“The strife is o’er the battle won; the victory of life is done; Alleluia.”
And so it seems for the elections in the United States and so far there have been no violent clashes between armed militia of either side. I hope that this status will remain, and that there will be some basis for rapprochement between those “warring tribes” who are determined to make race; gender; and lifestyle choices compete with some fundamental and cultural beliefs. So all is not yet settled.
The underlying principles are, and have been manifesting themselves for several decades, and, are not going anywhere. Some of the clues lie in understanding the concept of particular human groups’ exercise of power, usually referred to as “building Empires”, or minority groups taking subtle control.
At the very base was domination of other peoples and nations by military force and subjugation. History has been replete with examples whose rise and fall were recorded prior to and by the Old Testament, and the writings of other religious texts, historians, and scholars. Many so-called Empires lasted only decades but due to the life expectancy of those days may have seemed to have been centuries. So eventually they became lost and sometimes irrelevant to modern historians.
Attention shifted seemingly because of the growth and influence of the level of domination that stretched across warring tribes over a much wider area. These were supported by developing systems of common governance; political thought; science and technology; and developed systems of slavery, benevolent slavery, religious conversion, and participatory citizenship.
In fact, in some cases the aforementioned were stages of assimilation of both armies and political governance. Remember Egypt; Phoenicia; Sparta; Greece; Babylon; Rome; Britain; and America. The similarities all pointed to the stages of development, the creation of new sources of wealth; and use of knowledge. It may have been believed by some as the ages of immortality that transcended human lifetimes and embraced the gods, whoever they may have been.
Lavish lifestyles, cults, debauchery, and inattention to governance outlived Hannibal; Attila; Caesar; Alexander the Great; The Pharaohs, and many other leaders of the undying empires. Whatever the specific reasons their rise and eventual decline followed noticeable patterns of vulnerability to a lack of total control.
In juxtaposition were wealth accumulations then unrepayable debts; too large areas after conquest and a lack of effective and swift resolutions of local government problems. The inclusion of the conquered in the political hierarchy at the home government level enabled dissent, and uprisings. The lethargy of the conquerors caused valuable ruling time to be spent outside of the halls of power. Their pursuit of personal happiness and wealth left their underbellies vulnerable. This gave ample time for plots against leadership, treason, control of armies, and outright revolution.
Such has been the path to decline and obsolescence. But other factors have defined their growth and eventual demise.
Primary among these has been communication time. Consider the Phoenicians who were largely trading and travelled to other nations to buy and sell and return home. Due to their routes and large fleets information flowed back to their home base and provided some domestic and social stability.
In stark comparison, the Greeks were expanding by war and conquest and not by trade. Their major military excursions removed men and resources from the home base and left their homes weakened and subject to political manipulation, and also elevated slaves to be able to have unfettered access to power, and non-Grecian practices. Often no news would come of wars and conquests for over a decade. Soldiers who survived returned to find that they were victims of the HTB Bun.
The Romans built roads and chariots and their speed of communication greatly improved in comparison to the Greeks. Their government structure was expanded to simulate what we would now call semi-autonomous local government. Therefore, Pontius Pilate did not have to refer Jesus Christ to the “Supreme Court” and simply allowed the local religious court to prevail.
The British had the telegraph, vast merchant marine trading, colonial (not local) rule, and the British legal system. Therefore even as the Empire grew they adopted a hybrid between the Greek and Roman system, and reinforced it with military outposts. Through the telegraph, news to the homeland was communicated in less than a day, and printing made news from around the world very quick for decision-making systems.
The Americans have had the wireless radio, television, telephones, satellite communication, and the Internet powering computer communications to their interests. Unlike the Greeks, war is now instantly within our homes, propaganda is enhanced, and decisions are taken in real time.
All the previously mentioned Empires were subjects of over-expansion and the debts to other nation-financiers increased an open door portal for foreign economic blackmail and excessive usury. The USA tried at the end of WW2 and successfully replaced the Gold Standard with a freely printable dollar (devoid of backing) as a world standard.
Very few Jamaicans under the quarantine age (65) can even remember multi-currency trading in Jamaica, and they have become mindless slaves to resisting the possibility of alternatives (digital currency). So the demise of an Empire is already threatened as their hegemony fails.
The overall trend is that each succeeding Empire had a much shorter life than its predecessor, primarily due to communication speeds, and what will happen in 6G and the Fifth Industrial Revolution mentioned by Leachim Semaj. If this is true, then the USA had been rapidly approaching its best-before-date even without the help of President Trump. So while I will not hold him solely responsible, he has driven some nails in the coffin on his own.
What is important for Jamaica is to clearly understand what the new administration holds in its plans that will affect Jamaica positively or negatively. Let us begin with the position that affects our international trade and the question of corresponding bank relationships, and whether a more left-leaning government will relax some of the onerous requirements and policies that currently add costs to our businesses and profitability?
Will the lifestyle movements in the USA affect our Government’s position on buggery; same-sex marriage; abortion; and press us to remove prayers from our schools as part of their negotiations/instructions?
Will our largest neighbour and tourist market review its own position on the Paris Accord; fossil fuels; the “green economy”; and the “blue economy” in ways that punish the Caribbean without making similar regulations/concessions for themselves?
Will the new administration’s foreign policy require a parting with China as a way of returning the Caribbean to once again being the satellites of the USA?
What will the immigration policies look like for access by lower skilled Caribbean workers seeking to migrate?
The list is by no means exhaustive and merely puts some questions of a serious nature that must temper our wild abandon and dancing in the streets. January 20th 2021 is the date that we should prepare strategies for if we are going to make any headway as a result of those election outcomes.
We are rapidly approaching the natural end of a 20th century Empire and the new administration of the USA cannot stop it, but if lucky, may extend its total time to demise by perhaps ten years.
The old view of the dog chasing the car carries to the question of what could happen if the dog actually catches the car. I hope our answer will not be “urinate on the wheel”.