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Thread: The Three Stages of Empire

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    The Three Stages of Empire

    The Three Stages of Empire
    By Charles Hugh Smith

    September 22, 2016
    I consider it self-evident that we are in the third and final stage of self-serving Imperial decay.

    Though Edward Luttwak’s The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third is not specifically on the rise and fall of empires, it does sketch out the three stages of Empire.

    Here is the current context of the discussion of Imperial life cycles: the U.S. defense budget is roughly the same size as the rest of the world’s defense spending combined:



    Luttwak describes the first stage of expansion thusly:
    “With brutal simplicity, it might be said that with the first system the Romans of the republic conquered much to serve the interests of the few, those living in the city–and in fact still fewer, those best placed to control policy.”

    The second stage spread the benefits of Empire much more broadly:
    “During the first century A.D., Roman ideas evolved toward a much broader and altogether more benevolent conception of empire… men born in lands far from Rome could call themselves Roman and have their claim fully allowed, and the frontiers were efficiently defended to defend the growing prosperity of all, and not merely the privileged.”

    The third stage is one of rising inequality:
    “In the wake of the great crisis of the third century, the provision of security became an increasingly heavy charge on society, a charge unevenly distributed, which could enrich the wealthy and ruin the poor. The machinery of empire now became increasingly self-serving, with its tax collectors, administrators and soldiers of much greater use to one another than to society at large.“

    Are we there, yet?
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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    Administrator Ross's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Fredkc View Post
    Are we there, yet?
    If not, then damn close Fred.

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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    Something about that graph that just screams, "Ridiculous!"
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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    Administrator Harley's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire



    Quote Originally Posted by Fredkc View Post
    Something about that graph that just screams, "Ridiculous!"
    Oh I dunno why Fred. Maybe the US is just worried that the rest of the world is going to turn against them?

    Just can't imagine why.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    House Panel: $1 Trillion Needed to Reboot Military

    Stars and Stripes | Sep 22, 2016

    [Be sure to pay attention to the caption below]


    WASHINGTON — The ongoing fight in Congress over an $18-billion hike in military spending for 2017 has stalled the budget, but it might be small potatoes.

    The price tag to rehabilitate the military after about 15 years of war and relentless overseas operations would be about $1 trillion over a decade, according to the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee.

    The committee is spearheading the $18-billion annual increase for more equipment, training and troops. But it is facing a tough political fight with the Senate and Democrats, who oppose busting defense spending caps and raiding the Islamic State war fund to pay for the hike.

    A $1 trillion increase would require obliterating spending limits passed by Congress and doling out an average of an additional $100 billion each year on the military through 2027.

    Such an increase appears highly unlikely on Capitol Hill where budget gridlock and stop-gap legislative solutions have become normal. It foreshadows the hard political fight ahead for Republican defense hawks who want more money for a military that they say is depleted, inexperienced and unready for war with major world powers such as Russia and China.

    "We think the number is $100 billion a year … and you'd need that for more than a decade to put the military back on its feet," said Bob Simmons, the staff director for the House Armed Services Committee, which plays a lead role in setting defense policy and spending.

    Rest of the story

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Harley

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    Senior Member Adam Bomm's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    This is crazy...the next step of the argument will be because Democrats (Obama) have done such a pitiful job of not waging war that all efforts by the right to destabilize the world's state of security have been effective and now the U.S. has to spend a trillion dollars to keep the cycle going. This is the problem stated by Thomas Barnett, the military powers that be (Pentagon style) don't have a clue. Many would argue that they have every clue and the hidden truth is either the Zionists or the World hegemonists, or the Illuminati, or the Reptilians, or the Military Industrial Complex, or Dr. Strangelove, or ... are driving the show. (At this point, I can't really say that tongue-in-cheek).

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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley View Post
    A $1 trillion increase would require obliterating spending limits passed by Congress and doling out an average of an additional $100 billion each year on the military through 2027.
    These guys are Friggin' delusional!!

    They just pissed away $5 Trillion on a war that yielded us nothing, but more enemies. Based on a LIE!!

    In the last 10 years, they have LOST $6 Trillion dollars, on top of that, they didn't even bother to go looking for....

    And they want more. Ha!

    Here's my idea.
    a permanent 40% reduction in defense spending. Take 20% of that, and dedicate it to the Veteran's Administration, for medical treatment, and other support of our wounded Vets (this would amount to about $56 Billion, annually), until such time as there is no one waiting in line for treatment.

    This cap to remain in effect until such time as we are either invaded, or bombed by an identifiable country, AND a formal declaration of war is obtained.

    Meanwhile, the military Industrial Complex, can spend their time inventing us some real dandy new shovels.
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    I mid-July, Doug Casey wrote a good 2-part thing on this very subject.

