While visiting Galileo’s house in Florence, Jean Ranc reflected on how America thinks the world revolves around it, as it was once falsely thought the sun revolves around the earth.
By Jean Ranc
Special to Consortium News
On a sunny day last January, my visit to Florence took me deep into the Tuscan hills where a conference titled, “The America of Trump, the Russia of Putin. And Europe?” had taken place, sponsored by the Fondazione Spadolini and the European University Institute. I visited the Fondazione to learn more about the conference, but on my return to Florence down the mountain, it was the Villa Galileo just across the road from a small trattoria where I had stopped, that truly intrigued me.
My on-line search that evening revealed that indeed, it had been the last home of Galileo after his trial as a “heretic.” To save himself from torture and execution, he denied his heliocentric vision and lived under villa arrest from 1631 until he died in 1642. I had stumbled upon the very site of one of the Inquisition’s most infamous persecutions.
A grim reminder of a 21st Century Inquisition we’re living through.
I thought of present-day truth-tellers being hounded by contemporary inquisitors just as Galileo had been persecuted. Tellers of truth such as Edward Snowden, who revealed the extent of illegal mass surveillance; Chelsea Manning, imprisoned seven years for revealing U.S. brutality in Iraq and Afghanistan; Julian Assange locked up in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy as an exile since August 2012 for publishing leaked U.S. secrets in Wikileaks; and Katharine Gun, a British whistleblower who faced two years in prison before her case was dropped for exposing the NSA’s spying on U.N. Security Council nations before a vote to consider authorizing the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
It was around 1898, when America first starting thinking it was the center of the universe. In that year the U.S. intervened in Cuba’s war for independence and proceeded to take over parts of the decrepit Spanish Empire, from Latin America to the Philippines. Shortly before, in 1893, the U.S. overthrew the Queen of Hawaii on behalf of U.S.-backed sugar and pineapple plantation owners.
That led to a long history of political interference in other countries, in the form of destabilization, coups and invasions. Once the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, a narrative was fostered to justify expanding NATO to Russia’s borders.
In the last four years, anti-Russian propaganda has reached a fever pitch: lies about Russia’s “expansionism” in Ukraine; hype about Russia’s “meddling” in the U.S. elections, creating an existential “threat to democracy;” unproven allegations of Russia using chemical weapons to poison the Skripals in London. Experts are trotted out on major media to further the narrative without hard evidence. Together with think-tanks, the American and British media run these stories daily with almost no counter news or opinions. Through endless repetition, allegations are transformed into “facts.” Sanctions are loaded upon sanctions, based on these unsubstantiated charges in an economic war against Russia.
In 2004, journalist Ron Suskind wrote in The New York Times magazine that a top White House strategist for President George W. Bush—identified later as Karl Rove, Bush’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff—told him, “We’re an empire now; we create our own reality.”
Swiss journalist, Guy Mettan, in his 2017 book, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria, writes that the West’s psycho-social pathology about Russia dates back over 1,000 years to the division of Christendom between the Orthodox and Roman churches. The U.S. is a relative newcomer to this, but seeks perhaps its biggest role.
“More than merely dominate, the American superpower now seeks to control history,” Mettan says.
Myth of Russian Expansionism
The astute University of Chicago Professor John J. Mearsheimer exposed how the West provoked the Ukraine crisis in his 2014 Foreign Affairs article, “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin.” But the American foreign policy establishment and media remain committed to the suppression of facts about the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev and the resulting escalating tensions with Russia.
Ignoring or fabricating evidence, the U.S. and NATO persist in lying that Russia has expansionist goals in Ukraine, Crimea and Syria. Russia is helping ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine who are resisting the coup, Crimea (which had been part of Russia since 1783 and transferred by the Soviets to Ukraine in 1954) held a referendum in 2014 in which the public voted to rejoin Russia. The Syrian government invited Russia in to help fight Western and Gulf-backed jihadists trying to violently overthrow the government, as even then Secretary of State John Kerry admitted.
