The New American Century: Cut Short by 92 Years

The era of Superpower America is coming to an end. The financial crisis was the last straw. Whatever good faith was left after the invasion of Iraq and the shrugging off of international treaties, is now gone. The United States has polluted the global economic system with worthless mortgage-backed securities and, by doing so, has pushed 6 billion people closer to a long and painful recession. That’s not something that’s easy to forgive.

The anger at the US seems to be surfacing everywhere at once. It was particularly noticeable at the recent opening of the UN General Assembly. Typically, this is a tedious event full of empty political blabbering and pretentious ceremonies. But not this time. With the world sliding towards a US-created recession; foreign leaders have started lashing out at the United States more vehemently. The speeches have been blunt and acrimonious; no one is “pulling their punches” any more. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez summed up the mood of the meetings like this:

“I think that, sooner rather than later, this empire will fall — to the benefit of the whole world, enabling a balance in the world to be created: polycentric and multi-polar. That will guarantee peace in the world. To the creation of this multi-polar world we are making our small contribution.”

What Chavez objects to is Bush’s “unipolar” model of global governance whereby all the world’s crucial decisions–on everything from global warming to nuclear proliferation–are made by Washington. No one likes being told what to do, just as no one likes the US constantly meddling in their affairs. That’s why none of the UN attendees seemed particularly bothered by the fact that the US financial markets are in freefall. It’s called schadenfreude, taking pleasure in someone elses misfortune, and it was on full display at the United Nations last week.

Many of the dignitaries seem to believe that America’s sudden economic downturn presents an opportunity for change. And that’s what everyone wants; real change. No one wants another 8 years like the last. That’s why the central theme in Chavez’s speech was repeated over and over again by other leaders. They reject the present system and want a bigger role in shaping the future.

That doesn’t mean that the world hates America. It just means that everyone wants a breather from the torture, the abductions, the bombing of civilians, and now, the financial contagion that has spread throughout the global system. The US’s lack of regulation and monetary policies have driven up inflation, triggered food riots, and sent oil prices skyrocketing. Enough is enough. The United States is like the dinner guest who doesn’t know when it’s time to go home. Perhaps, a touch of recession will help to rebalance Washington’s approach and make its leaders more responsive to the needs of the rest of the world.

Journalist John Gray summed it up like this in his article in The Observer, “A Shattering Moment in America’s fall from Power”:

The control of events is no longer in American hands… Having created the conditions that produced history’s biggest bubble, America’s political leaders appear unable to grasp the magnitude of the dangers the country now faces. Mired in their rancorous culture wars and squabbling among themselves, they seem oblivious to the fact that American global leadership is fast ebbing away. A new world is coming into being almost unnoticed, where America is only one of several great powers, facing an uncertain future it can no longer shape.

The US is about to join the family of nations and learn how to get along with its neighbors whether it wants to or not. There’s simply no other choice; the dollar is falling, the deficits are soaring, and the financial markets are in a shambles. America will either learn to cooperate or become isolated in a world that is rapidly integrating. It’s “get along or go it alone”; a message that Washington needs to learn quickly so it can adapt to the new power-paradigm.

Yes; plenty of money will still flow into covert operations and CIA-sponsored dirty tricks just to keep alive the hope that Superpowerdom will be restored. That is to be expected. The well-heeled rogues in the British royal family still dream of rebuilding the Empire, too. But realists know that it’s just a harmless fantasy. Nothing will come of it. Empire’s have a short shelf-life and they’re impossible to stitch-back together. They usually end on a corpse strewn battlefield or in a towering financial bonfire which leaves nothing behind but a pile of ashes and shards of broken glass. We can only hope that the yawning economic chasm ahead of us all, will involve less hardship than we anticipate. But when a nation sows dragon’s teeth, it shouldn’t expect a harvest of sweet plums.

Journalist Steve Watson reports on Infowars:

A Council on Foreign Relations member and former policy planner under prominent Bilderberger Henry Kissinger has penned a piece in the Financial Times of London calling for a “new global monetary authority” that would have the power to monitor all national financial authorities and all large global financial companies.

Even if the US’s massive financial rescue operation succeeds, it should be followed by something even more far-reaching – the establishment of a Global Monetary Authority to oversee markets that have become borderless.” writes Jeffrey Garten also a former managing director of Lehman Brothers.

