Empire

Blog No.69.

Just before I set off on my Christmas break, I downloaded a twenty-four minute interview from Information Clearing House. It is given by a senior member of the former Bush administration, retired US General Wilkerson.

Over the past eighteen months of researching and writing the Khakispecs blog, I have sought to arrive at what I believe to be a fairly accurate understanding of the driving force behind the chaos in today’s world. I doubt I could have found any more succinct summary of what I have come to view as that reality than that contained in this interview. These are utterances from the horse’s mouth. Gen. Wilkerson

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Julius Caesar – self-proclaimed Dictator and God

My reading, during the Christmas break, has been Richard Harris’s latest work of historical fiction, ‘Dictator,’ the third in his trilogy on the life of Cicero. ‘Dictator.’ The work is a masterly representation of the descent of a democratic republic into a dictatorship. The Roman Republic’s constitution had been developed, five hundred or so years earlier, to meet the administrative needs of a small group of free-citizens, who had just thrown off the tyranny of a monarchy. Their descendants’ subsequent creation of a vast empire left the original constitution unable to cope with the demands that came to be placed upon it. After the Republic’s subversion by Julius Caesar, and with the original stern virtues and morality of its leading citizens having been suborned by the temptations of easy wealth and personal glory to be extracted from the sufferings of subject peoples, the Roman Empire descended into increasing brutality, chaos and its ultimate disintegration.

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The Roman Empire at its height

Wilkerson’s commentary on American Empire serves to confirm the melancholy truth “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” With its implied necessity of a resort to force of arms, it is indeed a deeply pessimistic conclusion that Wilkerson arrives at.

Recently, there has been much controversy surrounding American gun laws. (I believe on Christmas day alone, American gun owners killed more than thirty citizens and injured in excess of seventy: guns should be unloaded before gift wrapping!) The writers of the American constitution saw the universal carriage of arms among the citizenry as a safeguard against the rise of tyranny. Though I would agree with Wilkerson that the citizenry is now faced with that contingency, one can only hope that there still remains room for change through democratic process.

Time and again, history demonstrates that a resort to arms should be the last option when it comes to effecting social change. Civil wars and ‘successful’ insurgencies almost inevitably lead to a society’s habituation to violence as a means of political settlement – and often, to the seizure of power by its least scrupulous elements. We do indeed, live in interesting times.

 

American bases

You have had a view of the crisis through the eyes of a former senior soldier. For a former senior US Treasury Department official’s (and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal)  viewpoint go to  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/28/why-wwiii-is-on-the-horizon-paul-craig-roberts/  Dr Roberts is regarded as an extreme pessimist. (That is the only consolation I can offer those who read his blogs.)

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