The Legacy of Empire
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]
For 2000 years “Western” empires have dominated the social, religious, political, commercial and military world scene. If all the horrors perpetrated upon helpless peoples by these empires were listed somewhere, on some “wailing wall” or cenotaph or other monument to man’s inhumanity to man, that couldn’t help but bring even the most obdurate believers in the rightness of western capitalism, to their knees in shame.
It is generally believed that the German people, from the time of Hitler’s ascendancy to the German “throne” to the defeat of Germany, did not know of the existence and purpose of the death camps. That is, of course, not true. They knew, but they lived, much like Europeans, Americans and Canadians today, in some kind of Matrix illusion fostered by their leaders, their masters, their gods. Whatever they suspected, they could not bring to the fore of their individual minds because their collective belief in the rightness of what was being done blocked the truth from surfacing.
Then the terrorist, vicious short-lived Third Reich empire collapsed; its armies were defeated; it’s cities ruthlessly bombed into fire storms and rubble. Then groups of German people were forced to march through the death camps in their neighbourhoods and forced to accept what they had known all along but refused to reason out. Then, and only then, were their eyes opened to the truth. Then, and only then were they able to reason the utterly abhorrent evil that had been their Nazi rulers which they had so vociferously and materially supported, including reciting as sacred mantras the verbal mountains of lies against Jews and all undesirables as listed by their Nazi elites.
This, in terms of Earthian history, was but a short blip of historical significance; a quiz from which the current benefactors of Western imperialism were supposed to learn the greater truth regarding all of their religious, political and capitalistic enterprises. They were supposed to take the lesson of Third Reich Germany and apply it to the whole Western concept of empire. The were supposed to begin asking the really tough questions: is this lesson applicable to me, to my own country, to my beliefs regarding my government, my banks and corporations, my military forces as they proceed globally to control lands, and extract resources and cheap labour? Yes, I use the possessive pronoun, “my” because most of the people I’m writing about actually believe they live in a democracy, and by that belief, they make themselves responsible for all of it. If you claim that something is yours and you have the means to demonstrate it is yours; more particularly if you teach that to your children then you’d better be prepared to be a fully accountable part of it all. Be prepared to demonstrate your freedom and bravery in America; be prepared to demonstrate what “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” means in France. And in Canada, just be prepared to support your Stanley Cup winning team, eh?
Predictably very few did see the lesson. They saw a stand-alone, readily identifiable “evil” and they saw it defeated. Case closed, and now for the good life once again. And so they did. Until now. Until their Empire (the US and its on-again, off-again European allies) faces defeat after defeat in tiny, impoverished countries they should be able to conquer and subdue in a walk-on. Take Afghanistan: by normal reckoning, not much of a country to stand up to US military and para-military might. But Afghanistan defeated the mighty Soviet army in the 80’s – a fact that had much to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now it is proving as much of a miasma to US military efforts as was Vietnam. Imagine that! But that’s not all: from these imperialistic wars have grown several deadly “terrorist” groups whose purpose is not only to free their nations from Western imperialism, but to sow terror and fear among their enemies, on those enemies own homelands. It’s a reckoning long time in the festering stage and brought to a boil by the Bush wars. And it is only beginning: the legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
Here’s where emotions take over and the issues become completely clouded in the attacked, once oh-so-secure western nations. Until now the taking of lands, resources and slave labour by Western imperialist powers was a given, a God-given right for almost any western empire or nation, including the US with its mega-global corporations and widespread military bases. The rest of the world simply had no say in the matter. If you needed a democratically elected popular leader (or for that matter a totalitarian dictator who had been installed by the US) deposed or assassinated because he stood in the way of your cartel’s “needs” for cheap resources and labour, the US government and its military machine was right there ready to intervene on your behalf. Bang: you have the invasion of Iraq, not once, but twice. Didn’t subdue enough? More military intervention and destabilization throughout the entire Middle East and beyond. Everybody on the receiving end of the trillions spent on these wars is having a heyday. That thousands of innocent civilians become “collateral damage” in these imperialistic forays is accepted as inevitable and quite OK. Wedding parties and hospitals blown up? Big deal. We were sure they were terrorist hideouts. Another case closed. After all, it’s been going on for 2000 years and worked quite well: why mess with a winning combination of sanctioned murder in the name of capitalism and Christianity? The legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
So, it’s been a great time for Western corporations, Western elites, Western religious organizations, Western middle classes and Western yuppies. A really great time. During this time, while profits grew exponentially, so did corruption in all the high places and while it can be said that Reagan’s trickle down theory regarding money did not materialize, quite the opposite happened in fact, it can certainly be said that religious, political and financial corruption certainly did. That was inevitable for two reasons. One, that is the pattern demonstrated in history. Two, as Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.” The pattern that must lead to final, crushing corruption was dutifully followed through by each and every empire ever to arise on planet earth. It was dutifully followed by the Western-US empire and is still being followed. The legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
Why is that? Simple: it’s how the beast feeds. Without corruption in high places you simply cannot have, let alone sustain, any sort of empire. Empires are not only made from corruption, they are a corruption of all natural and human aspirations, and I would add, for those who believe in such things, they are demonic in nature. The next thing to consider is, once you have an empire, you can no longer control or lessen, the degrees of corruption that feed it. As the empire grows old, it grows fat, less mobile, more needy. It needs more and more support in terms of resources. It needs more slaves to take care of its growing needs. The legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
What you have now, here, in the West, is a complete reliance on an empire that has become a geriatric basket case. Of course the facts are covered up with louder and more boastful lies by the day. Just listen to the diatribes and the rhetoric. Everybody who’s anybody, from a Sunday morning TV preacher to an anchorperson to a president, has praise for the dying dragon and sure-fire ways to improve its health: send me money, vote for me, buy my sponsor’s products. A reminder from the short historical lesson mentioned above, Hitler and his cronies spouted exactly the same assurances to the German people near the end of the empire. But those are not healing words: they are lies and it matters not if those spouting the lies believe them or not.