The dream of “one world” government does not die easily, but it is dead all the same. The center of the present global financial system is the Federal Reserve. Its offspring includes the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, The World Bank, the G-7 banking cartel and thousands of predatory NGOs which have expanded the grip of the Washington banking cabal and the dollarized system across the planet. But neoliberalism is collapsing and what we are seeing now is the erratic spasms of a terminal heart patient entering the final stages of cardiac arrest. There is no drug or medical procedure that will restore the victim to good health.

No one is looking to the US or its “supply side” hirelings to chart a course for their country’s economic future. Those day’s are over. The US will have to pull itself from the rubble and start over without the massive infusions of low interest capital from China, Japan and the Gulf States. The money spigots have been turned off. It’s thin gruel and hard times ahead. That’s the price one pays for swindling the world with worthless mortgage-backed snake oil and other “illiquid” garbage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin summed up recent events in the financial markets like this:

Everything that is happening in the economic and financial sphere has started in the United States. This is a real crisis that all of us are facing, and what is really sad is that we see an inability to take appropriate decisions. This is no longer irresponsibility on the part of some individuals, but irresponsibility of the whole system, which as you know had pretensions to (global) leadership.

Back at the United Nations, Germany’s Finance Minister Peer Steinbuck echoed similar sentiments when he said:

The United States is solely to be blamed for the financial crisis. They are the cause for the crisis and it is not Europe and it is not the Federal Republic of Germany. The Anglo-Saxon drive for double-digit profits and massive bonuses for bankers and company executives that were responsible for the financial crisis.

He added,”The long term consequences of the crisis are not clear. but one thing seems likely to me; the USA will lose its superpower status in the global financial system. The world financial system is becoming multipolar.”

Steinbuck was merely reiterating the feelings of Chancellor Angela Merkel who used more diplomatic language in her critique:

The current crisis shows us you can do some things on the national level, but the overwhelming majority must be agreed to on the international level. We must push for clearer regulations so that a crisis like the current one cannot be repeated.

Merkel knows that Europe was blindsided by America’s deregulated system which allows fraudsters and scam-artists to rule the roost. Even now–in the middle of the biggest financial scandal in history–not one CEO or CFO from a major investment bank has been indicted or dragged off to prison. US markets are a lawless “free for all” where no one is held accountable no matter how large the crime or how many people are hurt. But there’s a price to be paid for fleecing investors, and the US will pay that price. Already, the purchase of US Treasurys has slowed to a crawl. In the coming months, America’s life-support system will be disconnected altogether and the oxygen tent removed. Kissinger’s protege is not worried about that; but working class American’s should be. There’s a train wreck just ahead and many people will suffer needlessly.

This is how Spiegel Online puts it:

The banking crisis is upending American dominance of the financial markets and world politics. The industrialized countries are sliding into recession, the era of turbo-capitalism is coming to an end and US military might is ebbing…. This is no longer the muscular and arrogant United States the world knows, the superpower that sets the rules for everyone else and that considers its way of thinking and doing business to be the only road to success.

A new America is on display, a country that no longer trusts its old values and its elites even less: the politicians, who failed to see the problems on the horizon, and the economic leaders, who tried to sell a fictitious world of prosperity to Americans…. Also on display is the end of arrogance. The Americans are now paying the price for their pride.1

Both presidential candidates have vowed to continue the unilateralist Bush Doctrine. Obama is just as eager as McCain to violate sovereign borders, invade countries that pose no imminent national security threat to the US, and carry out the many flagrant violations of international law as long as they serve the interests of western mandarins. But it’s not up to the politicians anymore. Change is coming; the unipolar moment has passed. As the financial crisis deepens, America’s ability to wage war will steadily erode as capital and resources dry up. Its only a matter of time before the war machine sputters to a halt and the troops return home. When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.

  1. Spiegel Online, “America loses its Dominant Economic Role.” []
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com. Read other articles by Mike.

25 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. gliscameria said on October 3rd, 2008 at 5:59pm #

    It’s wasn’t americans that did this. It was the super rich, period. These people have no borders and pledge allegiance to no country.

