The always interesting Chris Floyd wrote:
The American elite's unbounded, unquestioned, indeed unconscious sense of imperial entitlement and dominance — based ultimately on war, the threat of war and the profit from war — is one of the defining characteristics of our age.Indeed it is. Immense is the price Americans and others pay to give substance to this illusion:
Yet the ending of the imperial wars and the dismantling of America's global military empire — and its global gulag — would save trillions of dollars in the coming years. Not only from direct military spending, but also from the vastly reduced need for "Homeland security" funding in a world where the United States was no longer invading foreign lands, killing their people, supporting their tyrants — and inciting revenge and resistance.Demilitarization would provide Americans with a peace dividend now that they need it most:
This would release a flood of money for any number of "new domestic initiatives," while also giving scope for deep tax cuts across the board. Working people would thrive, the poor, the sick and the vulnerable would be bettered, businesses would grow, opportunity would expand, the care and education of our children would be greatly enhanced, our infrastructure could be repaired and strengthened, our environment better cleansed and cared for. In short, people could keep more of their own money while government spending could be directed toward improving the quality of life of all the nation's citizens.Is this path a realistic one in which common Americans might place their hopes? In part, yes, Floyd argues:
This is no utopian vision. Many problems, much suffering would remain. But it would be a better society — more humane, more just, more secure, more peaceful, more prosperous than it is now. Such an alternative is entirely achievable, by ordinary humans; it would require no divine miracles, no god-like heroes to bring it about.Whereas American demilitarization and empire disavowal may be intrinsically possible, it need not be feasible:
But such a society is precisely what our elites cannot — or, to be more accurate, will not — imagine. Because, yes, it would "erode" their "influence" around the world to some extent. Although they would still be comfortable, coddled and privileged, they could no longer merge their individual psyches with the larger entity of a globe-spanning, death-dealing empire — a connection which, although itself a projection of their own brains, gives them a forever-inflated sense of worth and importance.Nemesis follows hubris, though. Unfortunately, common Americans will suffer more from empire's dénouement than will those who now sit at its apex.