American Empire   Leave a comment

The year 2017 saw the beginning of the end for the US empire. I bade it farewell after Trump refused to sign the Paris Accord. I was fully in agreement that he shouldn’t. It hadn’t been authorized by Congress and it isn’t supported by most Americans who instinctively or knowledgeably understand that it would devastate our economy and drive us into third-world status within just a few years. But not signing the Accord meant the world would begin to look elsewhere for the next leader of the free world and I think that’s a good thing.

Britain survived its fall from the Most High status and we will too. In the long run, I think it will be better for us, but let’s just look at history first. We replaced the UK because we were more productive and forward thinking. Now that China has starting to ecclipse us, just like the UK before us, we don’t want to go quietly into that good night. Like any dying empire, our leaders are becoming increasingly ruthless, hoping to keep up appearances.

Image result for image of american empire

I know people who think our refusal to lead on “climate change” is what is causing this failure. Yeah, I don’t think so. Climate change — at least, the “human causation of climate change — will be disproven in a decade or so and whether or not we’d led the charge to roll back carbon emissions to 1930s levels would not have made the slightest bit of difference — at least not for the US. We are already lagging behind because of the extreme financial cost of warfare. It, not climate change, will be the death knell of the American empire. Since the start of the 21st century, we’ve invaded more countries than at any other time in our history. We appear to be in a perpetual state of both military and economic war.

Our combativeness, which has grown under every president since World War 2 ended is starting to make other major powers nervous and they’re now seeking to counter US aggression. Maybe they hoped we’d entangle ourselves in climate-change redtape and that would slow us down. Certainly they were hoping that the globalized economy would counter our aggression. But in reality, it is our aggression that has provided the rope that is hanging us. We’re not done yet, thanks to our somewhat unnatural alliance with the ill-conceived “United States of Europe.” That experiment is already stumbling and likely to fragment, but its leaders are hoping their alliance with the US will strengthen the EU. Meanwhile, the other major powers of the world are going full steam ahead to ensure that, when the US and EU run out of gas,  the rest of the world will carry on independently of the dying dual empires.

Understand, they aren’t merely waiting around the sidelines for the collapse to come so they can take their turn at the top of the global pecking-order. They are actively preparing their position to, as seamlessly as possible, take the baton and run.

There’s history here, of course. If we don’t learn from history, we’re destined to repeat it. So let’s learn from it.

Since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, the US dollar has reigned supreme as the world’s default currency. In 1944, the US held more gold than any other country, but in 1971, the US went off the gold standard, and since then, the dollar has been a fiat currency. The US has become increasingly cavalier in its abuse of the dollar—often at the expense of other countries.

Russia and China finally got tired of that and created the largest energy agreement in history not based on the US dollar. All trade between the two countries will be settled in the ruble and the yuan. Russia has since been active in creating agreements with other fuel customers, also bypassing the dollar. In creating these agreements, the Asian powers have unofficially announced the demise of the dollar in petroleum trading. For decades, the US has applied its muscle to other countries, using the strength of our dollar. So, the Sino-Russian agreement will likely end the US monopoly of price fixing in oil trading, but it will also to create a decline in US power over the world, generally.

To this end, Russian created its own SWIFT system. The official system, located in Brussels but controlled by the US, controls the vast majority of economic transactions in the world, but in recent years, the US has barred, or threatened to bar, other countries from the SWIFT system, effectively making it impossible for banks to transfer money and, by extension, causing the collapse of their banking systems. Russia got tired of that also and created its own. It’s entirely likely that, if Russian trading partners (Iran, for example) are barred from the use of the Brussels SWIFT (or even threatened to be barred), Russia would extend the use of its SWIFT to them.

That takes power away from the US. Provided Russia doesn’t use its system as a tool of intimidation, other countries may well flock to it, forcing the United States to interface with the new system or lose trade with those countries.

Meanwhile, China and Russia have been expanding their economic powers dramatically and have periodically complained that their seats at the IMF table are unrealistically low, considering their importance to world trade. In 2014, China officially replaced the US as the world’s largest economy, yet the IMF has consistently sought to minimize China’s place at the table. Can’t really blame them for being irritated by still being stuck at children’s table when they have a grownup economy.

The West believes that it is holding all the cards and that the Chinese and other powers must accept a poor-sister position, if they are to be allowed to sit at the IMF table at all. The West does not appear to recognize that, if frozen out, the other powers have the ability to create alternatives. As with the SWIFT system, the Asian powers have reacted to US overreach, not by going away licking their wounds, but by creating a second IMF.

The Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Russian legislature) have now created the New Development Bank. It will have a $100 billion pool, to be used for the BRICS countries. Its five members will contribute equally to its funding, instead of how the US slowly bankrupts itself by being the primary contributor to the system in controls. The BRICS bank will be centered in Shanghai. India will serve as the first five-year rotating president and the first chairman of the board of directors will come from Brazil. The first chairman of the board of governors is likely to be Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. It’s therefore structured to be truly multinational, instead of a western monopoly of power.

In creating all of the above entities, the BRICS will, in effect, have created a complete second economic world. So much for Mutually Assured Economic Destruction. And thank God!

In the latter days of the British Empire, the British seemed to be under the illusion that, even as their power base crumbled, maybe they could retain control by threats and bluster. The UK was utterly wrong and only succeeded in alienating trading partners, colonies, and allies by doing so.

The same is happening today. China, Russia, and the rest of the world, when faced with American threats and bluster, will not simply fold their tents and accept that the US must be obeyed. They will, instead, create alternatives. And they are doing so exceedingly quickly and with unexpected competence. At this point, the overreach of the US is not only enabling other powers to rise, it is forcing their hand to literally create the next full-blown empire.

Wouldn’t it be so much better, Americans, if we accepted our declining status, pulled back much of our far-flung empire and fortified our position in the coming changing environment? It took England generations to become healthy once more because they refused to accept reality. Let’s return to what we were in the 19th and early 20th century – not an empire, but a highly productive nation of innovative and freedom-loving people with largely friendly trading relationships all over the world. Then we don’t have to worry about being dragged off our pedestal. We can simply go about our business and not give other countries reasons to hate and attack us.

I know, unrealistic. If we let go of our position in the world we won’t be great anymore and we can’t have that. The horror!

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