    The working class will suffer for this, mostly here in America, but definitely to a degree elsewhere in the world. This country should not be called The United States of America anymore because Americans no longer run the show. Overwhelming majorities of Americans want one thing but the opposite is done because of the interest of a few rich supporters? Americans would like their contry back, but it’s been sold out from underneath of us.

    The world needs to hold these theives accoutable. Naturally Europe will complain about what happened, but their banks will glady do business with those who profitted from this mess. The world needs to not accept this blood money! Who am I kidding though? The people responsible for this will be welcomed with open arms in whatever country they store their money. Along with the 263 people who helped them finish the deal.

  2. Donald Hawkins said on October 4th, 2008 at 8:14am #

    It was midmorning and the coffee shop was full. The owner had lowered his prices because of the economic downturn and the place was full of laughter and talk. The talk was today almost the same from table to table everybody was on the same page. The owner looked to the table by the front window and heard capitalism no socialism and at that very moment a red hummer pulled up and parked in front of the coffee shop. Two people got out and the owner noticed it was the same two that had been in a few months back. The owner had a good memoir. The hummer looked like it hadn’t been washed in two months and as the man closed the door the back bumper fell off. The two just looked at the bumper kind of in shock and walked into the shop. The owner again noticed that the two were still over dressed but there clothes probably hadn’t been washed in a few day’s and needed a press. The women had on jewelry but not as much. They walked to the counter and seemed a bit more quiet. The owner just said coffee and gave them two cups of black coffee. He then said on the house you have that look. The two said together what look? That look like you will probably be regular customers now. The owner then said see that signed picture of James Hansen over there on the wall that table looks open. The two went slowly over to the table sat down and just looked down at there coffee. The old man was at his regular table also under the picture of James Hansen and just watched the two look down at there coffee for a few minutes and then said to them out of the clear blue sky, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Nothing the two just looked at there coffee. What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we’ve been fighting to destroy? This seemed to get there attention and they looked over at the old man. He then said to them who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him? The women took a sip of coffee and said the fool who follows him. The old man said good one and now fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side. The man then took a sip of his coffee and said good point. The old man then said the force it’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. He then got up and said let me get you two some more coffee.

    The old man came back with the coffee and as he sat down said do either of you have any ideas on socialism to keep capitalism going sort of or this whole compound interest thing. Did you happen to see the movie The Good The Bad and The Ugly. Not so much the movie but the title brings up an interesting concept. The two just sat there. Ok to much to fast how about Governor Palin how about those glasses they do make you smarter. I think those people over at the table by the window have some for sale at an incredibly low price.

    I know I didn’t use punctuation marks to me it’s kind of like a credit rating really not needed.

  3. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 4th, 2008 at 9:04am #

    will this explain much or even everything?
    nature experiments: it makes big, small, still smalrer, mean, still meaner, angry, stupid, smart, etc., apes and people.
    it makes all kinds of people except good ones.
    presumably, nature tried to make good people or only good people but s’mhow failed.
    or it gave up in frustration?! or was self mean, angry, dishonest, perilous, etc?
    now, w. no good people on earth (no, not one) and armed w. wmd, greed, anger, hatred, fears, false knowledge, etcetc., we, the bad people, have been ruled for 10,ooo yrs by bad people.
    adding more anger, hatred, fears, envy, etc., to the badness surely must exacerbate it.
    blaming, cursing, had to date not worked. unless nature starts once again to make good people- and lotsof them- who may be willing to go to jail, face threats, die, get impoverished, etc., lamentaion is a waste of time.
    so, get free sextherapy; it’s still free. laugh, joke, talk, etc. thnx

  4. Donald Hawkins said on October 4th, 2008 at 10:18am #

    Bozhidar come on there is much knowledge in the World just not used. All you have to do is watch commercials on TV for 30 minutes to see how far we have not come. The knowledge is still out there and only known by some. I am not talking about the knowledge Wall Street uses or so called leaders to keep people in that prison of the mind the knowledge I am talking about is the search for the truth. I know what is the truth 2+2=4 works for me you can carry anything to far talk about something until you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    It is clear, then, that wisdom is knowledge having to do with certain principles and causes. But now, since it is this knowledge that we are seeking, we must consider the following point: of what kind of principles and of what kind of causes is wisdom the knowledge? (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 340BC)

    We are out of time to go after some problems that will make this economic crisis look like a walk in the park. There are people who have the wisdom and we need there help. What we saw high up on the hill in Washington the last few weeks is not wisdom it’s called the easy way out and stupid. The wisdom and knowledge can we move it to the front, I don’t know but I will keep trying.

