That is what building the future in place is all about, creating an ecosystem of community institutions that meets human needs and balances our relations in the natural world, prioritizing communities and people falling through the cracks of the current system.
It is time to abandon empire as a way of life and turn to the hard work of creating community, beginning where we live.
When confronted with a choice between building a society based on communitarian values or expanding to dodge the difficulties that would have entailed, the U.S. consistently chose imperial expansion.
Williams was the dean of what came to be known as the revisionist school of U.S. history that penetrated the myth of American exceptionalism with the facts of history, that the U.S. was an empire from its colonial roots, and behaved much as any other empire.
The near future is one of grave uncertainty and instability as the new global monetary regime takes shape.
But America’s disastrous intervention and ignoble retreat illustrates some uncomfortable if not random truths that are left out of the chatter.
Of course, Afghanistan has no oil, and this much was known. But in the 1990s the oil reserves of the Caspian region, adjacent to Afghanistan, had been the object of a game of aggrandizing that led to exaggerating their extent at least of an order of magnitude.
How can you tell when your empire is crumbling? Some signs are actually visible from my own front window here in San Francisco.
Empires are short-lived structures created and kept together by the availability of mineral resources, fossil fuels in our times. They tend to decline and fall with the decline of the resources that created them, and that’s the destiny of the current World Empire: the American one.
We know very little about Queen Boudica of the Iceni (20 AD (?) – 61 AD) and most of what we know is probably deformed by Roman propaganda. But we may still be able to put together the main elements of her story and how it was that she almost threw the mighty Roman Legions out of Britain.
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change has sparked a global uproar. Yet America’s reluctance to reduce its use of fossil fuels is, in fact, logical. Not only because of the U.S. president’s overt denial of man-made climate change, but also and more fundamentally because it reflects America’s historical essence and trajectory.
Very few people will read this book without bristling at least once at things Greer says…which I regard as one of its virtues.