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The Convergence
by Zbignew Zingh
January 26, 2005

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Just as the American empire was crowned as the world's one and only super power, the energy that sustains that power sputtered and started to give out. Regardless whether oil production has already peaked or whether it peaks in one year or two, petroleum's high energy return on the energy invested to produce it is a thing of the past. So, too, are all hydrocarbon empires.

Whatever oil remains to be pumped out of the earth will be very expensive to produce, and the resulting economic toll will be charged to us all (as has already happened) as inflation. It will be passed on to us in the degradation of our schools; the hollowing out of our health care system; the malnutrition of our retirement plans, our legal system, our transportation systems, our libraries, and our environment.

The loss of cheap oil causes the economy to become anemic. Economic anemia causes, in turn, political anemia. Only wealthy nations can afford democracy, checks and balances, and free elections. Nations that slide into poverty and that have become anemic can only afford an anemic democracy.

Among those at the highest echelons who make the real decisions that affect us, there is consensus that America cannot afford the luxury of a real democracy, but only its external packaging. Florida and Ohio are the harbingers of the Twenty-First Century election. Neither one of the two major parties will contest that reality. They are focused not on “trivialities” like the integrity of the ballot, but on saving their own and their patrons’ buns in the coming descent.

There are not now and there will not be in the future any meaningful political checks or balances in the United States. The branches of government have merged into one governing body. The two major political parties serve the same interests of the same powerful small segment of society.

There have not been in the near past, and there will not be in the near future, meaningful choices of candidates or meaningful elections for important political office.

Democracy is an impediment when resources are scarce and Power is imperiled.

Our current government's behavior demonstrates its belief that it has just enough time to seize what remains of the world's necessary resources and thereby preserve its unequal share of the world for itself in the short-term. Damn the Democracy: full speed ahead!

This strategy is based on four assumptions.

First, it assumes that if the United States -- the King of Beasts -- slays another country for its meal, then all other countries, like hyenas, will ultimately acquiesce in the kill and content themselves to gnaw the dead carcass. We see smaller, dependent nations feeding on the dying Iraq and we will witness them also feed on the resources of Iran and Venezuela, soon after America moves to strike them down.

Second, the strategy assumes that the other and less powerful nations of the world will fail to form a unified front. Rather, like Tony Blair's Not-So-Great Britain, the Administration assumes that weaker nations will think it safer to humor America than risk being its meat. The Administration assumes that fear and self-interest will prevent the development of any meaningful resistance.

Third, the Administration assumes that the rest of the world will finance its military aggression by continuing to support our currency and by continuing to underwrite our burgeoning national debt. Like Sampson pushing against the pillars in the temple, all nations must believe that if the dollar falls, then the entire interlocked world economy falls with it. Like the “mad” Cold War strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction, America's MAD economic strategy counts on the world bailing out America's faith-based, currency for fear that if it does not, then everything and everyone in the global economy will collapse with us.

And fourth, the Administration assumes that America's own citizens will continue to be memory-impaired and inattentive. Purposefully shocked and agitated by the drama of 9-11, America's citizens were first energized and then channeled into thoughtless, choreographed jingoism. Then, once the initial fury abated and deep thought had been quashed, the citizens were soothed by the cooing of a what-me-worry media and hypnotized by our culture of tinselly distractions. The Bush government's adventures proceed because it assumes that the citizenry will remain numb, blasé, intellectually disengaged and forgetful.

All of these assumptions require sufficient time. Like frogs cooking in slow boiling water, the Administration is counting on it having just enough time to execute its next moves before anyone is fully aware of what is happening. It is counting on present memories to fade fast enough for future aggression to occur without conscious points of reference.

But the Administration may not have enough time. What is more, its assumptions could be wrong and they might not hold true into the future.

Only China, the United States and, perhaps, India and Russia, currently have sufficient economic, technological and demographic depth to go it alone as completely autarkic economies. Nevertheless, the European Union, various alliances of quickly industrializing Asian countries, and the nascent South American trading blocks promise to become more-or-less stand-alone commercial communities as well. If such communities rapidly emerge (and their political leadership seem intent on doing just that), then the first American strategic assumption falls.

Likewise, there are only so many weak countries the United States can devour before others begin to realize that they, too, will look like lunch when there is nothing else left to eat. It was relatively easy for Nazi Germany to seize the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, Poland and to annex Austria, but its subsequent invasions of France and then the Soviet Union clearly demonstrated to even the most phlegmatic that they had no choice but to resist. The case of the German invasion of the Soviet Union proved that even powerful nations suffer terminal indigestion when they attempt to gobble up too much, too fast.

Today, we see a budding military and economic cooperation among Russia, China and India. As we witness a similar friendship develop among Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, so, too, do we sense the first stirrings of a different world order that might turn away from America. Thus would fall the second American strategic assumption.

Moreover, although the America of the 1970s could bludgeon and bluff Europe and Japan into economic subservience by threatening to drag them all down if they did not finance our wars in Southeast Asia, it appears today that the threat of Mutually Assured Economic Destruction does not carry the weight it did thirty years ago. Although the U.S. has intentionally allowed the Twenty-First Century Dollar to plummet in value against all the major world currencies, the American balance of trade deficits still grew larger even as our currency became drastically “cheaper”. Unlike times past, the major European and Asian central banks did not intervene to buy up, and thus prop up, the dollar en masse. All this was completely contrary to Wall Street's expectation that as the dollar fell in value against other world currencies, American exports abroad would increase at the expense of other countries' exports to America. That the opposite happened demonstrates that a) America today produces very little that the world truly wants or needs to buy; b) America has become more dependent on what it imports from abroad than are other nations dependent on what they import from America; and c) the reign of the dollar as the world's reserve currency is precarious. And so may fall the third assumption of the Administration's world strategy.

Then, lastly, there is the mesmerized American, the media-narcotized citizen-consumer whose political impotence makes all things possible. If this is the last valid assumption of the current administration, then it, too, will fail when the inevitable happens – the reinstitution of the draft and the meltdown of the oil-dependent economy.

The Iraqi Resistance, more than it understands, is midwife to the renaissance of the American anti-war movement. So long as the somnolent Middle Class's sons and daughters are not fed to the Beast, it will not care what wars are fought against whom or for what purpose. But once the ranks of the regular armed forces are strained beyond the capacity of the poor and unemployed to fill them, and once the Reserves and the National Guard troops rebel against serving in endless resource wars, then a draft there must be.

Near in time to the reinstitution of the draft, the oil peak will occur. So, too, will the increasingly dramatic climatic effects of global warming. At that moment, the torpid people will feel profound economic and personal discomfort. It will be a historic convergence in time as shocking and as agitating as the events of 9-11, only more profound and longer lasting.

Then, and only then, might the catatonic citizens be jolted into consciousness, and the last assumption of the Administration's strategy fall.

Zbignew Zingh can be reached at This Article is CopyLeft, and free to distribute, reprint, repost, sing at a recital, spray paint, scribble in a toilet stall, etc. to your heart’s content, with proper author citation. Find out more about Copyleft and read other great articles at

Other Articles by Zbignew Zingh

* The Political Descent of Mankind
* Soviets “R” US
* November Strategy
* New Dogs for the New American Century
* Vive la Difference
* Dennis, We Hardly Knew You
* The 2004 Political All-Star Game
* George Bush, Destroyer of the Faith
* Zbignew's Inferno
* The Statue of Liberty is Missing
* Monuments To The New American Century
* What Are We Trying To Achieve?
* Bush Administration Relents: American Style Elections Promised for Iraq
* E.U. Researchers Publish Findings of Widespread Mad Cow Infection
* The Declassified Ads

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