Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Running on Empty - By Jeff Thomas

 Do not underestimate the power of a dying lion, for he may strike with unimaginable force.”

We’ve grown accustomed to regarding the US as the most powerful country on earth.

Since the end of World War II, it’s been the economic powerhouse that’s dictated terms to the rest of the world. War production created the world’s most modern factories, allowing for a postwar boom in manufacturing goods of every description. The fact that the US held two-thirds of the world’s gold by the end of the war enabled it to dictate that the US dollar would be the default currency for trade.

And later on, the creation of OPEC ensured that all gas and oil would be settled in the petrodollar.

The resultant overwhelming economic power enabled the US to assume the role of the world’s policeman, with a defense budget that equaled that of the next ten most powerful countries combined.

But all that power led the leaders of the US empire to assume that it was omnipotent. In 1971, they went off the gold standard, and over the ensuing decades, the US went from being the world’s largest creditor nation to its largest debtor nation.

The US can no longer produce goods, as its ever-increasing union labour costs have priced it out of the market, even for local consumption. It’s now dependent upon China, Mexico, and other countries for virtually all goods. And yet, the US is threatening those countries with controls.

With help from the FATF and OECD, the US has become an economic ball and chain to the economies of the First World and, to a lesser extent, beyond.

The US is now a hollowed-out empire. By any measure, it’s a goliath that’s likely to fall in the near future.

But recently, the above conditions have been exacerbated to a degree that’s unprecedented in the post-war world.

In March of 2021, the US made the fatal mistake of confiscating privately-held assets of the Russian people. Although this was seen by Americans as just punishment for Russia’s invasion of the Donbas, the rest of the world saw it differently. The leaders of even small countries took note, realizing that the rulebook had just been tossed out the window. If the US could seize foreign privately-owned assets in Russia… they could do it anywhere.

Although almost no one in the US noticed it at the time, more than two-thirds of the world’s countries quietly began to create treaties with China and Russia – seeking to build a new alternative to the robber empire. Although this still appears to be insignificant to Americans, the change has taken place quickly and substantially. Scores of new treaties are now in place, and more are on the way. The world is now “rent in twain.”

Saudi Arabia moved decisively to shift its loyalty to China, along with other OPEC nations, assuring that the petrodollar will soon be no more.

New treaties have been inked to allow the world’s countries to trade in their own countries, bypassing the dollar, assuring that the US dollar as the reserve currency is also on its way out.

An entirely new global paradigm is underway – one that’s not even on the news in the US. Americans are blissfully unaware that their country is now a house of cards, looking for a strong wind.

That strong wind has come up in the Middle East in the form of a war that promises to break the bank of the US. The US pours $830 billion into the Military Industrial Complex annually for weaponry that has been outmoded, in some cases, for decades, while other powers have continued to advance and, today, far outweigh the US militarily.

Add to this the astonishing stupidity of American leaders to choose this time to emasculate their own military. (No matter how supportive a country may be of gay rights, a de-emphasis on masculinity in the armed forces creates a military that no red-blooded man wants to be a part of. The US armed forces are gutted.

Be assured: this is not simply a country experiencing a downturn. It’s an empire in its death throes.

To wit:

  • The most prosperous cities in America are in dramatic decline. Downtown areas are filled with the homeless and the drug-addicted.
  • Those who loot stores are not prosecuted, leading to a crime epidemic that’s closing entire blocks of previously-successful shops.
  • Entire downtown areas are unable to support commerce, leading to an emptying out of cities.
  • Banks are laying off tens of thousands of staff.
  • Competent workers cannot be found. They may have credentials but can’t finish tasks. They maximise sick days and otherwise fail to show up for work.
  • Simple business tasks fail to be performed. Deadlines can’t be met. Retiring older workers cannot be replaced with motivated replacements.
  • Businesses are chronically understaffed – restaurants cannot serve customers; mechanics leave cars unrepaired; trash isn’t removed; flights are cancelled due to airline staff failing to turn up.
  • Most countries recovered from lockdown mode, but in the US, literally millions of people have chosen not to return to the workplace.

Elsewhere in the world, the opposite is occurring. In Asia, in particular, there’s tremendous enthusiasm for new growth. New businesses are being created. Even in “communist” countries like Vietnam, it’s possible to stand on a street corner and see countless peasants setting up shop on the pavement each day: capitalism in the making.

None of this is a random occurrence. Countries have a life cycle. Empires have a life cycle.

The level of prosperity a country achieves at its height is directly proportional to the severity of its eventual collapse. 

The First World, particularly the US, is indeed running on empty and can be expected to go down, literally, in flames. From inside the US, it’s difficult to understand that the remainder of the world began its consolidation and rise eighteen months ago and that the new dominant power is rising rapidly. The non-First world recognizes that this is not the end of the world but a global shift in predominance.

We’re presently witnessing the early stages of the collapse of the world’s greatest empire. That’s difficult to even conceive of, let alone picture. Yet, the early events are unfolding and are in evidence before us. If we bother to read the tea leaves, we’ll see that the larger events are about to play out. It’s entirely possible that, by 2030, we’ll be watching the dust settle on the past empire.

But history advises us that dying empires do not go quietly. In every case, they attempt to hold onto their dying power through warfare. If no war is needed, one is invented. The excuse for the war is unimportant. What matters is that there is conflict sufficient enough to subjugate the people of the empire into sacrificing their rights in favour of their country in its hour of need.

And it’s also true that even a dying power can do massive damage on its way out.

Whether the reader lives in the US, another First World nation, or an outlying nation that’s likely to be less affected by the unfolding conflict, it would be wise to distance oneself from the fray.

A dying lion is a dangerous beast.

Reprinted with permission from International Man.