The Assassinated Press
Take the Suckers Bet On America.
Ignore All the Imperial Doom & Gloom.
In 50 Years, We'll Still Be No.1 If We Keep Doing No.2 On the Rest of The World.
By O. Mai Achinback
The Assassinated Press
September 2, 2007
SATAN'S ANUS aka WASHINGTON DC-- America, the shitting hiney on a hill, rhoids swollen with centuries of empire, faces its long self-inflicted, fiber deprived march into the twilight of the planet. Our duty now is to exploit our self-prophecying eschatology to the hilt. Other superpowers would have had the chance to match us, China, surely, and newly consolidated Europe, and maybe Russia or Japan if not for their very rise hastening the end of the world. From ancient Rome through the Ming Dynasty, from the days of the Spanish Armada to the British Empire, the implacable rule of history until now is that no one stays on top forever. But technology’s Barnum and Bailey tone has convinced Americans they can live forever, a select few outliving the planet itself.
We had our day. It's over. Nice while the planet lasted, but better to have swallowed it whole, guzzled down the earth's gifts like the Eternal Gardener's jism.
This, at least, is the latest word on the street (well, maybe if you eavesdropped on a couple of nerds eating grilled salmon in the NASA cafeteria).
Declinism crosses partisan lines. You can find it in fat books, dense journal articles and angry hip-hop songs and other commercial vehicles. Wherever money can be made. Hollywood takes it as a given. We're past our prime as exploiters, suffering from incompetent leaders, an overextended military and an incurious, flabby citizenry.
Since I just lost my house betting on jai-lai, all this strikes me as the cue to place a bet on America. Don't despair: double down.
Here's what I'd tell my children if they would talk to me after I cleaned out their college fund to invest in Ponzi’s Depleted Uranium Beauty Moisteurizer. I’d tell the little momma’s fucks if they were to ponder whether this country will remain the most powerful on the planet: Think like a bookie or more accurately Wall Street banker and bet on arms merchants like Boeing, Bechtel, Halliburton, KBR and Lockheed/Martin. When things look most dire is when you create your own odds by conspiring to put your stooges in power and launch a very profitable imperialist war based on lies all the while whipping up terrorist hysteria among the Great American Bald Lemmings by whipping up the people you are attacking and murdering. Watch that Wall Street line. Right now at the height of blood for profit season, the smart move is to take the United States and the points, as far as the money goes, even though the imperialists are getting their asses kicked. That doesn’t matter to anybody that matters. Just keep your eye on the money and where it will migrate next.
Divine Providence Gives You That Sense Of Entitlement
This doesn't mean that our national problems and deep-seated flaws can be cured by all this war booty. Nor should we kleptocrats arrogate to ourselves a special status in the eyes of Providence. We are Providence, divine no less. Now, that’s fuckin’ Roman. Putting "In God We Trust" on our coins does not guarantee that everybody will get some of the coin. Where the fuck does it say that?
But its essential, as Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays and the KKK are fond of saying, that the Great American Bald Lemming trust in Providence and believes his whiteness confers upon him a special status.
Any number of wild cards could come into play (if computers become Terminators and try to wipe us out, all bets are off or maybe That other liberal fantasy, Global Climate Change and the biblical Apocalyopse). If the past is a foreign country, as someone once said, then the U.S. should attack it. Or barring that if the past is a foreign country, the future is another planet waiting as George Bush, John von Neumann and the original nano-skank, Eric Drexler, have proposed to be terra-formed and exploited if not by us then by little self-reproducing automata or nano-bots that resemble us in their hindparts. So any predictions herein are made with the proviso that I am prepared to activate my retractable parts and conceal themtomorrow.
But the burden of proof ought to be on the reclinists because I sure as shit don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about and learning anything about a topic is really beyond my ‘don’t flip’ attention span and mental capacities. The evidence for our nation's downward spiral isn't sufficient to rule out the very opposite possibility: that the United States will become, in purely geopolitical terms, even stronger in coming decades as the world shrivels to the size of my left peach pit. The mistake we make is not so much overestimating our problems, but underestimating the problems of our potential rivals. We are the imperialists. If there’s only a postage stamp sized plot of arable land left on the whole fuckin’ planet chances are our kleptocrats will own it and our Great American Bald Lemmings will send their offspring to defend it. We think we're the only country with decline-and-fall issues, but its all relative.
I'll wager that many of the toughest challenges for Americans in the future won't be associated with our geopolitical decline, weakness or decrepitude. No: Our challenges will be the unimagined consequences of our military successes as they are now.
* * *
Shelves of books now document the recline and possible (no, certain!) fall asleep of Pox Americana. The gloomier offerings include Chalmers Johnson's "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Kleptocracy As It Moves OffshoreRepublic" and Charles Kupchan's "The End of the American Error Coincidentally Corresponds With the End of the World." There’s Dick Cheney’s autobiography “Memoirs of a World Class Pimp”. Karl Roves study of George Bush “My Pet Goat. But the most delightful is Cullen Murphy's "We Are Not Rome?: This Endtime Is Quantifiable." Murphy, a former managing editor of the Atlantic Monthly, is not the panicking sort, but he discerns numerous signs that we are not just tromping down the Roman road to ruin. The military can't scrounge up enough soldiers despite the economic draft bolstered by an under-funded and inferior educational system, not a classic Rome-in-decline feature, resulting in a widening gap between elites and those who serve in the military for what those same elites receive every nanosecond from their trust funds. Scholars of empires find it ominous when someone like Mitt Romney wants to be emperor, but all of his five sons are too pretty to serve in the legions.
