Wednesday, August 18, 2010

American Empire and the New World Order

Editor's NOTE:

I am extremely pleased to be able to publish this essay by Dr. Joel Clarke Gibbons a scholar of the first order, author and private business entrepreneur. Dr. Gibbons earned double doctorates in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University respectively. His latest book entitled: The Empire Strikes a Match in a World Full of Oil is an excellent read and can be obtained through HERE.... I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers of this blog.

While Dr. Gibbons and I disagree on some matters, in the main I concur with his thoughts on American Imperialism and the increasingly officious domestic US police state.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

Rethinking the New World Order

By: Dr. Joel Clarke Gibbons, PhD Economics (University of Chicago), PhD Mathematics (Northwestern U.)
Logistics Research and Trading Co. at
Saint Joseph, Michigan, 49085
August 17, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts writes HERE... of the dangerous overextension of American military might and of its cost. A large coterie of observers who write from many different vantage points – former C.I.A. advisors, retired military men, and journalists from around the world – make the same case. When we understand the depth of this dangerous program and its cause, we can judge fully the danger and also perhaps begin to formulate a preferable alternative. The American enterprise that goes popularly by the name New World Order – but also known more darkly as the Empire – has grown in our midst without being properly understood.

A short excursion in a most bizarre bit of economic policy serves to put the matter in perspective. For many years now – I don’t know exactly when this began but figure something like twenty to twenty-five years ago – our Export-Import Bank has laid out billions of dollars to promote a rather surprising program: a program to maximize imports! Any manufacturer of goods in America could arrange to have his goods made anywhere else. He would them buy them from the foreign manufacturer and become their distributor in America, and the Ex-Im Bank would make it happen. Specifically, the foreign manufacturer would have to put up ten per cent of the investment capital to get up and running, and the Ex-Im Bank would lend the new joint venture the other ninety per cent of the required capital. It was shall we say, not unheard of that the silent partner in the new venture would happen to be perhaps the vice president of the benefiting country. The foreign partner would have its risk removed by virtue of a long term purchase agreement from the American manufacturer/distributor. Why would we pay well connected foreign capitalists to take our industries away from us?

Let me introduce you to a new class of persons: Citizens of the Empire. They come from every nation, though not from every condition of life. They come from the elite of every nation, and their loyalty is owed to that empire. As the saying goes, “Where their treasure is, there also will their heart be.” They are by no means all foreign born of course. Americans are not so foolish or so self-sacrificing as to provide this cushy status only to others. By far the largest number are Americans, Americans who work in a few fields of utility to the empire, and most notably on Wall Street. One thing is certain: they don’t make anything. Their motto is “We think; they sweat.” In writing this I do not want to diminish their work. This worldwide economic system, this “empire,” is in its way a brilliant innovation, and it has certainly served its citizens very well while it has also served the rest of us rather well too. We live extraordinarily well even when we have to pay our children’s college tuition ourselves. Never has the world been so prosperous because never have the productive capacities of the peoples of the world been so effectively harnessed in the service of all. We have opened the whole world and it has opened before us like a beautiful flower. Not only trade, but tourism and resettlement bespeak a world without borders. So while the world of economic affairs is by conventional standards quite bizarre, it works in surprising ways.

At the same time, it visibly does not work, in rather more conventional ways. It has bequeathed an America military burden that is totally unsustainable. Endless acreage of overseas military bases, endless wars, echoing whispers warning of hidden enemies lurking in every airport and even here at home. Countless spy cameras peering down on seemingly innocent shopping malls and street corners. Above all, endless mistrust and fear. There is something fundamentally inconsistent about this kind of empire. Something that pretends to defy the simple laws of something: economics? Sociology and anthropology? Human nature? The empire has triggered forces of unknown magnitude that we think are being kept at bay, but only at a cost that we cannot continue to pay indefinitely. The more smoothly and efficiently the empire functions, it seems, the more people hate it and us. More to the point, the more people seem willing to strap on bombs to kill their equally poor neighbors just to spite us.

