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British General and historian Sir John Bagot Glubb (1897-1987) noted that there is a common pattern befalling the history of major empires, going through seven stages:
1. The age of outburst (or pioneers).
2. The age of conquests.
3. The age of commerce.
4. The age of affluence.
5. The age of intellect.
6. The age of decadence.
7. The age of decline and collapse.
I ask you, the reader, at what stage do we as citizens of these United States find ourselves now?
A little more than two centuries ago, the founding fathers of these United States united 13 separate colonies and led a war for their independence from Great Britain. These men then constructed a government for our new nation that was built upon both classical liberalism, as well as republican principles.
There were many who made contributions, and not all of them were men (with a tip of my hat to the founding ladies), but key among them were: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington, followed by other notable men like Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine. It would be a fair, and reasonable presumption, that among any gathering of men at any given point in the history of our planet, the gathering of these men together made the greatest impact ever upon future humanity.
While their contributions were great, and most of their advice timeless, it seems unfortunate there was not a one among them that was able to fully predict what the future would hold for “We the People of These United States.” Thusly, we find ourselves with the dysfunctional federal government that we have today.
Our nation has since been divided upon multiple schisms. Left vs. Right. Democrat vs. Republican. Male vs. Female. Black. vs. White. Straight vs. Gay. Christian vs. Atheist. Muslim vs. Jew. …If you can name a specific sub-culture of American, I am willing to bet that sub-culture can name a nemesis that they oppose, and this is unfortunate, for as humans, and as Americans, we have far more in common with one another than any of our differences may seem to indicate.
To “Divide and Conquer” is a tactic using a combination of political and economic (or military) strategies that aim to gain or maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.
This strategy is as old as humanity, and unfortunately, we humans keep falling for it! The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) once noted that “we learn from history that we do not learn from history,” and I, as a historian, concede that he was quite correct.
In order to prevent the usurpation of power under one branch, or person, that could lead to tyranny, our founding fathers separated our federal government into the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial branches.
Our government is also supposed to be “representative,” as every few years we the people will elect a politician to represent us in any of the different positions of government. But I ask you this, do you feel like you are truly represented by someone who is your equal? Or do you feel like there is at least one, or more, politician(s) in public office that has either usurped power that they are not authorized by our constitution, or has used their position in government to enrich themselves, or to exempt themselves from the rules that they dictate to we Plebians?
We must remember that our nation was founded upon the consent of the governed. That means you, and me, and Joe down on the corner, and all the rest of “We the People” who are eligible to vote. In essence, we are supposed to be in control of the politicians, and the politicians are supposed to be accountable to all of us.
However, if you as a voter become complacent, nearly all of those that you have trusted with power will enrich themselves and steal you blind.
We currently find ourselves with a national debt of more than $30.485 trillion (note: one trillion is one million that has been multiplied another million times!) that we the tax payer are obligated to pay for. We find that thanks to the Federal Reserve System, bankers, through the manipulation of inflation, have reduced the spending value of the U.S. dollar to just 4% (1/25th) of its value from a century ago.
We find ourselves struggling with rising food costs and rising fuel costs and incomes that have not kept pace with inflation, making each of us at the bottom poorer and poorer.
Yet, even with things sucking as much as they do, and still getting worse, there is still hope. But in order for things to get better, you must do everything within your capability to wake up every person that you know and get them to pay attention to the politicians and hold them accountable for making prudent decisions with regard to their elected position.
If a politician has been in office for more than a decade, it is up to you to vote them out of office. If you notice that the person who is supposed to represent you is no longer representing you, vote them out of office.
If you notice that the politician who is supposed to be frugal with your hard-earned tax dollars is voting to give that money away, or to finance superfluous or unnecessary agendas, then vote them out of office. In the end, we the people only have control of our politicians if we get a majority of the voting public out to actually vote on election days and for the voting public to have a basic understanding of both economics and our constitution.
Only then will politicians remember that they were elected to represent the populace, and not the special interests that promise to line their pockets. Get proactive, educate your family and friends and get them to also be proactive, and together we can all vote bad politicians out of office, or expect things to continue to deteriorate as our American Empire continues to decline, crumble and collapse.