Is the American Empire on the Brink of Collapse?
By Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash. Posted March 24, 2007.
U.S. military expert Chalmers Johnson argues the catastrophe in Iraq and the staggering cost of running a military that stretches across 130 countries on 737 bases may finally cost America its empire.
“I believe that we’re close to a tipping point right now. What happened to the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991 could easily be happening to us for essentially the same reasons. Imperial overreach, inability to reform, rigid economic ideology. … The world’s balance of power didn’t change one iota on September 11, 2001. The only way we could lose the power and influence we had at that time was through our own actions, and that’s what we did”. — Chalmers Johnson, author of Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic
Has our “leadership” traded democracy for empire? Have their over-bloated egos convinced them that they are the world’s newly crowned colonial kings? Author Chalmers Johnson is certainly not given to wearing rose-colored glasses. As he concludes in his newest book, Nemesis: “… my country is launched on a dangerous path that it must abandon or else face the consequences.”
Johnson’s well-argued, persuasive argument draws on the economic, military, and political lessons of the past, which may be just what’s needed to wake up Americans in time to change course. In this interview, he explained his hopes and fears for contemporary America.
Read more here.
The Emperor tarot
The Emperor symbolizes the desire to rule over one’s surroundings, and its appearance in a reading often suggests that the subject needs to accept that some things may not be controllable, and others may not benefit from being controlled.
The Emperor is Key Four of the Major Arcana. Fours are stable numbers; four walls, four seasons, four corners. It takes a massive amount of energy, comparatively, to move them. The strength of The Emperor is the stability he brings. The weakness is the risk of stagnation.
The Emperor is connected to Key 13, Death, through its cross sum (the sum of the digits). Emperors maintain their power through death and through their relationship with the other 13 of the tarot; The Queens (who legitimate their rule and bear their heirs). He is also strongly associated with Life; his scepter is an ankh, the symbol of life. But he is in the mountains, separated from the pulse of life. The sign of the Emperor is associated with the sun sign of Aries. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and is the leader. The Emperor, like Aries, is fiery, powerful, authoritative and very egotistical.
King Minos is another aspect of this archetypal image. He was, mostly, a good king, (considered so wise he is, according to some, one of the judges of the dead), who increased and protected Crete for many years. But he took his kingdom by means of a trick. He and his brothers disputed who should rule, and he prayed to Poseidon to send a sign from the sea that he was the chosen of the gods, which he promised to immediately sacrifice to the god. Poseidon sent a magnificent bull, and Minos was proclaimed king. But he balked at fulfilling his promise to slay the animal, and substituted a bull from his own herds. In so doing, as Joseph Campbell put it he â€œconverted a public event to personal gain, whereas the whole sense of his investiture as king had been that he was no longer a mere private person. The return of the bull should have symbolized his absolutely selfless submission to the functions of his role.â€ (Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces 15 (2nd ed. 1968)). And the consequences were catastrophic; Poseidon afflicted the Cretan queen, Pasiphae, with an unquenchable desire for the bull. Their coupling produced the Minotaur, who was fed on human flesh.
Slaying the Minotaur
The Emperorâ€™s power and apparent stability bring great comfort, self worth, power. But the danger, as Minos discovered, is that we may gain a sense of personal entitlement beyond our actual rights. That way leads corruption, material or spiritual. It also, to quote an old television show, makes the people “cr[y] out for a hero.”
Generally, when the Emperor appears in a spread, he is something to be overcome. Some rigidity of thinking, some inflexibility of approach, some external force keeping us from our destiny. A comforting myth the Querant has outgrown. Sometimes, he represents the exterior forces we must accommodate. Sometimes, he is the superego. The two rams on each sides of his throne represent Aries presenting him as a powerful dictator for his time and showing his potent thirst for conquering in war. (Source: Wikipedia)