We know that our eight-hundred-something foreign military installations cost too much and make too many enemies. If this empire is really to be the great benefactor of the world, why does it survive only at the point of a bayonet? It seems rather implausible that it would be the rather backward foreign workers who have at last gotten work in a factory or workshop somewhere who are the enemies of this empire. Compared with their former station, they are among the greatest beneficiaries. Human nature being what it is, it is hardly surprising that there are going to be malcontents and rabble-rousers and opportunists who want a bigger slice than chance has apportioned to them. At worst however they would be a police problem. After all, we have our bank robbers too. Above all, at worst they would be a local problem to be dealt with by local police and courts. What are our soldiers, and German soldiers and Italian soldiers, doing policing their streets and rounding up – or simply immolating – their miscreants? What are our drones doing patrolling their skies? An army has only one job: to confront and defeat other armies. Defeating the public is never a military mission, and that truth cuts across not only military practicality but natural law and rights as well.

What seems hard to fathom is how is it that anyone, anyone at all, could have become so deluded as to think that defeating civilians could ever be a military mission. It is at this point that we confront the logic of this empire: the steel underneath the velvet glove as it were. As it is presently constituted, the empire is Our empire. We built it and we run it. There are other centers of power who, while by no means hostile to the benefits that the world without borders provides, would rather it not be ours. Whether they dream of replacing us, or merely of sharing it with us is a mystery, but above all they don’t want it to be Ours. Any large and advanced country would naturally see things that way: Russia, China, India, perhaps Brazil. Let’s say that they just want to share. We don’t want to share. I think I speak for the American people in that matter, though quite obviously I do not actually speak for myself. It is not in some narrow sense a cost of the new world order that is too high; it is the cost of attempting to monopolize it that is too high. The very same empowerment of people all over the world, or drawing them into our technological civilization, that accelerates their development and makes more serious competitors. As but one little example, the day is not far off when China will be the source of computer chips to rival Intel Corp, and computers based on them to rival Microsoft. Russia has always had its own designs, and only their lack of infrastructure for mass production of both hardware and software have kept their computers of our shelves.

We find ourselves the greatest beneficiaries of a unified world, but a world that is also becoming, or seen as becoming, a growing threat to our hegemony. We are, in a word, in precisely the situation that the Athens of long ago, the Athens of Pericles and Socrates, found herself in. Master of the seas at that time; with trading outposts stretching from the Spanish coast to the Crimea and the eastern shores of the Black Sea, but gripped with fear that this all of this could be taken away at any time. The fall of Athens is now understood to have been not a murder but a suicide. Murdered by fear.

There are too many other powers for us to control even with ten times our number of bases. In fact, the bases have long since become counterproductive because their expense is draining our wealth. Our defensive actions are not limited to arms and wars. We have pursued a program of reducing the population of the world, especially the poorest parts of the world, by “family planning.” Why is it that this new world order, this great engine of advancement of every sort, this world without borders, should require eliminating the people it benefits – why does it not work better the more people it benefits? This is also a fundamental contradiction.

More recently another presumed inherent limitation has been advanced: it is supposed to be some sort of threat to the climate of the whole planet, of such great extent that fundamental freedoms must be surrendered to Save us from ourselves. The exposure of the scientific hoax of “global warming” perpetrated by a small coterie of ambitious climatologists and exploited by cunning and unprincipled political leaders is warning enough of this contradiction. (Editor's NOTE: Dr. Gibbons and I apparently disagree on the issue of climate change) In summary, whether it is because the new world order has enabled our rivals to gain the technological and economic tools to challenge us, or has enabled the poor of the Earth to outnumber us, or has enabled all of us to suffocate us – the story goes – the order cannot continue. This is the greatest contradiction: that our success is killing us.

Well, it is a contradiction. Our success is not our enemy. Neither foreign powers nor abundant foreign peasants nor foreign SUVs are plotting our ruin. If that is not our fate, what is the alternative? Two principles have to be accepted. The first is that this is a multipolar world. It is already a multipolar world even though no single rival can challenge us. If we want this to be Our empire we will have to fight for it, but it is a fight that will destroy the very way of life we would be fighting to preserve. The other principle is that, since we will not be empowered to make the laws and impose them, everyone including us will need to submit to a true Rule of Law in which all are equal before the law. This law is not just an ephemera. It needs courts and administrators of justice, just as our courts do now. I can think of few greater services that our leaders and legal experts could offer the new world order than to actually deliver the legal framework for keeping order.

To contact Joel Clarke Gibbons, E-mail him at: