The Total Corruption of the Regime

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The Great Powers
of the twentieth century were built on the nineteenth century foundation
of far greater freedom of science and capitalism which vastly increased
human material creativity, efficiency, and wealth. Though there
were many local variations, the Great Powers were built by central
governments using those foundation assets to pursue national and
global goals of imperial aggrandizement by building vast bureaucratic
systems to mobilize moral, political, financial and military power.
These growing bureaucratic states were able to continue growing
and amassing wealth and all other forms of power for roughly a century,
though at decreasing rates as the inevitable suffocation of creativity
and efficiency by bureaucracy grew steadily. In the last several
decades, however, the suffocating effects of bureaucracy have grown
more rapidly than the real economies. This led the ever more power-inebriated and hubris-blinded governments and their ever more vast
imperial corporations to use the ancient borrowing, currency inflation
and credit-weakening methods to continue growing in the short run,
though more in official statistics than in reality. These methods
inevitably eroded the incentives of the real economies over the
long run and finally began to produce Great Financial Bubbles and
Crashes that could be overcome in the short run by using more of
the same methods that destroyed the long run prospects of real creativity
and growth. In recent decades these massively centralized, bureaucratized
and inflated states have become totally corrupt at the top and “trickle
down” corruptions of all forms on the
lower depths of society. This in turn has generated soaring distrust,
cynicism, loathing of politics and government and corporations,
social fragmentation and disintegration, and soaring conflicts ranging
from incivility and massive disruptions by “demos” to civil wars
over drugs, gangs,
and much else.

The Soviet
System was the most centralized of the Great Powers, so it moved
through this entire cycle of take-off of government powers to the
great crash far faster than the others have done. The entire Soviet
Empire sped through the cycle in roughly one lifetime of seventy
years (from the time of Stalin's New Economic Policy). The other
“communist” systems were generally less centralized and bureaucratized,
but have all crashed or been held up and increasingly engulfed by
the growth of the more free “underground” economies displacing them,
as is most obvious in China. The European “democratic socialist”
models of centralization and bureaucratization slowed down at an
accelerating rate over decades, then a few decades ago began to
stagnate at an accelerating rate, though Britain partially “freed
up” some segments of the economy and began using more cautious inflationary
policies to grow a bit more.

The U.S. began
centralizing later and did so at a slower pace, with up periods
during its growing wars. The U.S. is only now finishing up the massive
centralization of corporate production in huge bureaucracies, education
in huge education factories trying to meet the Testing Plans of
bureaucratic central planners, and so on. The U.S. also controls
the global currency and has used that vast power to borrow and inflate
at rapidly accelerating rates without suffering massive consumer
price inflation at home (partly because of manipulating the official
statistics on inflation, but
more by “exporting inflation” to nations using the dollar, buying
dollars to keep it high to aid their own exports to the U.S., and
so on).

But by the
1980′s and 1990′s America was a highly socialized, centralized,
bureaucratized state with vast overt and secret police armies, an
immense prison industry for anyone violating the drug import and
pricing dictates, and so on. Almost all informed, intelligent Americans
quickly became aware that their society had become highly corrupt
at the top, though few would admit to themselves that this was now
total, so they became more corrupt themselves to get ahead, while
distrust and loathing of the politicians and government soared.

All of the
Great Powers became Caesarist and imperialist. The politicians were
lured by the lust for power, wealth and glory into ever more militaristic
and exploitative policies. Hubris induced blindness and power-lust
sociopathy combined with the vast centralized control of huge economies
and societies to produce a Century of Warfare and domination ever
more terrible for mankind. The U.S. succumbed early to these vast
temptations
because American power was so vast, but they hid it very carefully
behind the moralistic front of Wilsonian cant about building freedom
and democracy by invading more and more societies and annihilating
more and more nations. However, it was only with the fall of the
Soviet Empire which had been the main competition of the U.S. in
the Great Game of the Century of War, the endless struggle for total
global power, that the U.S. rulers felt an explosion of power lust
and hubris. This led within one decade to the Blatant Imperialism
of Bush II’s Permanent World War and the new explosion of centralization,
bureaucratization, police powers, and military conquest by the U.S.
The Bush Junta vastly increased its Wilsonian agitprop of “freedom
and democracy” aimed at the ignorant lower half of Americans, especially
the fundamentalists, but very few intelligent Americans and almost
no one abroad believed this ridiculous Wilsonian rant.

Caesarism
in Rome totally destroyed the Republic, though the external forms
were kept in place and massively displayed to deceive the ignorant
plebians. But Augustus and later Emperors were able with immense
conflict, bloodshed, sweat and toil to build a Great Empire by conquest,
plunder and taxation. It went through the same kind of dynastic
cycle the Soviets and other highly centralized and bureaucratic
states have done (most notably over and over again in imperial China).
But it did so more slowly and with more ups and downs. And when
the final Crash came over a few centuries it marred all of Western
life for many centuries in the Age of Darkness.

Caesarism
in America was in partial bloom in the little age of JFK hubris,
more in reaction to his humiliating defeats by Khrushchev and the
Soviets and Castro than out of power lust alone. This led to the
insane sinking into the vast quagmire of Vietnam and total U.S.
defeat on a far vaster scale than the Bay of Pigs.

