Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama and Empire

Carpetbagger has a post about loony Chavez and his belief that Obama has "the same stench" as Bush, and that, even if Obama would want to end our ambitions for Empire, the Powers That Be would assassinate him if he tried.  And for as crazy as that sounds, too many liberal commenters there seem to be in agreement with that, arguing that there isn't even anything controversial about what Chavez said.  That Obama is a puppet to these unnamed powers is beyond doubt.

But I have seriously doubts about this.  Because, first off, the very idea of "Empire" is just stupid.  It's akin to Dr. Evil in Austin Powers demanding "one million dollars" as extortion for not carrying out his evil plans.  While he was in deep freeze, his organization became far more powerful by going legit and becoming an international conglomerate.  And so the idea of him using "evil" to gain power was a joke and he was just a relic of a time long since gone.  Rather than increasing his power, his evil plans only hurt his organization.

And in that vein, what's the point of "Empire" exactly?  Whose empire?  And what is "American might" to Exxon or Halliburton or Yum! Brands?  McDonald's isn't winning one for the team when they set up in Russia.  Disney isn't in Vietnam so that America can expand their empire.  These are international companies that are in it for the money.  They're not establishing Empire.  They're going where the dough is and have about as much loyalty to America as they do to good taste.  So what empire could we possibly be establishing?

Powerful Bozos and Their Dinosaur Lackeys

And sure, there are people who have Empire on the brain.  But these dopes are relics of the past and, if anything, are merely being used by the international powerbrokers.  These jerks are mental midgets who somehow imagine that the world is their Risk board and if they roll the dice right, they'll finally conquer Asia.  Because we've seen repeatedly that their old school strong-arm tactics always backfire, and that you get much better results with honey than with vinegar.  

Visions of Empire might inspire these romantic dinosaurs, but their methods rarely worked in the 20th century and only become more counter-productive every year.  And for as much as America was able to establish it's international supremacy after WWII, it was usually in spite of our military might; not because of it.  It was freedom that won the cold war, strongly aided by a corrupt and crumbling Soviet system; not our military.  And while the Cold Warriors fought vigorously for stalemate; the Power of Greed swallowed opponents unabated, now allowing Disney to establish footholds in countries that our armies never could.

And as much as these real world Dr. Evils have power, it's only the power that the real powerbrokers give them; and it's not for Empire.  It's for tax cuts.  For monopoly.  And no-bid contracts.  And easy money.  And no oversight.  And for ripping people off.  But there's no Empire on the horizon.  It's all just a Get Rich Quick scheme by people with power who realize that bozos like Cheney are the way of getting more.

Short-Term Power Players

And even then, the powerbrokers are hardly the evil masterminds they're portrayed to be.  Rather, they're short-term thinkers whose top concern is meeting their quarterly sales projections and increasing the value of their stock options.  Clever morons who imagine they've discovered the New Gold because they could make billions repackaging crap loans and leveraging them endlessly.  And were it not for the idiot dinosaurs in the GOP with their childish dreams of Empire, these powerbrokers would be dead broke and on the streets.  

Their empire is crumbling around them and their only solution is to have their friends in Washington bail them out.  That's what they pay the big bucks for, to make sure they can buy immunity from the free-markets that would crush them in a fair fight.  Warren Buffet is considered a financial genius merely because he knows how to apply his money towards long-term goals.  The rest of these bozos are just following the herd and cheating when they can.  And again, were it not for their lackeys in Congress, these dummies could never have gotten away with what they did.  That's what they're buying; not Empire.

And so who are these all-powerful shadow figures who will assassinate Obama if he doesn't create more enemies for us to hate?  I honestly can't imagine.  Particularly as the only folks who require us to have an enemy are Republicans, and they do that to win elections; not to establish Empire.  Because establishing enemies doesn't help us build Empire at all, but rather the opposite.  It holds us back and makes more countries hate us.  The very tools used to establish Empire are what prevent it from happening.

And even worse towards this conspiracy theory, this hurts the international conglomerates with the real power.  Having more enemies hurts sales for KFC and Starbucks.  Demonizing Iran and Chavez might help rally the Republican base, but it's not doing these companies any favors.  And so for Obama to continue with our supposed plans for Empire would not only hurt him politically, but also hurt our business interests.  

The only business interests aided by war are the weapons people and oil companies, and they do so to the detriment of all our other businesses.  But that's not Empire they want.  Just conflict.  And those aren't the same things.  But even these companies are fading dinosaurs who would become powerless if Obama makes the smart choices.  Don't underestimate the power of Yum!

The Super Kewl Liberals

And so what is with the liberal belief in our aspirations for Empire?  I believe it comes from these people wanting to be too cool for politics.  They're far too savvy and cynical to ever imagine that Obama could change anything.  They're in the know.  They've got the inside scoop.  And if you don't see how the Empire people are keeping us all down and controlling everything, well then you're just a naive goof who isn't paying attention. 

And that's what it's all about.  It's about having a shadowy foe keeping us down.  It's about having an excuse to abstain from day-to-day politics or believing that we can make a difference.  And it's about being In The Know.  These people read a book or two that confirms their worst suspicions, and now they're smarter than everyone else.  And in that regards, they're really no different from the Republican enemy-mongers.  These people require a common foe to keep them together.  And they refuse to allow Obama's victory to dampen their animosity, any more than Republicans will allow Obama's nice guy overtures dampen theirs.  Fear of Empire is Big Business for these people and they want to keep it that way.

Sure, all the pieces are right in front of us and point to a contrary explanation, as the idiocy of our elite bankers is exposed and dopes like Cheney show what impotent imbeciles they really were.  And international conglomerates are proving that even the commies in China and Vietnam will eventually succumb to the siren song of the easy green; thereby negating the whole need of taking Empire the hard way.  But no, it's much easier to attribute everything to a shadowy cabal keeping us down than to admit that life is complex and none of the answers come easy.

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