Another scholar, Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, writes in his latest book, Russia Against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order, that the Ukraine crisis crystallized the profound differences between Russia and the West, differences that are not just a replay of the “Cold War.”
Simply put, under the banner of the indispensable “liberal world order,” neo-conservative warriors and “democracy”-spreading-“humanitarian-interventionists” are promoting the Russophobia “reality” to justify American hegemony.
One of the greatest illustrations of the centuries-old Russophobia, says Mettan in his 2017 book, is the case of Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
“During the 1990s, I was shocked by the way the West treated Solzhenitsyn,” Mettan wrote. “For decades, we had published, celebrated, and acclaimed the great writer as bearing the torch of anti-Soviet dissidence,” but only when he criticized his communist Russia. But after moving to the U.S., when Solzhenitsyn showed a preference for privacy “rather than attending anticommunist conferences, western media and academics began to distance themselves.”
And when Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia and spoke out against Russian ‘westernizers’ and liberals who denied Russian interests, he was labeled “an outdated, senile writer,” though he had not changed his fundamental views on freedom.
After the mid-July, Trump-Putin Helsinki summit, there were countless mass media delusions and hysteria against U.S.-Russia ties, reminiscent of the Hearst newspaper empire’s propaganda that whipped up a frenzy to support the empire-building war against Spain in 1898. Professor Stephen Kinzer vividly described the unsuccessful battle by prestigious anti-imperialists against the power of the Hearst propaganda in his latest book, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.”
Today’s propaganda tool is named “RussiaGate,” a campaign to bring down a deeply flawed U.S. president for possibly trying to mend U.S. relations with Russia.
Do we have enough good sense left to follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau: “Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice … till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality.”
Or, as I thought when I visited Galileo’s house that day in the Florentine hills: the world does not revolve around America.
Jean Ranc is a retired psychologist/research associate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
I am 78 years old and for a good 50 years I’ve been fully aware that the US doesn’t revolve around the sun, not even around the universe. There is more to life than the US.
I believe the accurate US self-view would require one change in the title of your article to: “The sun, ALONE, does not revolve around the US”
Indeed, the country of my birth rather haughtily acts as though the entire cosmos revolves around the US.
I once stumbled upon a YouTube video that interviewed a sample of Japanese, asking them what they knew about the swastika. Many said that they didn’t know of its connotations with Nazism. But this, along with the Japanese government’s whitewashing, isn’t what ticked me off (after all, the manji has been used millennia before the Nazis stole it); it was the slew of comments who accused the Japanese of forgetting/ignoring their history.
Another problem is a few change.org petitions written by Westerners en route to South Korea and China demanding that they stop the trade of dog meat. I’m from China myself, and while I have never tried dog meat before, what disgusts me is how the petitions force Western values onto non-Western countries.
A third problem I see is English-speaking expats in continental Europe (e.g. Germany) crying foul of what they perceive as rudeness, racism, nationalism, or xenophobia from the locals. This is one such page.
One example is the way of communication: English-speakers often use “please” and “thank you” from time to time, while this is not done (as often) in the Continent. This is merely a cultural difference.
Other complaints include the lack of queuing, “poor” customer service, and lack of English proficiency, the first two also being cultural differences.
What is it about English-speaking expats that some of them refuse to assimilate into the host culture?
And speaking of accusations of racism, nationalism and xenophobia, a subset of those complainers also seem to whine about the relative lack of racial diversity and multiculturalism (they even whine about the absence of non-whites on public television). This is further evidence of the hypocrisy of leftism.
All these cases are examples of English-speakers assuming that their standards are universal and should apply to non-Anglo countries. What doesn’t help (at least in the US) is the long-standing, over-the-top indoctrination of American exceptionalism. And for a long time I always imagined the notion of American exceptionalism was confined to the right; I didn’t know leftists could suffer from it too.
