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Posts Tagged ‘Empire’

Free Speech Is For Fighting The Empire: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Posted by M. C. on February 24, 2023

It sure is interesting how Russia is the only nation in the world that’s pushing Sweden to release its findings in its investigation into the Nord Stream bombing, while an American UN official is urging “restraint” about investigations into the incident.

Caitlin Johnstone

My research has led me to conclude that there’s an elite conspiracy to enslave us all and turn us all into brainwashed automatons mindlessly enacting the wishes of our rulers in a cruel dystopia built by the powerful, for the powerful.

Haha, just kidding. That already happened.

Step one is learning that the mainstream consensus worldview is a lie, and that we’ve been fed power-serving propaganda since we were children about our society, our nation, our government and our world. Most people haven’t even made it to step one yet.

Step two is getting clear on how we’ve been lied to. A lot of people who make it past step one get mixed up here. Many fall for dopey right-wing narratives about Jews ruling the world, globalist pedophile cabals, elite conspiracies to make all our kids transgendered or whatever, because their ideology prohibits them from clearly seeing the real underlying dynamics of capitalism and the empire-building of their own government. They place far too much emphasis on things like vaccines and the future of transhumanism being used to someday create an Orwellian dystopia, because their worldview prohibits them from recognizing that we’re already living in a power-serving mind-controlled dystopia.

Others simply don’t go far enough in extracting the mainstream worldview from their minds and don’t inquire deeply enough into what’s really true. Plenty of self-identified socialists and anarchists still buy into bogus mainstream narratives about empire-targeted governments, or still buy into to the power-serving dynamics of party politics. Step two takes a lot of hard, sincere, intellectually honest work sorting out fact from fiction.

Step three is learning what to do about all this, and beginning to take action. This means working to spread awareness of what’s really going on and helping others to make it through steps one and two, because the only thing that ever leads to lasting positive changes in human behavior is an expansion of consciousness. The more people make it to step three, the more people there are to help wake up everyone else.

Without the US military who would protect the world from hobby balloons and natural gas pipelines?

It sure is interesting how Russia is the only nation in the world that’s pushing Sweden to release its findings in its investigation into the Nord Stream bombing, while an American UN official is urging “restraint” about investigations into the incident.

Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz

I wonder why Russia is the only nation urging Sweden to release its findings in its investigation into the Nord Stream bombing while the American UN official urges “restraint” on investigations into the incident?





11:36 PM ∙ Feb 21, 20234,920Likes1,473Retweets

The US empire’s responsibility for the Nord Stream bombing is going to become one of those open secrets that everyone knows but nobody officially confirms, like Israel’s nuclear arsenal (which just as an aside Sy Hersh also helped expose).

Free speech is meaningless and worthless if you don’t use it to oppose real power. In western “democracies” the majority of people are so effectively propagandized into speaking in alignment with the interests of the western empire that they may as well be taking orders on what to say at gunpoint.

In totalitarian regimes you say what your rulers want you to say because they physically coerced you using the threat of violence. In “free democracies” you say what your rulers want you to say because they psychologically coerced you using propaganda. The end result is the same.

Reagan once joked about Soviets thinking they are free because they’re allowed to criticize the US government as much as they like, but really that was just projection. Westerners think they have free speech, but they never use that “free speech” to criticize the tyrannical empire they live under.

Free speech is held as an important human right because it helps the people put a check on power. If you’re not using it for that, you may as well not have it. Your speech is only free insofar as you can criticize real power, and insofar as you actually do so.

The reason I often use the phrase “the political/media class” is because it’s all one class, one social caste. They’re not actually separate in any meaningful way.

MSNBC Public Relations @MSNBCPR

JUST ANNOUNCED: @jrpsaki will debut “Inside with Jen Psaki” on Sunday, March 19 at 12 p.m. ET on @MSNBC. Psaki will also contribute a regular column for @MSNBCDaily and develop a new original streaming show set to launch this spring. MORE:


3:19 PM ∙ Feb 21, 2023


Whenever I talk about the hundreds of military bases the US empire is circling our planet with I always get people saying “We only have all those foreign bases because those foreign governments want us there for protection!”

