Sunday, January 17, 2016

Arrows, Ants, and Rocks: The Rise and Fall of Empires

Arrows, Ants, and Rocks makes the compelling case that empires rise and fall because of circumstances, which is why polka music is so popular in Mexico: the proximity of great herds of bellows-peccaries in the 1300s led to the development of the chromatic accordion, spawning a polka boom the traces of which can still be heard in day laborers' musical choices today. This is also why Africa is known as the breadbasket of the world, and why the aptly-named "Silicon Valley" gradually arose along the perimeter of the massive sand mines in southern California. Indeed, the "Manifest Destiny" and westward expansion of what would become the United States of America was only made possible due to the outbreak of the felinus pinnacus strain of influenza, which eliminated the millions of well-organized western mountain lions who had before then been able to prevent Indigenous Peoples from building permanent settlements or employing carpentry or wheels.

This argument does have some critics, though, as hard as it may be to believe. Conflicting theories to this model have been proposed by horoscopic astrologists such as Sir John Glubb, a celebrated Hindu astrologer of the twentieth century, who argued in his The Fate of Empires that civilizations rise and fall based upon the cyclical rhythm of the universe. This divine plan is all-encompassing, overwhelming the thoughts and behaviors of many millions of people and rendering free will obsolete. As Pan Galactic Blogger puts it:
Stage I: Outburst. This stage is the pioneer stage. As Glubb states... over and over again in history we see a small native people exploding and conquering large land masses. To many this will make them think of Manifest Destiny and the western expansion but to my own eye.. the out burst was the Revolutionary War. Before the war the colonies were insignificant on the world stage. The defeat of the English. It is after all called the Shot Heard Round the World for a reason.

Stage II: Age of Conquest: This stage we see the great expansion. This is where to me, manifest destiny comes in. Old weapons are mastered and improved... new weapons are invented.. and massive lands are conquered. While conquering and settling these new lands... massive amounts of wealth are generated. Again... this should all be sounding familiar.

Stage III: Age of Commerce: Industrial Revolution anyone? All of that wealth ends up being put to use... infrastructure in this stage explodes. In this stage we see art and luxury. You see grand state buildings. The rich build themselves palaces. Now think of Mr Vanderbilt's Biltmore. Is it not a palace? It should be noted in this stage the schooling of boys is still intentionally rough. Fortitude and courage and honesty are all priorities. I would note that american football was developed during this period to drive those qualities home.

High Noon: This is the peak of the Nation. Its the point where the nation goes from growing to dying. For the US.. this was the 1940s. WWII was won... Evil was defeated... and everyone relaxed. Money was everywhere... the US was the most powerful nation in the world. And now.. we had something to lose... and we noticed we may want to protect it.

Stage IV: Age of Affluence: Money is the destroyer of nations. That is certain. Over time the desire to be rich replaces the individual desire for fame or conquest or achievement. Rather than going to school for learning or virtue... men go to school to learn how to get rich. And yes... it will disappoint those who believe history has ended to know that Arab moralists complained about this exact problem way back in 1090. What is the American dream friends? Is it climbing Everest? or is it being able to buy stuff? It changed back in the age of affluence. In America this was the post wwII period. The baby Boomers were raised to be spoiled brats... and that was the beginning of the end. The age of affluence is characterized by defensiveness. Empires are considered immoral. Conquest is immoral. War and fighting are immoral. again... bells should be going off. Think back to the counter culture of the 60s and 70s. "You're all doing it wrong!" shouted the hippies. But the message the hippies thought was new... was just the same thousand year old mistake of all rich, spoiled children of affluence.

Stage V Age of Intellect: In this stage the nation is deciding that all the world's problems can be solved not by hard work and courage and determination and struggle... but by the brain alone. after all... its CURRENT YEAR. In this stage the population imagines that everyone is a genius and everyone should go to college. This exact thing happened in the 11th century to the arabs. Rather than a few universities in the major cities... universities now sprung up in every small town. This was not a sign of life and bright future. This was the tolling of the death bell. Today in the USA we are told every day... education is the answer. This is proof positive of where we stand in the life cycle. Education is not the answer. Everyone is not a super genius. There is no shiny star trek utopia around the corner. Around the corner... is the grave.
For the more observationally-inclined, neither of these types of theories suit. Jared "Jewlry" Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel theory was hyper-propagated by the usual suspects--the neo-pravdian, unfree-market-funded alliance of air-quotedly-"public" libraries, universities, and airwaves--because of its obvious utility to greedy bankers who want people to be widgets. Easily recognizable as idiotic, like "college football" or Oscar pageantry, Guns, Germs, and Steel was quite popular for similar reasons.