A comment on heliocentric heretics. Heliocentric theory was formulated by a Catholic priest in Polish kingdom ca. 100 years before the Church started to be concerned with theological implications — Holy Bible is not even overly specific about Earth being flat or round. Around 1600 three notable “heretics” pushed heliocentrism. Galileo found an evidence for heliocentrism by observing Venus through newly invented telescope — the interpretation of those observation was actually cleverly disputed — but he recanted and suffer rather mild exile into Tuscan countryside — so much better for the retirement than Siberia. Kepler formulated a mathematical interpretation of the data on observed positions of the planet with was actually superior to Ptolemaic system in terms of predictions. As imperial mathematician, he was beyond the reach of Inquisition. But Giordiano Bruno went to far in is erroneous views, did not recant and was duly burned at the stake.
In Bruno’s theory, not only planets revolve around the Sun, but starts are also suns with their own planets AND with their own Gods. Christian clergy, Catholic, Lutheran or Calvinists, did not like it a bit. In our context of the day, his heresy was polycentrism, with each center having its own “God”, its own system of tenets that can be followed. I guess, today, given milder and gentler custom compared to 400 years ago, he would be stripped to accounts of Twitter, Facebook etc., 21-st century of excommunication. Mind you, excommunication means exclusion/expulsion from the community.
One thing that annoys me about American “conservatives” (read: neocons) is their arrogant disdain towards cultural elements (such as mass transit, soccer, and the metric system) that other Western countries (plus those outside of the US sphere of influence) have adopted. Those elements have often been dismissed by “conservatives” as “making America more like Europe” or “socialist”. In other words, they tout American exceptionalism at the expense of resource efficiency or mathematical wisdom.
An association fallacy is an informal inductive fallacy of the hasty-generalization or red-herring type and which asserts, by irrelevant association and often by appeal to emotion, that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another.
When a nation believes itself to be exceptional, it assumes that it’s perfect and doesn’t need any real improvement from other countries. It is this sort of arrogance that makes me eager to travel to Russia soon; at least they follow soccer and use metric, but those aren’t the only two reasons.
Oddly, with the collapse of the Soviet state in the 1990s, Americans seemed to expect that Russia was eager to become a spinoff of the US. Once it was figured out that they had no interest in that, people were confused, even offended. On 2016, we see the result of a good many Democrats who cannot fathom that so many don’t march in lockstep with the Clinton wing, and Russia bizarrely became the established excuse for Clinton’s defeat. As Jean Ranc points out, the world doesn’t revolve around US party politics. The Russian Tale, as potentially dangerous as it has been, is primarily just the Clinton wing’s second deep split in the former Dem voting base.
I appreciate Ms Ranc reminding readers of how easily we discard the Solzhenitsyn’s of the world when their integrity deviates from our narrative.
On a small point, I’m not sure I can agree with her view that 1898 marked the beginning of our seeing ourselves as the center of the universe. The mentality of domination such a view asserts was already present in the war or 1812 and the Mexican-American War in which we had to get big enough to prove we had to be taken seriously. Our early expansionism was ‘the same tyrannical principle.’
And I would deviate with some of my fellow commentators on the fact that Russia and China are not prone to empire tendencies and are just ensuring national sovereignty. They are certainly entitled to the latter, but there are large empires and small and the lust for power is ever-present. I really wish when Gorbachev facilitated the cold war end that we would have ended NATO rather than expand it. But we just couldn’t resist. We might as well have cried, “Remember the Alamo!” We love to become the occupier all the while playing the victim.
Bruno Latour says that the Gaia Hypothesis is as significant as Galileo’s discovery in 1610
If that is correct, we are living in a momentous time.
Well we know that with works like “Living In The Ruins” continue to trace the collapse of civilization.
Bruno’s Gifford Lectures were revised and appear in English as “Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on The New Climate Regime”
Bruno says that The New Climate Regime has been the most important political actor in the world for the last 30 years.
