The Impermanence of Empire

nemesis

Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic

By Chalmers Johnson

Henry Holt (2007)

Book Review

Available free as a mobi file (download Kindle for PCs free from Amazon) at libcom.org

The third and final volume in a trilogy, Nemesis is a study of the impermanence of empire. Johnson draws on detailed studies of the Roman and British Empire to make specific predictions about the ultimate fate of the US.

After taking inventory of some of the British Empire’s worst atrocities (the deliberate destruction of thriving civilizations in India and China, the extermination of the Tasmanians in Australia, the systemic genocide against the Kikuyu in Kenya*, the slaughter of 10,000 Sudanese and the genocidal Malaysian Emergency), the late Chalmers Johnson asserts that Britain surrendered their empire after World War II due to flagging domestic support for their administrative massacres in India.

Rome, in contrast, continued its imperial conquests and atrocities by imposing a brutal dictatorship at home. Citing the systematic revocation of civil liberties, Johnson theorizes that the US has opted to follow Rome’s example. He makes the uncanny prediction (in 2007) that there will be no change in US foreign policy, even after getting rid of Bush and Cheney.

As the average lifespan of a full fledged empire is 100 years, Johnson predicts the US empire will have collapsed by the 22nd century. He believes it will maintain the facade of democracy until bankruptcy overwhelms it.

According to Johnson, the loss of the US manufacturing base has forced the country into spending exorbitant sums on totally useless technology (his chapters on Star Wars SDI weapons are particularly illuminating) just to keep the economy afloat.

Aside from the secret budget devoted to covert CIA operations, which he enumerates in detail**, 40% of the Pentagon budget is secret – even from Congress.

The US government finally came out of the closet after 9-11 about being an empire. However they continue to be extremely secretive about the total number of countries they occupy. As of 2007, the official count was 737 bases in 130. However Johnson lists at least a dozen secret bases that are kept off the official list for political reasons.


*The so-called Mau Mau uprising.

**A partial listing of the democracies overthrown by the CIA and replaced with dictatorships:

  • Italy 1947-48
  • Iran 1953
  • Guatemala 1954
  • Indonesia 1957-58
  • Brazil 1961-64
  • Greece 1964-74
  • South Korea 1961-1987
  • Philippines continuously
  • Chile 1973

13 thoughts on “The Impermanence of Empire

  1. Pingback: The Impermanence of Empire, Book Review | Talesfromthelou

  2. Pingback: Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the US – Parts 1-3 | The Most Revolutionary Act

  3. Pingback: Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the US – Parts 1-3, Videos and Review | Talesfromthelou

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.