The "stages" of collapse schtick promoted by inevitabilists such as Sir Glubb, or his many modern, Roman-citing kin, are a model of equal utility to civilizational comptrollers, being that they de-agencize nations and peoples, implying that collapses are part of an inevitable process of social generation and degeneration. It appeals to temporal myopics who are convinced that "soft living" is responsible for a first-ever "soft generation." The errors attendant to these horoscopic theories of civilization downfall are legion, counting among their number the usual suspects, such as demographical disinterest and woe-is-meism. Far more importantly, the cyclical model of civilizations implies that the cycle is something natural, inevitable, and the fault of the people perpetuating, and suffering from, it. While it would be tempting here to say that nothing can be farther from the truth, it is necessary instead to say merely that the cycle is true inasmuch as it has occurred that way, but--like the boom and bust "cycle" of capitalism--it is not a natural effect akin to the passing of the seasons.

Why, then, does the cycle hold true? If the cycle were natural, it should happen in more places than the classical civilizations and their claimed successors. Greek, Rome, Spain, Ottomania, Britain, and America are all well and good, but how did Chinese and Egyptian empires thoroughly over-survive the 250 year cycle followed by those in the classical lineage? Easy: the classical route through world civilization is the story of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers, in which the rise and fall of host populations is written up in a manner which blames the host populations' degeneracy and effeminacy upon the foolish host cultures themselves. The missing variable is the vampires.

Using Britain as our example, we see the popularity of ascribing the industrial revolution solely to British qualities of independence and hard work--as opposed to, say, the Franks or Germanics. That's prima facie ridiculous, but even if it weren't, we can track the movement of the Jenomic vampires from Central Europe to Northwestern, enslaving the Scots-Irish factory chattel class and delivering the capital that were both necessary for that early revolution. If Anglo notions of personal responsibility were responsible for the British Empire, how did they fail to produce it earlier than the Prussian, Frank, Visigoth, Roman, Athenian, or Egyptian empires? Why did the Vedic and the Indo-Aryan empire(s) not collapse on the same timetable, and in similar fashion, to the capital-heavy British, then American, ones?

In each case, the white "empire builders" are the controlled variables. The vampire bankers are the independent variable, responsible for christening the Roman legions, establishing European papal rule, funding and motivating the Moors, permitting the building of the ships that crushed the Armada, and gluing together the Ottoman pedophilia ring until it was time to stab the Arabs in the back. Even the American Confederacy had its vampires managing the money, and Napoleon's empire might have followed the same 250 years cycle as the 1776-spawned Potomac empire had not the Russian tsar put a pre-emptive stop to continent-wide communism (the bloodsuckers got their revenge; they never forget a slight).

The "expansion" and "manifest destiny" of any given empire is not randomly generated by "the people," heady with the thrill of expansion. There are always people who want to just hang out, and always people who want to be proud and go new places. Giant social movements of the kind we see in modern empires are coaxed and disseminated by the awful power of the purse strings: will a cruel tax be imposed to fund an army? Will the army be less-answerable to a civilian populace, and instead controlled by a banker-surrounded executive who can act without bothering about civilian concern for their sons' lives? Will land policies make it attractive for settlers to follow the army and cultivate? These things don't happen at random, as the "cyclical" court historians claim, nor do they happen as a result of abundant deposits of silica, as do the "blank slate" bankervoices. The latest hot new TV series, victim of police violence, smartphone app, etc., do not arise as international issues by self-generated word of mouth among a large and diverse community freely choosing their entertainment or outrage; rather, like capitalism's booms and busts, these things are pushed by a million tiny, clever ways that suddenly get everyone signing up for certain social networking accounts in place of others, or reading certain lengthy series in place of others. Recall the dazzling coordination of the many "competing" banks and the many disinterested government agencies in fostering the "real estate crisis" and the "mortgage crisis" on early 21st century America. How coincidental was it when one high-school-educated mortgage consultant in Miz'sippy oversold a loan to an unemployed black couple? Was it caused by that one irresponsible guy trying to earn a commission? No; it involved not only the suggestibility of that poor sap loan officer, but policy meetings aimed at his supervisor, at the bank president, at the board of trustees; it required pamphlets and meetings; it required years of hiring and firing and rewriting and transferring at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; it required bombarding the black couple with TV and newspaper features (less honest), TV and newspaper ads (more honest), and subtle in-sitcom references (even less honest), all about the benefits of home ownership. It was an opera; a symphony; a grand and wicked piece of manipulative art, to screw over so many people at the same time.