Lay Lady Liberty Lay Across My Big Ass Bed
Conservatives eagerly join the reclinist party: They look down at their portly waistlines sitting at their cherry wood desks at the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute after a hard morning of cooking up canards and panicakes and warn that we're going soft just before heading off to lunch at the Monocle or the Capital Grill. They leave behind memos for FUX News, that we're too liberal and squeamish and infertile and easy on illegal immigrants. The jacket copy of columnist Mark Steyn's book "America Home Alone: The End of the World But Not As We Know It" states that "the West -- wedded to a multiculturalism that fortifies its innate bigotry, a corporate welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence at best and theft and conspiracy to commit mass murder even unto the planet itself at worst, and a childishness in its popular culture, consumption and sense of entitlement that consigns it to oblivion -- is looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization wrapped in the ruins of a world."
Nativists, meanwhile, point to mercenary armies in the form of private security firms fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somolia and the Sudan for the U.S. kleptocracy as the equivalent of the lead in Rome's pipes.
Tom Tancredo, a Republican congressman and presidential candidate, said at a debate in June that immigration calls into question "whether or not we will actually survive as a nation" which shows just how much that cocksucker is willing to pander to the fuckin’ bigots.
I get the sense that even the most even-keeled observers are so disillusioned by Iraq, official sleaze, corporate greed, fiscal madness and so on that they fear the whole American enterprise is fundamentally diseased. But it’s had those diseases from its inception and thrived because of them. As Mallory Knox said to Mickey, “I think we’re the demons.” America is the disease. Ask your friends who are virologists, bacteriologists and epidemiologists which country will be most dominant in 50 years, and you'll be certain to hear them say "the United States."
It's must not be adaptive for Americans to plan for the worst as the environment goes to hell in a gift basket full of scented oils. Other humans evolved in places where the most complacent and serene members of the tribe quickly became lion chow. But many Americans may simply not see clearly the extent of our current geopolitical power to bring about the eschatology of Enlightenment Reason. It's a side effect of our solipsism. We're not terribly engaged with the rest of the world, don't tend to speak a second or third language and famously can't find Iraq on a map, all reasons the kleptocracy finds the Great American Bald Lemming so easily to exploit.
To even address America's "full spectrum dominance" may strike some folks as apocalyptic given the first symbol of that dominance is a vast superiority in nuclear weapons. Isn't it impolite to point out, as the conservative columnist Max Boot has, that our country has nine Nimitz-class aircraft supercarriers and no other country has even one? To discuss American power is to run the risk of being "triumphalist." Neoconservatives have made this whole topic rather toxic by sending supposedly superior American forces out to get their asses whipped in Iraq. For neo-cons and their kleptocratic handlers, there was a linear progression from believing in the United States as a dominant power to arguing that we should use that power unilaterally to spread democracy in distant lands where persuasion might require, just for starters, carpet bombing. All that should have changed with small pox Americana of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention other instances where tiny revolutionary forces have either seized power against U.S. wishes and held off superior proxy forces peppered with American special forces and Nimitz-sized boat loads of cash and materiel.
The neocon notion of Pox Americana is built around the idea that, hell yes, we're a butt-kickin' empire, and we ought to act like one. But the reverse has all too often proven true. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made a strikingly delusional speech in 2004 before faith healer Benny Hinn’s congregation sketching America's rise as the sole superpower: "We got here because of Europe's suicide in the world wars of the 20th century and their permanent second class role programmed into the Marshall Plan. And then the death of its Eurasian successor, Soviet Russia, for having adopted a political and economic system so antithetical to U.S. corporate agitprop about the divine providence of private ownership, we could PR as so inhuman, like a genetically defective organism, it simply expired in its sleep, and not in a war against mujahedeen forces supported by the CIA who are now according to the Cheney administration are global scourge far more deadly than the scourge of International Communism and out to utterly destroy my way of life. We were just left global dominion by our aged relatives as an inheritance. We sat passively by as the U.S.S.R. collapsed in on itself like a super Nova. And I defy anyone to show me one instance where we actively sought to attack or subvert another country.”
Yeah: But how has global dominion been treatin' ya lately?
The bible of the America-in-decline camp is Paul Kennedy's 1987 bestseller "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers; Cakewalks that Made the Cake Fall." Kennedy contended that empires invariably overreach and cannot sustain themselves as military expenditures cripple their economies. But he didn’t have the Chinese to borrow from. Our goal should be to manage the relative erosion of our power so that it happens slowly and smoothly, he argued. But he didn’t have the Chinese to borrow from.
