Hegemony, Like Water, Will Find Its Own Level

To this day, the Statue of Liberty bears the inscription “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. That the world was indeed “giving” is testimony to the countless thousands of immigrants who found ingress through those portals that separated the old from the new world…perhaps the idea of this expansive bower, in vastness and availability, had its origins in dreams synonymous of an earthly paradise that was spurred on by self-seeding dreams… fueling the lust that drove the beast that built the nation.

But the order of our present world has changed and it seems evermore to elide into a gnarled tumorous fog of militaristic mayhem. The propaganda jargon that belies our true reasons for involving ourselves in other people’s countries has become ubiquitous. The Government, under the rubric of Home Security and the War on Terror mantra garrisons public fora at home, while similarly garrisoning the globe with military bases in order to curtail the growth cycle and ambitions of other would-be hegemons.

The spectre of America as the club-carrying, musket-at-the-ready, Hellfire Missile-prosody came into being over the course of the 19th and 20th-century when society was lured into believing that the future was theirs alone by virtue of their ability to manufacture prosperity for all. That the rest of the world sought to emulate the achievements of America was academic, and competition for natural resources was to follow. Though elites were as yet mainly in the pipeline and plutocracy was virtually absent from the lexicon, the military however, always on steroids, continued to spread its tentacles throughout the body politic.

On the other hand, phallus erectus had become ever more evident within the psyche of the American Beltway, where military spending had become the raison d’etre that sent the tech-world-value-adding-boffins over the moon, figuratively and otherwise, as they spread the dark cloud of American hegemony across the world. Intoxicated by their own inventiveness, enterprise and innovation, into believing themselves exceptional in all respects, they failed to see beyond their tech-paradise. Meanwhile, in the process of acquiring ever more power, the Military Industrial Complex (in the role of the White Knight… the greatest Knight in the world… in search of the Holy Grail?) continued to absorb more and more of the federal budget in the name of defending the country from ‘little-men-from-Mars’ threatening our democracy. With one swift brushstroke social programmes were consigned to the nether regions of the evolutionary landscape so that we the people could focus on defending we, the “mesmerised multitude”, against ourselves thus casting an ominous pall over the rest of the narrative.

Project “American-Dream” allows itself to project the narrative of a can-do culture as being the panacea to end all panaceas by way of convincing itself that it is without peer when it comes to the production of military hardware, but fails to see what it is losing in the process. So what went so terribly wrong for America, a country that had so much potential and saw itself as a guiding light in matters of modernity, etc.? Why is America so reviled in so much of the world today?

The answer perhaps, can be found when measuring the pace of growth experienced in the 20th century under circumstances that produced exaggerated optimism because of an abundance of natural resources. America, in the aftermath of the Second World War, stood apart as the premier nation, intact to the enth degree, undefeated and in possession of a virulent strain of militaristic hubris that would eventually shock and awe a world it hardly understood.

To understand the structure of power in America, it is necessary to remember how militarism forged a culture of expansionist narrative in order to implement programmes designed to advance the interests of empire building while selling each packet of lies as being justified in terms of national security. These raw exercises are fraught with confrontations, each one mirrors the boldness and brashness of a mythology that Hollywood had all too easily had its way with. The public at large, in all its intellectual slothfulness, came to the banquet all too eager to consume the fast food diet of inanities on offer to them. The “multitude” that now constitute the Republic came to abjure all who were not of their “stripe” as being inferior, if not alien. Dumping all connection to their cultural stem cells, they consigned themselves willy-nilly to some kind of amnesia. The Founding Fathers on the other hand, had defined human proportionality as a measure of the human spirit’s capacity to rise above the amorphous security of the ‘multitude’.

When did America begin to lose sight of the fact that it was equally important to look back to its cultural stem-cells for an understanding of where it was coming from, as it was to reset the compass for future navigational purposes, in order to better understand the direction it was moving in? Was it at that point where it believed itself invincible that it became captive to its own hubris?

When did the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson first appear irrelevant, and Hellenism, another constellation of disciplines, need retreat before the hard-wired lexicon of Neo-Liberal cant?

The amorphous War on Terror, the amorphous Neo-Liberal mindset, the amorphous Covert Surveillance Programmes, the amorphous paranoia of the “mesmerised multitude” all secrete inflammatory excrescences into the body politic with monotonous regularity. Do “End of History” adumbrations postulate a state where nervous tensions preclude the opportunity for engaging in public debate?

Witness the razed and blood soaked fields that have come into being across the Middle East for reasons unrelated to the creation of a better world order. It’s about our/their oil stupid…and the pumping of same…as the man said!

Recently the following words were revealed in various posts in alternative media. The expression “removing the top soil”.. surpassing “mowing the lawn” as a term of reference in the mind of a top military spokesperson at the Pentagon when referring to the astonishing quantities of munitions used against the citizens of Gaza by the IDF in that most disproportionate war on a civilian population. This from senior army personnel observing the ‘raising-of-the-bar’ in connection to a war against civilians…and nothing about the fact that America was supplying its client (clone) Israel with the most lethal kind of weapons of mass destruction for use in…you already know the context!

So what is America saving us from and whom? The “hegemon” as black cloud forever militates against its competitors in a manner most insidiously covert and threatening . Russia, with a necklace of NATO nuclear warheads at its borders so as to contain it…if not to wreck its economy…is demonised, in spite of facts on the ground suggesting that Washington was complicit in neutering the democratic process in Ukraine itself. China, a magnificent cultural warrior of millennial stature is eye-balled by the “mesmerised multitude” of the US of A team claiming sole right to hegemonic status and demanding that the Dragon should curb its aspirations…..and so it goes on and on!

At the end of the day it will all sort itself out. The multilateral world will come into being on the back of a commodity-like-bucking-bronco arrangement because people everywhere are geared to receiving tomorrow’s toys today …and trade is king…and as we do business with each other, maybe we will gradually come to understand that hegemony, like water, will find its own level.

Denis Conroy is a retired businessman and journalist and a voracious follower of matters political outside of the mainstream arena. Read other articles by Denis A..