The Empire Game – now in its 4,500th Year!

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Humanity, Our Future | 0 comments

The Empire Game – now in its 4,500th Year!

In this first blog post of 2014, I am addressing what I believe to be the most destructive ongoing threat to humanity’s continued survival. It is both an ancient and a modern threat upon which our increasingly conflict-ridden and chaotic world is based. Yet it is rarely if ever discussed in public and thus is the proverbial and largest ‘Elephant in the Room’.

This massive threat to our present and future is the ongoing reality of “EMPIRES”. Empires are the foundation for most of what transpires in our world today, and has been the case for many millennia now. Our world is built upon the “Age of Empires”, and that Age continues in full force in our time. Most of us, however, do not seem to know that but rather believe Empires to be relics of the past. Would that only be true!

Historically, the Akkadian Empire is considered to have been the first Empire in our history. It was centered in the city of Akkad in ancient Mesopotamia, and reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following conquests by its founder Sargon. That time period is almost 4,500 years ago.

Empires are defined by the conquest by one people or nation over others, driven by greed for territory, wealth and power, together with the military might to do so. The consciousness of Empire accordingly is and always has been: “Might over Right.”

In its various forms and structures, Empires have been the main factor defining the majority of human societies for almost 4,500 years now. However, there was a very long period of human history before their advent which indicates there could be a long period of human history after the end of the “Age of Empires”. If not, it may well not matter as humanity will likely experience a global civilizational collapse, which would end that Age, along with most of us and much of life on Earth. Today, the “Age of Empires” has gone global of course.

My specific title for this blog is, of course, “The Empire Game”. I call it a “Game” because it is ultimately about “winners and losers” at the largest possible scale. The “winners” receive greatly increased territory, wealth and power while the “losers” lose their liberty, property and often their lives. So it is a very serious Game indeed and the longest one ever played!

This “Game” is again in full bloom today, most recently and critically with Ukraine. With Ukraine following Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela and other nations, since the beginning of this 21st Century.

The basic rules of “The Empire Game” are well known; a more powerful people or nation attack a weaker one or ones because they want to and they can. “The Game” is solely about the extension of power and control outside national borders through the military (and now economic) acquisition of territories, wealth and resources to support the rule of the Empire and its masters. The “rights” of people and peoples subject to Empire simply do not exist. And if the people survive the conquest they either become tools to support the new rulers, or become either displaced or oppressed peoples. It has been the very same “Game” for 4,500 years now!

Accordingly, Empires and the values that represent true “Democracy” are clearly at opposite ends of the societal spectrum and can never co-exist in reality. Each is the complete antithesis of the other. Another major rule for Empires is this: “As they Rise, they Fall”, and today’s Empire is a global one of course.

The 20th Century saw the fall of the British Empire and the emergence of the American and Soviet Empires, of course. In between, Nazi Germany tried to establish its “Thousand Year Reich” which resulted in WWII and devastated much of humanity and the world. The American Empire “defeated” the Soviet Empire late last Century leaving only itself to rule the World, and it certainly appears to be trying to do so today.  While many political commentators view the American Empire to having been in its decline phase for decades now.

The USA currently has a military presence in over 150 nations and exerts its military and/or economic influence on basically all the nations in the world today. While every nation is divided in shifting alliances of allies and enemies. Allies today may be enemies tomorrow and vice versa just as all Empires through human history. The United States spends far more than any other country on its military. In 2011 the USA spent 20% of its total Federal Budget on the military.  Since 2001, the base Defense Budget soared from $287 billion to $530 billion, before accounting for the primary costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In 2012, the US Budget was $682 Billion or nearly 40% of a World Total Expenditure of  $1,753 Trillion. That is 40% of the world total from a single nation out of 154 nations. Clearly an Empire mentality!

Quoting from this recent blog by W.J. Astore, “Do We Learn Anything From History?:  “Our decision makers have no respect for the lessons of history.  They think the lessons don’t apply to them.  They think they can make history freely: that history is like a blank canvas for their creative (and destructive) impulses.  They figure they are in complete control.  Hubris, in other words. Such hubris was captured in a notorious boast of the Bush Administration (later attributed to Karl Rove) that judicious study of the past was, well, antiquarian and passé.  Why?  Because men like Karl Rove would strut the historical stage to create an entirely new reality.  And the rest of us would be reduced to impotent watchers, our only role being to applaud the big swinging dicks at their climactic “mission accomplished” moments.  In Rove’s words: “We’re an Empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”  That says it all!

