The 9/11 Bookends: Autumn of the U.S. Empire

Twenty years ago, the U.S. Empire was humiliated by the 9/11 attacks. This 9/11 we are humiliated by the Afghan rout. So much for the U.S. Empire.

The whole point of the 9/11 Heroes and the Thirteen that died recently in Afghanistan is that they did not die in vain: rather, that they died so that we might live. That is the fundamental meaning of the fact that young men are expendable: it is okay only if their sacrifice was not in vain. There is a corollary: any ruling class that sacrifices the lives of its young men for nothing usually finds out that it is not long for this world.

Rather obviously, those brave 9/11 men died for nothing. And therefore, I would say to our noble rulers: be afraid; be very afraid.

(No, FBI and all the rest of the 17 intelligence agencies and all the ships at sea. I am not calling for an “armed insurrection” or whatever your noble masters will call it next week. You silly boys and girls.)

But I want to ask a bigger question today. What exactly was the point of the Glorious U.S. Empire? Let’s leave aside the schoolboy prank of the Spanish-American War. What exactly was the point, President Wilson -- noble and educated president of Princeton -- of getting the U.S. into World War I? Imagine if we’d let the bloody Brits and Krauts and Frogs fight to a standstill. All their ruling classes would have been properly humiliated and, maybe, the world would have been a better place.

Instead, you educated evolved ones in 1919 dictated a Carthaginian peace on the Germans and provoked a young German veteran into a dream of a millennial German empire in which all German speakers would be united in one nation. Of course, they would have to conquer some land to the east so they could grow all their own food.

Earth to Adolf: if the Germans invented modern philosophy, and modern physics, and modern chemistry, and the automobile and modern psychology and the Mittelstand of specialist manufacturing, what did you guys need food-growing land for? You could buy the food you needed from the Russkies for pfennigs on the Reichsmark.

Same for China. What do you need a Belt and Road empire for?

See, I think that the Age of Empires is over. It was over the day in 1820 that the Brits in India discovered that the people in India didn’t like them. Why is it over? Because real imperialists don’t care whether the natives like them; they don’t care that the women are all child brides and must wear burkas. They just beat ‘em up until they cry Uncle.

So much for our ruling class and their silly American empire. But they have another silly conceit, that they are noble moralists sent to a fallen world to bend it towards justice using the blunt instrument of politics.

Obviously, that conceit is reaching its sell-by date as its minions are being taught to believe, with MMT, that printing money doesn’t matter.

Earth to liberals: governments do money-printer-go-brrrrrr when they need to distribute loot and plunder to their supporters in excess of what the economy will bear. As apparently the Democrats in Congress are doing right now.

Just as empires are loot and plunder on an imperial scale, so national politics is loot and plunder on a domestic scale. But why are we looting our fellow countrymen and women? Oh, of course, because oppressed people and white oppressors. But what happens when you’ve finished looting and plundering the evil white-oppressor Trump supporters and wrecked the economy? What’s left for the oppressed peoples then? I mean, you can’t go on and plunder @jack and the Zuck. Dear me, no. There is, after all, honor among thieves, and it was their loyal flagging of “disinformation” and “extremism” and their “fact-checking” and their Twitter mobs that helped defeat the divisive Trump and rout the vile racist-sexist-homophobes out of the public square.

Actually, money-printer-go-brrrrrr won’t devastate the Trumpists as much as the oppressed peoples that are the clients of the Democrats. It is they that rely most of all on the continued functioning of the loot-and-plunder welfare state. Ask the folk in the favelas of Caracas, Venezuela, how that is working out.

I say that the current Dem spend-until-you-see-the-whites-of-their-eyes frenzy is the last hurrah of the Age of Politics. Call it The Autumn of the Political Ages.

Because just as the conceit of the modern global empire that cares got its comeuppance in Afghanistan, so the conceit of the modern educated elite and its loot-and-plunder welfare state that cares about the oppressed peoples is heading for the waterfall.

Rulers do not care about The People. They only care about their power and their status.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Image: Puck

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.