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Enter the Empire

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Comfort and Masquerades

The wealthiest nation-state the world has ever seen has for the last sixty years been standing atop the upper crust of humankind, basking in the splendor of unfathomable richness, enjoying unprecedented standards of living, accumulating power and control at tremendous speed and becoming, at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants, the latest incarnation of Rome. America, that city on a hill, from where modern man’s guiding light emanates, that nation anointed by man’s imaginary deity, has, since the end of World War II, become the most powerful nation humankind has ever produced.

Today, 300 million people live inside its borders, enjoying levels of comfort and luxury never before seen. America has for the last two centuries become the nation whose attractiveness has become a magnet to millions upon millions of immigrants from all corners of the globe. No other nation on Earth has the wealth of the United States, and only a few countries come close to matching its immense power. It is this enormous wealth and comfort, leaps beyond that of most nations, along with myriad number of freedoms and rights for decades granted its people, that compel humans everywhere to try to migrate inside its borders.

Indeed, while most people of the world, billions strong, still struggle to subsist and survive on a daily basis, scrapping to eat, clothe and house themselves, living in shantytowns and slums and shacks and ghettos and cardboard huts, lacking the basic infrastructure and investments for adequate living, most citizens of the new Rome face no such hurdles or difficulties. To the millions residing inside the bowels of the Empire, the obstacles, anxieties and problems facing billions never become an issue or a reality that must be confronted on a personal and daily basis. Indeed, the gap between Americans’ standards of living and that of most of the world’s people is enormous to the point of absurdity.

Most Americans do not go hungry, they do not subsist on two or five dollars a day, or anywhere close to that, having to toil in sweatshops or relying for food on the scavenger techniques of family members combing through a landfill. They do not have to combat embedded corruption or the complete looting of their treasure. Americans have not had to live in tyranny, in dictatorship, in despotism, having to suffer the consequences of turmoil, of disease, mass drought and internal strife. They have not had to suffer through insecurity, war, and state sanctioned rape and murder.

Americans enjoy liberties, freedoms and rights that few peoples are allowed to possess in their native lands. In fact, it is those nation-states that are under the grip of America, those with puppet regimes loyal to the Empire and not their people, that paradoxically are prevented from enjoying the freedoms and rights and liberties that the Empire bestows upon its populace. It is those American sponsored dictators, royalty and puppet politicians that are often cited for fostering and nurturing the worst violations of human rights. It is in those foreign lands dominated by America where one is likely to find that democracy is non-existent and the rights of the people easily expendable.

Yet, it is those freedoms that Americans take for granted that are in many instances denied to billions, and it is those rights strongly desired by billions that are presently being eroded in America by the indifference of millions. For, in reality, the Empire has rarely, if ever, cared for the rights and freedoms of the peoples of the world, though to hear her words would be to believe the opposite. Actions, however, speak louder than words. And in her actions, the Empire has shown an indifference to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for billions of human beings. This truth can be seen in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where for years billions of people have been held captive – much to their detriment and suffering – to America and her puppets and proctors.

To the elite that control the Empire, the principles of the American Constitution and Bill of Rights are but a hollow illusion designed to wet the pants of human beings everywhere, especially to the citizens of the Empire itself. Like much of what America stands for, with its glazed and revisionist history, its self-created exceptionalism, its fictional values and beliefs, these documents are but a myth used as a tool to pacify and retain a compliant people. By offering the necessary amount of freedoms and rights, by allowing us to have liberties we demand, the elite placate the fire within us, containing a populace that is better controlled through calmness than by anger and animosity. Content with our conditioned illusions and myths, our belief that we live in the greatest nation the world has ever seen, we are less likely to stir trouble, even as the Empire decimates and subjugates the planet.

There is no doubt that those living inside the belly of the Empire have a much better life than most human beings, yet it is also true that because of this comfort level, because of our high standards of living, we are less likely to rise in anger or frustration. We are less likely to question the state or its elite, thereby helping to maintain a status quo where the powerful are free to grow in power not only over the rest of the world, but over us as well. Because we live in adequate comfort, with few worries of survival or fears of entering perpetual indigence, we are less likely to demand change or confront the criminality of leaders.

Indeed, the genius behind our silent passivity, our indifference to confront wrongdoing, our inability to detect what is being done to us, is in the elite giving us a bigger piece of the pie than has ever been given the masses. The elite of the Empire has found that by granting us slightly larger crumbs, bones and scraps than before, by willing to forego slight sums of change, the masses can be more easily directed and controlled. By giving us what amounts to a comfortable lifestyle, beyond the realm of squalor and subsistence, under the illusion that we own our own destiny, that we are not serfs or slaves to the system, the elite have discovered a formula that in essence is the gift that keeps on giving.

Not only do the masses remain passive and quiet, not only do they obey commands better and become more acquiescent to the dictates of the elite, they also become even bigger cogs in the system itself, becoming the spark plugs of Empire, the automatons of capitalism, consuming and producing, producing and consuming, returning all wages earned back to their masters, all for a little extra comfort, a little extra ego boosting. The elite formula for success is thus an attack on our human need to live in comfort, in attacking our inability to control our vices such as greed, gluttony and the desire to continue accumulating material wealth.

Thanks to the extra crumbs, bones and scraps given to us the elite are better able to unleash the machinations of the system upon our unsuspecting masses. Together with the continued and purposeful dumbing down of America’s youth and the incessant manipulation of our minds through television, the comfort level we have today – though never before attained by human beings – has created a populace slow to wake and slower still to question.

The genius of all three mechanisms mentioned above, intertwined and fused together like a new strand of mutated DNA, is that the modern day version of Rome is free to do as it pleases, both domestically and abroad, without suffering the repercussions and animosity of its citizens. With its most potent enemy – the people themselves – contained and in check, free of anger and the flames of dissent, the elite at the helm of the Empire can stay the course well into the future, heading straight to long-planned goals of continued exploitation, subjugation and control over billions of human beings.

Thus can be seen in this present incarnation of Empire building that, unlike most nations, domestic disturbance, protest and dissent in America remains a controllable nuisance bearing no threat to the system. Compliant and obedient, the American people have little to complain about, certainly no grievances to bear or demands to be made, unlike so many billions of human beings who take to the streets in united anger and resentment, their flames still lit passionately with the call of injustice or the shout of corruption. In many parts of the world, taking to the streets to demand change remains a power not yet extinguished. In America, this power of the people has for all intents and purposes been made obsolete, with the fire of protest and dissent now extinguished by a flame-retardant called greed, gluttony and the pursuit of materialistic comfort.

Empire Addicted, People Castrated

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Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, as well as at other alternative (more...)
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