Have We Destroyed the American Brand?

Once upon a time, few would have argued that the United States didn’t deserve to be considered among the greatest nations in human history: Our founding fight against the tyrannical rule of England’s King George; our essential declaration of equality, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all; our remarkable constitution and the improbable collection of brilliant founding fathers who penned it; our devastating civil war and our ongoing struggle for human rights and against racism; our heroic and decisive support for Europe in two World Wars; our remarkable collection of historic leaders like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and others… such a profound collection of extraordinary events, remarkable characters and inspiring ideologies  combined to create an easy perception of America as a truly exceptional nation.

But during the past 40 years our national character has been in decline. Once the world’s standard bearer for liberty and democracy, we have become a nation ruled by the rich, our freedom and privacy compromised in the name of national security. Once seen as the enemies of tyranny and oppression, we are now a country that invades, occupies and conducts drone strikes against other sovereign nations – once unimaginable acts of aggression which have resulted in the murderous death of millions of innocents. Once admired for our dedication to equality and justice, America today is a world leader in inequality, crony capitalism, surveillance and police state brutality.

Certainly there are no perfect systems of government; all are inevitably cursed with the failings of their human participants. But America had the making of a great system. Guided by noble core values and presided over by a Federal Government constrained both by internal checks and balances and by the autonomous authority of individual state governments, America had a great shot at fending off the all too common tendency toward tyranny and totalitarianism.

But one hundred years ago we essentially “privatized” our monetary system – turning the creation and control of our currency over to a privately-held bank with a deceivingly public name… the Federal Reserve. Since then, the owners of this private central bank been able to take over much of the world’s financial and economic systems through their control of the unlimited capital they now wielded – backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

We essentially handed this syndicate of money lords an ATM account containing the all of the wealth and borrowing power of the richest, most powerful nation in the world. And boy have they run with it!

When I was young, I had the privilege of living in Europe, first in the 1960’s and then again in the late 1970’s. One of the most edifying aspects of living abroad for any length of time is that you become able to see your country from an outsider’s perspective. In the Sixties, for an American in Europe there was still an enormous amount of gratitude shown for our country’s support in World Wars I and II. Most Europeans acknowledged our critical role in defeating the Nazis, and were grateful too for our aid in rebuilding their devastated countries and economies. In the Seventies, European’s admiration for America was perhaps less absolute. We’d had our own internal struggles – the Vietnam War, the civil rights struggle, serial assassinations, Nixon, Watergate etc. But we were still respected as a world leader in freedom and democracy. We were still recognized as the free world’s protector against the pressing totalitarianism of the communist regimes of the U.S.S.R. and the Peoples Republic of China. In spite of our flaws, America stood out in the world as the one superpower that was not bent on world domination.

In spite of our flaws and failings, it was still easy to perceive of America as an exceptional country, and to believe we were, as Lincoln said. “the last best hope for the world.”

But behind America’s benevolent facade, all was not all what it appeared to be.

As the sole surviving western economy in the wake of World War II, we convinced the world to build its new economic and financial infrastructure on the then unblemished, gold-backed, almighty dollar. This establishment of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency – and the later coup of having the worldwide sale of oil restricted to dollar transactions only – created an unnatural, almost unlimited worldwide demand for dollars and it is this artificially massive demand for dollars that has been the untold secret to American wealth and dominance for the past 50 years.

The extraordinary world-wide need for  dollars produced nearly limitless credit for our central bank. It gave our corporations access to the capital needed to expand their operations and dominate the globe, it allowed us to fund huge infrastructure projects and social welfare programs, it paid for space exploration, massive military expenditures and secret weapons programs.

Most insidiously, it produced the pervasive practice of debt-enslavement – where we made unsupportable loans to third world nations knowing full well that they would ultimately default on those loans. When they did, our political/banking class would swoop in and restructure the loans – extracting mineral rights, military bases and political acquiescence in return.

