As the stock market gyrates, and Federal Reserve Board meets by videoconference to inject emergency funds into the system, Chalmers Johnson's warning that the US empire is not sustainable – that "this is the way empires end" – resonates rather ominously.
Johnson, whose most recent book is Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, the third volume in his "Blowback" trilogy, argues that military expenditures are a drain on the productive capacity of the economy, and that the mistaken idea of what he calls "military Keynesianism" will eventually be our economic undoing. The US economy, he avers, has become increasingly dominated by what President Dwight Eisenhower dubbed the "military-industrial complex." Rampant militarism has diverted vital resources away from productive use and lines of research, and given other countries – Japan and the EU – the technological edge. This trend has also hollowed out our economic base, caused a debilitating decay in the physical infrastructure, and led to a growing debt – that is an economic time-bomb that seems to be exploding … now.
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If you read until the end, Justin has a dreary forecast for what's ahead:
What is likely to stop the rise of the American empire dead in its tracks isn't a sudden upsurge in the antiwar movement, the election of a rational President, and/or a sudden radical reversal by the policymaking elite after more than half a century of folly – it's bankruptcy that will do it, long before any of these possibilities have a chance to take shape.
Not that this is anything to anticipate with glee: it means social and political disruption on a scale we have scarcely experienced before in this country, perhaps even a revolution. It surely means the end of our republican form of government, and the institution of something less free, less secure, less faithful to the teachings and traditions of the Founders. It almost certainly means the end of constitutional government in America, and the beginning of our long, slow decline – or, perhaps, a more dramatic, meteoric descent than anyone now imagines.
We are in a pivotal stage right now; our republican, constitutional government is on the brink of collapse. A Ron Paul presidency may slow the slide, but it will take more than just one man to change the direction of of our country. We must spread the message of peace, prosperity, and liberty as far and wide as possible! If we fail, then Justin's forecasts may come to pass, and we won't like the results.