The Crumbling of the Empire

Steve KinsmanStarred Page By Steve Kinsman, 30th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The signs of a crumbling American empire are all around us, and we shall soon need to find a new way to live if we are going to survive.

Down we go

Today, April 30, 2012, Chris Hedges, as profound and astute an observer of the human condition writing today, has penned and astoundingly perceptive article for truthdig.org titled "Welcome to the Asylum." He writes brilliantly that "When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki's pregnancy, Hulk Hogan's sex tape and Kim Kardashian's denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the internet..."

"The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth...is modern society's version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure, and, finally, collective death."

In several previous articles written for wikinut, such as Fascist State America, Recognizing it, and How to Deal with it, and Capitalism, the Most Grotesque Economic System Ever Devised, to name just two, this observer has warned that we are fast falling into full-blown fascism, as our civil liberties are stripped and the corporatocracy succeeds in buying virtually every politician in the land.

We never learned

Hedges makes the point that we could have learned much from the indigenous societies that have been crushed, one by one, as we rushed pell mell to rape the planet in our quest for the golden goose. "When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value. The extinguishing of 'primitive' societies, those that were defined by animism and mysticism, those that celebrated ambiguity and mystery, those that respected the centrality of the human imagination, removed the only ideological counterweight to a self-devouring capitalist ideology. Those who held on to pre-modern beliefs, such as Native Americans, who structured themselves around a communal life and self-sacrifice rather than hoarding and wage exploitation, the cult of the self and the lust for imperial expansion. The prosaic was pitted against the allegorical. And as we race toward the collapse of the planet's ecosystem we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive."

Hedges points out that the war to obliterate native cultures, like the war we waged on American Indian tribes and like the wars being waged against aboriginal cultures still today, is not just a battle to "eradicate not only a people but a competing ethic." Most all of these cultures maintained an abiding respect for the land, the water and air, and the "deities they worshipped," Hedges writes, "were not outside of or separate from nature."

The white man's creed

European "Enlightenment" philosophy, at the beginning of the industrial age, venerated the belief that human beings were separate from the natural world, and that it was the duty of humanity to exploit it. According to Hedges, Rene Descartes, for example, "argued...that the fullest exploitation of matter to any use was the duty of humankind....The wilderness became, in the religious language of the Puritans, satanic...Davy Crockett and, later, George Armstrong Custer, became national heroes by defining national aspiration in terms of so many bears destroyed, so many trees hacked down, so many Indians and Mexicans dead in the dust."

The Capitalist culture imploding

There is no question, for anyone who takes the time and trouble to see beneath the veneer of today's pop culture reality, which has been designed to keep us wallowing in darkness and unconsciousness, that it's all falling apart, and it's falling apart faster and faster, like a runaway truck careening down a mountain road. Hedges continues..."The demented project of endless capitalist expansion, profligate consumption, senseless exploitation and industrial growth is now imploding. Corporate hustlers are as blind to the ramifications of their self-destructive fury as were Custer, the gold speculators and the railroad magnates. They seized Indian land, killed off its inhabitants, slaughtered the buffalo herds and cut down the forests. Their heirs wage war throughout the Middle East, pollute the seas and water systems, foul the air and soil and gamble with commodities as half the globe sinks into abject poverty and misery."

"A society that lacks the power of human imagination, that cannot practice empathy, ultimately insures its own destruction...All that concerns itself with beauty and truth, those forces that have the power to transform us, is being steadily extinguished by our corporate state."

We must create the new world

As the system collapses, tragically, great numbers of people will suffer, and we are called upon to create a radical new paradigm if civilization itself is to survive. Out of the ashes of the present system's destruction a new reality must emerge. We shall need to gather together locally to create new, self-sustaining communities, each offering his or her unique talents and capabilities to the group as a whole. Cutthroat competition must die, and loving cooperation must replace it.