  5. Donald Hawkins said on October 4th, 2008 at 11:00am #

    These last few weeks people who I thought had gut’s and could make some hard choices and had good ideas to solve these very hard problems well I was wrong. I watched many turn into a little mouse because it is the money. To keep going for the Gold and solve these problems probably not a happy ending. Again you can carry anything to far but what we see now is nut’s.

  6. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 4th, 2008 at 12:55pm #

    donald,
    in my post i haven’t mentioned the word “knowledge”; i mentioned the label “false knowledge”.
    and needless to say, and u’d agree, there is so much of it that no single or even a group of people cld in decades enumerate its instances.
    major and catastrophic ones r easily espied: wmd, korea, vietnam, iraq, afgh’n, overuse, competition, etc., all due to false knowledge.
    r u not talking ab a priori knowledge ab how a society can be better structured?
    eg, socialism. we’v not had that anywhere. one wd know ab it a posteriori; after we’d have it for yrs, decades, centuries
    socialism to work must be joyfully, accepted by an overwhelming majority and have no enemies such US to continuously threaten it and try to destroy it.
    from what i know, right or wrong answers to statements such as; Christianity is good; capitalism is the only way; socialism is ok; free speech is ok; religion is necessary; we need debates; obama is this or that, etcetc., do not apply;ie,they’ r neither true or false nor right or wrong; they r just there.
    but we can’t ever obtain knowledge ab it;ie, whether they r right or wrong.
    with descriptive statements such, She went to a movie, it is different; it is ether true or false. still, we don’t know wheather it was right or wrong to go to a movie or have sex in a car.
    in short, sorry to say, there is no right or wrong; there r actors/factors at work to obtain capitalism, fascism, or socialism.
    in my mind, it may be better to be unschooled than to know so much that isn’t so. and i do not know of a national who’s more disinformed and mistaught than an amer.
    it also may be true; and thus be knowledge, that we cannot whether even well-developed socialism is right or wrong.
    it just will be or not be.
    but i love good socilaism and hate any form fascism; includes capitalism.
    this post was a pain in the neck. there may be a better way of saying all that. thnx

  7. Donald Hawkins said on October 4th, 2008 at 1:57pm #

    in my mind, it may be better to be unschooled than to know so much that isn’t so. and i do not know of a national who’s more disinformed and mistaught than an amer.

    Interesting the way you put that I need to think on that one probably day’s.

  8. DavidG. said on October 4th, 2008 at 9:44pm #

    America is going down the gurgler, eh? Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    Few will sympathize. It deserved this fate. Like Lennie in the story Of Mice And Men, America had the muscles to be a world bully but not the brain or the wisdom to be a world leader.

    Bring on the New World Order. May it be one of cooperation and equality rather than confrontation and elitism.

    My blog says more.

  9. MrSynec3 said on October 5th, 2008 at 12:08am #

    The current economic debacle even if it is caused largely by U.S. is
    not confined to the U.S.
    They say if the U.S. catches a cold, the rest of the world catches the flu
    and perhaps bronchitis. Add to that, the U.S. is still so powerful
    and can s throw deadly punches when and where it wants.
    Most likely the average Joe/Jane everywhere will get out of this crisis poorer, but the super rich everywhere, especially in U.S. will get out much richer.

  10. Hue Longer said on October 5th, 2008 at 4:34am #

    I can’t find the song or who wrapped/sang it but it says, “this isn’t a cartoon, no one slips on a banana peel” referring to how nothing is a mistake or is unexpected (I think—it mentioned that regarding Princess Die).

    You hit it, Synec3…it’s always about wealth grabbing. It’s hard to see in the “developed world” –where the house slaves still have some comforts to go along with their fears– but the transference of labor into gold for the masters is still the same alchemical principle used in Joe Hill’s day.

