One analysis of the Roman Empire says that it reached a point where the cost of maintaining the empire exceeded the benefits of empire. The investments required to maintain the complex social and political structures to maintain the empire continued to rise while the benefits slowly fell to zero. This is the general thesis presented by Joseph Tainter in his book The Collapse of Complex Societies. Complex solutions eventually reach a point of diminishing marginal returns.
We may be seeing a similar issue with the Global America Empire. On the one hand, we have the massive amount of debt accumulation to maintain the global military presence required to maintain the empire. The official United States military budget exceeds the combined total of the other great powers. No one really knows what the actual cost of the military is, as so much of it is off budget. Of course, this allows many of the rulers to get rich in the process.
On the other hand. Enormous amounts of time and energy are invested in maintaining the rationale for the empire. Unlike the Roman empire, which was ruled by a small number of men, democratic empire must continue to provide energy to the spring of democracy, which is moral certainty. Rome conquered because it could, while America conquers because it has a moral duty. “Our democracy” requires an endless war against those who resist being crushed by “our democracy.”
What this means is that in addition to the trillions spent on weapons and armies, trillions are also spent on maintaining the moral framework. This cost is not strictly a government expense, but the system requires it, so corporations are as engaged in narrative maintenance as government entities. Companies embrace degenerate social fads, like crossdressing, because they support the system. They support the system because it is the system that makes them possible.
The most obvious example is the media. Thirty years ago, much of what a newspaper did, even the big broadsheets like the Washington Post and New York Times, was report on the mundane affairs of the world. They promoted left-wing causes on the editorial side, but the news side was the boring stuff of the news. Today, the entirety of the mass media is engaged in the support of narratives. These entities are staffed with content creators and storytellers.
Here is an example in the Washington Post. Three people were assigned the job of creating a story to explain the mass shooter phenomenon. The plot here is that crazy white people are irrationally paranoid about crime, so they are going shooty all of sudden, for no reason at all! You see, crime is just fine. In fact, under the patient rule of Dear Leader, crime is better now. The real problem is these heavily armed white people and their racism.
Of course, the mass shooter phenomenon is a narrative created by the same people now trying to explain it. The fact is, America is a big country. That means there are lots of potential crackpots, compared to a small country like Norway. When you look at the numbers on mass shootings, America is doing better than most. Norway, on the other hand, seems to have a problem. While “per capita” is a racist trope, it is the best way to understand crime data.
Enormous amounts of time and money are directed by the regime into gun grabbing and concealing the color of crime. The Mexican national who went on a killing spree in Texas had his picture whitened by the news media. This is a thing that started with the “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman who did the world a favor and killed Trayvon Martin ten years ago. Every media company now has people whose sole job is to whitewash criminals this way.
The color of crime is just one tiny area of the narrative support system. The New York Times had a whole floor full of content creators pushing various aspects of the Russian collusion hoax during the Trump years. Thousands of people in the media are now used to push the Ukraine story. Think about the cost in time and money that is required to fake a Joe Biden press conference. The entire media complex is now employed in the creation and support of narratives.
Again, the media has always been run by regime toadies, but thirty years ago most of what they did was reporting. The bigshot columnists and editors were allowed to put their thumb on the scale in terms of what got promoted. The rest of the people produced mundane news accounts. What we see today is an industrial bullshit machine that exists only to crank out new narratives in support of the regime or new tales to promote existing regime narratives.
This is just one small part of the narrative industrial complex. Tens of thousands of people in government have been repurposed to the task. Corporations have whole floors of people dedicated to the job of pushing the latest thing. Hollywood is just another marketing arm of the regime. Of course, the big tech platforms have dedicated themselves to protecting and promoting regime narratives. More people engage in censoring the internet now than in maintaining it.
The Twitter experience offers some insight into the cost of this. When Musk took over, he fired waves of people. His rule was that if you wrote code, you stayed, but if not then you were gone unless you could explain yourself. He eventually fired eighty percent of the staff. The website was unaffected. The reason is those fired people were employed to police and promote the current narratives. They did nothing to keep the site running or make the business profitable.
What all of this suggests is that the cost of maintaining the rationale for the Global American Empire has reached the point of diminishing returns. Just as the Roman empire’s investment in complex systems to maintain itself reached the point of diminishing returns, the cost of the imperial bullshit system has reached that point and maybe blown way past it. The more they try to sell the latest narrative, the less likely people are to accept the next narrative.
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