French Polymath Bruno Latour meets the author of the Gaia hypothesis James Lovelock in an article in LA Review of Books
“Now I understand the mistakes made in the interpretation of Gaia both by those who rejected it too quickly, and those who embraced it too enthusiastically. Both were working with an image of the Earth, the globe, nature, the natural order, without taking into account the fact that they were dealing with a unique object requiring a general revision of scientific conceptions.”
“Before Gaia, the inhabitants of modern industrial societies saw nature as a domain of necessity, and when they looked toward their own society they saw it as the domain of freedom, as philosophers might say. But after Gaia these two distinct domains literally don’t exist anymore. There is no living or animated thing that obeys an order superior to itself, and that dominates it, or that it just has to adapt itself to, and this is true for bacteria as much as lions or human societies. This doesn’t mean that all living things are free in the rather simple sense of being individuals, since they are interlinked, folded, and entangled in each other. This means that the issue of freedom and dependence is equally valid for humans as it is for the partners of the above natural world.
“Galileo invented a world of objects placed beside each other, without affecting each other, and entirely obeying the laws of physics. Lovelock and Margulis sketched a world of agents constantly interacting with each other. When I came back from this amazing day in Dorset, I said to myself that taking on board such a world had nothing to do with ecology, but quite simply with a politics of living things. And as I was going down the coast, I had the thought that another Brecht was needed to write a “Life of Lovelock.””
“Bruno Latour Tracks Down Gaia”
Martyrs buried in the ground, a poet called them seeds.
The fallen heroes, he proclaimed, would one day soldier on.
The fruit they’d bear would resurrect those Holy Roman deeds,
Transformed into reality, such allegations spawn.
The heretics received a dose intended thus to cleanse,
With castor oil truth imposed to purge heretic prose.
Allegiance to the creed demanded nothing that offends,
Incentive could be beaten in with lengths of rubber hose.
Some centuries before saw Galileo’s truth suppressed.
The dicta scripted so prescribed the path to make men free.
Salvation was reserved to those whose souls were not possessed:
The truth by virtue sacrosanct was issued by decree.
D’Annunzio led ardent men whose inspiration grew,
Endeavors catapulted by those deeds gave rise to verse.
His corpus separratum would an ancient myth renew,
Though paeans failed to pacify what history would curse.
Ambition captures would-be kings, in dreams they fantasize,
Reality becomes their own for others to endure.
The Karl Roves who can’t command subvert and patronize,
The puppet master’s pride reveals what caution would obscure.
Usurpers come to no good end, and empires decline,
The masses turn, or fortunes fade, and desperate men are brave,
Revenge enflames those passions that no force of arms confine:
False devotion and the lie become the beaten slave.
No sovereign detested sleeps in peaceful reverie.
Those martyrs buried in those graves belie the truth they chose.
They died believing false refrains undone by history,
The truth that’s buried with them though, will never decompose.
Wonderful observations that challenge the complete and utter madness of our times here in the U.S., and the West in general. The inquisitorial “accusations” leveled against Putin and Russia by the West bear no more resemblance to “reality” than the lunatic accusations that the Holy Inquisition leveled against “witches,” “heretics” and “non-believers” for centuries as it used terror to consolidate power. Given the ever more shrill and painfully persistent nature of these ongoing nonsense anti-Russian accusations – it would appear more and more of us in the West are falling into the category of – “non-believers.”
A very good post Gary. The West is decadent and corrupt.Whatever high moral grounds the West once held, I am afraid they are either forgotten or totally gone.
I think you “nailed it” precisely.
Delightful piece to read, great comments as usual. I can only add that the neocolonialists who don’t want to give up leading the US over the edge, as mike says “into the abyss”, will be forced to change their ways, well stated by Babylon and others. The tragedy of what they have done by their narcissistic, egoistic, delusional misleading, is that they have wrecked the lives of millions worldwide. But of course, that is the story of deluded conquerors until they meet their own end. I welcome the sun setting on the “American Century”; a sharp reset awaits us all but we should welcome it.