Today we must collectively ask ourselves and each other this fundamental question, openly and ongoingly: “When and how will “The Empire Game” finally end?” As it must if our species is to survive and thrive into the longer-term future. Or, in other words; “How do we collectively shift from an ancient geo-political system based on “Might over Right” to a modern evolved one based on the values of “Right over Might?”

The first step must be that the present reality of Empire needs to become a mainstream issue for political and societal discussion and debate ongoingly. We  should all now acknowledge the “Elephant in the Room” and deeply understand that in human history all Empires fall and that invariably at the end of the day, “The Empire Wears No Clothes”.

That is my own play on words on the well-known story, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”, by Hans Christian Andersen. The tale is about two weavers who promise the Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” This phrase is often used in political and social contexts today for “an obvious falsehood presented by the ruler (or rulers) despite what the people can plainly see to be true with their own eyes”.

Today it is is all about our collective perception of the current global reality. We don’t seem to see that we still fully live in “The Age of Empires” but, unfortunately, we do and today it encompasses the entire world.

The majority of us need not believe what the rulers of Empire tell us when it clearly contradicts the clear truth before our eyes. And, of course, history teaches us to judge our “rulers” by their actions and not by their words. Their actions are usually crystal clear and in direct contradiction of their words.

The current example of “The Empire Game” is what has and is transpiring in Ukraine. Echoes of the Cold War which almost led to the total destruction of humanity between the two Empires of the second half of the 20th Century – the American and the Soviet Empire.

Let us clearly note the “Hallmarks of Empire” in this current and very dangerous conflict: The current Empire and a former one are at loggerheads (like two aging bull elephants) over which one will control another nation, its people and resources. The conflict is primarily for the usual geo-political reasons of Empire. The legitimate democratic will of all the people of the nation are completely ignored despite the contradictory rhetoric of the respective current and former Empire’s rulers.  Instead puppet governments are installed to represent the respective interests of the outside nations who want power and control solely for their own interests. International law is ignored as ever (except in statements but never in actions) and especially now the United Nations which is supposed to represent all nations. While the media repeats the respective propaganda of their powerful nations as if it is the sole and only possible truth. No independent mainstream media exists any longer only alternative media on the web as set out in the Notes from the Web below.

My view, is that in the world today, truth has now lost all meaning and what is left is solely the propaganda of self-interest. While with the revelations last year of the Empire spying on all its citizens and almost everyone else in the world, Orwell’s prediction of “1984” has now arrived except 30 years later in 2014.

With this endless repetition of the “Age of Empire”, I believe that the main and perhaps sole hope for humanity today is the reality of our ongoing ‘Socio-Cultural Evolution’, based upon the evolution of our collective consciousness and the shared evolved human values that implies.

The following quote is from my earlier blog, The Evolution of Society: “Societal progress is mostly illusory when the bottom line for humanity remains ‘Might over Right’  over these many thousands of years. The needed fundamental societal change to “Right over Might” has not yet occurred. Not even close. True progress to date for humanity has thus only been at the periphery of societies. Increased individual rights and much greater technological prowess but all still firmly within the endless machinations of “The Empire Game”. The path to such an urgent shift in terms of humanity’s future does indeed exist. It is based upon the Universal Law that “Everything Evolves”. This means the evolution of biological form as well as socio-cultural evolution including technology and societal organization and most importantly, the evolution of our collective consciousness.