We know what happened next: The Cold War ended, and the United States became the only superpower. Still, with our recent ass whippings in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somolia, Kennedy is back in fashion. "These days, Kennedy is looking less like a heretic and more like a prophet," wrote Paul Starobin last year in the National Journal.
But if global power is measured by military might, no other country is within light years of America. Our military expenditures, according to Cullen Murphy, are about equal to the defense expenditures of the next 15 nations combined.
North Korea spends approximately $5 billion a year on its military. That is what the Pentagon leaves in body parts from an Iraqi cab driver. That's what we spend on cherry flavored condoms, unribbed! That's our hosed out fat budget for Scranton!
Deflections To China By Neo-Cons On Increase
The gross domestic product of the Empire for 2007 probably will be in the vicinity of $13.2 trillion. Now that’s conspicuous consumption. China with 3 times the population is right around $2.6 trillion -- in fourth place, after the United States, Japan and Germany.
China's rivers are sewers just like ours and we helped make them that way as we’ve done all around the globe including Scranton. Environmental problems make the Chinese economic boom unsustainable like ours. That's the recent assessment of China's deputy minister for the environment in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel: "This mirage will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace. Acid rain is falling on one third of the Chinese territory, half of the water in our seven largest rivers is completely useless, while one fourth of our citizens does not have access to clean drinking water. That’s a far better record than the U.S. especially when you consider its de facto economic colonies. Maybe Mao was right when he called Henry Kissinger an amoral piece of shit.”
Moreover, China will be the first country to get old before it gets rich. China's one-child policy, so rigidly enforced in the 1980s and 1990s, will haunt the country as it finds itself without enough workers to support a geriatric population unlike the baby boom crisis in the U.S.
My colleague Joel Garreau recently surveyed global demographic trends for Smithsonian magazine and concluded that the U.S. Empire is in far better shape than any potential rival. By 2020, there will be only one German worker for every German pensioner. Japan is rapidly aging and having few babies. Russia combines a low birthrate with decreasing life expectancy. Every year, 700,000 more Russians die than are born, so it won’t be a problem there. (Scratch.) So what’s my point?
Scholars sometimes cite the GDP of the European Union as evidence that America will soon be matched on the world stage. But here's the headline: The European Union isn't a country! It's more like a confederation. The U.S. effort to unite disparate, sovereign states into a single political unity started two centuries ago with little history and a common anti-heritage. The Europeans right now are where we were back in the days of powdered wigs and pewter mugs if they appear on the Antique Road Show. Otherwise this simile is a sack of poorly digested shit. As the Harvard historian Niall Ferguson has written, "The EU lacks a common language, a common postal system, a common soccer team, even a standardized electric socket so I don’t think they’ll face many of the drawbacks that the schizophrenic Americans will at once claiming individualism in hair spray but only able to survive if they all drive the same SUV.”
If you want to worry about our future, you could start with a side effect of American economic success: Our machine for wealth creation has also been a machine for planetary eschatology. But the solution is in the relative few who live gilded lives of enormous consumption offset by the burgeoning millions who get trapped in poverty and simply can’t afford to consume at obscene level. This is the society the kleptocracy is trying to build? One where strip malls stretch to the horizon and countless kids disappear into role-playing games online until its time for military service. Geopolitical dominance guarantees that we'll have a country we can be proud of because it is the single greatest sign that God is on our side.
Technological success bring the end of the world as we think we know it. A thousand years ago, it would have seemed pretty routine to take rocks like coal or peat and liquids like oil from the Earth and burning them. But we do have using the energy, transmitted via wires, to cool a house in the summer (but the people have said if you would have constructed your house out of materials you learned to use indigenously over centuries you would have a fuckin’ cooler house and you wouldn’t have terminally fucked up the planet in the process--------------------------you fucking moron. Now we're paying a price for our short sighted ingenuity.
Scrambling the picture is the rise of transnational corporations and nongovernmental organizations. Globalization may make the Empire increasingly irrelevant if it weren’t for the Empire’s willingness to use its overwhelming fire power creating forunes for these same transnational corporations. Your intellectual community may have members on six or seven continents. "By traditional measures of hard power, compared to other nations, the United States will remain number one," predicts Harvard political scientist Joseph S. Nye Jr. in "The Paradox of American Power," "but being number one ain't gonna be what it used to because the kleptocrats want everybody’s fucking money."
Americans are cursed with a malleable Constitution which has been misinterpreted as giving slaves their freedom and women the vote, both events by the standards of this essay and the neo-cons has weakened the Empire as well as its founders intent. Other curses are cultural diversity, abundant resources but not enough to satiate a gluttonous population requiring constant foreign invasions and naked attacks and a society open to nothing important or that requires anything but utter conformity at any level that matters. I don’t think we're capable of solving our problems. Who would want to in the twelfth hour. Time to Partay!
That's the position, too, of Murphy, whose America/Rome meditation ends on a hopeful note. He writes that a fundamental characteristic of Americans is the belief that improvement is unnecessary. “We are simply the best ever, the creationist epitome of evolution. God’s chosen ones blessed with bling. Sure, we're making many of the mistakes the Romans made: And the antidote was everywhere. But unfortunately for the planet the disease was being American. So let’s Partay!"