  11. Hue Longer said on October 5th, 2008 at 4:36am #

    maybe “coincidence” instead of “unexpected”…anybody know’s it, please send it to me…cheers

  12. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 5th, 2008 at 6:26am #

    hey folks,
    wmd r still here. plutocrats still rule most countries. working people r still serfs just ab everywhere. we have everywhere elitist societies.
    terror for independence, warfare is still w. us.
    the ‘evil’ empires r still here. we still live in classful societies.
    in india, we have caste system that is unchanged since millennia ago.
    women everywhere r still secondclass.
    worse yet, beaten, raped, belittled.
    structure of governance on all levels remain same or similar to the one millennia ago.
    people everywhere lie, cheat, steal, rob, use drugs, etcetc.
    a few $trillion stolen. so what? not a big deal for the rulers. thnx

  13. Donald Hawkins said on October 5th, 2008 at 7:43am #

    Presidential Address year 2012

    The president looked tired he had a tie on worn lose and no coat. My fellow Americans and people of the Earth. People of the Earth that’s a new one. In the last three years, time has away of moving into the future, since I have become President things have changed and not for the good. The latest data from our scientists from just the Arctic region means to put it in just a few words is we are all in big trouble. The temperatures have spiked and the seas are on the rise. Reports from around the World are not encouraging. China is now getting temperature spikes and drought, flooding is starting to take it’s toll. Food and water are in short supply not only in China but India and in the United States we are seeing spot shortages. From what I understand a slice of pizza in New York City is now 30 dollars. So far because of the economic downturn we have continued to use fossil fuels as this was the cheapest way to produce energy. Under my direction and most of the World leaders that is now going to change. I am asking all the people of the World to conserve what you can. In the united States that will mean please only eat meat 6 times a week. Maybe pizza two times a week. Still buy new but used is good too. Las Vegas is still open and I hear the tickets are very cheap. We all have to do are part as we repower America and the World. We can get through this together and America is still the greatest Nation on Earth and at this time of crisis listen to your leaders and watch your parking meters.

    Anybody else tired of stupidity, nonsense, insanity, greed, foolishness, lies?

  14. Donald Hawkins said on October 5th, 2008 at 8:24am #

    Huanuco, 48, waited for rains to fall on his small parcel of land to sustain his crops of potatoes as well as various tubers and quinoa. When ripened, his family ate what they needed and sold the surplus in the nearby central city of Huaraz.

    But by 1990, Huanuco began noting strange climatic patterns in this village of 500 residents at 11,000 feet in the Andean Cordillera Blanca. They included battering hailstorms, months without rain and warmer winters. By 2005, the quirky weather became more consistent and included a fungus that blanketed his potato crops. Huanuco now worries about earning enough to put food on the table and buy school books for his three children.

    “Before, we planted all year long, any month we wanted to,” Huanuco said while eyeing a tiny potato plot. “Now we only get water a few times a year and cannot plant as much, and the pests and diseases keep coming.”

    Most climatologists blame global warming for Huanuco’s woes. San Francisco Chronicle

    I know that was from the San Francisco Chronicle and probably not true just saying this kind of stuff to scare people. After reading this I went right to the Wall Street Journal because that is where the truth lies.

  15. Donald Hawkins said on October 5th, 2008 at 9:35am #

    The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times and many more well we all know there sole purpose is this wacko agenda of World domination. That is why I stay with papers like the Wall Street Journal. I think the same people own Foxnews another one of my favorites the main reason is they are looking out for us and fair and balanced and the spin stops there. Well my Grandson is with us today because my son and his wife are working extra jobs today to pay the man. My Grandson is eight and from what I understand that is the number of years to be well on our way of getting off fossil fuels and stop cutting trees and a few other minor things or when he is 23 years old tuff times doesn’t begin to explain it. Still time and will it be easy, no. No it sure won’t.

  16. john andrews said on October 6th, 2008 at 12:16am #

    As a non-American I can promise you I don’t hate Americans. It’s not their fault the world is in the state it’s in because they are pretty powerless to do anything about it. The American government, on the hand, is another can of worms. When the cold war ended twenty years ago the US govt had the chance to create world peace. It chose war. War is good for business, and the US govt is run by business. This was nothing to do with the American people – if they had really had the choice almost cerainly they would have chosen world peace. Problem is, the American people (like all the rest of us) have no control over their own government.
    Free Democracy is a solution.
    http://www.freedemocrats.co.uk

  17. Bob said on October 6th, 2008 at 6:18am #

    There are so many conspiracy theories in this article it’s very difficult to know where to start.

