Sunday, December 21, 2008


On 22 February 2005, at Counterpunch, Kirkpatrick Sale wrote about: the Collapse of the American Empire

Sale argues that all empires eventually collapse.

He gives 4 reasons:

Los Angeles by Diliff

1. The Environment.

Empires "always end by destroying the lands and waters they depend upon for survival".

Think of the car based culture and urban sprawl that began with Eisenhower.

Think of George W Bush's neglect of the environment.

Americans owe a lot of money, as a result of buying a lot of things they don't need.

2. Economic meltdown.

The USA spends too much on its military; it borrows too much; it manufactures too little (US manufacturing is 13% of GDP); it has a large trade deficit.

Americans waste a lot of energy on killing innocent people.

3. Military overstretch.

The US has become involved in costly wars that have not served its interests.

The USA appears to be run by criminals.

4. Domestic dissent and upheaval.

Empires can collapse because of corruption.

"It's ... hard to believe that a nation so thoroughly corrupt as this-in all its fundamental institutions, its boughten parties, academies, corporations, brokerages, accountants, governments-and resting on a social and economic base of intolerably unequal incomes and property, getting increasingly unequal, will be able to sustain itself for long."

So, how to save the USA?

Happy healthy Cuban -

1. The Environment.

The US should copy Cuba.

Cubans have high life expectancy and literacy. Cubans do not use much oil.

A study of 93 nations has found that only one nation - Cuba - is developing sustainably.

Cuba is the only nation which:

(1) provides a decent standard of living for its people and

(2) does not consume more than its fair share of the world's resources.

New Scientist (World failing on sustainable development - earth - 03 October 2007 ... / Cuba Flies Lone Flag for Sustainability - Indymedia Ireland) provides the details:

"An international team led by Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network looked at how the living conditions and ecological footprints of 93 nations have changed in the last 30 years.

"They used the ecological footprint (EF) index, a tool devised in 1993 by Wackernagel and William Rees, his PhD supervisor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. EF quantifies the area of land required to provide the infrastructure used by a person or a nation, the food and goods they consume, and to reabsorb the waste they produce, using available technology."

Cuban taxi -

In Cuba life expectancy is 76 years for men and 80 years for women. (UN)

Life expectancy in the Calton district of Glasgow in the UK is 54. ( In Iraq, life expectancy is 67. Minutes from Glasgow city centre ... )

"Mr Castro's supporters point out that he used his power to give Cubans world-class health and education services...

"Many Cubans praise their free health and education services." - (The Economist The comandante's last move )

Many Cubans make extra money from small market gardens, running taxi services and other small businesses. ( The comandante's last move )

There is no malnutrition in Cuba. (The Economist 21 February 2008 The comandante's last move )

Photo from:

2. The Economy

The USA needs to:

A. Limit the federal government in Washington to controlling only a few minor areas such as transport.

B. Have a higher minimum wage and only trade with countries which have a decent minimum wage.

C. Invest more in infrastructure.

3. The Military

The USA should copy Costa Rica.

Costa Rica was the very first country to formally abolish military forces. The constitution has forbidden a standing military since 1949.

Too many of the USA's talented people have gone into the military industrial complex, rather into useful industries.

Berlin 1948. Peaceful change is better than revolution.

4. Upheaval and Corruption.

When leaders spend too much on wars, there can be revolutions.

In 1642, King Charles of England lost his head because he was unwilling to make necessary changes. Too much money had been spent on wars.

In 1789, there was revolution in France, because the King was too slow to understand the problems facing his country. Too much money had been spent on wars.

In 1917, there was revolution in Russia, partly because the government had been too militaristic.

By 1918, several empires, including the Turkish Empire and the Austrian Empire had more or less collapsed because of their involvement in World War One.

After 1918, the British Empire was heading for collapse.

In 1933, Hitler came to power and tried to revive the German Empire. He failed within a short space of time.

If the USA is to survive, it has to dismantle the corrupt military industrial complex.

A new political party might start to promote this idea.



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