By many accounts, the American Empire is coming to an end.
Like all other empires, this one shows predicted and predictable signs of weakening, loosening, maybe imploding.
Historians have found their pens energized by drawing comparisons with other empires, most prominently with the most recent and comparable precursor: the British Empire. Here’s historian Niall Ferguson on the subject:
“Since 1914, the nation [Britain] had endured war, financial crisis and in 1918-19 a terrible pandemic, the Spanish influenza. The economic landscape was overshadowed by a mountain of debt. . . . A highly unequal society inspired politicians on the left to demand redistribution if not outright socialism. A significant proportion of the intelligentsia went further, embracing communism or fascism.” (The Economist, August 20th, 2021).
Sounds familiar, yes.
I get it. I do get it. The analogy, its fitness, the implicit argument (yes, Ferguson does have one) for a war-hawk mindset. The doom and the gloom. Who can not think, in this context, of the speechifying of the always close-to-tears Mark Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar”?
“O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.”
But here’s the thing. So What? From a BrownGirl perspective, what is my “So What” question about these ‘declinist’ proclamations available a dime a dozen these days, enough to make your teeth chatter while your blood boils? As a Brown Girl, what am I supposed to do, think, feel?
The thing is, when empires fell in the past, barbarian hordes supposedly stormed in. Empires fell not gently and silently, but with a loud crash. Barbarian clamor ensued, the shrieks of women and children paramount, no doubt. No doubt Senates and such were stormed, and legislators scurried down to secret corridors and passages from where to reach the safety denied to common folk.
But what happens next time?
As a Brown Girl, here’s my perspective. This American Empire is not going to fall in that noisy, messy way, because it has already fallen, is falling, and some of us haven’t even noticed. Some of us are hiding our heads in the sand, counting on bad things going away because someone else will do something. And so, I’ve decided that my “So What” is to join those groups and people who know the fall is already happening, the noises this time being just American aircraft taking off from Afghanistan and other American ‘territories.’ Leaving the Brown Girls there to a spot of hard luck, by the way.
I am choosing the path of making a lot more noise. Of joining others who are making a lot more noise. Because I fear that not enough noise is being made. Because otherwise, I fear that BrownGirls like me will be left on the ground like the Afghan men and women that President Biden abandoned to the proxy fall of the American Empire in Afghanistan.
I’m working for Beto for Texas. We’re going to make a lot of noise, hopefully. I certainly don’t want to be among those squeaking that the Pied Pipers of Washington isn’t leading them to safety when this American Empire crumbles.
#RiseAndFall #Empire #AmericanEmpire #BetoforTexas
#BrownGirl #Brown #Girl #BrownGirls #Barbarians #Piedpiper #Afghanistan #Britain #BritishEmpire