Yes, yes I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with the fact that the US subverts, impoverishes and destroys any weaker nation that refuses to facilitate its military interests. 

Foreign US military bases are “protection” in the same way extortion payments to the Mafia are “protection”.

Foreign governments don’t allow US military bases on their territory to protect themselves from their neighbors, they do it to protect themselves from the US.

One of the strangest things the mainstream worldview asks us to accept is that the US government (A) should be the leader of the entire world and (B) wants to be the leader of the world solely for righteous and beneficent reasons.

Anyone else who wants to rule the world gets called a megalomaniac. We all grew up watching movies and shows about evil villains who want to rule the world. Yet the mainstream worldview asks us to accept that the US government wants to rule the world because they want to promote freedom and democracy.

It’s easy to see the flaws in other countries, cultures and societies. It’s much harder to see the flaws in our own.

It’s easy to see the problems with other political parties and ideological factions. It’s much harder to see the problems with our own.

It’s easy to see how other groups are propagandized. It’s much harder to see how our own group is propagandized.

It’s easy to see how others are misguided and delusional. It’s much harder to see how we ourselves are misguided and delusional.

The further away from ourselves we look, the easier it is for us to find fault. But it doesn’t benefit anyone for us to find problems in the distant other. The closer to home we look, the more good we can do with what we find.

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Celebrities Protect The Interests Of The Empire: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Posted by M. C. on January 31, 2023

Even if you believe that all this nuclear brinkmanship is justified and good, you still need to fully acknowledge the reality of the risk and the unfathomable horrors that it would unleash upon our world. And you need to do it with all the respect and solemnity the subject deserves.

Caitlin Johnstone

If you say you oppose Russia because you’re an anti-imperialist but you don’t oppose the US empire for its role in starting and perpetuating this war, then you’re a liar. You don’t oppose Russia because you’re an anti-imperialist, you oppose Russia because you’re an imperialist.

The only people who say “Putin can end this war at any time by withdrawing” are those who deny the US empire’s aggressions which led to this conflict, which is just a nonsense garbage position based on lies. They don’t actually want peace, they just want victory for the empire. The real unbiased position which supports peace is wanting both Russia and the western empire to begin engaging in diplomacy, de-escalation and detente to end this war. But empire simps will call you treasonously biased if you support anything other than total Russian defeat.

This dopey propaganda-addled notion that the west did nothing wrong and Putin attacked Ukraine solely because he is evil and hates freedom actually prevents peace from happening. If one side only acknowledges the reality of the aggressions of the other side, peace is impossible. If you don’t understand how a war was started and perpetuated, then you can’t understand how peace can be started and perpetuated. The empire deliberately works to prevent the public from obtaining this understanding, because the empire wants war.

It’s not okay for grown adults to act like Putin is just running around invading countries willy nilly because he’s a crazed madman. You’ve got a whole internet of information at your fingertips. Use it.

It’s impossible to overstate how much our society is shaped by the fact that those who are given the most influence and the largest platforms will experience our status quo systems as working very nicely and have a vested interest in preserving those systems which benefit them. The media-owning, culture-manufacturing class of the super-wealthy elevates people to wealth and celebrity who look like they will be good protectors of their class interests. Those people will necessarily speak fondly of the status quo political systems which let them be rich.

These are the people who put on all the shows, movies and music almost everyone consumes, thereby engineering mainstream culture to the benefit of the super wealthy. It shapes the way the people think, speak, act and vote. What they feel entitled to. What they think is possible.

