20 September 2002

The Bush Administration is or was supposed to release, today, a new foreign policy doctrine. "Quail, ye enemies of the United States and its empire," it says. I wonder if this indicates an impending end of the capitalist system and the beginning of a new system of imperial conformity, a modernized rehash of what the world saw at the end of late Antiquity, in the 4th century CE, in the Roman Empire. Will the empire of the present over-reach itself with a pricey Iraq war?

As capitalism appears to be coalescing into a delivery system for super-rich oligopolies (we're looking at this process in media in my English class), one begins to wonder how the government will be recruited next to satisfy the need for corporate profits, now that the US national debt stands at six trillion dollars and the rest of the world's governments have been ransacked until they all stand a chance of becoming the next Argentina. Whatever it is, it's likely to be the equivalent of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. As Robert Brenner points out in The Boom and the Bubble, the global economy is afflicted by tremendous surpluses of capital and labor, such that there is a serious jeopardy of depression.

At any rate, and failing any capitalist crisis such as was predicted by Brenner, we can expect the global Hubbert Peak to happen soon. There should be a mad rush to develop alternative energy supplies -- but the preparation for the global Hubbert Peak that is going on today appears to be centered upon the impending US acquisition of Iraq's oil supplies, 10% of the world's present reserves, in order to forestall the moment of doom as much as possible for oil-selfish nations such as the United States. We should then see "poor" societies regressing as quickly as possible to pre-capitalism, while the "rich" societies regress to dictatorial modes of governance in order to protect profits amidst ever-increasing energy prices and climactic side-effects of global warming.

The dieoff model predicts an even curve of Western civilization, from rapid climax to rapid decline. Is that what we're seeing today? Humanity needs to wake up to the fact that it is in control of history, that it can choose a different path than the one it blindly follows at present.