However, as I have stated in my previous series Leaders and Leadership 2013, we, of course, remain far from the urgently needed fundamental societal change despite our ongoing evolution of consciousness. Quoting from that earlier blog:

“The major hallmark of humanity over our civilizational history to date has been the belief that ‘Might Makes Right’ and the exploitation and domination of nature and other human beings has been the ongoing ‘modus operandi’ to implement that belief from the top down. Societal “leaders” whether “elected” or brought to power through violence or coup, etc. then control their society’s advanced technologies, police and military forces and thus the means of enforcing their self-serving will. Historically there does not appear to have been any society since human civilization first began where the people’s or nation’s “leader” or “leaders” have not ultimately abused their power for the personal gain of themselves, their families, societal class, etc. Nothing much has changed with this reality today except that our technologies have now developed to the point where our “leaders” can through either their actions or inaction end up destroying our civilization and much of life on Earth either through nuclear war or the warming of the global climate to a further 3 degrees Celsius over the current global average temperature. Either scenario will likely mean the end of our short-lived civilization or worse. Will the ultimate legacy of our species be Homo sapiens, as we have hopefully named ourselves, or Homo ignoramus, the species we act like more often then not, and which eventually destroyed human life and all life on Earth? Unfortunately this is the path we are presently solidly on today. What is hindering our natural societal evolution now are the forces that try to maintain the status quo and the way the world has always been run for their own self-interest. That can only end in disaster particularly when humanity is led by groups who blindly follow failed ideologies, corrupted values and attempts at total power and control.  The ‘Age of Empires’ must now truly end not just in words but in deeds and reality – to be finally replaced by true democracy of and by the People of the World.”

Further from my previous blog, Will we finally learn the Lessons of History?:  “The main lesson of the 20th Century for humanity in my view is this: “Extreme nationalism and patriotism, when nations are armed to the teeth and ruled by an alliance of right-wing militaristic powers and corporatist leaders, inevitably lead to widespread destruction and disaster.” Humanity has the evolutionary advantage of our advanced conscious minds which means that wisdom and foresight can become primary traits of our species hopefully called “Homo sapiens”. We have the ability to do so today but do we also have the understanding and will to do so? To learn these lessons requires collective maturity, wisdom, foresight and ‘acting today for tomorrow’, together with leaders who represent the interests of all humanity not just themselves and their own ‘people’.  To get there we must now shift our collective path by 180 degrees! In 2008, Ervin Laszlo coined this urgently needed shift to be a “Worldshift”.

In my previous blogs, I have also attempted to set out some practical steps to the New World each of us on desperately needs, if we can truly hope for a longer-term future:

6 Steps to the Co-Creation of a Peaceful and Sustainable World

1. A Global Consensus on shared Universal Human Values (UHV) that unify all peoples and cultures.

2. A Global Spiritual Culture.

3. A Global Education System

4. A Participatory Global Democracy System based on UHV

5. A Global Governance System and Sub-Systems based on UHV

6. The design and implementation of new and truly Democratic Global Systems for Security, Energy, Food, Shelter, Resource Use, Eco-restoration, etc., based on UHV.

A truly democratic Global Governance system is what can  and must finally end the “Age of Empires”. Fundamental systemic change at all levels based on the shared values, hopes and needs of all humanity, not solely a corrupt global elite. Remembering the old adage: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That adage has never been proven wrong.

Now we must give “True Democracy” a chance. Not solely lip service by our “rulers/leaders”. If not the “Age of Empires” will likely finally end the “Human Age”.  4,500 years is long enough for “The Empire Game” to be played out at the expense of all humanity and the Earth!

The Empire is striking back today. The next installment  in this historical series must be: “The Return of Humanity”! That is the primary evolutionary imperative for our collective survival today. The alternative is equally clear I’m afraid.

I close this blog with my personal statement on the home page of this blogsite: “Each of us can now join together to co-create a peaceful, sustainable future and a new world from the collapse of the old. We can connect, communicate and collaborate”. This is our only real hope for a truly New World today!

Notes from the Web on major global issues I have blogged about in this and previous blogs:

Liberation Theology is back as Pope Francis holds capitalism to account

They’re Fast-Tracking the Future, TPP Style – But We Can Stop Them

The Fukushima Secrecy Syndrome – From Japan to America

Unfortunately, The World Is Still Barreling Towards Climate Cataclysm

Washington Drives the World Toward War

Russia Under Attack 

Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many?

Ukraine: This Isn’t A Revolution – It’s Regime Change

Distorting Russia

Washington’s Arrogance, Hubris, and Evil Have Set the Stage for War

Master of the 21st Century (my ‘tongue-in-cheek’ poetic salute to the consciousness of Empire from 2003)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *