The Empire is not American…..
The Empire is capitalism. Enforced by the American military and financed originally by the American, and now the world’s, consumer. The ruling elites who control the political process could care less their or your nationality. As long as world trade is unimpeded you and I can do pretty much believe what we want. But just try to vote for a Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan and see how far you get standing in their way.
Personally, I believe someone has to control it. Imagine a world with out peaceful trade and you get the 1930’s all over again. Conflicts between trading parties have to be settled at the upper levels because we all have nukes. Unfortunately, xenophobia keeps rearing it’s head and threatening the status quot.
1. The End of American Empire
Right now America is as addicted to empire as any inner-city crackhead to cocaine. We support the world’s most bloated military, with troops and bases in more than a hundred countries, in order to enforce a global economic order that allows the 5% of the world’s people who live in the United States to use roughly a third of the world’s resources. At the same time, empires are costly pets, and ours – like every other empire in history – is becoming an economic burden our nation can no longer support; at the same time, the drastic decrease in US living standards that would follow the end of American empire is a political time bomb nobody wants to touch. Caught in that dilemma, the United States seems determined to follow the usual course of past empires, allowing its imperial commitments to drag it down.
A depression, however, would force the issue. In the midst of economic collapse, the United States would be no more able to maintain a global military presence than Russia was after its own collapse. The troops would have to come home – not just from Iraq and Afghanistan, but from the whole far-flung web of US military bases – and resources now being drained by the incubus of empire would be available for more constructive tasks, such as preparing for the onset of peak oil.