A rich celebrity who makes millions of dollars a year in a fun, easy and egoically gratifying job is not going to be spotlighting all the lives who are being destroyed by the status quo systems which elevated them. They’re not going to favor the revolutionary changes that are needed. They’re not going to be calling for a massive, sweeping overhaul of the systems which are crushing ordinary people to death and creating widespread misery; at most they’re going to be telling you to vote Democrat or Republican and quibbling about minor disagreements on tax rates. But these are the people with the loudest voices in our society — not just the loudest, but many orders of magnitude more amplified and influential than the voices of the ordinary people who are suffering under existing systems. These loudly-amplified rich celebrities shape and direct mainstream culture.

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Adding Syria To The Empire Didn’t Go Well — And U.S. Troops In Syria Are Needlessly In Danger

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2023

The Ron Paul Liberty Report

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End of An Empire That Shouldn’t Have Been — America’s Financial & Moral Bankruptcy

Posted by M. C. on December 27, 2022

The Ron Paul Liberty Report

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If a Tree Falls in a Forest…

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2022

By Jeff Thomas
International Man

But, for the individual, it’s especially unfortunate, as the historic certainty of it informs us that it’s those who vote with their feet at such a time that create and receive the direct benefits of the next renaissance.

In the late eighteenth century, Bishop George Berkeley posed the question,

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Since that time, generations of university philosophy professors have required their students to consider the question. Countless classroom time has been taken up in pondering it. In many cases, students would be required to write a report containing their answer and they might even be graded on it.

Of course, this is the world of academia, which consists almost entirely of theory, not practical application. But, in the functioning world, it makes not the slightest difference whether the tree makes a sound or not. The lumberjack who actually encounters the tree is unconcerned with the philosophical question. He only cares that he has a tree he can cut.

He represents those who produce, rather than those who theorise.

And so it is with the field of International Diversification. It can be described as taking place in three stages:

People Leave an Empire Quietly

Typically, when a country (or empire) has been corrupted by its leaders to such a degree that it’s reaching its sell-by date, some people begin to see the writing on the wall. Although many remain at home, complaining bitterly that their leaders are selling them out, a smaller number of people recognise that the country has passed the point of no return and make the choice to leave the dying leviathan rather than go down with it.

We’re presently passing through such a period in which a significant number of people will be leaving the countries of their birth, particularly those countries that were once referred to as the “Free World.”

But, this is nothing new. For millennia, countries and, indeed, empires, have self-destructed with regularity and, in each case, those who realise that the livability of those countries is about to end, begin their exodus. At first, they’re few in number; then, as the writing on the wall becomes increasingly visible, more leave. In the final stage of exodus, major events occur, making it blindingly obvious to a large percentage of the population that their place of residence is about to become considerably less livable.

In this final stage, there’s often a flood of people who attempt to exit; however, it’s often the case that, just prior to this time, two things occur:

First, the leaders of the country that’s in decline pass legislation that’s designed to keep their minions in and, second, those countries that previously welcomed a small number of new residents realise that they may soon be faced with a flood of arrivals. They then pull in the “welcome” mat and close the door to further grants of residency.

See the rest here

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The Republic has Flatlined

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2022

The weaponization of the federal government has become complete with the creation of 87,000 armed IRS agents trained to kill, and with the Biden Administration’s open policy of criminalizing political opposition for the crime of wanting to Make America Great Again.

Dr. Joseph Sansone

The comparison of America to ancient Rome is routine for a few reasons. Western civilization and culture are largely an extension of ancient Roman civilization. Even our Judeo-Christian heritage was shaped by Rome with Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea.  Specifically, the American republic is a reincarnation of the ancient Roman republic. Although, the ancient Roman influence was present throughout the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance created a cultural identification with the ancient Roman republic and inspired classical education for centuries in Western Europe.

The Italian Renaissance was the epitome of Charles Dicken’s immortal words “it was the best of times; it was the worst of times”. An age of enlightenment that produced Michele Angelo and Leonardo Davinci, and city state republics creating a short lived new golden age (i.e. Renaissance) in Italy that riveled that of ancient Greece. It also produced Machiavelli’s The Prince and was marked by constant violence and assassinations.

This rebirth of civilization tapped into an energy that laid dormant for a thousand years. The Romans had three distinct political periods. The kings, the republic, and then of course, the empire. The American founding fathers modeled the American republic after the Roman republic and started an experiment that changed the world. The Roman republic lasted approximately 450 years. That is uncommon. The truth is that most republics don’t last that long. The elected representatives’ degree of corruption usually reaches a boiling point, which leads to a dictatorship.

When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he was cheered as he was actually rescuing the citizens from the tyranny of the senators, as their level of corruption and oppression reached a pain threshold that could no longer be endured. The Roman senators were the technocrats of the age. The senate’s brutal assassination of Julius Caesar was arguably not to save the republic, it was to save the gravy train. Civil war followed and then Rome had an emperor Augustus and pax Romana began a new golden age for Rome.

This pattern of republics becoming corrupt and failing is maybe best exemplified by Poland. In the late 1700s Poland’s republic, weakened after civil conflict, had became so corrupt that its legislators gradually sold off partitions of the country to Russia, Prussia, and Austria, and eventually, the country ceased to exist. This was partly due to corruption and partly due to intimidation. Napoleon attempted to create a Polish area of self government, and there was another brief attempt, but essentially, Poland was not a sovereign state again until it was reinstated after World War I in the early 20th century.

America’s republican roots run deeper than Rome. They actually trace back to the Etruscans. The Etruscans were considered the holy people of the ancient world. Unique from all other cultures, the Etruscans prophesized and knew their distinct culture would only last a thousand years. Although, it did not actually die, as much of it was absorbed by Roman culture. The original twelve cities were on hilltops spreading across northern central Italy from coast to coast. The cities were originally ruled by the Lucumo, the god king. The Lucumoni eventually waned in power and were replaced by kings and then republics sprung up among the city states.

Etruscan culture was decentralized, however, and the cities were a confederacy. The fasces, made up of twelve rods and a double headed ax, represented the twelve original cities. This symbol was later bastardized by 20th century fascists. Arguably Etruria was the most advanced civilization at the time. The Etruscans were so wealthy that their slaves owned property and operated businesses and woman had equal rights. The next time you go out to dinner with another couple, recognize that this tradition started with the Etruscans. As a navel power the Etruscans riveled ancient Greece and the Phoenicians.

The wealth and power that accumulated in Etruria may be partly credited to its decentralized confederacy and open society. In fact, this distribution of power was evident in Etruscan cosmology, Tinia, the Etruscan equivalent to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and Zeus, had to consult with his committee of gods before striking you dead with a thunderbolt. Due process. An interesting concept. Although fierce in combat, it has also been argued that the Etruscans were too decentralized, and this hampered military coordination. The original American articles of confederacy may have resembled the Etruscan system more so than the Romans. This thinking that too much decentralization leads to weakness from external threats led to the U.S. Constitution and the creation of a more centralized system.

Caveat. The more centralized system of government envisioned by the American founding fathers is nothing like we see today. It is safe to say that if General Washington were alive today, he would have formed a continental army and replaced our current government in the past two and a half years.

Read the Whole Article

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Massive immigration: humane or an invasion at the end of the Empire?

Posted by M. C. on April 19, 2022

by Jon Rappoport

Untangling the core values of America from the Empire of America is made all the harder by tons and tons and tons of physically and mentally destructive drugs coming up through open borders, and by many of the migrants who are coming here and overloading the system of public services, gaming the system, and voting for the system.

If you can’t see that, look harder.

The American Immigration Council reports that, as of 2019, there were 44.9 million immigrants living in the US.

In case you’ve been living in a cave, the Biden administration is trying its best to make the southern border a sieve.

But of course, this is a humane act. It has to be. Otherwise, it’s a plan to overwhelm public services, ramp up the Democratic vote, and generally stage a soft invasion whose result will be catastrophic.

For many people, 44.9 million immigrants—or the other figure I found a few months ago, 50 million—are not nearly enough. 44.9 million reflects nothing more than stone cold indifference to suffering.

“Humane” and “caring” mean there must be NO CEILING on immigration. No end to it.

In fact, you can find churches across America whose pastors and parishioners will tell you exactly that. These proud people are evidently tuned into a special broadcast by God or a special edition of the Bible.

How THEY FEEL is the most important factor. To them. Beyond that, no thinking is necessary.

Any suffering of any kind anywhere in the world that might be mitigated by living in the US has one remedy: open borders.

And I’m not even talking about the hordes of American Lefties for whom virtue signaling is a profession. For those credentialed people, life itself IS unlimited immigration.

As I’ve written before, and will write again, open borders is an elite operation, and one of its purposes is supporting the transport of drugs into the US—a trillion-dollar business involving the washing of money through major banks.

The drugs ruin and kill huge numbers of people here in America. The drugs are extremely effective weapons of war. Those who physically survive do so with addled minds.

If you need to bring yourself up to speed on this, talk to an honest DEA agent who has seen the effects up close and personal. Or someone who has lost a relative.

Drugs are taking down America. This has been going on for 50 years.

See the rest here

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The End Of Empire | The Z Blog

Posted by M. C. on February 15, 2022

This may be what the end empire is like from the inside. We will have spasms of bellowing and shouting from Washington, but the world will slowly crawl out from under the shadow of Washington. Meanwhile, domestic politics will grow increasingly untenable, with populist revolt replacing electoral organizing. The system simply stops working as the reason for it to keep working no longer makes sense. The end of empire is a million small breakdowns in the system.

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. The subject of it and today’s post is the rather bizarre crisis in Europe. Of course, Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door for those needing audio stimulation. Much of it is about the situation in Europe.

The question that has not been given much consideration over the last few decades is how exactly will the Global American Empire end? All empires come to an end, but not all of them end the same. Usually, they dissolve into their constituent parts like we saw with the Soviet Union. This may or may not bring with it a spasm of violence, but the unnatural combination eventually returns to its nature. What makes each empire unique is its birth and its death.

Like every empire before it, the Global American Empire will end. This may be what we are seeing with the current crisis in Europe over Ukraine. Russia is well past the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. Europe has also evolved past the old arrangements made necessary by the Cold War. The only player stuck in the past is the Global American Empire, which is carrying on like it is 1960. We are now seeing the hints of the end for the American empire in Europe.

The starting place is the fact that the stuff coming from Washington is so bizarre that not even the Ukrainians understand it. The rhetoric has gone well beyond the normal sort of moralizing that has distinguished the American empire. Washington and now London have conjured a reality in which the Russians are ready to launch into Ukraine while the Russians and Ukrainians are happy to find a peaceful solution. The whole thing is making Washington look a bit nuts.

All of this happening against the reality that if the Russians want to invade Ukraine there is nothing NATO can do about it. If the Russians wanted to move onto Berlin there is not much NATO could do to stop them. Over time, the West would be able to rally and cripple the Russians economically, then roll them back militarily, but in the short term everyone gets that NATO is a paper tiger. It is also a pointless vestige from a bygone era that should have been scrapped a generation ago.

This is one entry point into the crisis. The Germans want to finish Nord Stream 2 and build closer economic ties with Russia. The Russians want to restore their ancient relationship with Western Europe. They will not accept the American conditions that they must embrace the religion of the West. There will be no rainbows and transsexuals in the Russian culture. There will be no scenes of Russian soldiers walking around in pumps claiming to be sorry for their ancestors.

The Germans and the French seem to be ready to make the deal with the Russians and begin a new era for both sides. The Russians can maintain their traditional model for organizing themselves and Europe will begin to normalize economic relations with the rest of Eurasia. This leaves little room for the Global American Empire, which is based on an assertion that there is only one moral way to organize a society. This potential new arrangement is a rebuke of the very idea of empire.