American empirialists had learned from studying the British that conquering and occupying other countries was difficult, enormously expensive and inevitably made permanent enemies of the conquered. Our ruling class decided to build it’s empire in a completely new way – by enslaving all of the nations of the the world to it’s tightly controlled financial system.

We didn’t need to invade countries to control them, we could buy their cooperation with all manner of loans, preferential trade relationships, arms deals and military protections. And if a nation decided not to play ball with us, we could lay financial siege to their country: starving them with economic sanctions, freezing their foreign assets and isolating them politically and militarily.

It was through this worldwide financial control and manipulation that the American class created it’s world empire… but it was an invisible empire. Most of the world – even most Americans – had no idea our elites were waging this kind of world domination. In the absence of overt military aggression and given our country’s well publicized foreign aid and human rights programs, it was easy to believe that America was a purely benevolent actor in the geopolitical sphere. The American Brand – with it’s mix of freedom, prosperity, justice and benevolence – was secure. The people of the world still believed our myths, watched our movies and purchased our fashions. They wanted to become Americans or, if that wasn’t possible, at least become like Americans.

But most importantly, they continued to unwittingly prop-up America by using U.S. dollars to conduct trade, to heat their homes, to run their cars and factories. And this has the exact effect of having the entire world pay a hidden, secret tax to America.

No other nation in the world would be allowed to operate the deficits and inflate their currency as the United States has routinely for decades. Our country has practiced financial policies that have historically produced catastrophic inflation and economic ruin. And it is only because of our full domination and corruption of the world’s financial structure – along with the general ignorance of it – that we’ve been able to continue what is essentially a global ponzi scheme.

But the American Brand is failing. The world is waking up to our scam. Our once-vaunted economic might is little more than an empty shell. Our banks and financial institutions have been exposed for their criminal manipulation of commodities and markets. Our principal values of freedom and bravery have been degraded by institutional paranoia and universal surveillance. Through our conduct of military invasions, occupations, regime change, torture and drone strikes we have squandered our reputation as a benevolent actor in a dangerous world – and instead have become the most dangerous, war-like country of the past 50 years, responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents in our pursuit of … whatever.

Because that’s the problem here, we don’t really know what America is really trying to do anymore… do we?

We don’t really know what – if anything – we stand for.

Being afraid of Terrorists is not a geopolitical strategy or a foreign policy. But it’s is all we have been offered by our ruling class for many, many years now.

What we all need to understand is that there has been a criminal syndicate controlling our government and our country for a very long time. They have ruled over not just us, but huge swaths of the world, due to their control of critical aspects of the world’s financial, economic and military spheres. Their secrecy, the invisibility with which they controlled and manipulated the world has been the key to their success – you can’t fight what you don’t see. But these elites have been victims of their own success. The’ve been controlling things so well from behind the scenes that they’ve become sloppy – allowing their actions and manipulations to be easily seen and recognized.

The world has begun to recognize the American ruling elite for what it is: a rapacious, warlike class bent on perpetuating their control of the wealth and power at all costs.

The American Brand is lost. We are not benevolent. We are not exceptional. We are the unwitting beneficiaries of a cruel and corrupt financial system our ruling class has used to dominate the world.

Once the world truly awakens to this reality, once it rejects our dollar-based financial system, once it exits our corrupt and manipulated financial markets and once it refuses to trade in our currency or invest in our treasury bonds… the once mighty American society will suffer a catastrophic implosion – complete with economic depression and astronomical inflation.

And the elites… well don’t worry about them, they’ll be just fine.

They will know to the day when the ultimate collapse will occur. They will have already positioned their assets into devices and strategies that will protect them from the worst of the crash.

And with their wealth intact, they will do what they always do after economic collapses… they will sweep in and purchase all of the assets of the country – and the world – for pennies on the dollars.

This is who leads us. These are the people who control our government, our politicians and our futures.

You and I are less than pawns in their game of dominance and control… we are their slaves, their chattel, their collateral damage.

Voting for one of their proven minions, Clinton – or for someone who only aspires to be one of them, Trump – will not change the relentless elite-driven course of this country.

It’s time for a revolution.