This last week, U.S. intelligence officials and their allies in the corporate media spread the evidence-free claim that Russia has put bounties on American troops in Afghanistan. This propaganda campaign was both an attempt to reinforce anti-Russian sentiment, and a subtle way to manufacture consent for the ongoing Afghanistan war. Which prompts one to ask: why is the empire so committed to perpetuating war? Why haven’t any of the wars it’s started since 9/11 been ended, and why does it evidently have every intention of making sure they don’t end?
Underneath the bluster of a Trump administration that still acts like the United States is the world hegemon, the ruling class is working to pragmatically respond to the loss of America’s status as a dominant power. In 2017 the Pentagon put out a report that admitted American global influence is rapidly declining, and now that the U.S. is sure to soon lose its superpower status, the corporatocracy has to address this issue.
Many of the same extreme right operatives who created the “Tea Party” are behind the anti-science and anti-intellectual spectacles opposing measures designed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. And with much the same agenda.
“The longer the ruling elites refuse to address the root causes behind these protests, the more they loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their fellow oligarchs, the more they engage in futile and absurd efforts to deflect blame, the more unrest will spread. The last desperate resort by the oligarchs to save themselves will be to stoke the fires of racialized violence between disenfranchised whites and disenfranchised people of color.” — Chris Hedges
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” — Vladimir Lenin
With a global pandemic where over 100,000 Americans are dead, staggering unemployment not seen since the Great Depression, the ever present and unfolding threat of climate change fueled catastrophes, white supremacist agitators, the wealthiest and most powerful empire on earth today is facing the perfect storm. Quite possibly, its quietus. At the center of this firestorm, an unhinged emperor is fanning the flames.
“But I can tell you that the ruling elites, given what they’re doing in Washington and their utter refusal to respond in a rational way to what’s happening to larger and larger numbers within the citizenry, are playing with fire and playing with their own destruction.” — Chris Hedges
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 30, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.
“One of the reasons why white supremacy is such a huge lesson out of the Covid-19 pandemic is because Black workers have ultimately been the ones who have sacrificed themselves to ensure that what profits can be made here in the United States continue to be made. And they were ultimately the ones who bore the brunt of the deaths in most states across the country where Black Americans reside; two to three times the rate of deaths has been higher for Black Americans than White Americans in many cities and states across this country.” — Danny Haiphong
In 2014, the CIA-tied media outlet the Washington Post published an article titled “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer.” Its author Ian Morris reasoned that wars have been necessary to carry out what it called the “civilizing process,” wherein the European empires have grown through conquest and the United States has been created through the seizing of indigenous lands. Its argument was racist and biased in favor of Western capitalist interests, and this was the point. It acknowledged that the wars which brought the U.S. empire to power, and which the U.S. empire continues to wage, are good for “us”—the people in the imperial core who benefit from imperialist wars.
At a certain point in an age of absurdity the normalization of madness becomes so common that it is almost indiscernible to most in the thick of it. Indeed, late capitalism, the stage which is undoubtedly preceding complete barbarism, has produced an endless stream of absurdities which not only insult the senses of those who possess a conscience and a modicum of critical thinking skills, but can also deliver a fatal injury as we are seeing unfold in real time with tepid or reckless responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consumer society has tried to legitimize itself by making people believe that it represents a sustainable way of living. For those in the First World, all the evidence that a meltdown is coming—the deterioration of the climate, the decline of the biosphere, the diminishing of available resources—has usually existed outside of immediate view. Commercialism and the mass media, which have gained an unprecedented presence in our lives through the digital revolution, have distracted us from these realities while the machine of global capital has continued to run.
Insolvent Wall Street banks have been quietly bailed out again. Banks made risk-free by the government should be public utilities.
When the Dodd Frank Act was passed in 2010, President Obama triumphantly declared, “No more bailouts!” But what the Act actually said was that the next time the banks failed, they would be subject to “bail ins” – the funds of their creditors, including their large depositors, would be tapped to cover their bad loans.
So President Trump, the self-declared business genius, wants to cut off the whole relationship with China and “save America $500 billion a year”. That’s what he told Fox News this week in an interview referring to the US trade deficit with China. The fault of the chronic US trade deficit with China (and much of the world), like that of the Covid-19 crisis in America, is classic 3-D Trump: dissembling, distracting and dealing in guilt-projection.
As the pandemic spread across the world, unprecedented lockdowns followed. Now, as many of those countries are in the early weeks of lifting restrictions, we see signs of what may be the start of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we cannot rule out a second wave of lockdowns.