So here we are, in the aftermath of several serious “terrorist” attacks in the lands of the great Western Empire. 9-11, Charlie Hebdo, and now ISIS attacks in Paris, France. Most westerners, like 3rd Reich Germans, want to believe, need to believe, that these attacks are simply the acts of religiously motivated deranged individuals loosely organized in terrorist cells and organizations. Take another *blue pill*, you’re going to need it. Take it with a full glass of scotch, maybe two or three: you’ll need that as well. Perhaps have a look in your pharmacopoeia shelves for some anti-anxiety or anti-depressants as well. Load up, it’s not becoming any easier to lie to yourself, even after watching Fox News, CNN or Christian Television. It may not be as profitable to be a stalwart Western United Empire Loyalist in the near future.
The greatest mass-hypnosis in the west regarding terrorists and their attacks has to do with not wanting to face the accumulated facts of history. The West has a huge negative balance sheet as regards its gross human rights abuses of non-Western nations. Not counting the Roman empire, 2000 years of taking, enslaving, raping and murdering, and nothing paid back except the pittance of pretend “charitable help” which is just another arm of brainwashing and aggression. One abuse conveniently ignored: the capture and enslavement of Africans to the tune of from 11 millions to perhaps as high as 100 millions. The legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
Now we’ve arrived at a critical junction. Many things are conspiring to bring this planet down, and they’re happening much too close together to allow for much comfort for the clear minded. Let’s see: 7 billion Earthians population expanding exponentially. Endemic corruption in all aspects of power and leadership. Environmental pollution totally out of control despite claims to the contrary by same corrupted sources. Seas dying. Greenhouse gasses on the rise contributing to, and exacerbating global climate change – and as yet no one has any idea how deep and how long this change is going to go and to last. Predictably the powers that be will talk around the problem; will assure the cloudy-minded that all’s under control; that science will prevail; that jobs are more important than a living environment (say what?); that essentially the only practical way to combat pollution is to make more pollution. What else have we got: oh yes, wars. Endless wars that are looking more and more like resource wars. I’d say this world is not shaping up so well. The legacy of empire. Status: unpaid.
The legacy of empire. With cooperation and a willingness to accept the need for drastic change in thinking, working, playing, worshipping and war-making, perhaps some of the more serious problems could be solved in a short enough time to make a life-saving difference. But we already know that changing its habits is not an Earthian trait. The animal just can’t do it, it’s not smart enough to understand the necessity until the necessity is forced upon it, or it’s dead.
The biggest problem facing Earthians now is the spread of resource and land space wars. While many emotionally charged euphemisms are used to describe the reasons for these wars they are resource wars: who gets to control, and to profit from, remaining global resources. That it’s come to this is due to imperial thinking. “We” cannot allow “them” to take over and rule the world. “We” must remain in control or “they” will overrun us and take over, ruling over us in turn. Indeed that is a scary thought considering the pain and suffering “we” have forced upon those which “our” empire ruled. Indeed they will seek vengeance; they will want justice; they will force reparations and “we” will become their slaves in turn.
The legacy of empire, and the only thing that can prevent this from happening is a complete collapse of society world-wide. Some choice.
“We would rather be ruined than changed
we would rather die in our dread
than climb the cross of the moment
and let our illusions die
(W H Auden, The Age of Anxiety)
*blue pill* refers to a Matrix movie concept. The blue pill left you in the Matrix illusion; the red pill made you see reality as it really is.