An Empire Self-Destructs

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

In the Victorian Age, we Brits were proud to say, “There will always be an England,” and “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” So, where did we go wrong? Why are we no longer the world’s foremost empire? Why have we lost not only the majority of our colonies, but also the majority of our wealth?

Well, first, let’s take a peek back at the other aforementioned empires and see how they fared. Rome was arguably the greatest empire the world has ever seen. Industrious Romans organized large armies that went to other parts of the world, subjugating them and seizing the wealth that they had built up over generations. And as long as there were further conquerable lands just over the next hill, this approach was very effective. However, once Rome faced diminishing returns on new lands to conquer, it became evident that those lands it had conquered had to be maintained and defended, even though there was little further wealth that could be confiscated.

The conquered lands needed costly militaries and bureaucracies in place to keep them subjugated but were no longer paying for themselves. The “colonies” were running at a loss. Meanwhile, Rome itself had become very spoiled. Its politicians kept promising more in the way of “bread and circuses” to the voters, in order to maintain their political office. So, the coffers were being drained by both the colonies and at home. Finally, in a bid to keep from losing their power, Roman leaders entered into highly expensive wars. This was the final economic crippler and the empire self-destructed.

Spain was a highly productive nation that attacked its neighbours successfully and built up its wealth, then became far wealthier when it sailed west, raiding the Americas of the silver and gold that they had spent hundreds of years accumulating. The sudden addition of this wealth allowed the Spanish kings to be lavish to the people and, as in Rome, the Spanish became very spoiled indeed. But once the gold and silver that was coming out of the New World was down to a trickle, the funding for maintaining the empire began to dry up. Worse, old enemies from Europe were knocking at the door, hoping to even old scores. In a bid to retain the empire, the king entered into extensive warfare in Europe, rapidly draining the royal purse and, like Rome, the Spanish Empire self-destructed.

In the Victorian era, the British Empire was unmatched in the world. It entered the industrial revolution and was highly productive. In addition, it was pulling wealth from its colonies in the form of mining, farming and industry. But, like other countries in Europe, it dove into World War I quickly and, since warfare always diminishes productivity at home whilst it demands major expense abroad, the British Empire was knocked down to one knee by the end of the war.

Then, in 1939, the game was afoot again and Britain was drawn into a second world war. By the end of the war, it could still be said that there would always be an England, but its wealth had been drained off and, one by one, its colonies jumped ship. The days of empire were gone.

Into the breach stepped the US. At the beginning of World War I, the US took no part in the fighting, but, as it had experienced its own industrial revolution, it supplied goods, food, and armaments to Britain and her allies. Because the pound and other European currencies could not be trusted not to inflate, payment was made in gold and silver. So the US was expanding its productivity into a guaranteed market, selling at top dollar, using the profits to create larger, more efficient factories, and getting paid in gold.

Then, in 1939, it all happened again. Although the US eventually joined both wars, they did so much later than Britain and her allies. At the end of World War II, the US had a lively young workforce, as they had lost fewer men to the war. They also had modern factories, which had been paid for by other nations, that could now be used to produce peacetime goods for themselves and the rest of the world more efficiently than anyone else.

And (and this is a very big “and”) by 1945 they owned or controlled three quarters of the world’s gold, as they’d drained it away from the warring nations in the early days of the war. This allowed the US to invite the post-war leaders to Bretton Woods to explain that, as the holders of the world’s wealth, they’d dictate what the world’s default currency would be: the dollar.

But this was all threatened by the fact that, when the now-poorer nations of the world sold their goods to the US, they, too, beginning with the French, wished to be paid in gold.

And so, in the subsequent years, the gold in Fort Knox was beginning to travel back to the east, from whence it had come in previous years. In 1971, this flow was shut off, as the US, still the foremost empire, had the power to simply remove all intrinsic value from the dollar and turn it into a fiat currency. Payment in gold ended.

Fast-forward to the post-millennium era and we see that America, like the previous empires, ended its acquisition of gold after World War II, yet its people became spoiled by political leaders who promised ever-increasing bread and circuses. The productivity that led to its initial strength was dying off, and it was spending more than it was bringing in. Finally, it sought to maintain its hegemony through warfare, thereby creating a dramatic drain to its wealth.

Like other empires before it, the US is now on the verge of relinquishing the crown of empire. If there’s any difference this time around, it’s that its collapse will very likely be far more spectacular than that of previous empires. However, just as in previous collapses, those who least understand that the collapse is around the corner are those who are closest to its centre. Clearly, the majority of Americans are worried about their future yet cannot conceive of their country as a second-rate power. And those who hold the reins of that power tend to be the most deluded, delving ever-deeper into debt at an ever-faster rate, whilst expanding welfare and warfare without any concept of how it might all be paid for.

It’s understandable, therefore, that those of us who are on the outside looking in find it easier to observe objectively from afar and see the coming self-destruction of yet another empire.

As stated in the first line of this essay, “empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth.” They tend to end through the gradual elimination of the free-market system, the metamorphosis to a welfare state, and, finally, through the destruction of wealth through costly warfare.

Does this indicate the “end of the world”? Not at all. The world did not end with the fall of Rome, Spain, England, or any one of the many other empires. The productive people simply moved to a different geographical location—one that encourages free-market opportunity. The wealth moved with them, then grew, as the free market allowed productive people to make it grow.

Freedom and opportunity still exist and indeed flourish. All that’s changing is the locations where they are to be found.

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Comments

Stuck on Zero Never One Roach Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:28 Permalink

Empires are built by men, moral, talented, hardworking men.  Where do they come from? Farms. Farm boys know the value of hard work and enterprise because if they don't work they don't eat. America grew into an empire when the farm boys left the farms and migrated to the suburbs and factories. Now we have second generation city boys to work with. They equate self worth and wealth with scheming and scamming. China still has hundreds of millions of people on farms. They can migrate to the factory towns and work miracles. This will work with China for another few generations. They are the growing empire.

In reply to by Never One Roach

juangrande Stuck on Zero Mon, 06/19/2017 - 21:43 Permalink

Moral?  Please.... In our world, Jesus is the moral compass. Explain to me your position from Christ' point of view. Empires are built by men of FEAR! Subjugation apparently alleviates fear. But not really. Fear is never overcome from the limited point of view of the feafrul. The salient point of the article is how the cycle repeats.  

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

Hitlery_4_Dictator Bill of Rights Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:24 Permalink

Read it and weap, there is no escape:Like my banking contacts said;When the reset happens after the trigger event, the New US currency will be totally digital. There will be money but the only money allowed will be the dollars connected to the universal digital system. So all these crypto-curriences will be illegal. Bartering will be illegal including using gold and silver. They (Gold & Silver) must be cashed in to the digital bank system. Bartering or using gold and silver outside the digital system will be like selling illegal drugs on the street. You will be a criminal, this may go for hording as well.There will be no more “Brick and Mortar” banks. Plans are already set to abandon them all and become like; USAA.com. a totally digital bank with no brick and mortar bank branches. A bank that will provide everything from insurance, investing and banking. Everything to do with money.Everything in all financial accounts will be devalued on the average 50%. Including with this haircut, prices and wages will fall about 50%, just like what happened in 1929 to 1935. It will be too expensive for brick and mortar retail; thus, from scoops to nuts, food to cloths, everything will be digital and on line and will be delivered.Due to the devaluation everyone with a debt instrument connected to what they have will lose it unless they can pay of the balance of the devalued property against the principle on the per-devalued property.Being outside the digital system you can’t pay tour taxes, thus you lose your debt free home and car if you don’t join the digital system.We are already seeing some prices fall, stores encouraging on line shopping and leasing and renting not owning. When I purchased my last car, the dealer told me they make more money leasing over selling a car and they can put the customer in a better car than he could afford if he purchased a car.The patient already has terminal, the cancer is just now beginning to appear and it’s just a matter of time.

In reply to by Bill of Rights

kochevnik Hitlery_4_Dictator Tue, 06/20/2017 - 01:28 Permalink

An old black man put down a catalog, and I was curious how yanks pass time.  It was so amazing.  The catalog has prices, but only for rental!  Everything was rented.  Towels, underwear, shoes.  Literally some Americans do not own the clothes on their back!  They are literally worthless!  English tenancy is at home in the USA.  Only thing forgotten is a midnight knock on the door to fuck the wife and daughters, as barons so lived

In reply to by Hitlery_4_Dictator

DaveA Bill of Rights Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:54 Permalink

Gold mines are not gold. Mining stocks are gapping down in South Africa because the government just ordered them to hand over 30% ownership to government cronies. When the real crisis hits, gold mines all over the world will be expropriated outright, and their stock will be worth nothing.

In reply to by Bill of Rights

Miss Informed DaveA Tue, 06/20/2017 - 01:11 Permalink

The stocks are worth nothing now. Big investors get private placement deals with guaranteed returns and the public gets suckered in to buying the stocks. The companies issue more stock whenever they feel like it and drive the prices to nothing. Only a credit analyst can really understand what these businesses are worth, if anything.