The vast military
build-up of the Reagan years unleashed power lust and hubris even
in the lingering shadow and dread of the Vietnam defeat. I said
at the time in “A Grand Moral Strategy for America” that was the
path to Caesarism. While believing the Soviet System was beginning
to implode, I did not realize how total the rot was and supported
the Reagan build-up as a way of pressuring the Soviets into ruinous
counter build-ups that would help to destroy them sooner. Had I
realized how rapidly they were imploding by the time
I wrote The
Myth of the Welfare State
in the middle 1980′s, I would
have opposed further U.S. build-ups and centralization of wealth
and power because
of the obvious explosion of hubris and Caesarism that was producing
at the top. Bush I’s invasion of Panama completely convinced me
of the grave dangers we now faced. Clinton’s secret wars in the
Muslim World and the vast attack on the Serbians, America’s oldest
and most loyal ally in that whole region, convinced me further.
Bush II’s run for the imperial powers, financed by a vast cabal
of the imperial corporations, led me to believe that the corporatist,
military and police state powers — Fascism — were taking over America
completely, while he publicly began espousing wild-eyed Wilsonian
cant to hide the truth from the ignorant plebians. The attacks on
the U.S. were an obvious “blowback” for what the U.S. has done in
the Muslim World for over fifty years, especially the beginning
of direct garrisoning of Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil states.
Bush immediately seized it as a moralistic pretext for total and
blatant Caesarism. In the past four years the U.S. has annihilated
two nations, secretly invaded many around the world, and quietly
garrisoned the entire Persian Gulf and a growing number of states
in Central Asia and elsewhere.

This vast
explosion of American Caesarism will probably lead to terrible defeats
for the U.S. Empire and extreme “Reforms” at home. The Central Plan
of Cheney, Wolfowitz, et al., was for the U.S. to win easy victories,
use the wealth from those in the oil states (gained by taxing the
Big Oil imperial corporations and by currency powers of the dollar
and the purchase of U.S. equities and securities and political pay-offs
by the Opec Monopolists now captive of the U.S. military) to build
the Empire into The Global American Empire. They had forgotten the
great dangers to this strategy of the guerilla armies that would
oppose it, or, more likely, they were now totally blinded by hubris
and believed they could do anything and everything. They also completely
failed to realize how extreme the world reaction against this blatant
imperialism would be and how totally the intelligent Americans would
see through the vast cloud of Wilsonian propaganda and come to loathe
the perpetrators of these Big Lies.

The American
Global Empire was intended to solve the growing Great Financial
and Economic Crisis of the U.S., the so-called “overstretch.” The
massive growth of the guerilla movements and armies in the Muslim
World and the growing defeat by them in Afghanistan and Iraq are
now vastly exacerbating the Great Financial and Economic Crisis.
The U.S. Empire was already in grave peril because of the stagnating
effects of a century of rapid growth of centralization, bureaucratization,
debt, credit risk, suffocation of creativity and efficiency, decline
of growth and all the effects of these. Now the failing Caesarist
Plan is vastly accelerating the growth of all of those problems.

All of these
major dimensions of America’s Great Global Crisis are now interdependent
with each other, each amplifying the others. The Great Global Crisis
is thus growing very rapidly now.

It is conceivable
that the U.S. will suffer some minor crash and pull back from all
of these disastrous
policies and stabilize
its Empire at a lower
position of global power. I doubt it can be done. The problems are
so interdependent and extreme now that it seems pretty clear that
the System is totally corrupt — “rotten” — at the top, very much
like the Soviet System by the 1980′s. Small crises and crashes are
likely to accelerate into a Great Crash that can only be dealt with
by getting out of The System in some way.

I used to think
we could limp along from one bubble to another for decades. We have
been doing that since the 1980′s, but I now expect the Great Reckoning,
the Great Crash, is getting quite near. There are many possible
triggers out there waiting to be pulled, from a cut-off of oil supplies
in the Persian Gulf to dirty bomb attacks on our cities to a Real
Estate Crash precipitating a general Financial Crash to…

In the 1980′s
I argued in many published works that the U.S. cooperating with
the world, especially with Europe, might have a chance of reversing
this ever more rapid rush into a Great Crisis that would eventually
produce a Great Crash, protracted depression and massive conflicts.
The American people and the corrupt leaders, aided and abetted by
many of those in other once-great powers, blindly rushed ever faster
into the vortex of the growing crisis. I believe we are now in a
Great Crisis that cannot be resolved by any means within the System
and must run its course to a Great Crash followed by massive conflicts
and protracted suffering. We are now lurching wildly from one crisis
to another, all within the general context of a Great moral, political,
financial and military Crisis. As this Great Crisis grows ever worse,
many attempts to Reform the System will be made, but will fail.
Not being blinded by hubris, I know I could be wrong and that no
one can predict in any detail the specific course of the Crisis
or the Crash. I always support any Real Reform that seems to have
any hope of being tried — and hope it will prove me totally wrong.
All of these attempts at Reform have been killed by the totally
corrupt rulers of the Fascist Global System that now engulfs us.
None have even been tried. The Central Planners of Money have been
wildly, desperately “pump-priming” global economies with vast increases
in the money supplies and destruction of real creditworthiness to
stop the plunge of our major economies and the Great

Crash that
would produce. We are lurching from one Big Bubble to another. There
is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel.

In a time
of Great Troubles, as ancients called these periods of rapid plunge
into Great Crises in their days, reasonable people try to insulate
themselves
as much as possible from the System, they are very cautious, watching
for signs of danger to run for higher ground or any possibly safe
island. They remain liquid and ready to run. They avoid getting
caught up in the awful power struggles that lead to destruction
for the vast majority of the cannon fodder and bureaucratic flaks
who serve the war lords and sophistic politicians. They build and
tend their Taoist Gardens and try to live fulfilling lives as untouched
by the Empires as possible. I retreated into
my Garden long ago and only wish it were a more Secret Garden.

 

December
19, 2005

Jack
D. Douglas [send him mail]
is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California
at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human
beings, most notably The
Myth of the Welfare State
.

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