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I have a dream for America…

September 9, 2011

I have to say that I’m pretty fascinated these days by all this “end of empire” stuff happening in/to America. It’s like they can’t help themselves from playing out their inevitable historic tragedy. As if their fate has already been determined by History. 

Obama pledges billions of illusory dollars to ward off, for another day, the inevitable economic collapse; a collapse made inevitable by America’s seemingly insatiable need to be the über military superpower of the entire planet, while maintaining one of the great tax-havens of all time! Why can’t they get it through their thick head that no one cares about that militaristic way of running the world anymore. The French, the Brits, the Germans, and the Russians have all learned – the hard way – that that approach to Empire can turn you into a footnote in time. 

The media seems to have no idea what’s going on, nor wants to examine too closely what is going on, and so would have you believe that the best minds are doing their best to thwart a crisis. But we all see through that particular pile of bullshit, and all you have to do is ask anyone on the street what they think, and they’ll all tell you that “first Black President, or not, America is fucked”.

We all know that the house is burning down around them; and the corn fields have been poisoned and the water tastes bad, and we watch from afar as American’s kill each other in the streets as if they were semi-feral Neanderthals. Yet the politicians are running around pointing fingers at each other, spending all their time pretending to be more of an Orthodox Christian than the other guy; all of them keepers of the faith.

Jesus Christ this stuff isn’t rocket science! It’s relatively easy to see the historical forces pulling the rug out from under America. It was a country proudly born of war. Of taking the land from whomever got in their way. Their men were the new economic titans of the world. Some of them were richer than entire countries. And every time Europe bloodied itself in war (which in the 1800’s and 1900’s was a lot), America grew ever stronger. By the ’50’s and 60’s America was an economic and military colossus on the world stage. Its economy larger than the rest of the world combined. It’s political ideology the gold standard. “Before God – every man is free!” It is written in their Constitution. Such powerful stuff! The colonies all wanted to be like America! America led the charge in civil rights and the world followed.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank. History has a way of eating itself in endless loops of total indifference to the human suffering going on below.

With wealth comes indulgence. And Indulgences have to be defended. That’s a fundamental fact of human nature. First comes wealth. Then comes indulgence. Indulgence happened to them all. China. India. Babylon. The Greeks. The Romans. The Brits. Mubarak. George Bush Jr.

Now Americans are chasing an illusion of who they once were. They no longer rule the world’s economy like they once did. In pure hard numbers America went from creating 80% of the world’s economic pie, to less than a 20% slice, and that piece is getting smaller by the day.

But indulgence is a disease for which there rarely is a cure.  Who wants to deal with the cold hard facts after years of indulgence? My old-man – a self-made man – could brag that he only went to Grade Six. My grandfather? Grade Two. Stupid loves living with stupid, and North America has long loved to live with stupid. That world is over. University is the new high school.

The great American society is now politically dull-witted, intellectually infantile, and increasingly orthodox in its Christian beliefs. All of which are completely useless assets in the new world order.

They may well be useless, but they’re a dangerous mix for a country to have, what with so many weapons of mass destruction lying around the planet. (America has more than a 1,000 military bases around the world.)

So, while the debt piles ever higher and higher around them, Obama maintains two useless wars, with Nations that are irrelevant to the course of American history; he supports the lowest tax rates for the wealthy in American history; and Washington just keeps borrowing money from the Chinese to keep the whole facade afloat. (Which, to me,  is akin to a Cheshire cat watching the mouse as it collects cheese crumbs; while he sits comfortably in front of the mouse’s hole in the wall.)

Surprisingly, the solution to this enormous problem is really rather simple. George McGovern, long-time Governor and one-time Presidential Candidate (lost to Nixon – who, by the way, was the last president to reign at the very peak of America’s international economic power), notes in an open-letter to Barak Obama, that the solution to America’s impending economic tsunami-catastrophe is remarkably simple:

1. Cut the size of the military. America spends more on its military than all the other countries of the world – combined! Change the name of the Department of Defence back to what it originally was: the Department of War. Call it what it is and treat it accordingly. Stop being so aggressive! Lead by example. Not by brute force. Cut military spending in half = eliminate the debt in a decade.

2. Get the American military bases out of the Middle East. Propping up regional dictators  just pisses everyone off. Breeds terrorism. Osama Bin Laden fights to get the Russians out of Afghanistan. Only to come home and see American troops in Saudi Arabia. Stop treating the Muslim World like they are less than real people.

3. Why are American troops still stationed in Europe? In Germany, of all places! I think it’s time to admit that Germany is back on its feet. Same goes for South Korea. And Japan…Australia. New Zealand. Italy. The U.K. And so on…why?

4. If the rich want to live in a functional society, then they have to pay their share. They do, afterall, determine the wage structure and the employment levels; the least they could do is look after their labour pool. 10% of Americans currently control 90% of the wealth. And the country is going broke! Go figure!

5. Get educated! Brute force may have won the day and ended the Second World War, but its a different world today. America may spend more money than anyone on military weapons, but 17 countries are now better educated. (I think you know who they are.) Its neighbours on the education list are Lithuania and Slovenia and other such places.

6. Put people to work in the industries of tomorrow. Green energy. Community gardening. Regional agriculture. Research. New industry. Adult education (re: obesity, diabetes, exercise). Take the tax concessions away from the oil, corporate and financial conglomerates – all who will already see record profits this year – and give them to the industries of the future. And to the people.

See, it’s so simple! All America has to do is stand up to the forces of History. Every historian knows that most empires could have been saved if they had not thought themselves trapped by historical forces. But it takes the same kind of daring that started the process in the first place. America has done it before! For freedom! To end slavery! For social justice! Now they have to stand up to the Generals.

 They’ve done it before.

It’s why we all still dream the American dream…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 13, 2011 8:23 pm

    Bravo Sherwood – an excellent tirade – and with useful suggestions too! Send a copy to Washington! Keep up the good work.

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