The people getting screwed over by these systems don't agree with them. Americans were scared and angry when Wilson betrayed them, and the British were happy and relieved when Chamberlain betrayed the vampires. Swedes burn refugee centers not because they support the end of Europe, but because they are trying to resist it. The "cyclical decay" bullshit is an illusion whereby vampires blame cattle for their own deaths. I'm so sorry you made me hit you again, Honey; I promise never to do it again. You won't do anything stupid that gets me angry, will you?

It is indeed the cycle of vampires to encourage anti-sustainability behaviors, import cheap labor, and use both of them to destroy host societies. This cycle, though, is neither inevitable nor generated by those host societies. The "degeneracy" of each crumbling empire is heavily resisted by both the old and the young for a while, before the intense pressure of banks, planted operatives, and purchased elites manages to break through. Then can degeneracy be tracked; then, and only then, can the victimized host population be retroactively blamed for "letting their luxuries get the best of them"--as though the British people were eager to kill off more of their children in yet another war with Germany, before amazing inundations of propaganda and cash convinced them that attacking one of the two countries which invaded Poland in 1939 was a savvy strategy. How easy it was later to re-organize the people against an Iron Curtain. The people might well be that stupid on their own, but that same stupidity, if true, would have prevented them from being able to focus so coherently on NATO v. USSR so swiftly after Allies v. Axis. The swift adherence to such butcher's narratives is as likely free and random as is a middle-aged woman spending her evenings reading an 800 page novel about child wizards without having been pre-stimulated by media hysteria.

The British Empire didn't collapse because of a random war caused by a random psycho fascist caused by a populace randomly susceptible to being "mesmerized" caused by a reaction to a randomly unfair Weimar Republic. Rather, it was abandoned on purpose when the vampires moved their financial centers from London to New York, as they had earlier been moved from various places in Central Europe to London. As with examining other demographics, history becomes less of a mystery when the vampire variable is taken into account. British banks had comptrolled the world, playing out puppet empires to fund and defeat, for hundreds of years, before primary operations were moved to New York, just like Britain was a dinky and irrelevant island until the bankers set up shop and made ten or more European courts dependent on their financing. Look at how seriously the banks defended London against the Blitz's unapproved takeover--then look at how easily they let it drift away once New York had been fully prepped. If you want to track the rise and fall of civilizations more accurately (or you want to know when to jump ship for personal reasons), you should start viewing the world's influential banking headquarters not as a consequence of the random superiority of any given group, but as the creators of a purposeful superiority.

5 comments:

  1. Correia, D. (2013). F**k Jared Diamond. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 24(4), 1-6. doi: 10.1080/10455752.2013.846490


    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10455752.2013.846490

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    1. Wish I didn't need an Old Maid with Cateye Glasses secret handshake to read the entire thing, looks good on that opening page.

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    2. Academic jargon has gotten out of hand. What does "F**k" even mean???

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  2. That Jared Diamond clown is like anyone who gets a 15 mins Warholian fame gig, he reminds me of a TED lecturer, nothing but polysyllabics and rare words hiding an empty argument, but on the surface very progressive.

    TED lectures may as well admit they're a sideline of the DNC.

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    1. ...and so Jared Diamond may as well admit he's an emissary of Citicorp, GoldSachs, and maybe even Carlyle.

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