In reply to by DaveA

juangrande Mon, 06/19/2017 - 19:57 Permalink

Perhaps Empires end because they are intrinsically wrong! Perhaps both the domestic and foreign subjugated wake the fuck up eventually and decide their asses hurt too much for what they get in return! ( Usually not even a kiss....)

brushhog Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:03 Permalink

The way I plan to protect myself is through personal self reliance. The 5 G's Ground, Grub, Guns, Gold, and gasoline. Staying out of markets, staying out of risky investments, no debt, no dependency on the supply chain. Good well water, plenty of good timber, cattle, good pasture, etc. If some other part of the world arises as the next geographical center for growth and commerce then that will probably be for another generation.

montresor (not verified) Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:07 Permalink

gold is risky to carry and expensive to liquidate.. but a dollar is perhaps far worse

Rich Monk Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

Let's see. The Jews created the Federal Reserve crime syndicate in 1913, destroying all Americans wealth all the while stealing 10's of Trillions of our tax dollars thru the Federal Income tax act of 1913. What a coinsidence! 

Just Another Boob Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:27 Permalink

"Roman leaders entered into highly expensive wars"War profiteering goes way back.  Infrastructure profiteering is so much more difficult.  Explains a lot doesn't it?A parasite that kills the host doesn't have much of an evolutionary future.But what does a boob know anyway?

Felix da Kat Mon, 06/19/2017 - 20:35 Permalink

The democrat strategy to thwart Trump's second term is to manipulate war-weary America into another serious war, and placing blame (thru media) on Trump. To democrats, Trump must be prevented doing anything for the good of the country, otherwise it helps his re-election and keeps them from power. Just watch to see how they obstruct his coming infrastucture initiatives. The deep state republicans (Graham, McCain, etc...) are complicit in this scheme as well. They are like the Bushes who all voted for HRC. Trump is hog-tied on the floor of the oval office... except to the extent republicans support him. The bottom line is this: To democrats, a self-destructing America means Trump is gone in 42 months (or sooner) because red-state voters, in disgust, won't bother to vote in 2020. 

Things that go bump Felix da Kat Mon, 06/19/2017 - 22:14 Permalink

If he runs again, I will vote for him again - no matter how awful he appears to be.  I don't care if he's under indictment or serving time or redecorating the White House in gold leaf, or splashing around in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in nothing but his tighty whities. If he doesn't run again I will vote for whomever the Republicans offer up, no matter how repugnant. I'll do this simply to deny the the Democrats what they most desire, but must not be allowed to have. At this point their candidate could be the second coming and I'd vote for Trump. I will never vote for another Democrat now that I know how they operate. I understand that the Republicans leave much to be desired, as well, but they're just not in the same league as the Democrats. 

In reply to by Felix da Kat

kumquatsunite FlKeysFisherman Tue, 06/20/2017 - 01:17 Permalink

kinda weird isn't it? how do they do that? but then look at hollywood, virtually (for all practical purposes) run by jews promoting every degrading act imaginable. note that the wonder woman actress, gal gadot is jewish, as is the actress who plays supergirl, Melissa Benoist. seems kinda odd that the two most prominent female superheroes are both jewish women? when mel gibson ranted that hollywood was run by jews; he was exactly right. then ask yourself, why does this correlate to absolute corruption. more than 10% of the hollywood men are homosexual, which is really weird and they are known as the gay mafia, in no uncertain terms. This is why every female actress attends every gay activist event; the heterosexual men have yet to completely crumble. they just don't seem to want to go around saying they are bisexual like the women do. how homophobic of them eh?!and if you've got time, check out the owners of the nfl teams, over half are jewish.

In reply to by FlKeysFisherman

WTFUD Mon, 06/19/2017 - 21:01 Permalink

Silly question - Who picks up the Tab for Mueller and his Special Team of Prosecutors? Anyone? ( i read he has 17 lawyers on board and only God knows who else ). I mean if they were investigating who dun-did 9/11, then no problem; mind you, they'd be investigating each other.

Akhenaten II Mon, 06/19/2017 - 21:42 Permalink

Bollocks.  We can easily destroy the world this time. From nuclear and hydrogen bombs and even cobalt 60 to scalar weapons that can wipe out cities, things are much different than ever before.

moorewasthebestbond (not verified) Akhenaten II Tue, 06/20/2017 - 04:23 Permalink

Megaton nukes are like bigfoot and unicorns. I've never seen one in the wild. Just grainy videos from 2+ decades before I was born. The History channel tells me two little nukes were fired in anger 72 years ago and it's been restraint and luck ever since. Sorry, but that smells shitty.

In reply to by Akhenaten II