Jessika: the saddest part in all this is that they still continue to wreck and decimate lives worldwide. It is like a cancer eating and obliterating every thing in their path. A very incisive post.
The cancer is psychopathy! These people have no conscience or empathy. They are liars and manipulators. They treat people like objects to be used and abused. Until America admits that we’ve had a substantial percentage of psychopathic leaders and mentality, from the Puritans forward, we will never recover from the psychological, social, economic, political, legal, religious destruction this ilk has forced upon the rest of us. It took me deep research and therapy to discover that psychopaths project themselves onto the rest of us and then claim we are somehow damaged, flawed or have sinful human nature. The problem has always been the psychopaths among us (1%) who have created hierarchies and placed themselves atop them. They have bamboozled most of us with their lies but as we wake up to their games, we can kick them out of power and we can create a country of the 99% with conscience and empathy rather than a country of slaveowners and deluded “Israelites” who believed they had the right to exploit, enslave, kill……
It’s not sad, it’s what’s deathcult tyrants & dying Empires do, they take as many victims as they can, once they realise the end is nigh! It’s a mass shooter mentality & it’s disgraceful!
I tried to find you while I was still living in NH…as I got the idea you live there as well. I had lived in the Dartmouth area in the 70’s but the brutal winters were too much! this time around so I returned to my home base here in Chapel Hill. If you’d like to be in touch, you can reach me at my old-but-still-good Santa Fe address: [email protected]
American egotism is legendary. It is the defining mark of the breed. Ignorant know-it-alls lead us confidently into the abyss.
Mike: If American leaders that are in control of the country have studied history of any empire, they would come to the realization that empires do not last forever. The illogical part is that empire’s life expectancy has been more or less the same worldwide. And like an opened book the end is closing in and they know it.
Excellent bit of necessary truth-telling. Too bad it won’t be read in most of America, not because the people would reject its premise, but because their keepers just won’t let them see it in the highly manipulated mass media.
America has repeatedly become what it most professes to hate: first an onerous empire like Spain, then a pack of fascists like Nazi Germany, and now totalitarian tyrants like the Soviets. Welcome to the truth, the one NOT fabricated by Rove’s inheritors of empire.
This thought is so important to understand if you are to make any sense of the new multi-polar world which does not revolve around the failing Western empire.
China’s Belt and Road is a catalyst but China will benefit only through the interconnection of the entire Eurasian land mass – sooner than you think, high-speed trains will cross the steppes. That is the new world the Enlightenment era is dead the Eurasian era is opening. Eurasia will trade most naturally with Africa and it will prosper because The US Empire is the last of the Enlightenment white European empires.
When you consider the integration of the great Eurasian land mass for the first time is history (the ancient Silk Road writ large) it’s easy to forget about a US over there separated by all that water from the thriving markets.
Those oceans which protected the center of power from attack now are a big disadvantage in trade.
We are witnessing the end of the Enlightenment and the end of Empire which it spawned.
China is not imperial, Russia is not imperial – no country today seeks empire but the US and they are failing in every way. Western Liberal Democracy also died with the Enlightenment, new forms of governance and culture will develop, the sky really is the limit, now that the old dead Enlightenment is moving out of the way.
It would be a brighter future if not for that pesky climate.