    Here's a snip from part 1. (link to part 2, at end of part 1).

    Decline of Empire: Parallels Between the U.S. and Rome
    Part I
    By Doug Casey
    July 15, 2016

    As some of you know, I’m an aficionado of ancient history. I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss what happened to Rome and based on that, what’s likely to happen to the U.S. Spoiler alert: There are some similarities between the U.S. and Rome.

    But before continuing, please seat yourself comfortably. This article will necessarily cover exactly those things you’re never supposed to talk about—religion and politics—and do what you’re never supposed to do, namely, bad-mouth the military.

    There are good reasons for looking to Rome rather than any other civilization when trying to see where the U.S. is headed. Everyone knows Rome declined, but few people understand why. And, I think, even fewer realize that the U.S. is now well along the same path for pretty much the same reasons, which I’ll explore shortly.

    Rome reached its peak of military power around the year 107, when Trajan completed the conquest of Dacia (the territory of modern Romania). With Dacia, the empire peaked in size, but I’d argue it was already past its peak by almost every other measure.

    The U.S. reached its peak relative to the world, and in some ways its absolute peak, as early as the 1950s. In 1950 this country produced 50% of the world’s GNP and 80% of its vehicles. Now it’s about 21% of world GNP and 5% of its vehicles. It owned two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves; now it holds one-fourth. It was, by a huge margin, the world’s biggest creditor, whereas now it’s the biggest debtor by a huge margin. The income of the average American was by far the highest in the world; today it ranks about eighth, and it’s slipping.

    But it’s not just the U.S.—it’s Western civilization that’s in decline.

    Like America, Rome was founded by refugees—from Troy, at least in myth. Like America, it was ruled by kings in its early history. Later, Romans became self-governing, with several Assemblies and a Senate. Later still, power devolved to the executive, which was likely not an accident.

    U.S. founders modeled the country on Rome, all the way down to the architecture of government buildings, the use of the eagle as the national bird, the use of Latin mottos, and the unfortunate use of the fasces—the axe surrounded by rods—as a symbol of state power. Publius, the pseudonymous author of The Federalist Papers, took his name from one of Rome’s first consuls. As it was in Rome, military prowess is at the center of the national identity of the U.S. When you adopt a model in earnest, you grow to resemble it.

    A considerable cottage industry has developed comparing ancient and modern times since Edward Gibbon published The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776—the same year as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and the U.S. Declaration of Independence were written. I’m a big fan of all three, but D&F is not only a great history, it’s very elegant and readable literature. And it’s actually a laugh riot; Gibbon had a subtle wit.

    Rest at: Link.
    Last edited by Fredkc; 09-23-2016 at 10:50 AM.
    "Life IS mystical! Its just that we're used to it." - Wolf, the movie
    "Dad, if God is everywhere then, when he's in a piece of paper, is he squished?" - My daughter, age 7

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    Senior Member Zook_e_Pi's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Bomm View Post
    This is crazy...the next step of the argument will be because Democrats (Obama) have done such a pitiful job of not waging war that all efforts by the right to destabilize the world's state of security have been effective and now the U.S. has to spend a trillion dollars to keep the cycle going. This is the problem stated by Thomas Barnett, the military powers that be (Pentagon style) don't have a clue. Many would argue that they have every clue and the hidden truth is either the Zionists or the World hegemonists, or the Illuminati, or the Reptilians, or the Military Industrial Complex, or Dr. Strangelove, or ... are driving the show. (At this point, I can't really say that tongue-in-cheek).
    Nope, disinformation is never said with tongue-in-cheek. It's a rutabaga calculation tossing in Reptilians and Dr. Strangelove ... into the mix with hegemonists, Zionists, Illuminati, and the Mickey complex.

    David Icke loses some credibility with his (calculated??) allusion to Reptilians, although much of what he reveals are truths. If we possess enough discernment, e.g. an ability to separate the chaff from the wheat, even Icke can be a source of good information.

    Rutabagas have their paid function. Not unlike the stoker that once kept the fire burning on the smoking horse, rutabagas keep the uncertainty rolling by shoveling chaff back into the sifted wheat.


    Pax

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    Senior Member Fred Steeves's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    Quote Originally Posted by Zook_e_Pi View Post
    If we possess enough discernment, e.g. an ability to separate the chaff from the wheat, even Icke can be a source of good information.

    Funny, I was just thinking about that yesterday. A practiced skill that can never be refined enough.


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    Senior Member Adam Bomm's Avatar
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    Re: The Three Stages of Empire

    That's not disinformation...that's code. In order for something to be disinformation there has to be information imparted. There is none in this example, unless we presume that whom ever is the target is fully versed in what 7 dots on a diagonal line means. It would have bypassed me without all the additional dots.

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