by Gary North via The Tea Party Economist
Back in the late 1950’s, I used to sell records to Leonard Wibberley. He had a long gray beard, and he drove a white Jaguar convertible.
You have probably never heard of Leonard Wibberley. But he was important in my life. He taught me about American foreign policy.
He was a novelist. His most famous creation, out of 100 books, was the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. He wrote five novels about this remarkable little country. In his novels, he offered insights into American foreign policy. This was impressive, because Wibberley was Irish. But he had lived long enough in the United States to figure out how the system worked.
His most famous book was The Mouse that Roared. Here was its thesis. A tiny country was in financial straits. It needed a lot of money, and it needed it fast. The Prime Minister decided that the easiest way for a nation to make a lot of money was to declare war on the United States, and then lose the war. Foreign aid would flow in, and continue on a permanent basis thereafter.
The novel was made into a movie. What I remember most about the film was the opening scene. It was a Columbia Pictures movie. There has never been an opening for any movie like this one, and I don’t think there will ever be any like it again. For old times’ sake, click here.
AN EMPIRE LIKE NO OTHER
The United States of America is an empire. But it is an empire like no other in history. It is an empire based on giving away money. The general taxpayers are taxed to give the money away, and those who profit from the expansion of the empire are paid by the government to produce the weapon systems which enable the United States government to project power around the world.
The foreign aid system is a system of bribery. It bribes leaders of countries around the world to keep their mouths shut regarding the extension of American power. This extension of power does not benefit the man in the street. It benefits various special interests, especially the military-industrial complex.
These days, the empire opens up markets for American exports, especially weapons and spare parts — the dependence effect. It also makes sure that Middle Eastern oil reaches its destinations, where it is sold only for United States dollars. This helps to maintain the international value of the United States dollar.
It has sold over a trillion dollars in IOU’s to China. This finances our defense of Taiwan against China.
This makes as much sense as federal subsidies to lung cancer research to offset the effects of federal tobacco subsidies.
Recently, Pat Buchanan identified the true nature of the American empire. This is an extension of Leonard Wibberley’s insights.
Historically, great powers and empires exact tribute, exploit colonies, and demand conscripts of their protectorates.
America is something new in the way of world powers. We not only provide the legions to protect “allies,” but provide the tribute in the form of foreign aid, IMF and World Bank loans, and bailout billions.
Here is one case in which the old line, originally coined by Joseph Stalin, is accurate. There really is American exceptionalism. These days, when we hear the phrase, “Obama drones on,” we can be sure that it is not talking about his elocution.
Buchanan draws the fiscally obvious conclusion.
This role of philanthropic superpower is simply not sustainable.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll reveals that while only 19 percent of Americans want this country more active in world affairs, 47 percent want it to become less active. This confirms a Pew poll where 53 percent of Americans said the United States “should mind its own business internationally.”
As China’s military power grows, and U.S. armed forces shrink, our allies had best prepare for the day, not too distant, when America decides she will no longer play the philanthropic superpower, and gives up the role and goes home.
As all world powers eventually do.
The trouble is, Leonard Wibberley bought records from me in 1957. The system still goes on, just as it did then, but the numbers have grown much larger. Back then, the justification for this system was the existence of the Soviet Union on the other side of the Iron Curtain. That justification ended on December 31, 1991. No more Soviet Union. No more Iron Curtain. But the system still exists.
The Republican Party will not give up the empire. The Democratic Party will not give up the domestic welfare state. They have work out a compromise. The Democrats will vote for guns, and the Republicans will vote for butter. This has not changed since December 7, 1941.
Take a look at this pie chart. When you hear the phrase, “as American as apple pie,” this chart should pop into your memory.
There is never any serious pullback. The numbers simply get larger. The spending simply gets larger. This is a bipartisan disaster. This is not an accident waiting to happen. This is an inevitable default waiting to happen.
The American Empire is going to come to an end. It will then do no good for the mice to roar.
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