Preview photo from nytimes.com
Wads of cash photo from photosearch.com
Native American and New World photos from photobucket.com
Vietnam War photo from realwarphotos.com

Tags

American Empire, Capitalism, Corporatocracy, Empire, Fascism, Occupy Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Opinion, Steve Kinsman

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

Share this page

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Ellis
30th Apr 2012 (#)

Amazing article and a great read. Food for thought I suppose really opened my eyes!
Keep it up!
Ellis

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you Ellis. I appreciate that.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Pradeep Kumar B
1st May 2012 (#)

When you have reached the peak of the mountain, there is no way to go up further. You can only go down.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

That is for certain, Pradeep, and I would contend we have reached the peak of a very ugly mountain. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Melissa Dawn
1st May 2012 (#)

An excellent share. Funnily enough I was thinking as we contribute here as writers are we not in some small way finding a new way to work and starting a new way of living :-)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

I think in some small way we are indeed Melissa. Thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
1st May 2012 (#)

I agree with your comment Melissa...many of us are especially Steve

Reply to this comment

author avatar yellowzigzag
1st May 2012 (#)

man after my own heart . gods true wisdom of our words path is the only way for human survival. we all got to work on it.and have right balance in place at all times.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

Yes indeed. Thank you yellowzigzag.

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
1st May 2012 (#)

oh again wow Steve..such an incredible crusader you are for the rights of the common man...may your words be heeded...and take good care...namaste

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you very much cnwriter. Namaste.

Reply to this comment

author avatar shallimarRose
1st May 2012 (#)

Great read Steve and very thought provoking.. thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you shallimarRose. I appreciate that.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
1st May 2012 (#)

I am reminded of - when young we admire the rich, and when old, the kind hearted! We go the wrong way as news headlines lead us the wrong path. Are not media magnates just as greedy to go up the list of the super rich with others kowtowing to their whims and fancies? We need an innocent child in our midst to speak the truth - we are all naked in our greed and out to rob everyone else - a mad rush to total annihilation. I have seen in Asia, the young feeling superior to the old just because they are adept in using modern contraptions. I remember the words of Reagan when told did he have all these while young - we invented them! Maybe a wrong path in the end! Looks like time for some harsh reality. Wonderful, clarion call for reality check, Steve, thanks indeed - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

And thank you for your always perceptive comments Siva.

Reply to this comment

author avatar M G Singh
1st May 2012 (#)

A wonderful article Steve. Thought provoking and one to remember

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you Madan.

Reply to this comment

author avatar xphantoms
1st May 2012 (#)

Like it, good article

Reply to this comment

author avatar 1Faithmorgan
1st May 2012 (#)

Excellent article - very true and thought provoking. If only the rich would open their eyes and see this too.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Buzz
1st May 2012 (#)

Thanks, Steve. We'll miss you when you're in Paris. Hope you'll log in there to say hi or write a short piece. Take care, dear friend.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
1st May 2012 (#)

Steve, I can see you are person who cares greatly about your great nation. You send here a great lesson, that will sadly go unheeded.

The implosion of capitalism is a problem that we face wherever we are in the world. It is not an "American disease", or a "European disease", or a "Canadian disease" it is a disease that has to be tackled on a worldwide scale.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st May 2012 (#)

You are right on the mark there, Peter. Thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar chrysolite
30th May 2012 (#)

Yes, the message will sadly go unheeded! Yet, there is a way out of it on a personal level, but not many people want to go that way.

Unfortunately, some diseases end in death and this is one of them and it's worldwide, yes.

We've packed up and left this society 10 years ago and have reunited with people who have the skills to go into the new future and I'm glad to report that this new life we already live is a very happy life.

Of course, we still use some of the benefits of the old society, but not many and we know we can live without them, because we tried.

It's time to act!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Joseph l.Cox
5th May 2012 (#)

It is happening now not only in america but other countries as well.but we will survive because we are aware.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
10th May 2012 (#)

Thank you for commenting, Joseph. I appreciate it.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
10th May 2012 (#)

Outstanding message...great article, Steve.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
10th May 2012 (#)

Thank you rama devi. I appreciate your comment.

Reply to this comment

author avatar chrysolite
30th May 2012 (#)

Thank you, Steve, every word is true in this article! Have you taken steps to move into the future yet?

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th May 2012 (#)

Thank you for commenting chrysolite. We're taking whatever steps we can. Mostly, positive change will involve all of us loving each other - moving to a society based on love rather than fear.

Reply to this comment

author avatar chrysolite
31st May 2012 (#)

Yes, a society based on love simply is the only solution! :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Steve Kinsman
31st May 2012 (#)

Thank you for responding chrysolite. I appreciate it.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password