The Loosening Grip - A Beginner's Guide To The Death Throes Of Empire

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Fred Reed via,

Oh good. The world reaches a crossroads, or probably a road off a cliff, just when I want to relax and watch gratuitous violence on the tube. To judge by the rapid drift of events aboard our planetary asylum, the talons of Washington and New York on the world’s throat are fast being pried a-loose. The Global American Imperium is dying. Or so it sure looks anyway.

I say talons of  “New York and Washington” because America’s foreign policy, forged in those two cities, belongs entirely to them. Americans have no influence on it. Further, none of of what the Empire does abroad is of any benefit to Americans. Do you care at all what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, or the South China Sea?  Do you want to pay for it? America has been hijacked.

And the Empire prospereth not. It prospereth very not. Consider the recent record of the world’s  hyperpower:

Washington does not have control of Afghanistan, and obviously is not going to.


Washington does not have control  of Iraq, and appears unlikely to.


Washington did not back Iran down, and isn’t going to.


Washington did not back Russia down in Ukraine and Crimea, and isn’t going to.


Washington did not back China down in the South China Sea and, while this is perhaps not over, the Empire seems to be losing.


Washington has not backed North Korea down and is not going to.


In the Philippines, President Duterte has told Obama to “go to hell” as being “the son of a whore,” which may be taken to indicate latent hostility. He is vigorously seeking rapprochement with China. While Washington may have him murdered, it seems to be losing control of the Little Vassals of ASEAN.


Turkey seems to be cuddling up to Russia–that is, looking East like Duterte. Maybe Washington can turn this around temporarily, but there-s a whole lot of wavering going on.


Meanwhile Washington thrashes around impotently as per usual in Syria, and, though the jury remains out on this one, looks to have poor prospects. If Washington–AKA New York–loses here, after doing so in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the Empire will beyond redemption be on the downward slope.

The United States is not in danger. The Empire is. This is not good. Empires, the Soviet Union notwithstanding, seldom go quietly. Either Washington gambles on war of some sort against Russia, or Russia and China, in the desperate hope of reversing things, or the Empire  gets slowly eaten. Or not so slowly. Once one country pries itself loose, many may rush for the door.

New York may go for calculated war against Russia–say, cyberwar expected not to turn into shooting war, shooting war in Syria not expected to turn into global shooting war, global shooting war not expected to turn into nuclear war. This will be a  crapshoot. Note that America has badly misguessed the outcomes of every war since Korea.

This is why the American election actually matters, unusual in Presidential contests. It is Blowhard against Corruption, a swell choice, but Trump is firmly against war with Russia, and Hillary for. Her military understanding is that of a fried egg.

The woman is both a fool and a knave but, it seems, Trump has talked trash, and therefore she will likely be President. Weirdly, the future of the world depends on how an excited electorate of political middle-schoolers responds to one candidate’s dirty talk. From a curmudgeon’s point of view, it is pretty funny. It is funnier if one lives  outside of the radiation footprint.

But back to business. The seaboard Axis of Evil needs a war because almost every tide runs against it. Proximately, the Axis has pushed China, Russia, and Iran together against the Empire. (First rule of empire: Do not let the dissidents unite.) Many signs suggest that the world, or much of it, is beginning to see China as its future. The BRICS, the SCO, the NDB, the AAIB–all exclude the US. China becomes the major trading partner of country after country. The twilight deepens.

Not all goes wrong for the Empire–not yet, but things are getting spooky. On the European Peninsula of Asia, countries remain docile, especially England and, much more importantly, Germany. Yet even among Washington’s European harem, there seem to be faint stirrings of a forgotten independence. As I understand it, Germany’s businessmen would very much like to end Washington’s sanctions on Russia and improve trade with China, which would be greatly to the benefit of the Peninsula.  Washington won’t let them. It can’t. If the Europeans did what would be good for themselves, and looked to Eurasia, then the fat lady, already warming up, would burst into full bellow.