    Why don’t I just say:

    A cursory look at history will set you straight, there have been people ranting nearly the same prophecies of doom for about eighty years now. And never once has there been anything like what they describe happen.

    Oh well, life goes on. There always have been and always will be false prophets of doom.

  18. AaronG said on October 6th, 2008 at 7:26am #

    Mike

    With all due respect to the article’s content, I’m still wetting myself over the title. Very clever! I’m halfway through the 76 page report ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ by The Project for the New American Century. I hope to finish it before America goes under…………….

    Just one comment about the article and related blogs. There seems to be a ‘1999-type Clintonesque’ optimism around the place, and an expectation of better times ahead simply if America goes under. Comments like:

    ‘Bring on the New World Order. May it be one of cooperation and equality rather than confrontation and elitism.’

    and:

    ‘When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.’

    I applaud everyone’s optimism, but let’s have some realism here. Just WHO exactly is establishing this New World Order (I hope it’s not the Europeans – they’re the most bloodthirsty people of the last 1000 years; or the Russians – they have too many nukes for my liking; or the Asians – they’re not too shabby with this Imperialism stuff themselves!) and HOW is it being done. I don’t see any changes being made. All I see is a country (America) tottering a bit, with tens of other countries waiting to have their time at the top of the heap. Yes, America (the country) has done some awful shit. Yes, they (the people) will pay for their leaders’ greed and lust for power. Yes, America is big and bad. But the only difference is that America is bigger and badder than the rest. And let’s not assume that the ‘countries-in-waiting’ would not have done the same. They’re just envious that they weren’t evil enough to setup such a $cheme 200 years ago themselves. Given the opportunity, they have done and will do similar.

    So, if America does totter, let’s be cautious and realistic about the ‘power vacuum’ in the world financial system. The quotes from Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin picture these guys/girls as altruistic saviours of the planet’s financial system. When a gambler with a Yankee accent is replaced with a gambler who speaks German, Mandarin or Russian, the result is approximately the same. Men with greed for money and power transcends imaginary lines on a map. Whoever steers the ship (unipolar or multipolar) is heading for ruin……….

    John Andrews, you mention that war has ‘nothing to do with the American people’. I think you mean that the architects/planners of war have nothing to do with the American people. Don’t absolve the public of their responsibility. Just a small point, but where do the troops, factory workers for Lockheed Martin and nationalistic flag-wavers come from?

    If we, the public, keep supplying lemmings for slaughter, then they, the government will keep using us. That’s my supply and demand lesson for the day………

  19. bozhidar bob balkas said on October 6th, 2008 at 10:35am #

    it seems to me that the europatricians cldn’t establish a oneparty governance such as the one in US because of rise in the 20th cent. of socialism/communism thruout europe.
    ww1 and ww2 may have also been an impediment to patricians (both new and old) in establishing stronger grip on power.
    now, of course, the gate is wide open and their grip is tightening.
    i do not want to predict that the grip on power by europ’n ‘nobles’ or robber-barons will be ever as strong as the grip on power by US robbers.
    thnx

  20. MrSynec3 said on October 7th, 2008 at 3:50am #

    To AaronG,
    You wrote very wise words and opinions that show knowledge of
    human nature, history and current world politics. Thank you for
    sharing.

  21. cheale said on October 7th, 2008 at 9:16pm #

    I liked the stories Mr Hawkins…, particularly the first one, keep writing…

  22. mike3 said on January 6th, 2009 at 4:17pm #

    “Many of the dignitaries seem to believe that America’s sudden economic downturn presents an opportunity for change. And that’s what everyone wants; real change. No one wants another 8 years like the last. That’s why the central theme in Chavez’s speech was repeated over and over again by other leaders. They reject the present system and want a bigger role in shaping the future.”

    But do they understand what real change will mean? It means complete and total change of everything, and not just with America. For example, most economies are still dependent on growth. Earth is NOT a TARDIS: it is as big as it looks. What happens when you run out of space and resources? CRASH!!! Continued “growth” as the basis for economies, is going to become a thing of the past at some point here. We can either go and make it happen now, or we can keep dallying (“we” here means all of humanity, not just America or some other country), and have a real hard and painful crash.

    NO war is a good war. ALL wars are EVIL!!!

    What I’m curious about is why exactly is the fall of the American country from its superpower status required in order to change _those_ other, non-American economies to a growth-independent form? Although I would not be surprised such a thing would be needed for _its own_ economy to be changed to that way.

    “As the financial crisis deepens, America’s ability to wage war will steadily erode as capital and resources dry up. Its only a matter of time before the war machine sputters to a halt and the troops return home. When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.”

    Even if there was no financial crisis it would still happen. Global oil supplies — the blood that fuels such a military — are depleting fast. We may have hit or passed peak oil already, and so oil production will soon, if it hasn’t already, go to terminal, irreversible decline around the world, essentially mirroring its ascent during the past century — i.e. 25 years from now, we’ll have oil production levels like those of 25 years _ago_, yet a system that requires a lot _more_ than that… now if that isn’t gonna hurt and hurt BAD, I don’t know what is. Soon America and other petroleum-dependent militaries will find their tanks unable to run, their bombers unable to fly, and their ships unable to power through the high seas. Economies will crash in a way that makes this crisis look like a blip, and it won’t just be America to blame, but everyone who dared to become dependent on oil. It will end in nothing short of a total disintegration of the entire global economic, political, and social infrastructure if nobody goes and decides to get off before then. Even if they do it could still be very, very hard.

    But it may be that a catastrophe on this great a scale, of this immense magnitude, like nothing ever seen before in all of recorded history, is what will be needed to take the quarreling countries, break down their borders, and unify the world into one single country. So maybe it has to happen, if we are indeed to have peace.

    The problem is that the other, non-American countries are repeating the same mistakes that America has done, and like it, don’t see them as mistakes. Materialism is one example of such a mistake. Growth-dependent economics are another. You think Russia, or China, perhaps, could survive if their economies stopped growing, e.g. by hitting ecological and geophysical limits which do really exist?

    Eventually we will have things better, but things might have to get very bad before that happens. Why? Because we (humanity) chose to do it that way.

    NO war is a good war. ALL wars are EVIL!!!

  23. mike3 said on January 6th, 2009 at 4:27pm #

    What is not grasped, at least in this article, is that the economic crisis has its roots in the oil crisis. Look at this:

    And why an oil crisis? Peak oil. Why peak oil? Oil is finite. And because everyone is stuck on materialistic growth as the way to do things. And it is crass materialism that led to all the other mistakes that contributed to it as well.

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-112467

    Eventually, things will get better. But only after the great crash, unless _everyone_ changes soon. The world that is coming will be _totally different from top to bottom_ than what we have now.

  24. Max Shields said on January 6th, 2009 at 5:13pm #

    mike3,

    Energy is the key always the key. Oil is what created the Western Industrial economy. It could not have been created using prior energy sources.

    You are right my noting peak. There is simply no replacement for oil given the kind of industrialized consumption that is essential for the corporate capitalistic economy which is the very essence of the American empire.

    The energy expended to obtain the most energy yielding source (oil) continues to go up – the ratio between what it takes to extract to produce a unit of energy has been becoming smaller and smaller. This is net energy. When energy expended equals or is greater than energy extracted you have no economy as we know it.

    That oil prices go up and down have absolutely NOTHING to do with its availability. If we find more sophisticated ways to extract we simply deplete faster, creating peak quicker. This is true of every fossil source of energy. And none of them has the flexibility and multiple uses such as oil. And every time we deny, every time the US politicians fail to adhere to this primary law, they are in fact chosing a course of total economic destruction; one they hope will find some “solution” which is just not feasible.

  25. mike3 said on August 20th, 2009 at 1:04pm #

    Yes, energy is the key. However, do you realize it is also not just the USA that has this problem? So this will be a WORLD problem, not just that of the USA, and any politician in any country that tries to use similar extreme capitalism will toast.

    But I’m curious: what do you think the politicians, etc. _should_ be doing, then?