Another entry point into viewing the current crisis as a stage in the dissolution of the Global American Empire is in the reaction itself. Even the American media has lost track of how many times the Biden people have claimed an invasion is imminent. It feels like it is a weekly thing now. The State Department swears the tanks are revving their engines and then nothing happens. European leaders have to be wondering if the empire is losing its grip on reality.

The hysteria could very well be the only thing left. Again, if Russian draws the line on NATO expansion and takes over Ukraine, there is very little Washington can do about it other than make a lot of noise. The promise of crippling economic sanctions is as ridiculous as the rest of the bellowing. Europe needs to buy important stuff from Russia in order to exist. Germany and France will go along with superficial stuff to please Washington, but they are not committing suicide over Ukraine.

See the rest here

by thezman

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The US Isn’t An Israel Puppet, Israel Isn’t A US Puppet: It’s One Empire – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on May 24, 2021

There is no real “Israel” or “America”, there’s just the one empire. Lobbying, financial support, propaganda etc are just some of the glue that’s required to hold together an empire that doesn’t officially exist. The empire will use any ideology to advance imperial interests, whether it be Zionism, Christian fundamentalism, white supremacism, Islamic extremism, or woke progressivism. It’s all just narratives to move the empire along, because that’s what’s required in an unacknowledged, unofficial empire.

There is no one government in charge of all this; the official elected governments are not where the real power lies. The actual power structure keeps itself hidden and unaccountable, because it has seen what the masses can do to oppressive rulers who wear crowns in modern times:

Caitlin Johnstone

The real consequence of this is that people will begin losing trust in the government and media institutions which support Israel, because without trust the empire can’t propagandize people, and without the ability to propagandize us our rulers cannot rule. There’s no risk for Israel of losing US backing due to the US government suddenly evolving a conscience or listening to its constituents, that won’t happen, but losing control of the narrative poses a major problem for the empire. Someone’s image is going to have to change, and those changes could end up benefiting Palestinians.

We’re already seeing this narrative management campaign come into play as mainstream outlets are now permitting some serious criticisms of Israel. This is done cynically to prevent people from losing trust in propaganda institutions, but it also has real effects that can benefit real people. This is a good example of how expanding consciousness is always beneficial, even on the most depraved institutions. The more aware the public becomes of abusive imperial power dynamics, the less abuse the empire can get away with. The empire losing control of the narrative is always a good thing.Don’t Extradite Assange @DEAcampaignJulian Assange’s partner @StellaMoris1 at the #Palestine Solidarity March in Hyde Park, London. “Julian published the words of Israeli government officials that were spoken behind closed doors.” #Gaza #londonprotest #assange May 22nd 2021703 Retweets1,517 Likes

As criticism of Israel’s malfeasance becomes more widespread, so too do attempts to analyze exactly what Israel’s role is on the world stage and why it receives so much support from the United States. Some say that Israel is a vassal state of Washington, serving as a functional US military outpost in the most resource-rich region on earth. Others say it’s the other way around, citing the influence of the Israel lobby in DC and often getting into ugly nonsense about Jews ruling the world.

All this is born of an immature understanding of what nations are and how they operate within the US-centralized power alliance that functions as a single empire with regard to foreign policy.

The US is not a puppet of Israel, and Israel isn’t a puppet of the US. Saying one puppets the other is like saying Ohio puppets Nevada; they’re both member states of the same undeclared empire ruled by uncrowned kings who use governments as weapons to kill and steal.

The lines between nations within the US-centralized empire are no more real than the official elected governments of those nations. It’s just a single unified power structure which uses whatever narratives it requires to justify its continued campaign to rule the entire planet.Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozNations are conceptual constructs with no independent existence outside the human imagination. Saying Israel has a right to exist is the same as saying Bugs Bunny has a right to exist, except if you needed to murder a bunch of kids every few years to keep Bugs Bunny around.May 20th 2021107 Retweets349 Likes

There are no separate, sovereign nations within the US-centralized power alliance. The imaginary lines drawn between nations are performative illusions for the little people; they don’t apply to the transnational alliance of plutocrats and government agencies that actually runs things. This alliance centralizes a large amount of its military, financial, and diplomatic firepower around the conceptual construct known as the United States, but the actual behavior of the empire is determined by the alliance, not the US government.

