing the American "Empire"
with Britain or Rome makes no sense. It's nothing like that.

This American "Empire" was a feverish creation of the Neo-cons. There is no Empire.

All we have to do is get back to doing what we are already good at, but stopped doing.

In the short term however, that means stamping out fires. The more this costs, the better it will be in the long run.
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Tartiflette Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #17
27. It is an "empire" , of sorts
The US has interests that it acts to control outside of its shores, and any country with 700+ military bases on foreign soil clearly has its finger in many pies. It acts in an imperial manner, and I'll cite as an example here the numerous military interventions used to "defend" "interests" world-wide. What it is not is an empire that acts using a central control structure (ie countries are not directly governed through Washington), but there are plenty of client states which act to further Washington's interests, and ultimately, the enriching of people at home is the goal of all empires, I would think.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-13-08 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. You are correct.
Edited on Thu Nov-13-08 09:07 AM by Turbineguy
The US does of course pursue it's interests. In that regard it is no different than any other country. And the bigger you are, the more interests you have.

There was a time when the US had the moral authority (winning WWI and WWII and going against communism, disaster relief) that it lost during the Bush Administration. Even the Tsunami Relief efforts were greeted with skepticism.

And welcome to DU! :toast:
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. That's corporatism, not empire - we don't have one.
The closest thing to it is the "territories" and military bases. We have no colonies, after all. What we have, are corporations run amuck... running over us too... and they're global players not American ones. The "Old World" hatched the banks that made them what they are - replicating those colonizing behaviors.

It's the same old "patriots" vs. "torries" conflict we always had. Never stopped.
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Tartiflette Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. Its kinda unique
so neither "corporatism" nor "empire" entirely fit - but I think it is self-evident that the US acts in a manner that imposes its will on sovereign countries, whether that is through direct invasion, eg, Haiti, Grenada, Vietnam, Irag etc, or through actions that allow certain factions within countries (including allies, eg Australia - the Whitlam government) to retain or gain power, such as Saddam in Iraq and Pinochet in Chile. Further, while claiming to follow the rule of law, and often citing "the will of the international community" to justify its own actions, it is perfectly willing to ignore such laws when it pertains to its behaviour(the Bush administration was not unique in this, but was by far the worst offender in my lifetime. I find this reprehensible, whether it be termed imperialistic or not, and against the so-called American ideals, leading to justified charges of hypocrisy. Some of this extends beyond extending corporate influence, in my opinion (the military-industrial complex run amok, as Eisenhower warned?) but a great deal of it is as you say, and is not limited to the US.
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
35. Ever hear of "neoimperialism"?
The concept has been around a long time as has described US foreign policy for over a hundred years.

From Parenti:
Sometimes imperial domination is explained as arising from an innate desire for domination and expansion, a "territorial imperative." In fact, territorial imperialism is no longer the prevailing mode. Compared to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the European powers carved up the world among themselves, today there is almost no colonial dominion left. Colonel Blimp is dead and buried, replaced by men in business suits. Rather than being directly colonized by the imperial power, the weaker countries have been granted the trappings of sovereigntywhile Western finance capital retains control of the lion's share of their profitable resources. This relationship has gone under various names: "informal empire," "colonialism without colonies," "neocolonialism," and "neoimperialism."
...
Historically U.S. capitalist interests have been less interested in acquiring more colonies than in acquiring more wealth, preferring to make off with the treasure of other nations without bothering to own and administer the nations themselves. Under neoimperialism, the flag stays home, while the dollar goes everywherefrequently assisted by the sword.
...
In all, the Third World is something of a capitalist paradise, offering life as it was in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, with a rate of profit vastly higher than what might be earned today in a country with strong economic regulations. The comprador class is well recompensed for its cooperation. Its leaders enjoy opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the U.S. government. Stability is assured with the establishment of security forces, armed and trained by the United States in the latest technologies of terror and repression. Still, neoimperialism carries risks. The achievement of de jure independence eventually fosters expectations of de facto independence. The forms of self rule incite a desire for the fruits of self rule. Sometimes a national leader emerges who is a patriot and reformer rather than a comprador collaborator. Therefore, the changeover from colonialism to neocolonialism is not without risks for the imperialists and represents a net gain for popular forces in the world.


Neocons are simply more unabashedly militaristic than their forebears. Their willingness to commit hundreds of thousands of troops to faraway lands echoes the old colonialist form of empire which inevitably leads to disaster and collapse.

The world beckons for a new form of leadership that does not embody any form of imperialism.
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obiwan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
18. I don't think anyone with a sentient mind...
... thinks Obama will or can solve all our problems. He is human. He will do the best he can. That's all we should expect from him.
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prioritymale Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-12-08 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm optimistic
I am one who knows there is a huge difference between the views of the Republicans and Democrats. The former care about the rich exclusively while the latter, lead by Obama, care about a more just nation and are aware that health care is a right.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
32. No, but under his vision we can find a place in the 21st century
Neocon leadership would have consigned up to Nazi Germany's end.
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DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:38 PM
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
36. when we overthrow other countries' elected leaders
and install our own puppet governments, whether we do it openly or covertly, I think it could qualify as empire-building.

Anyway, here's to the end of the empire days. And increasing the deficit temporarily in order to rebuild our economy -- in the form of jobs repairing and upgrading the infrastructure, building a supply of sustainable green energy, and universal health care -- can ultimately free us from the deficit with increased tax revenue from...jobs and actually useful products to sell.

I haven't paid income taxes in 7 years because I've been out of work for 5 of them and the 17 months I did work my pay was so low that I got $$ back. Please, Obama, help me with my tuition and put me back to work!

Financially feasible thin film technology is available today -- let's see it mass produced and installed everywhere.

Tesla's electric cars were 2 years from production before this crash. Let's invest to get them up and running in 1 year instead of 2.

Let the gov buy up empty houses and "rent" them no cost/low cost -- a la habitat for humanity -- in exchange for maintenance while newly homeless get back on their feet.

We've heard about the "sun corridor" and "wind corridor" in the west. Well, here in the east, Maine has 3 wind corridors -- let's get those wind farms up and blowing. Canada has been testing tidal power -- surely we can do that was well up here. And although our winters are long and dark, our summers feature 16 hours of sun so even solar is feasible here.
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snake in the grass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
37. The empire is coming to an end?
I can't say that makes me particularly sad.
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