Which, methinks, raises the likelihood that Washington will in desperation do something phenomenally stupid. At this writing Hillary’s camp seems to be prepping the public for war with Russia. The telescreen tells us day after day that Putin is Hitler, that Russia is expanding, that the Russkies are hacking the election, that they cause indigestion and falling hair. Is this just Hillary waggling her codpiece in the expectation that Moscow will demurely back down, as God intended? Or will she again send other people’s children to fight for her in somebody else’s country? 

The larger picture, assuredly obvious to New York, is truly grim–for New York, not for Americans. China has a huge population of a billion Han Chinese, versus two hundred million Caucasian Americans–these being the scientific, technological and entrepreneurial brains of the Empire. One must not notice this, but you can bet that New York and Beijing do. Economically China is growing hugely, advancing technologically at a high rate, building rail lines that now extend from  the Chinese Pacific coast to Madrid. It will increasingly dwarf the Empire no matter what happens–short of a world war.

The curtain falls in ways unnoticed. China recently launched a communications satellite, the world’s first employing quantum cryptographic links, which cannot be intercepted. The intention of this, as well of the QC link from Beijing to Shanghai, is to keep the NSA off China’s back. A small thing, perhaps. Yet if successful and adopted en masse by other countries weary of Washington’s meddling, the result will be a loosening of the Empire’s grip on everybody’s communications.

For the Empire it is, as Elvis sang, “now or never.” Lenin spoke of “useful idiots.” Ours aren’t even useful, but they call the shots.

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Erek's picture

Weighing my options:

A . Quit my job

B. Drink the rest of the day away.

Fuck it! I'm doing both!.

Bumpo's picture

Another Faux enlightened piece. First off, spare me the Bullshit about Trump being a blowhard. Anyone with half a brain knows Trump is speaking truth to power, and doesn't give a shit about offending certain people if they have it coming. Most people LOVE him for it. He's got more of a pulse on what's really going on than the writer does, I'm afraid. The US will be fine if it can make relationships that work for all involved, and that means putting an end to the satanic Pentagon and Neocon power brokers running roughshod over the rest of the World. People would gladly do business with the US if they idn't run their business like a bunch of duplicitous direspectful pricks. 

Infocat's picture

The US Empire will clearly collapse even if Trump gets into power, demographics alone will ensure it, let alone the Debt Bubble. We live in the end stages of Western Civilization.

Harlequin001's picture

Empire? What fucking empire?

You call it an empire when Turkey shuts off the power to your base at Incirlik and stops you from flying unless you ask nicely?

Do me a favour will you and stop blowing your own bullshit.

You are the mugs of the world, and you pay everyone else for the priviledge of being it.

Tarzan's picture

ah, he called it a dying Empire!  You reference a perfect example...

I love that Trump speaks truth to power, like when he said there will have to be adjustments to US debt, that's called default!

Put down the cool-aid, no matter who gets elected, one who'll attempt to hide it with world war, the other by bankruptcy, pick your poison, economic collapse is coming, Bank on it!


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Tarzan Oct 31, 2016 6:34 AM

Ron Paul on the empire.

"I will be right, not because of some speech I make but because we can't afford the empire anymore. We can fold it gracefully or watch it collapse. I propose we fold gracefully"

Ron is right, so is Trump.

Fold the tent now.

SWRichmond's picture

First we will make them take and retain control of the cities, cities where they have bred, encouraged and built an overwhelming underclass of under-educated, violent and drug-addled poor. As conditions there continuoudly deteriorate, trying to maintain order there will consume more resources than they have.  

Then we win.

As an interesting aside this is an underclass the ruling Elite thought they could always use for their own purposes.  We will use them as unwitting Force multipliers.


yippee kiyay's picture
yippee kiyay (not verified) SWRichmond Oct 31, 2016 7:16 AM

And who are they? This elusive "elite"?

philipat's picture


 SPAM ALERT: Serial spammer DO NOT click on his fake links which are completely unconnected to his comments. Current names: Yippee Kiyay, lonnng and letsit 

Previous names include: mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece,  Gargoyle, bleu, oops,     lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro.

Yippee Kiyay, lonnng and letsit; the Holy Trinity of Spammers. All for one, one for all. Shortly YK will be banned and the other two will take over the work, to be supplemented by other pseudonyms.

MilwaukeeMark's picture

Sorry to disillusion you but these "underclass" members can't even get to their jobs on time or speak anything resembling a known language. Controlling them will be like herding cats.

1777's picture

Great idea, then we could take the resources saved from trying to spread freedom around the world and focus the savings on our country..... Jus sayin'.....

HedgeJunkie's picture

"It is funnier if one lives  outside of the radiation footprint."

I live about 80 miles from Los Angeles on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains.  Prevailing winds means I'm in the footprint.

I say "BRING IT".

I am so ashamed that, up until I woke up in 2008, that I supported this bullshit.

So fucking stupid, and so many, so much smarter than me, tried, desperately, to wake my ass up.

White Mountains's picture

There is no "outside the radiation footprint".

Think about many of those missiles will go off-course and hit god knows where?

I'd say at least 10% of them.  Probably more like half, since nuclear "defense" programs are run by governments, which fu#k up everything they touch and are generally run by graft and incompetence.

Hell, I'll even guarantee you that a percentage of US missiles launched from the USA will circle back and hit the USA!

There really is no safe place in the USA, only "safer" places and even so out in the middle of nowhere you could be a direct hit.

Flightline's picture

The Galactic Federation has neutrlized all nukes of mass destruction and their use will not be permitted in this final great battle. 

Soul Glow's picture

I was reading some gold rush history today and came across that the price of silver was 1/10th of gold.  Gold was trading at $16/oz and silver $1.60.  How about that?

tarabel's picture



15-1 was the standard ratio for decades.

Fester's picture

20-1 for centuries.

$20 gold piece
$1 silver dollar

These prices are not from a true mkt.

BigJim's picture

Silver and gold traded at rates that roughly corresponded to the ratio they are found in the Earth's crust because the demand for them chiefly sprang from the fact both were considered money. Silver's value (relative to gold) started declining in the 19th century and has continued to decline as more and more countries demonetised it.

It's highly unlikely to trade at the old ratio unless i) some new industrial demand springs up from nowhere, or ii) TPTB start declaring it to be money again. But CBs hoard gold, not silver, so I see no sign that this is the case.

Mentaliusanything's picture

You must understand we no longer hand dig and sluice. Technology has improved yields at the margin. Historic prices reflect history. That said, to hold a mark (insurance) against printed money is wise. 

I inherited a lot of Gold and silver coins from my Grandfather they are British sovereigns and half sovereigns (George V) and American Eagles and Half Eagles (five frigging dollar face V)  in Gold +  full silver coins from both nations. Nice to hold at zero cost but my father had no use for them and I have no use other than to pass them down to three young men

In the early 1900's , for a person who traveled in his work as an engineer on steam boats around SE Asia it was better than a letter of credit. A few coins actually got his ass out of a prison in Vladivostok in the Russo-Japanese war and a few more seen him back to Port Arthur (Lushun Port held by the British) Think of it as a debit card that could be exchanged for goods anywhere. Things like technology change and I travel with a Card called 28 degrees.  

However I think the Numismatic value is 4x the melt (thanks Dad) and my Grandfathers diaries are a vision of how far we have come in a savage world. For a silver coin you could have the head of a river pirate to kick around after you took it off by hand. (I have the Photo plate)

Hold it but don't expect much unless it goes pear shaped..... FBI like ... this thing has legs as thick as Hillary's but bury it they must. James Comey has balls bigger than a bull elephant or is it Pedophilia gone sick willie.



swmnguy's picture

What a fantastic piece of history your Grandfather left you.

My grandfather traveled extensively in  Asia right after WWI.  His letters and photos are a book waiting to be assembled.  It's fascinating to see how much, and how little, has really changed.

Omen IV's picture

The American Open Air Insane Asylum is here for all to see and visit.

tarabel's picture



Well, Fred, check back in a couple of months and let's see how its going, shall we?

The disastrous Obama Interregnum is winding down and will soon be la histoire. Praise be to God and term limits.

No doubt many challenges await the next Adminstration, but there is at least a fighting chance that they will be tackled in some reasonably efficient manner.

As JFK said at his Inauguration-- we choose to do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard.

Those who still have the true blood of Amerca running in their veins remember the words of John Paul Jones.

"I have not yet begun to fight."

All others hasten to come to terms with their putative new masters.

Mentaliusanything's picture


In his inauguration speech he never said that, it was said on September 12th 1962. However how far have we fallen when you listen to a Democrat President at his inauguration. Hillary is a shit stain on history compared to this President. and he gives fair warning of what comes if you understand that man can abolish all forms of human poverty or all forms of human life 2.03 - 2.16

Where are the KFK's of today, where are our hopes

conraddobler's picture

JFK was the last real president but it doesn't mean he was a good one.

He didn't want to ramp up Vietnam and he couldn't stop screwing around and he thought he acctually was more than a figurehead, the last one being the idea that got him killed.

Erek's picture

"JFK was the last real president but it doesn't mean he was a good one."

At any rate, good or not so good (a matter of opinion), he was a hell of a lot better than all the fuckwits we've had since him!

oncemore's picture

Fred Reed, what a zionist piece of moron!

war war and again war and conflict.

Such way nobody can survive. We in Europe, all of us peope on the street, hate US so much.

US has "friends" which will stab US in the back at the first opportunity. Thats your problem, Fred.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Unpardonably stupid... if you don't understand even what you read.

beijing expat's picture

Empires usually go down quietly. They just deflate as the centre ceases to be relevant to the periphery. 

Erek's picture

Looks like this empire might go out with a nuclear bang!

Equinox's picture

I wonder how far this swamp does stretch, Europe is also under control by socialists/leftist/neocons/Soros, called the EU. The EU is part in the threats against Russia, helping too to mess in islamic countries like Syria, etc etc. Mainstream media in the EU is also pro Hilary and anti Trump, they are also for open borders, immigrants (mostly muslims) cause lots of problems on daily bases here.

If my thinking is right this political shock might well be the end of the EU. 


....who knows what EU names show up in those 650k emails

thefinn's picture

Our most "conservative" party in Australia has already signed TPP. You can be sure the swamp extends this far too.


NidStyles's picture

Of course, any country where it's either considered insane or illegal to say anything about Jews or Israel is a part of the swamp.

Sandmann's picture

The media and politics in Europe is OWNED by the USA and the politicians are puppets - look at Blair, bought and paid for

Steeley's picture

However, as soon as another Adolph or Kruschev starts picking apart the planet, everyone will be getting real lovey-dovey with us again.. (shrug).


Sandmann's picture

When did Khrushchev "pick apart the planet" ??????????

Hitler simply wanted to undo the settlement Woodrow Wilson imposed on Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire at Versailles

seisen's picture

The question is, if there will be anything left to 'pick apart'. Since reshaping of the global order is past due and unavoidable, i would not bet on a 'soft transition'. Absence of modesty (since there was never the need for it) in foreign policy and the very real ability to let everything go up in flames is a bad mixture. Exceptionalism, Postmillenialism, the general obsession with 'The Spectacle' by itself are part of the American cultural identity and widespread in the powers that be.

At a certain point and with the current power structure the very last calculation will be to sacrifice Europe, literally. Though not containable, it will be considered as a rational option.

Mentaliusanything's picture

Steely, you are another shit stain in history (you troll). Go and listen to JKK's speeches and understand how far you have fallen. Russia has Satan II (RS 28) just for you dickweed. Never pick a fight you know you cannot win. And the Russian love their Children as well. Time to man up like JFK and find ground you can both call sacred. Fuck all balls and No Brains is your life and balls do not get paid well.

bjax's picture

Pipeline, Bengazi hidden emails, it all seems to be adding up. The US was never exceptional, it just thought it was. And now it's proven to be not the case. Make America great again can't even be done. If all the troops pulled out of their current campaigns, then what? They would leave behind a whole bunch of failed states, 2 million dead, and a lot of angry people. The US has fucked the world, that's what's actually happened. Through puppet governments all over the world, they have screwed it over.

This guy seems to have some leads

thefinn's picture

I tend to agree, America wasn't exceptional, but SOME THINGS about it were.

A sense of duty, honour, integrity and self-reliance were traits found in the 40's and 50's.

This is the nation that when the great depression hit sought to feed its' people with government assistance and many people that needed it preferred to go without. Others repaid the debt afterwards.

Whatever it was that made it exceptional during this magical time, it is long over.


Sandmann's picture

It was exceptional when it stayed out of foreign entanglements. It had its Imperialists who wanted control of rubber in Malaysia, gold in South Africa and the markets of the British Empire. 

HedgeJunkie's picture

I tried pulling out once.

I also have sons ten years apart.

White Mountains's picture

Good for you.  The more sons a man has, the better.  We need (real) men and lots of them.

HedgeJunkie's picture

I assure you, both are Real Men. Oldest has been in Afghanistan for fifteen years.  The youngest doesn't live in our basement (any more), has a job, and is independent, and is an Eagle Scout. 

The fact that the youngest is queer doesn't change him from being a real man.  He's a tough, resiliant dude, an actual snake eater.  I cooked his first rattlesnake.  Oldest was too squeemish.

The oldest sends me shit I cannot talk about from Afghanistan, yet won't allow me to independently watch his kids.  The younger seems to see me as some sort of all-knowing diety.

Oldest was a fuck up in High School, youngest was the all-star (and learned jack shit).

And both are tighter than anything as brothers.  Neither can do anything wrong.

I can't explain this.

benlomand's picture

Fred Reed is no bullshitter. I've been reading his articles for years. Plently of insightful social

commentary unseen in the everyday.

You are right. We have fucked the world, in my opinon in the name of Wall Street blood sucking


By the way, I haven't seen a flying cock and balls since I was in the Navy over 40 years ago. 

Whiskey Badger's picture

Anyone who like ZH will love Sargon of Akkad's Channel, here's a nice taste:

jimmydranox's picture

A really interesting comparison between ancient Rome and US.

And a good eplanation of the elections ''balance'' here

NobodyNowhere's picture

For a great empire to evolve, great sacrifices are needed, with no sure promise of reward; so the true heroes of a nation emerge, the rascals remain limited to petty business in the wild.  After reaching great heights, an empire does not ask for great sacrifices, and offers great promise of immediate reward; so the rascals elbow their way to the top, blocking the heroes that might emerge.  Humanity may evolve beyond this stage; if it does, instant global communication and fast travel and transportation would prove to be the great enablers empowering the masses (who sooner or later know who the rascals are but have not had the means to communicate and unite in the past except in rare instances and with great turmoil.  That's the basics of it, all the punditry notwithstanding.

Elco the Constitutionalist's picture
Elco the Constitutionalist (not verified) NobodyNowhere Oct 31, 2016 3:27 AM

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Empire. It is not a desireable goal. Empires make for interesting history, but you wouldn't want to live there.

snblitz's picture

Protestantism made America great.

Got us from 1600 through around 1880. Badness started being organized around
1890 and carried out around 1920. You know the rest.

Protestantism could make America great again. Trump is a Presbyterian
(a Protestant sect).

In his rallies he mentions "one people... one God... one flag".