Ciao Babyl-on, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I was born in the NW corner of Oklahoma, where my brother still runs the family ranch. Since then, I’ve traveled the world: on the Silk Road through Uzbekistan & Turkey, also into remote villages of India visiting textile artisans, on a Russian river boat from St. Petersburg to Moscow where my photo was taken in front of Catherine the Great’s summer palace outside of St. Petersburg, was on the Danube 3 years ago…and I’m still haunted by my realization thereafter that the stream of desperate Syrian refugees were following our cruise ship on foot overland: fleeing from our military intervention under Hillary’s banner, “Asad must go!”. And I’ve spent 30+ years traveling in Mexico where the poverty rate is 55% no thanks to NAFTA. Also, I have traveled for 25 years in Italy, which has been swamped with 10’s of 1000’s of refugees from Libya & other African nations due to US-NATO military & a multitude of our covert interventions and spent 5 days in Cambodia exploring Angkor Watt & that vast park filled with other ancient temples with my guide and tuk-tuk driver, Mr. Vouen, but there was haunted by the Nixon-Kissinger vicious bombing of that country to “win” the Eisenhower-Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam, which “killed 3 million of our people”, we were reminded by our young guide named Ho…and only god knows how many thousands more in Laos & Cambodia. In Hanoi, we also visited the prison-now-museum, dubbed “The Hanoi Hilton”, where we saw photos of its most famous prisoner, John McCain, the late “Warrior of Waz”. And not to forget my 3 “legal” trips to Cuba, where the American Empire began with our intervention in their war for independence against Spain in 1898 and by 1962 nearly set off the nuclear apocalypse after our “Bay of Pigs Invasion” & the Soviets came to Cuba’s defense with missiles…resulting in “The Cuban Missile Crisis”…a long bloody chapter of history, which we may write, but Cubans will eventually win, regardless of the deprivations forced upon them by the US embargo and threats against any country which might come to their aid. If anyone wants to continue the conversation, you can reach me at my old-but-still-good Santa Fe Qwest address: [email protected] Yours for the end of this Russophobic-fueled llast desperate “Defense of The American Empire”, the final chapter…as I welcome the emerging multi-polar world order, Jean Ranc
All I can say is: Well said, JR! WELL SAID INDEED!
Nations, such as Russia, China & others just want to determine their own futures & keep their National sovereignty’s! It’s America, with it’s unbelievable arrogance & hubris, that wants to dominate & impose its sovereignty on every Country on Earth! Russia & China are the future with the one belt, one road initiative & America is being left in the rear view mirror & is on the path to total oblivion thanks to its warmongering ways! The end of this corrupt American Empire can’t come soon enough for people who want to live in peace!
I fear your analyisis is a case of the ‘grass is greener on the other side’. China has harnessed monoculturalism and surveillance to create a unified system which is at the same time chaotic on the ground. The apparent discipline which can be viewed from the outside is actually a free for all which requires an increasing money supply to keep it going. This free money is provided via a controlled currency and State banks. Balance sheets are kept stable by using the western trick of turning liabilities into assets. The Belt and Road Initiative is a genuine attempt to project away from American containment in the Pacific but it is also mired in corruption, and the clash with diametrically opposed Islam is yet to occur.
Anywhere that the false gods of Money and Authority hold sway, there is little true sovereignty.
In my humble opinion, the only kind of revolution that has a chance in hell of changing things for the better will begin on the causal-plane, the Mind. Only in a revolution of values and thought-process will better results begin to manifest themselves on the physical plane. It’s happening already, albeit slowly. As always, it was and will be. The human race has been too long held back by the false gods, most of us conditioned to “way-it-is” passivity in our thinking and actions.
Though some of us have been aware of the deep systemic-rot of America Inc., and the dynamics of manipulation, violence and hypocrisy that dominates Western culture for some time, for many others US politics in 2015-present was a wake-up call. Ten years from now the world will either be on the path to an enlightened global cooperative-stage, or in utter, irreversible chaos (in which some may quip the Earth is already in)
Well done, Jean Ranc! BTW, I am a Wolfpack grad…
Egocentrism isn’t just a Donald Trump thing, it’s an American thing. America’s never-ending RussiaGate narrative is a classic example of psychological projection. It can’t be US who has the problem, it must be THEM who has the problem. Time to own it.
