The Phases of an Empire
Part A: Key Points
* An Empire is a nation that; 1. Owns colonies, and/or 2. Controls, or has great influence over, other
nations. Empires require economic
and military strength to start and maintain, and this is expensive.
All Empires fail, and for the same reasons: 1. Expense of military abroad, and subsidies at home, 2. Decline in domestic
productivity (spoiled, parasitic citizens), and 3. Corruption (illegal conduct) and decadence (unethical and immoral
conduct) by leaders and citizens.
* Empire-USA, Our Deal to other nations is: ’We will be the world’s policeman and protect you, but you must accept our fake money and ‘influence’.
The USA is far into Phase 3-Failure. Look around you for the symptoms shown in Part B-3 and Part C below.
Chart Height Shows Combined
Military and Economic Strength (Power and Wealth)
o o [ -
] o o
o 1. (Disband Empire: Reduced
o o o o o
o or 2. (Total Failure:
o Homeland is Gone)
x x x
USA 1776 1845 1898 USA
2020 ? 2090 ?
[ Phase 1 - Growth ] [Phase 2 - Maturation] [ Phase 3 - Decline or Failure >>>
Part B: Events/Symptoms in each Phase
Phase 1- Growth
* Land: Gain
territory by ‘discovery’ (too bad for the natives), or conquest.
* Strength: Start
growth of economic and military strength. Sound currency (precious metal, or convertible paper and convertible base-metal
Local and central government acts as a servant to protect the rights of citizens. No 'entangling alliances' with other nations.
New land is governed as a colony or part of homeland nation (becoming a sovereign republic may require a revolution). The
army consists of volunteers protecting their homes and families, with no 'professional' or standing army.
* Ethics: Most
government people and citizens are hard working and honest. Government is a ‘servant’.
Phase 2- Maturation
* Land: Add contiguous
land, or remote colonies, by conquest or negotiation.
* Strength: Become
a world leader in both economic and military strength. Homeland receives cheap imports from colonies. Currency is debased
to allow more government spending, without raising taxes.
Grows stronger, more corrupt, and acts as boss, manager, nanny, owner, etc. Elected officials will do almost anything to retain
their jobs. Power is used to ‘manage’ other nations to impose/protect the Empire's ‘interests’.
The central government increases control (superiority) over local (city and state) functions, often based on its power to
create money to fund local projects. A standing army is created and consists of mostly conscripts, and 'professional' careerists.
Wars become more oriented to building and defending the Empire.
* Ethics: Corruption
and decadence grow due to decline in personal responsibility caused by nanny state.
Phase 3- Decline and/or Failure
* Land: Lose
colonies (or control of other nations) by revolution or voluntary release (due to expense and unrest).
* Strength: No
longer a world leader. Power declines by 50% or more, especially in foreign matters. Value of fake currency crashes in purchasing
power by 50% or more. Default on debt (or pay off with low value paper money).
Gets weak, more corrupt, and desperate. Leaders try to gain power (decrees, martial law, etc.) to survive citizen discontent.
‘Bread and Circuses’ grow, now called grants, subsidies, stimulus, and entitlements. The army consists of
mostly 'professional' careerists, and volunteers, many of whom join because they can't find work elsewhere. Standards
are lowered (criminal records, non-citizens, health issues) to aid recruiting for wars of empire (non-defense). Use of mercenaries
and contractors grows toward 50% or more of total staff, and their loyaty is to their Generals (or Corporate officials), and
original homeland, not the country that pays them.
* Ethics: Corruption
and decadence are rampant in both social and government conduct. Failure occurs as either; A. Nation survives, but at
a reduced level of strength and standard of living (England, France, Italy, Spain, and Russia are examples; see list in Part
D), or B. Ceases to exist due to takeover by other nations or groups.
C: Empire-USA is in Phase 3: Decline and/or Failure
* High Expenses: The expense to maintain bases, and fight wars, worldwide exceeds the
monetary and political benefits. As of 2008, the US has over 700 military bases, with troops (not counting embassies), in
over 130 countries, and the US acts as the world’s policeman to protect its ‘interests’, and impose ‘influence’.
Resistance by our ‘subjects’ is building. Military expenses are a drag on the economy, and the troops get less
than ideal equipment due to cost problems. Host nations are unhappy having our occupying troops.
* High Debt: The US is a bankrupt Empire by any measure. It cannot hope to pay back
the about $9 trillion in debt held by other nations, or the about $50 trillion unfunded future obligations of domestic programs
(Medicare, Social Security, etc.). Interest payments are huge. In 2009 the US Dollar (USD) is still the world’s 'reserve
currency' (held as if gold by other nations; it can be viewed as a share in ‘USA Inc.’), despite the fact that
the US is also the world’s biggest debtor, but doubts are rising in other countries who use and own dollars for trade.
This combination has never occurred before in history! Thus, since all US government debt is denominated in USD, the government can create new low-value dollars out of thin air
to pay its debts! A new form of default! The USD is in a precarious position due to excessive expansion of the money supply
(‘inflation’) and the USD could crash in value at any time. The extreme is ‘hyperinflation’, when
the money becomes almost worthless. As with heroin, lots of fake money (the Federal Reserve Bank calls it ‘liquidity’)
feels good at first, but has withdrawal pain called recession or depression. Since the federal government never runs out of
money, it often becomes the funder for state projects (with strings attached, called ‘control’), and ‘states
rights’ wither. This gives vote-getting power to Congressmen, and acquiescent State officials suck it up to avoid taxing
to raise state funds.
* Enemies: The US claims to be a 'world leader', but this is often a cover to be
a bully to control other countries with an occupying force to gain land and resources. This started in 1812 with the failed
invasion of Canada, then 1845 with the Mexican-American War, and 1898 with the Spanish-American war (which led to occupation/acquisition
of the Philippines and Hawaii). The World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and others followed. The recent Balkans, Afghan, and Iraq wars
are primarily about; 1. Control of oil (The US wants it all; no ‘easy-cheap’ MidEast oil for India and China),
2. Defense of Israel, 3. Land for bases to control the mideast, and 4. Continuation of oil sales in US Dollars by Iraq and
Iran. The US entered/started all these wars based on lies by leaders. What a disgrace and ripoff of the people! Trust and
respect for the US has declined in the eyes of its citizens and other nations. This meddling foreign policy contributed to
9-11 and terror. The federal government grasps for new, unconstitutional power.
and Bad Ethics: Ethics and social conduct are on the decline in the US. Corruption is rampant in
both the government and business. Shady conduct is considered ‘normal’ (gang theft by vote, ‘earmark’
pork handouts, lying, etc.). Prime time TV is now riddled with sexual content, cursing, glorification of misconduct (‘The
Sopranos’, ‘Desperate Housewives’, etc.), and violence (NASCAR, cop shows). Sports are riddled with violence
(the fans like it!) and cheating, condoned by coaches and team owners that want to sell more tickets. Little or none of the
above occurred in the ‘50s. The article below describes a good example of ethical decline:
Of the two ways to end the inevitable Phase 3 of an Empire (Decline or
Failure), it is far less painful to engage in a ‘managed decline’, or ‘nation restoration’, compared
to a massive depression. England and France are examples. A 'managed' process would entail prompt action
1. Invoke a major
change in foreign policy by; a. Terminating Empire-USA, and its role as policeman and bully of the world, and focus
on homeland defense; b Reducing spending and conflict by closing most, or all, overseas bases, and keeping only a minimal
standing army (primarily State-controlled National Guard); c. Stop meddling in the affairs of other nations by force, sanctions,
or bribery (no preemptive wars or occupations); and d. Promote free trade.
2. Invoke a similar
change in domestic policy where; a. Federal spending is reduced by 50% or more; b. Creation of new fake money is ended;
c. Sound money is introduced (paper is convertible to precious metal), and the Federal Reserve System is abolished; d. The
Constitution and law are adhered to (with repeal of recent bad laws); and e. Market intervention (favors to firms, unions,
people) is ended, and free enterprise capitalism is used.
These steps would
help bring the government back to its proper role to; ‘Protect the personal and property rights of citizens, as individuals,
from threat or violation by others’. With this approach, the USA and its citizens would enjoy a future of peace,
prosperity, justice and good ethics. It always works! I cite W. Germany in 1948, and later, Prov. of Alberta-Canada, and New
Part D: The History of Empire Phases
Sources: 1. ‘An
Inquiry into the Decline and Fall of Nations’, W. Playfair, England, 1805 (Rare books library, Toronto, Canada), 2.
‘Empire of Debt’, Bonner and Wiggins, 2006
Author: David Redick, All rights reserved.