There is no real “Israel” or “America”, there’s just the one empire. Lobbying, financial support, propaganda etc are just some of the glue that’s required to hold together an empire that doesn’t officially exist. The empire will use any ideology to advance imperial interests, whether it be Zionism, Christian fundamentalism, white supremacism, Islamic extremism, or woke progressivism. It’s all just narratives to move the empire along, because that’s what’s required in an unacknowledged, unofficial empire.

In the old model of empire, an emperor would just issue commands and hold the empire together overtly. In this new model of empire, where imperial member states officially keep their flags and their governments but lose their sovereignty, it’s held together by narrative control.

There is no one government in charge of all this; the official elected governments are not where the real power lies. The actual power structure keeps itself hidden and unaccountable, because it has seen what the masses can do to oppressive rulers who wear crowns in modern times:


Instead, oligarchs now rule from behind the scenes in collaboration with opaque and unaccountable government agencies, because humanity has grown too conscious to tolerate overt rulers. They use narrative manipulation to keep the empire moving in alignment with their interests.

The antidote to this dynamic is of course to keep getting more conscious, to keep learning what’s going on in our world and spreading awareness of what we’ve learned. Their job is to keep truth hidden and unconscious, while our job is to help make truth visible to everyone. Whoever wins will determine our fate as a species.

Nations, like so much else in our world, are conceptual constructs with no independent existence outside the human imagination. What’s real are weapons, explosions, gunshot trauma, and the movement of resources from one area to another. Everything else you see in the news is just mental narrative promulgated at mass scale to manipulate people into accepting these movements. Our job is to help people perceive what’s real underneath all the narrative management.


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How Empires End – Doug Casey’s International Man

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2021

Taxes, taxes, taxes

by Jeff Thomas

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

Histories are generally written by academics. They, quite naturally, tend to focus on the main events: the wars and the struggles between leaders and their opponents (both external and internal). Whilst these are interesting stories to read, academics, by their very nature, often overlook the underlying causes for an empire’s decline.

Today, as in any era, most people are primarily interested in the “news”—the daily information regarding the world’s political leaders and their struggles with one another to obtain, retain, and expand their power. When the history is written about the era we are passing through, it will reflect, in large measure, a rehash of the news. As the media of the day tend to overlook the fact that present events are merely symptoms of an overall decline, so historians tend to focus on major events, rather than the “slow operations” that have been the underlying causes.

The Persian Empire

When, as a boy, I was “educated” about the decline and fall of the Persian Empire, I learned of the final takeover by Alexander the Great but was never told that, in its decline, Persian taxes became heavier and more oppressive, leading to economic depression and revolts, which, in turn led to even heavier taxes and increased repression. Increasingly, kings hoarded gold and silver, keeping it out of circulation from the community. This hamstrung the market, as monetary circulation was insufficient to conduct business. By the time Alexander came along, Persia, weakened by warfare and internal economic strife, was a shell of an empire and was relatively easy to defeat.

The Tang Dynasty

Back then, I also learned that the Tang Dynasty ended as a result of the increased power amongst the eunuchs, battles with fanzhen separatists, and finally, peasants’ revolts. True enough, but I was not taught that the dynasty’s expansion-based warfare demanded increases in taxation, which led to the revolts. Continued warfare necessitated increasing monetary and land extortion by the eunuchs, resulting in an abrupt decrease in food output and further taxes. Finally, as economic deterioration and oppression of the citizenry worsened, citizens left the area entirely for more promise elsewhere.

Is there a pattern here? Let’s have a more detailed look—at another empire.

The Spanish Empire

In 1556, Philip II of Spain inherited what was regarded as Europe’s most wealthy nation, with no apparent economic problems. Yet, by 1598, Spain was bankrupt. How was this possible?

Spain was doing well but sought to become a major power. To achieve this, Philip needed more tax dollars. Beginning in 1561, the existing servicio tax was regularised, and the crusada tax, the excusado tax, and the millones tax were all added by 1590.

Over a period of 39 years (between 1559 and 1598) taxes increased by 430%. Although the elite of the day were exempt from taxation (the elite of today are not officially exempt), the average citizen was taxed to the point that both business expansion and public purchasing diminished dramatically. Wages did not keep pace with the resultant inflation. The price of goods rose 400%, causing a price revolution and a tax revolution.

Although Spain enjoyed a flood of gold and silver from the Americas at this time, the increased wealth went straight into Philip’s war efforts. However, the 100,000 troops were soon failing to return sufficient spoils to Philip to pay for their forays abroad.

In a final effort to float the doomed empire, Philip issued government bonds, which provided immediate cash but created tremendous debt that, presumably, would need to be repaid one day. (The debt grew to 8.8 times GDP.)

Spain declared bankruptcy. Trade slipped to other countries. The military, fighting on three fronts, went unpaid, and military aspirations collapsed.

It is important to note that, even as the empire was collapsing, Philip did not suspend warfare. He did not back off on taxation. Like leaders before and since, he instead stubbornly increased his autocracy as the empire slid into collapse.

Present-Day Empires

Again, the events above are not taught to schoolchildren as being of key importance in the decline of empires, even though they are remarkably consistent with the decline of other empires and what we are seeing today. The very same events occur, falling like dominoes, more or less in order, in any empire, in any age:

  1. The reach of government leaders habitually exceeds their grasp.
  2. Dramatic expansion (generally through warfare) is undertaken without a clear plan as to how that expansion is to be financed.
  3. The population is overtaxed as the bills for expansion become due, without consideration as to whether the population can afford increased taxation.
  4. Heavy taxation causes investment by the private sector to diminish, and the economy begins to decline.
  5. Costs of goods rise, without wages keeping pace.
  6. Tax revenue declines as the economy declines (due to excessive taxation). Taxes are increased again, in order to top up government revenues.
  7. In spite of all the above, government leaders personally hoard as much as they can, further limiting the circulation of wealth in the business community.
  8. Governments issue bonds and otherwise borrow to continue expansion, with no plan as to repayment.
  9. Dramatic authoritarian control is instituted to assure that the public continues to comply with demands, even if those demands cannot be met by the public.
  10. Economic and social collapse occurs, often marked by unrest and riots, the collapse of the economy, and the exit of those who are productive.
  11. In this final period, the empire turns on itself, treating its people as the enemy.

The above review suggests that if our schoolbooks stressed the underlying causes of empire collapse, rather than the names of famous generals and the dates of famous battles, we might be better educated and be less likely to repeat the same mistakes.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely. Chances are, future leaders will be just as uninterested in learning from history as past leaders. They will create empires, then destroy them.

Even the most informative histories of empire decline, such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, will not be of interest to the leaders of empires. They will believe that they are above history and that they, uniquely, will succeed.

If there is any value in learning from the above, it is the understanding that leaders will not be dissuaded from their aspirations. They will continue to charge ahead, both literally and figuratively, regardless of objections and revolts from the citizenry.

Once an empire has reached stage eight above, it never reverses. It is a “dead empire walking” and only awaits the painful playing-out of the final three stages. At that point, it is foolhardy in the extreme to remain and “wait it out” in the hope that the decline will somehow reverse. At that point, the wiser choice might be to follow the cue of the Chinese, the Romans, and others, who instead chose to quietly exit for greener pastures elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: The US government is overextending itself by interfering in every corner of the globe. It’s all financed by massive amounts of money printing. However, the next financial crisis could end the whole charade soon.

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