Donald Trump is an All-American Gangster
paraphrasing J. Pilger—America should leave the rest of the world alone—leave it alone–
Yes, I second what Mr Pilger stated & I will add a few more requests? “Leave the World” alone! Stop your Warmongering interference in other Countries affairs! Immediately stop all your murderous Wars, Coups & Financial & Economic terrorism such as weaponising the dollar & Trade sanctions to illegally punish other Nations! Abide by International Laws & the U.N. charter! Remove your 800 bases from around the World & stick to your own backyard! Stop being the Worlds Policeman because no one asked you to perform this role! Look after your own people first & stop wasting trillions of dollars on the pointless & stupid Military Industrial Complex! Ban Campaign lobbyists & big money from Politics! Jail all corrupt Corporates & thieving Bankers, Politicians & seize their assets! These are a few things for a start! There are many more things you could do more numerous to name here, but the main thing is LEAVE THE WORLD ALONE! We are sick to death of this American Empire!
Well said! The problem as I see it is that Congress is totally corrupt, having allowed itself to be bribed. Once the government is bought and paid for and money becomes the highest good, society deteriorates, as we are clearly seeing. If we had an awakened population that refused to listen to our effective propaganda machine, we could turn things around, one of the first ways refusing to vote and supporting no politician that supports wars and continually supports the corporations instead of the people. There are many things we could do, but until most of the people wake up and band together, things won’t get better.
Here is what Americans really think about the anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington:
Less than half of Americans believe that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election made a difference to the final outcome and nearly six in ten Americans believe that it is important that Washington continue to improve relations with Moscow.
When you get to the end of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, six volumes of dense, erudite prose which details the failings of a decadent society, Gibbon lets you in on a secret. The Roman Empire was militarily defeated. Not all at once, mind. But militarily defeated nonetheless. Consider what that means for the US.
Rome became a victim of its success, being overstretched beyond their war technology (horses, shields, swords and siege machines.)
My inability and unwillingness to predict the end of the rise of The Empire of “We the People” and its brand of War Technologies, is due to my close perspective and life-long Bernaiseian (?sp) brainwashing by the mass media, which, thankfully, has, since 2016, been dealt a blow to the mask on their (the corporate media’s) Totalitarian nature. Their claim to One Truth (no alternate facts tolerated in NYT/WaPo Land) that they’ve enjoyed for more than 100 years has fallen victim to the Internet, a creation of the American war technology development system (DARPA). So, in the American attempt to surpass the Romans, the Empire of We the People (as a Totalitarian dystopia) may well be thwarted by the spread of open information. I hope so. The alternative might be very difficult to defeat.
Except that Facebook takes down truthful videos as fast as it can. Many people are now being hired to spy on posts and call what is truth “fake news.” The censorship is getting horrendous, and the rabbit hole actually goes a lot deeper.
Jeff, if you enjoyed Gibbons, I think you would really enjoy Michael Parenti’s, “The Assassination of Julius Caesar”. There are so many parallels between the late Roman Republic and today’s America. Michael got his PhD in political science and history from Yale and writes “people’s history”. He argues convincingly that Caesar was assassinated —- not for being an egomaniac and dictator —- but because he stood up against the most elite in the senate by seeking reforms that would benefit the masses. He actually argues that Gibbons wrote as a historian from the priviledged class and therefore never condemned the senate for exploiting the masses.
I’ll give it a try, thanx. My take on Caesar is that he was one of Rome’s finest military commanders and a gifted orator. He doubtless scared the shit out of most of the senators when he brought his own army into Rome
Standing up for reforms that benefit the masses is dangerous. And so is exposing lies that most of the population would become aware of. Whoever originated this statement knew what he was talking about: “Telling the truth is dangerous in a Kingdom of Lies.”
Yes, what it means,& if History is anything to go by, that other Nations may reach a saturation point when enough is enough & they finally come to the realisation that this crooked American Empire is to dangerous to be allowed too continue & must be stopped, once & for all time! The Roman Empire never saw the Barbarian hordes such as the Visigoth’s, Huns & Vandals coming until it was to late! Will the American Empire see there downfall coming? 9/11 proved the!arrogant American Empire couldn’t even see that event coming, due to their own hubris & complacency!