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Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Sorrows of Empire

I have been quoting at length from Chalmers Johnson's book, The Sorrows of Empire. I need to return it to the library soon, so I thought I'd give you one final selection from the last chapter, where Johnson spells out the four sorrows of empire that he feels certain will happen to the U.S.
First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a growing reliance on weapons of mass destruction among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second, there will be a loss of democracy and constitutional rights as the presidency fully eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from an "executive branch" of government into something more like a Pentagonized presidency. Third, an already well-shredded principle of truthfulness will increasingly be replaced by a system of propaganda, disinformation, and glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there will be bankruptcy, as we pour our economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and short-change the education, health, and safety of our fellow citizens.
I'd say that all four are already here, although most people haven't caught on yet. Johnson points out the difference and importance of the fourth one, bankruptcy, because that's the one that will be impossible to hide from the brain-dead public.