Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire further east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes but Rome’s calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded the value of extractable resources. The Roman empire failed, because Romans exhausted manpower and resources in civil wars fighting amongst themselves for power. The British empire failed, because the British exhausted themselves fighting Germany in two world wars...America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about? The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. That is how the American Empire functions. The New Empire is different. It happens without achieving conquest.
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