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The support of my readers through the years has given me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.


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Today’s blacklisted American: Reuters fires long time employee for criticizing BLM

Leftist dictatorship coming to America
What we can look forward to if we all do not
start fighting back, loudly and without fear.

They’re coming for you next: Because Zac Kreigman, Director of Data Science for the Reuters news agency, refused to accept without question the company’s total endorsement of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization in 2020 and instead published detailed fact-based internal memos documenting BLM’s bigoted and Marxist agenda, Reuters fired him.

A chain of events—beginning with the death of George Floyd and culminating with a statistical analysis of Black Lives Matter’s claims—would turn the 44-year-old data scientist’s life upside-down. By June 2021, Kriegman would be locked out of Reuters’s servers, denounced by his colleagues, and fired by email. Kriegman had committed an unpardonable offense: he directly criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in the company’s internal communications forum, debunked Reuters’s own biased reporting, and violated a corporate taboo.

Driven by what he called a “moral obligation” to speak out, Kriegman refused to celebrate unquestioningly the BLM narrative and his company’s “diversity and inclusion” programming; to the contrary, he argued that Reuters was exhibiting significant left-wing bias in the newsroom and that the ongoing BLM protests, riots, and calls to “defund the police” would wreak havoc on minority communities. Week after week, Kriegman felt increasingly disillusioned by the Thomson Reuters line. Finally, on the first Tuesday in May 2021, he posted a long, data-intensive critique of BLM’s and his company’s hypocrisy. He was sent to Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion for the chance to reform his thoughts.

He refused—so they fired him. [emphasis mine]

Of course, Kriegman has been proven right, on all points. The “defund the police” movement pushed by BLM and its allies in the Democratic Party did do great harm to minorities like blacks. Reuters does have a leftist bias, proven not only by Kriegman’s allegations but by his actual firing. He dared express a dissenting view, did not kow-tow to the leftist narrative the company wished to push, and got fired for doing so.

The highlighted words however are the most important. It wasn’t simply the upper management or the racist “Diversity & Inclusion” officers who wanted Kriegman out. It was a large number of ordinary employees, including many whom Kriegman had thought were friends. This was not oppression from the top, but from a large portion of the company’s general population. There might have been a lot of employees who were on Kriegman’s side, but all of them bowed their heads, looked the other way, and let him be persecuted.

“It ain’t me they are after.” they probably all thought. “Why make trouble for myself?”

Of course, this is cowardly. These leftist bullies and thugs are coming for you next, no matter what you think. Sooner or later they will discover you don’t blindly agree with them on some point, and then their knives will be out, and there will be no one willing to defend you either.

This unwillingness of Americans to stand up and defend the downtrodden in the last two years is by far the most depressing aspect of the great leftist oppression of 2020-2021. People privately mouth support and disgust at the viscous and oppressive behavior of these bullies, but will do nothing to oppose them. Thus, the bullies win time after time, consolidating their power — which they now wield at almost all levels inside government and private corporation — to do more evil in the coming years. Soon, they will act to guarantee their control, preventing their removal under any condition at all.

If Americans don’t start fighting back soon and these thugs kicked out, there will be nothing to fight for. Their leftist ideologues will turn the United States into a wasteland like Venezuela, the Soviet Union, East Germany, or North Korea, as they have done every single time they have gained absolute power.

There is no doubt about this. That future awaits us if we continue to stand by and let this evil flourish.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Bob – On this bizarre anniversary of Jan 6th, you are asking Americans, and by extension your readers, to fight back. I want to fly above the fray of specific injustices and think through exactly what systems and historical forces we are fighting against. I’ll do that in the context of reviewing the significance BehindTheBlack has to me as a (now) occasional reader. So let’s blast off and fly above the Karman Line demarcating the border into space.
    BehindTheBlack is both an old school open source WordPress Blog and a platform for Bob Zimmerman to report on and proselytize a ‘Private Space’ driven ‘New Space Age’. I was introduced to BehindTheBlack through the John Batchelor Show. On a weekly basis I currently enjoy the formulaic dialogue with Batchelor and Zimmerman’s Sermons on the Wonders of Space. I believe along with Mr. Z. that these Wonders are genuinely exciting news. But what animates Bob’s Old Testament Prophet religious fervor for ‘Private Space’? Bob would probably answer with an explanation based on ‘Freedom’. I agree but would add that many Americans today, both young and old, are spiritually moved by achievements in Space mainly as a salve to the cognitive dissonance and daily grind we experience as the Global American Empire disintegrates right before our eyes. There is something special about this great new adventure, and along with BehindTheBlack, we are witnessing the birth of a new Space Age.
    An Empire at heart is a country that extracts wealth from the provinces and hinterlands. The US does this in the 21st century through the decaying power of the Dollar. It is based on the ‘Forever Trade Deficit’ which allows our population – year in and year out, month in and month out – to purchase more goods than we produce. The even more evil twin of this corrupt dynamic is the ‘Forever War’ based centralized government. And though our current elites have run tail tucked from Afghanistan, the ‘Forever War’ cabal is today strutting it’s stuff over a largely manufactured Ukraine Crisis, and counting future profits from worldwide F-35 sales. Our business and governing elites have sold out heartland America to a chimerical globalist new economic order. These elites seem hell bent on joining China to the hip of the Globalist American Empire, while the Chinese Communist elites believe they are yoking America to a 21st Century Middle Kingdom. The current COVID chaos is upsetting the plans of Chimerica (this neologism was coined in 2008 by Historian Niall Ferguson). Somehow a dystopian science fiction scenario happened in real life, and Chimerica built a Pandora’s Box of Chimeric viruses. MAGA America is now cursing the elites who built it, those who opened it’s lid, and the fascistic government/corporate/media/tech alliances which have manipulated this COVID crisis and now dominate the country.
    The Trump MAGA movement at its core is about american heartland lower and middle class workers wanting to physically produce more than they consume. The MAGA human purpose they seek derives from the human act of production, and to them the sickness of conspicuous consumption finally is secondary to their belief in themselves as Producers and an ‘American’ future for their children and grandchildren. Likewise the BehindTheBlack community celebrates ‘bending metal’ – building reusable Rockets, Martian Rovers and helicopters, Space Probes and Telescopes, etc. The US Space industry grew out of a truly courageous Cold War Space Race. Tom Wolfe was spot on with his mantra of ‘the Right Stuff’. We all know the American culture that produced the men and machines with the Right stuff has been relegated to a museum at best or is now demonized by Cancel culture. So we now hang our american hats on a Privatized Space Race, and our Hero is Chief Engineer Elon Musk. Many feel their best option for the future is to choose Elon Musk as their Knight Champion to battle corrupt bureaucratic Washington DC or fossilized Corporate Space (e.g. SLS & ULA’s Vulcan) in various Trials by Engineering Combat.
    As a first class thinker for and genuine promoter of ‘Private Space’, Bob Zimmerman has his honest fingers on the pulse of the tectonic forces of this New Age. He chronicles on an almost daily basis the technological, economic, cultural, and quasi spiritual events associated with it. On September 15th Bob declared the SpaceX privately manned Inspiration4 earth orbit mission as a World Historical event marking the true start of Humanity’s Space Age. And just this week he celebrated 2021 Space Achievements with an excellent analysis of global Space launches.
    I know and Zimmerman agrees that I have been an irritant on this site. So I’ll finish this comment in that nettlesome role, and I challenge Mr. Z to evaluate whether we live in the decaying/transforming global American Empire that I have described, or in a constitutional republic that provides guaranteed rights and freedoms as ideally described in high school textbooks. That understanding makes a big difference regarding how to deal with the injustices that Bob describes. But no matter which of those alternatives is closer to reality, I wish Bob Z. the best in 2022 doing the evangelical work he does to earn his daily bread.

    Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku i spraw, by eksploracja kosmosu znów była świetna!
    Happy New Year and make Space Exploration Great again!

  • BtB’s Original Mark wrote: “I challenge Mr. Z to evaluate whether we live in the decaying/transforming global American Empire that I have described, or in a constitutional republic that provides guaranteed rights and freedoms as ideally described in high school textbooks.”

    Mark, this very question has been on my mind for the past week. And sadly, to my utter dismay, I have concluded that we are in the former, that it will be very very very difficult to recover the free country I was born into. In fact, I actually have started my mental process leading to an essay on this very subject, an essay that I know will not be liked by me or most of those who agree with me normally because of its pessimistic conclusions.

  • Patrick Underwood

    Well done, both.

  • Questioner

    I thank Mr. Z for the courage here for presenting regular news from the left-radical madhouse that America (and the rest of the American-dependent West) has become. He will certainly not make friends with it everywhere and he will have already lost some personal friends because of it surely.

    Well, we have now collected a lot of case studies and descriptions of the situation. What I am missing here, and what I would also expect or hope from Mr. Z., would be research into the underlying causes and driving operators of this process of disintegration of our traditional societies and peoples. That would be very desirable. Because you have to know the driving forces and causes (also in form of individuals behind it) in order to effectively combat the resulting conditions and problems.

    The only one who is substantially involved in such a discussion in this blog (e.g. with me) is Cotour (and also a little, Wayne). I am of the opinion that one has to go back a long way when investigating the cause. In any case until the Second World War, which produced the structuring of our the world as it has presented itself to us to this day.

    What do yo think?

  • Questioner: You might benefit to read my books, especially my most recent one. I discuss “the underlying causes and driving operators” in great detail there.

  • Questioner

    Mr.Z .: Thank you for the suggestion. But I have very little time. It’s just enough for this blog, but not for reading books, no matter what.
    I am so busy with my professional activity (not yet a pensioner like many here) that I should reasonably reduce my commitment here. But I can’t do it. Perhaps you can summarize the results of your cause research for us in a few bullet points? Thank you!

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    For those who look back to History to inform our present: if I ask myself, ‘Which period of Roman History is rhyming with our Current historical drama?’, I immediately think of The Year of the Four Emperors. That is the period after Nero in which four emperors without rooted legitimacy ruled in succession.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Hey Questioner – besides you & Cotour & with Wayne providing insightful links, I and others in the last six months have occasionally thrown in our two substantial cents. For example, here is a comment I made on July 19th that may be pertinent to Bob’s upcoming discussion:

    * Following up on the 17 comments on Bob’s July 17th post regarding China, I want to respond to Questioner’s inquiry into “the unhappy political developments in America” in relation to categorizing the differences among communist, fascistic, and authoritarian state actors. This is relevant to the Behind the Black site because the actions of the US Government and US based elites have significant influence on the progress of as Bob describes ‘Capitalism in Space’, ‘ the New Colonial Movement’, and the Launch Race that Bob chronicles.
    * I do not think any previous historical terminology or analogies can fully address the current American political landscape. Sorry for the long post, but please respond if you agree or disagree with this high level analysis. One could say that after WW2, we had the Global American Empire whose American elites set the rules of international trade/finance and whose military combatted the Global Soviet Empire. Those American elites operated more or less within the historical political constitutional norms. With the fall of the USSR, the world was left to the Unipolar Global American Empire, and the American Elites were unprepared for this, beyond unifying Germany, having NATO advance in Eastern Europe, and grabbing marketshare in this expanded European economic sphere. In the late 90s and early 2000s, European elites demanded and got a place at the head of the table with the American elites to set the new rules of international trade/finance so we basically had a Western Global Empire with the American elites as the Senior Partners, and the Western European Elites on a fast track partner track. The European elites were happy to have the US bear the majority of the military burdens. After the global financial meltdown in 2008, the Europeans were granted full partnership status. From 2009 to 2014, US elites were aligned with the US political establishment.
    * In 2015, the Republicans took control of the Senate and were happy to continue representing the interests of the American elites. But a seismic shift had occurred with American elites. They were no longer satisfied with commercial and financial dominance. They wanted world cultural dominance (especially the elites spawned by Silicon Valley), and they joined with their European elite partners to push for it. The One Per cent of the One Per Cent in America now consider themselves Global Citizens, and it is they who push the Cultural and Political Initiatives of what is now the Global Western Empire (GWE).
    * However, it is not a Unipolar moment similar to 1991. The GWE faces the stiffest competition from an aggressive Chinese Asian Empire, and from the nuclear armed Putin Russian Empire punching continuously above its weight. The GWE is schizophrenic when it comes to China, since the West is impelled to grab marketshare in the expanded Asian economic sphere. The GWE can use Putin’s Russia as a convenient whipping boy while at the same time accepting a permanent energy lifeline from Russia. The GWE also has to take account of various aspiring regional empires such as the chest thumping Erdogan Neo Ottoman Empire, and the hemmed in Hindu Subcontinental Empire that has wildly uneven development. Moreover there are Wildcard regions such as the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America that have their own unique resources, markets, and political/cultural land mines. Finally there are the two wildcard states grifting off the world system with a hyper aggressive foreign policy skating the knife’s edge of nuclear blackmail.
    * The Global Western Empire has its hands full dealing with all the above, while at the same time pushing forward its policy prescriptions to build the pillars for twenty first century GWE financial, economic, political and cultural dominance. In relation to mankind’s advances in Space, NASA’s Artemis program is the approved program of the Global Western Empire with the US and Europe as senior partners, and with junior partners such as Korea gladly signing on. The launch competition with China is an economic, military, and cultural competition that will rival the original US Soviet space race. Russia is coasting on the accomplishments of its Soviet past, and is desperately trying to punch above its weight just as it is militarily.
    * So “the unhappy political developments in America” are at best a sideshow to the Global Elites in America precisely because they no longer consider themselves citizens or protectors of the Historical American Constitutional Republic. I agree with Bob that ‘Capitalism in Space’ should be supported, but I don’t know whether a global bureaucracy will grow up around Artemis and hold back the development of Space.

  • wayne


    I’d sorta date the proximate cause of our current situation to May 5, 1818, when Karl Marx was born.

  • wayne

    “Creeping Death” (2013)

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark-
    -very well put together piece of word smithery.

  • Springsteen. You know the tune.


    For the BLM

    I was fired

    For the BLM

    Got into a little corporate jam

    And they said, you’re no longer

    Part of the fam

    Sent out the door

    Into the night

    But I carry, the Good Fight”

    Robert wrote;

    “And sadly, to my utter dismay, I have concluded that we are in the former, that it will be very very very difficult to recover the free country I was born into. In fact, I actually have started my mental process leading to an essay on this very subject, an essay that I know will not be liked by me or most of those who agree with me normally because of its pessimistic conclusions.”

    Been there for a while. I responded to a commenter that “I didn’t want the country back.” And I don’t. Apparently time, again, for Americans to do what they do best: create opportunities on barren ground. And if that involves a new country . . .

  • wayne

    Bruce Springsteen Sell His Masters & Music Publishing to Sony $500 million

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Wayne – perhaps you may appreciate my ‘Evening Pause’ thru your web linking and google slinging as you navigate the inter-webs like a 2022 Charlie Parker soloing over Thriving on a Riff. The word smythen you refer to was somewhat enabled by the soundtrack to the mesmerizing but somewhat obscure movie ‘The Congress’. You can for free watch ‘The Congress’ on the Tubi TV App, and this 2013 movie is somewhat based on the work of Stanislaw Lem (the greatest Polish SciFi writer and best known for his 1961 novel Solaris (later made into the 2002 Movie)). Here is a link to HBOs ‘First Look’ of that movie; and for me my own Private Idaho paean to Lem’s recurrent theme of despair about human limitations:

    Many of the songs on the soundtrack of The Congress are composed by Max Richter, but the soundtrack also includes Schubert’s Andante con Moto from Trio in E-major, Chopin’s Nocturne Op.27-1 in C# minor, Forever Young from Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen’s If It Be Your Will. These last two songs were covered by Robin Wright.
    Later in his life, Stanislaw Lem stated he felt his wild dreams about the future could no longer compete with the reality of the fall of the Soviet Empire. Perhaps our BtB community is similarly thwarted by the current tumult of the Global American Empire.

  • Cam

    Fix your comment section , Morons ……
    The Rothschild Family has owned Reuters since The 1890’s , and own AP too , The News has always been controlled by The Globalists …ha…ha…

  • Questioner


    What about that man? François-Noël Babeuf, the first socialist?

    “François-Noël Babeuf; November 23, 1760 – May 27, 1797), also known as Gracchus Babeuf, was a French proto-socialist, revolutionary, and journalist of the French Revolutionary era.”

    Did he have any influence on Marx? I do not know. I know of other ideological predecessors of Marx in Germany like Moses Hess around 1840.

    Wasn’t the French revolution the first step towards communism?çois-Noël_Babeuf

  • Questioner

    Proto-socialist François-Noël Babeuf (1760-1797):

    “Society must be made to operate in such a way that it eradicates once and for all the desire of a man to become richer, or wiser, or more powerful than others.”

    “Let the revolting distinction of rich and poor disappear once and for all, the distinction of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed. Let there be no other differences between human beings than those of age and sex. Since all have the same needs and the same faculties, let there be one education for all, one food for all.”

    “The true citizen prefers the general advantage to his advantage.”

    “We must advance… because Christianity and Freedom are incompatible.”

    “Nature having given no property to anyone.”

    “Admitting inequality means subscribing to a depravity of the species.”

    „The husband and the wife must be equal.“

  • Cotour

    * “Society must be made to operate in such a way that it eradicates once and for all the desire of a man to become richer, or wiser, or more powerful than others.”

    “Must be made to”: This sounds like the potential for the evolving Australian Covid policy, and or the World Economic Forum plan. At some point they may have to begin shooting people to protect them from themselves and others in order that they “Live properly”.

    In order for this François-Noël Babeuf (Never heard of him), in order for his dream for humanity to be fulfilled how does he propose to get the human beings that he is speaking of to do what he proposes?

    This is just one more moronic and evil Nazi like plan for humanity to me.

    Some people just need to not think, or just keep your wonderings to yourself, stop helping.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    Between 1969 and 1972, of 12 people who landed on the moon, 100% were white and male. The whole political purpose of Artemis is to show that in America’s social advanced society today the proportion of the combination white and male among new moon visitors can be reduced to 25%. By the way, you know, Artemis is a female goddess.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    Thank you very much for your detailed answer. You painted a beautiful picture of the development of the American power structures, especially the geopolitical position of the empire in relation to other players.

    But I am interested in something else, namely the left-wing ideological core of the new American empire, with its mania for equality, emancipation and human rights. I would like to trace the historical development of how this fundamental left-wing thinking was able to establish itself in America after 1945. Maybe you can say something about that. This certainly also includes this whole “civil rights movement” of the 1960s, which was probably an important step to the left.

    Another thought that occurred to me: As a result of World War II, not only did the American empire come into being, but communism not only survived, it was even able to expand! It seems to me that America was happy to pay this price if it was on the winning side of the World War II and thus could in fact become a world power.

    The communist bloc went under later. But communism was able to inject important parts of its ideology, precisely those that we find already formulated by French man of 1797 (see selection of his quotations linked above), like a virus into the political blood system of the West. This disease now had many decades to take effect.

  • Cotour


    It’s Marxism.

    “Political correctness”, “Equity”, “Social Justice”, Feminism, the Trans issue, teaching racism, promoting violence, etc, etc, etc.

    Its Marxism, Saul Alyski flavor Marxism.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Questioner & Bob (if interested):
    I’m just starting a deep dive into the history of American leftism and the power structures that sustain it. First I would recommend the 2010 essay in The American Spectator by Angelo Codevilla – ‘America’s Ruling Class’.

    Then as time permits, read his book ‘The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It’. The kindle version of the book is affordable. Codevilla recently passed away, and a colleague said of him “Angelo could view the contemporary world from Machiavelli’s vantage point—and cajole, berate, and inspire the rest of us to discard our illusions and face bitter truths. He was a Renaissance scholar who had begun his career as a physicist, and was equally at home in the politics of 15th-century Florence and the technical requirements of space-based missile defense.”
    Then once you have a handle on the American Oligarchy, you need to marry that to a history of Marxism in America. An excellent book on that is Mark Levin’s “American Marxism. Levin examines how the core elements of Marxist ideology have pervaded American society and culture, including in schools, the media, corporations, the entertainment industry, and the Democratic Party. Levin has a solid grasp on the philosophical and historical basis of the rise of Marxist ideology in the United States. The book is very well sourced so you can do further reading from Levin’s many sources.

  • Original Mark: I am familiar with the work of both Codevilla and Stein. Codevilla’s “The Ruling Class” is on my reading list, though it will be a while till I get to it. I just finished Stephen Ambrose’s bio of Eisenhower, a history of the Hudson’s Bay Company by Peter C. Newman, and am presently reading David Hackett Fischer’s bio of Paul Revere. The last is especially revealing in showing how far we presently are from the free America I was born into.

    That America was quite similar to the revolutionary America of Revere’s time. America today sadly resembles more the Russia of 1916, filled with many ignorant people and increasingly led by those who like power.

    As for Questioner, he has already given us the lame excuse that he doesn’t have time to read books. Since he certainly has enough time to write long comments here, referencing lots of socialist work, and appears quite well read on Marxist and communist thought, I would say a more honest statement is that “he doesn’t have time to read books that say things he might not like.”

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Bob – you mentioned ‘Codevilla and Stein’ but I’m guessing you meant ‘Codevilla and Levin’. Quick note on Levin’s “American Marxism – it was the was the top-selling adult trade book in 2021 and sold more than 1.2 million copies since it went on sale in July. And thanks for your book recommendations!

  • Original Mark: Yes, I mean Levin, not Stein.

  • wayne

    Mark Levin at the Reagan Library
    “American Marxism”
    (August 2021)

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark-
    (housekeeping– I rarely use google directly for search, although I do make use of YT, so I guess I do…)

    Highly recommend:

    Murray N. Rothbard,
    “The American Economy & the End of Laisse Faire 1870 to WW-2”

    Chapter 1 (of 13): “The Civil War and its legacy”

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    You know the literature! Could you do us a big favor and share some of your knowledge with us and put together a list with about 10-15 bullet points that contains the most important stages (in the form of domestic and foreign policy decisions or related events and consequences) of America’s path into a society ruled by leftist thinking? Let’s say from the First World War until today. I would be very grateful.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Questioner & Bob (if interested) – Per Questioner’s request, here are my key historical dates from the 20th Century leading us to our current situation:

    * 19xx – President Wilson creates the intellectual basis for National Mobilization Domestic Politics (to advance a “great cause for the good of the people”, the political necessity to nationally create a “movement”, & the national political commitment to “mobilize”)
    * 1917-1918 – The War Industries Board, the Committee on Public Information, the Palmer Raids, the Espionage Act & the Sedition Act.
    * 1920 – Mass media based national Presidential campaign; and involvement of Albert Lasker who is considered to be the ‘father of modern advertising’
    * 192x- Mussolini directs the birth of modern European fascism conjoining State Power with Corporate energies; with the STATE directing national life and in the process breaking up traditional structures, allegiances, hierarchies, religions, classes etc.
    * 1925 January – Mussolini asserts his right to supreme power and effectively became the dictator of Italy.
    * 1936 – FDR’s unprecedented re-election landslide normalizes a unique American brand of Machiavellianism that is acceptable for national political campaigning and governing
    * 1936 – Supreme Court Butler case holds that the U.S. Congress has not only the power to lay taxes to the level necessary to carry out its other powers enumerated in Article I of the Constitution but also a broad authority to tax and spend for the “general welfare” of the United States.
    * 1942 – Supreme Court Filburn decision that dramatically increased the regulatory power of the federal government through the power to regulate interstate commerce by the Commerce Clause of the Constitution
    * 1943 January – FDR essentially crowns himself ‘Emperor of the West’ and the US ‘The Global Superpower’ with his decision and announcement at Casablanca of a War policy of Unconditional Surrender
    * 1944 – FDR re-election to 4th term normalizes a unique brand of American Executive dictatorship
    * 1952 – President Truman orders the seizure of all the nation’s steel mills
    * 1956 – With US intervention in the Suez Crisis (Ike tells Eden that America will not financially bail out the UK unless there is a ceasefire), Eisenhower declares the formal end of the British Empire, and the world acknowledges the Global American Empire
    * 1958 – The Bretton Woods system became operational and the financial bedrock of the Global American Empire is solidified
    * 1961 January – Eisenhower’s farewell address
    * 1962 October – US-Soviet Near miss with Nuclear War elevates Ideological War as the paradigm both in terms of the relations between Nation States, and also within US Govt (Nat Sec State agencies) & institutions (Universities/ Media, etc.)
    * 1971 July – Kissinger’s secret trip to China
    * 1971 August – President Nixon’s decision to delink the dollar from gold was announced without warning and this reorders the global monetary system in an instant, and the Global American Empire rolls on.
    * 1978 December – At the 3rd Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of China, Deng Xiaoping launched a series of measures to opening up the Chinese economy
    * 198x – Reagan decides to win the Cold War, approves coordinated Defense/Foreign Policy/Nat. Security State plans, with Congress funds ‘600 Ship Navy’ & ‘Star Wars’, and enlists international allies such as Thatcher & the Pope.
    * 1989 November- The fall of the Berlin Wall was a pivotal event in world history marking the Cold War victory of the Global American Empire
    * 1993-94 – President Bill Clinton pushes a policy of NATO enlargement, and Russia retreats under a weak Yeltsin
    * 1994 January – NAFTA went into effect
    * 2001 December – China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark-
    I applaud your initiative!

    Two items of import:
    –> these 2 Constitutional firewalls had to be destroyed in order to bring about the progressive utopia. (Circa 1913-ish IIRC)
    The 16th Amendment–provided for direct-taxation, so the progressive utopia could be funded. (Hm, we fought a revolution over taxes….)
    The 17th Amendment- provided for the direct-election of US Senators. (Why do we need a Senate anymore? They serve no purpose, except to launder money and rubber-stamp dictates.) The power of the separate & sovereign States, which created the Federal government, had to be diminished in order to centralize power and bring about the progressive utopia.

  • wayne


    “Five Forgotten Champions of the Total State”
    Jeffery Tucker (2017)

    “Freedom is threatened from two ends, the right and left.”

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Wayne – thanks for sharing that insight, and I’m now adding the 16th & 17th Amendments to my ‘Key Dates’ personal notes. Those are very key to making Washington D.C. the Imperial City with the power to direct the affairs of the previously sovereign States.
    FYI – regarding this topic thread involving you, Bob, Questioner, Blair Ivey, Cotour, etc., this is my last comment for awhile. Bob above stated that he has started his “mental process leading to an essay on this very subject”. So at this point I would prefer to wait and hear what he has to say.
    As a complete aside, and referring back to our Jan 7th inter-webs YT dance, I recommend as a 3 minute Saturday pause to listen to Charlie Parker soloing over Thriving on a Riff:

    I hope you can hear it through an internet enabled TV connected to a good sound system. Better yet – buy some Vinyl or CDs!

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    Thank you for the very valuable listing. That’s more than I hoped for. I’m going to print this out now and look into it. I certainly have questions about that.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Questioner- based upon one of your comments on November 16th, I plan to spend some time with the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy reviewing the writings of the political theorist Carl Schmitt. It seems that Schmitt, a man born in 1888 Westphalia which was then part of the German Empire, has continued to be read because his work presents important critiques of classical liberalism. Schmitt was deeply influenced by Thomas Hobbes and saw Hobbes as one of the most perceptive and systematic thinkers in the history of political thought.  Schmitt followed Hobbes in focusing on the sovereign state as the main agent of social cohesion and the guarantor of social order.
    Currently in America there are some voices criticizing both forms of American liberalism – “classical liberalism,” typically called “conservative”; and “progressive liberalism,” often simply called “liberal.” “Why Liberalism Failed” is a 2018 book by Patrick Deneen, a conservative professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. Deneen makes the case that American liberalism’s inherent flaws have led to great success, but that success is in turn generating its own failure.
    I tend to see politics more through a Machiavellian perspective, and that is why earlier in this post I recommended the writings of Angelo Codevilla.
    Perhaps what is needed to grapple properly with the present is a fusion of Hobbesian and Machiavellian political realism.

  • Edward

    People keep referring to the United States as an empire, but I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

    Two days ago, Original Mark defined it as having a trade deficit, which means that many nations are empires but don’t know it.

    Yesterday Mark declared it to be a global American empire, perhaps even containing nations we may not have trade deficits with. Also yesterday, Questioner declared that WWII resulted in that American empire, one so strong that it was not able to keep communism in check. Since we have trade deficits with communist nations, are they also part of the Global American Empire?

    Today, Mark declared that the Suez Canal crisis resulted in the world acknowledging the Global American Empire, but the Soviet Union also applied political pressure, so why aren’t they also a global empire? When we had trade deficits with the Soviet Union, were they also part of the Global American Empire?

    With everyone having their own non-dictionary definition of “empire,” it is difficult to carry on a conversation. Come to think of it, there seems to be a wide range of words that are used in nebulous ways, creating the same problem with communications.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward – I understand your criticism that I haven’t proved that America has been and is currently an Empire. First, let me assure you that I’m a patriotic citizen and not trying to belittle this amazing country. I was in the U.S. Navy at the time of Reagan 600 ship buildup which in reality was part of Reagan’s successful plan to win the Cold War. I am proud that I was in the military during that historic period, and among many vivid memories was a deployment that was hunting Russian subs. With that said, let me propose some criteria for empire:
    * Currency – since 1958 the Dollar has been the world’s reserve currency, and since 1971 the Dollar is not even backed by gold.
    * Creator & enforcer of Global Rules & Institutions – After WWII, the US launched history’s most ambitious era of institution building. The UN, IMF, World Bank, NATO, GATT, and other institutions that emerged provided the structure and rules for global political and economic relations
    * Preponderance of Military Capability- you can research yourself
    * Overseas Bases & Troop Garrisoning – you can research yourself
    * Troop Deployments & international ‘Exercises’ – you can research yourself
    * Trade – the US has run massive trade deficits with the rest of the globe for the entire 21st century. Other countries cannot run huge and continual trade deficits without at some point facing market corrections to their currencies, but magically the US can pull this trick off.
    * Immigration – there is a consistent brain drain to America from the rest of the world
    * Imperial City – As a tourist you can view the Constitution & Bill of Rights at the National Archives and go to nice museums. But having spent time there, I observed a beehive of activity in support of empire.
    * Language & Culture – we have the British Empire to thank for the global preponderance of English, but it’s now American English and American Culture that has global reach.

    Lastly, perhaps we can say that the ‘Global American Empire’ is a unique variety of empire and may be viewed as ‘the last man standing empire’. WWI proved to be the graveyard of Empires; European Colonial Empires ended after WWII; the British Empire disintegrated between 1945 & 1956; and the Soviet Union empire ended in 1991. In my opinion, China is currently grasping for global status but in reality is ‘a Rising Power’. Here is a recent quote from the UK Guardian website: “Historically speaking, empire-building relies on three factors, or projections. First come overseas trade networks or hubs, via maritime links and land corridors. Following close behind comes the establishment of overseas military bases to secure and defend these new interests, with or without local consent. Last, nascent empires establish an (often delusional) narrative, or “mission statement”, to justify their activities….The first phase of China’s new imperial age is already in train. Xi’s ambitious belt and road investment and infrastructure initiative (BRI) touches 60 countries. China is the world’s largest trading nation and largest exporter, with $2.6tn worth of exports in 2019. The CCP’s focus is meanwhile shifting to empire phase two: military bases.”

    Overall I believe my criteria for ‘Empire’ are valid & apply to the United States, and are much more descriptive than ‘a Federal Constitutional Republic’.

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark-

    FDR Confiscate Gold Bullion – 1933
    Executive Order 6102–

    ……Executive Order 6102 required all persons to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, all but a small amount of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned by them, and authorized the President to establish the gold value of the dollar by proclamation. Immediately following its passage, Roosevelt changed the statutory price of gold from $20.67 to $35 per ounce, thereby devaluing the US dollar, which was based on gold.”

  • wayne

    “Rumble” (1958)
    Link Wray

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    I guess that list of key dates/events.will just keep getting longer and longer. 1933/ FDR’s EO 6102 & Gold has been added.

    Much respect for passing on that retro video by the way. I cranked my hifi way up on that one. Similar to the video, BehindTheBlack does currently have a gritty rumbling feel to it these last few days. Oh and that cop at the beginning reminded me of my father before he made Detective. Very cool.

  • Edward

    BtB’s Original Mark,
    You wrote: “I understand your criticism that I haven’t proved that America has been and is currently an Empire.

    That isn’t what I said. I said that the definition is unclear.

    Overall I believe my criteria for ‘Empire’ are valid & apply to the United States, and are much more descriptive than ‘a Federal Constitutional Republic’.”

    Your listed criteria do not match the dictionary definition and seem to be arbitrarily chosen U.S. leadership roles or arbitrarily chosen followership roles by other nations — which are free to follow or not. American language and culture did not spread around the world by means of empire, as the British versions did, but spread by local choice.

    Few other countries understand the freedom of the U.S. and assume that if their documents grant them freedom then they are free — however, the U.S. documents protect our freedoms, not grant them. Freedoms granted by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights are able to be rescinded by Article 29, Clause 3.

    People choosing the freedom of America over creating freedom in their own countries does not make America an empire — the Statue of Liberty is supposed to be a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world to choose to follow, not a beacon beckoning the rest of the world to come to the U.S. It would be more desirable for the other countries to become as free as the U.S. than for the peoples of those countries to invade America, which is a major reason why America is losing its freedoms, as the invaders vote for the familiar policies that remind them of their old countries.

    The trade deficits are a red herring. According to the deficits, until this past decade, more money has gone overseas than existed in the United States. This cannot be, and is not the actual condition, because while the U.S. buys more goods and services from other countries, those other countries return that cash by buying U.S. property and assets. A surprising amount of the U.S. and U.S. companies are owned by overseas investors.

    Which of the dictionary definitions do you believe apply to the United States?

    My usual mental vision when someone says a country is an empire is the first definition, where a group of nations is ruled by one single nation. The United States does not rule any other nations, nor does it rule the United Nations or the other institutions you listed. Being a leader among nations is not the same as ruling those nations nor is it being an emperor. At best, the leadership of the U.S. is more like a president of a corporation, who carries out policy as set by the board of directors, which is similar to the role of the UN. When the UN needs a police force, it turns to the U.S., for men and materiel, but that is not the same as the U.S. ruling over other nations, it is literally the U.S. following the rule from the UN.

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark-

    ref- the Gold Order– by revaluing an ounce of gold, and ordering that previously issue government gold-bonds pay off in currency, we defaulted on all that debt.

    filed under “shared cultural experiences,”

    Vic Flick Performs the James Bond Theme

    “Vic Flick, the original guitarist for the legendary James Bond theme for “Dr. No” in 1962, performs the signature tune on the same Clifford Essex Paragon Deluxe used 50 years ago. From the Academy event “The Music of Bond: The First 50 Years” on October 5, 2012 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.”

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward – My answer to your definition question is ‘None of the Above’. From my point of view, Dictionary dot Com is using 18th & 19th Century concepts in its definitions. I suppose you could poll the worlds top 10 Historians who have PhDs in World History and ask those experts to decide this question. Some of those experts may characterize the US as a Global Hegemon, but even that’s problematic. The Historian Ian Clark wrote about a decade ago that “the present state of the ‘hegemony debate’ is, to say the least, confusing”. I have put a considerable amount of research into the analysis I write on BtB, and in the end, using the term ‘Global American Empire’ is the Hill I’ve chosen to die on. I’m ok with that, and I understand if you have a contrary opinion.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Another home run. That Clifford Essex Paragon Deluxe guitar sounds great on the HiFi. In a world of lies, mistruths, and half truths, instrumental music played with verve can really pop.

    And I can tie James Bond to the subject of empire with these quotes: “For Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the spectacular collapse of the British Empire after the Second World War was like a bereavement. It even followed — almost to the letter — the classic sequence of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and, finally, acceptance.” And “In the figure of Bond, Britain still bestrides the world, rescuing the United States on several occasions, and projecting British power like a modern-day gunboat. This was part of the appeal of the books in the UK, a consoling fantasy that denied the disappointing new reality.”
    That emotional turmoil at the heart of the Bond movie franchise is probably why the movies were such hits.

  • wayne

    Pawn Stars:
    Vic sells a guitar to Rick…..

  • wayne

    I just can’t resist….

    Dick Dale
    (Richard Anthony Monsour, May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019)
    “The King Of Surf Guitar”
    [“Well, I wasn’t a guitar player really, I can’t even read music, but I can play every instrument there is, piano being my favorite…”]

    been reading your stuff but haven’t had a chance to formulate some comments.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    To Edward & all those on BehindTheBlack who get heartburn with my American Empire thesis, please consider that Overseas Bases & Troop Garrisoning is a valid criteria for empire.
    I used this morning’s coffee time to research the specific facts that thoroughly support this. Anyone who wants to debate Empire must first ask themselves “Would a country that is not an empire have bases in 80 countries, and still garrison troops in Japan, Germany, Korea, etc. decades after the originating conflict has ended?”.
    What say you Bob?

    Facts on overseas U.S. military outposts
    • There are approximately 750 U.S. military base sites abroad in 80 foreign countries and colonies.
    • The United States has nearly three times as many bases abroad (750) as U.S. embassies, consulates, and missions worldwide (276).
    • While there are approximately half as many installations as at the Cold War’s end, U.S. bases have spread to twice as many countries and colonies (from 40 to 80) in the same time, with large concentrations of facilities in the Middle East, East Asia, parts of Europe, and Africa.
    • The United States has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined. 
    • U.S. bases abroad cost taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.
    • Construction of military infrastructure abroad has cost taxpayers at least $70 billion since 2000, and could total well over $100 billion.
    • Bases abroad have helped the United States launch wars and other combat operations in at least 25 countries since 2001.
    • U.S. installations are found in at least 38 non-democratic countries and colonies.

    FYI I am not an isolationist, and I have personal experience with the benefits of a strong military. However I believe there needs to be a fundamental rethinking of U.S. military and foreign policy strategies.

  • wayne

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    I’m following your thought-track, I also understand where Edward is coming from as well.

    Debate: “War and Empire”
    Hillsdale College Event 2014
    Victor Davis Hanson – Arianna Huffington

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    I am adding this VDH Lecture to my ‘To Watch’ list. Also, I am nominating you for BtB Secretary of State because of your obviously superior diplomatic skills.
    And I note for the record that this ‘Wayne’s World’ assignment will ‘only’ take an hour and 47 minutes:)
    I have great respect for VDH. As a side note, here is a portion of a Tucker Carlson interview with VDH about leaving ‘National Review’:

    TUCKER CARLSON: What issues did they think were important?

    VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: I don’t know, I think there’s an image that a lot of Republicans have, both in politics and they sort of represent a sober and judicious way of looking at the world, and we are the adults in the room.
    And it’s more about a culture than it is an ideology.
    The original Republican conservative movement, I thought, was going to go back and look at the Constitution, when Jefferson said it won’t work if you pile up everybody in the cities because they will be subject to mass hysteria. Or de Tocqueville, and you look at certain ideas, I thought that’s what we were.
    I thought they would be champions of the middle class, but I don’t think they were. I don’t think they wanted to be.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    I really hardly feel like reading Edward’s texts anymore, also because his sophistic way of “criticizing” and his struggle about the formulation of sentences are so boring and predictable. It also reminds me a lot of the political left, who believe that use of language is more important than reality.

    Edward’s refusal to recognize America’s undoubtedly imperial status is a new example and, to me, borders on madness nearly. Thank you for clarifying the facts to him so clearly. I will get back to you in the next few days.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    I Look forward to your reply. Through the effort of commenting I learned something in the process, which is one of my motivations for commenting on BtB. In my opinion America right now is like Schrödinger’s cat in that famous thought experiment, and who knows exactly what we’ll find when we open the box. There are those who believe that if the right politicians can win the next election cycle, then there is a chance to restore a Constitutional Federal Republic. Perhaps, but I’m pessimistic. I remember reading 36 years ago about how our wonderful constitution was constructed and the rights it’s enshrined such as free speech. That knowledge meant a great deal to me since I had sworn an oath to defend it.
    However, in my opinion the constitution in today’s America has been emaciated and is either on life support, or has already died but the attending doctor won’t announce time of death. This would be one of history’s great tragedies I believe.

  • pawn

    How I see thing WRT the subject at hand:

    America (defined here as a collective of American institutions) controls the value of the Dollar, the defacto currency of the world’s economy. This can be historically viewed as an economic tyranny, rule by appealing to profit and greed. America in turn has been charged with keeping the flow of energy secure. The word secure can be interpreted as predictable. The whole world runs on “cheap” energy and getting it to where it makes things happen unless you are a subsistence dirt farmer.

    America has historically interceded in places where people can not behave in the collective best interests of maintaining the status quo i.e., a predictable manner, which can be perceived as being in America’s best interests. All of those remaining bases are just a reminder of what happened the last time people started acting out and what can happen the next time. An insurance policy.

    The control of these institutions has always been the goal of the political classes.

    Is this “Empire”? It depends on how you define Empire. I’m thinking “Empire” is not a political system in itself. Being a rebel doesn’t automatically put you on the right side of history or humanity.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Pawn – You definitely have hit on some important themes – the Dollar, Energy Supplies, and the stability of the global system.
    There are shades of grey to everything. In 2001, the world was presented with the Global War on Terror. Americans were asked to sacrifice civil liberties in order to fight an enemy that could not be easily understood. We have currently lost freedom in the domestic COVIDSTAN our elites have created. Seventy five years in the future, I wonder how Historians will weave a coherent story out of the hundreds of complex forces creating our current reality.
    Will there be another Edward Gibbon who wrote ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’?

  • wayne

    “Absurdistan: The Music Video”

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson –
    “They Don’t Love The Poor, They Just Hate The Rich”

  • wayne

    now for something completely different…

    Dwayne Bernard Hickman
    (May 18, 1934 – January 9, 2022)

    “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”
    Season 1 Episode 1 (1959)

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    In preparation for the continuation of our discussion and the response to your list, I am sending the link to an interview in which the contrasts between the American-ruled western liberalism and the anti-liberalism of Dugin come to light. That should be the core of our discussion.. With A. Dugin, of course, I feel that I am in better hands.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Questioner- looks interesting & I will be able to watch Thursday. As a side note, I have read Huntington’s book on the clash of civilizations. I think it has some explanatory power for today’s world. For example, I think the current Ukraine crisis is largely a civilizational clash between the West and Russia. A Russia with authoritarian and Orthodox roots, and with historical memory of invasions from the West, has put a stake in the ground and is loudly declaring “No further”. The West is currently anti-historical in it’s worldview and seems not to grasp the legitimacy of that position.

  • wayne

    Ref- Russia / Soviet Union:
    The whole enterprise was a criminal totalitarian gulag for 70 years. That didn’t change overnight. Just sayin’, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
    (they’ve always needed-to-go, all the way.)

    “Time Zones” (2012)

    “Do you know how many Time Zones there are, in the Soviet Union?”

  • Edward

    BtB’s Original Mark,
    You wrote: “From my point of view, Dictionary dot Com is using 18th & 19th Century concepts in its definitions.

    To you that may seem fine. Instead of a definition that takes a sentence or two, you have your own definition that goes against convention and takes half a page to vaguely define by example. How can you express reality when the language that is used is unclear?

    Some commenters on BtB have expressed appreciation for the discussions, but a discussion at cross purposes due to misuse of the language is not worth the time to have or to read. The English language is vast, and you should be able to find words or phrases that already mean what you want to say, rather than use the political left’s tactic of changing the language and the meaning of words. This tactic may be double-plus-good for the left, but not for the rest of us.

    When communicating to an audience, it is the writer’s or speaker’s responsibility to be clear and to ensure the audience understands. This is why it is difficult to have discussions when words have nebulous, mutable, mystery-meanings — my original and current point. When you go down Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass path of “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less” then confusion rains. You’re reeder falls two no at you mean an it’s hardwood tutu bee fight information technology van ugh.

  • wayne

    “Politics and the English Language”
    George Orwell (1946)

    (audio-version, the PDF print copy freely available)

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward, Wayne, Questioner & whoever else is still reading this sinking life raft of a Post:
    I have provided numerous facts and historical key events in support of my contention that our country is not a textbook constitutional republic, and in regards to international relations not just a leading nation among the many nations on our globe. So what is it? I am struggling to present a late 20th & 21st-century picture of empire – one that I refer to as the ‘Global American Empire (GAE)’. I understand that facts do not speak for themselves, however. They are organized by concepts, structured by theories, interpreted by worldviews and evaluated in the light of individual and subjective value systems. Perhaps historians would advise me to use new terminology for our current reality. Perhaps I should say ‘Global American Hegemon (GAH), because the United States can be said to exercise Global Hegemony without directly ruling overseas colonies. Whether it’s GAE or GAH, I still would use a pointillist brush to paint a picture using the same facts and history from my previous comments on this post. For BehindTheBlack, what’s important is understanding how our present reality is being impacted by the recent Decay & Transformation of that American Empire/Hegemony.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Wayne – I am listening to Orwell now, and i expect future reparations from you for impressing me into this Special Ops Commando Raid on modern English writing led by Sergeant Orwell.

  • Edward

    BtB’s Original Mark,
    Considering that the American President has traditionally been called the leader of the free world (up to about a decade ago), the word “hegemony” may be appropriate. Considering that the word can also mean or imply domination, which I believe is your intended meaning, it is even more likely to be appropriate.

    However, you have used a few examples that are outside of leadership and domination, such as a brain drain from other countries. This example implies that the U.S. actively seeks the smarter citizens of the counties that it leads (or dominates), but this does not seem to be the case, as we take pretty much anyone who crosses our border (not always legally), whether or not from the free world. There may be other or additional words that would add to your version of a description of America in the twenty-first century.

    So what is it? I am struggling to present a late 20th & 21st-century picture of empire – one that I refer to as the ‘Global American Empire (GAE)’.

    A good question. For nine of the past thirteen years, the United States has led from a behind. For eight of them, Obama was leading from his behind, and for a year it was our current White House (as it is unknown who is in charge). During these years, the world saw an Arab Spring that resulted in the loss of freedoms, along with a fundamentally transformed America, which resulted in lost American freedom and liberty. ISIS, (Only Selected) Black Lives Matter, and anti-firstamendment were spawned under Obama and are once again growing in strength. The Taliban was given close to a hundred billion dollars worth of weapons, last year, which we can expect to be used against freedom loving nations in the coming few years or decades. Our entire citizenry is mandated to use experimental medications (illegal aliens exempted, of course), the effectiveness and safety being in doubt.

    So, what is America in this century? Certainly it is not the same free country of our youth, and only a fool would follow its leadership from someone’s behind.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    A contribution to the empire discussion: when I see a bird that runs like a duck and swims like a duck and croaks like a duck, I call that bird a duck (although Edward likes to call that bird a dog).

    Modern empires no longer require the massive troop presence in the conquered states as in the past. Control is exercised by the modern means you have described. Nevertheless, the American empire has an enormous network of military bases around the world and received a troop potential in its most important dependent vassal states (Germany, Japan and South Korea), which can be expanded very quickly if necessary. All states dependent on the American empire are also characterized by the fact that they are not really sovereign and cannot do without America’s military protection.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    To Questioner with hat tips to Edward and Wayne’s reminder from Orwell:

    We need to give Edward credit for correctly pointing out that there are real problems with language and definitions of terminology.

    In the field of international relations between nation states, and earlier in history between empires & between empires & less powerful societies, we should acknowledge that there is a constant tension between facts and interpretation. This has always been the case. For example, looking at the Roman Empire’s relationship to its tribute state of Israel, the first century works of Flavius Josephus demonstrated that tension between facts and interpretation.

    I need to note my disagreement with Questioner’s contention that Germany & Japan are currently vassal states.
    We do know for a fact that after WWII Germany and Japan were previously vassal states of the US. They had unconditionally surrendered and had garrisons of occupying American troops. However over time, US foreign policy allowed Japan & Germany to reassert economic hegemony over large parts of their former empires. In my opinion there currently exists a German/ French hegemony over Europe with the French very much the junior partner. The German Economic Hegemony was laid bare for all to see in the July 2015 Euro crisis.

    In the 21st Century, with the dissolution of the Soviet Empire & with the admission of China to the WTO, the rules of international trade/finance had to be modified. For this process, American Elites invited European Elites into a partnership to solidify stability. Picture a Global Law Firm / Hedge Fund / Intelligence Alliance with the US as the Senior Partners, and the Western European Elites on a fast track partner track. After the global financial meltdown in 2008, the Europeans were granted full partnership status in the Arena of economic management. However, the European elites continue to prefer having the US bear the majority of the military burdens. We can see this in today’s headlines as the US and Russia are now holding meetings in Geneva to jockey over the fate of Ukraine. We live in interesting International times. As you may know, there is the apocryphal story of the Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not, globally we live in interesting times, and increasingly these are times of danger and uncertainty.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    Just a brief additional remark. Anyone who is not sovereign is a vassal. Sovereign (and therefore not a vassal) is the state that can decide on a state of emergency (i.e. war) itself (Carl Schmitt).

    Neither Germany nor Japan are in fact able to declare war on another state without being a subordinate part (as an vassal) of an alliance led by the hegemon America. In fact, it is not even conceivable today, so far the subordination has already progressed.

  • wayne

    Original Mark–

    Highly recommend
    “A Collection of Essays by George Orwell” (1954)
    -you can get the whole thing on PDF, or read on line.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Many thanks for being the Wallace Hartley of this post. Like the RMS Titanic, this post is sinking as the icebergs of time and BtB indifference have gashed through the steel plated analysis. As the bandleader, Hartley carried on with his duties, as you so admirably do likewise.
    FYI – I recently quoted Orwell on a sports blog, and I was immediately censored. So I’ll agree to brushing up on his essays.

  • Questioner

    Original Mark and Wayne:

    I discovered this channel. It seems to be of high quality.

    Millerman Talks #19: Carl Schmitt, The Concept of The Political

  • Edward

    Questioner Wrote: “A contribution to the empire discussion: when I see a bird that runs like a duck and swims like a duck and croaks like a duck, I call that bird a duck (although Edward likes to call that bird a dog).

    If Questioner looked at the way a goose runs, swims, and croaks then he would declare it a duck.

    How is this different from counting angels on the head of a pin? Too many times, I have been in violent agreement with someone who insisted that a goose was a duck, even though the discussion was about aquatic foul. If only we had agreed on definitions before getting into our discussion, we wouldn’t have argued and would have stayed on topic.

    Questioner and Original Mark choose to determine 21st century empire by using misleading qualities, qualities that apply to things other than what they said it is. They mischaracterize America in order to make it seem worse than it is. This is similar to when someone mischaracterizes me or my argument. Just as with the political left, redefine so that the argument cannot be lost, because the opponent cannot keep up with the continually changing rules.

    Original Mark wrote: “I am struggling to present a late 20th & 21st-century picture of empire – one that I refer to as the ‘Global American Empire (GAE)’.

    Why is an earlier empire different than a 21st century empire? The definition of empire should remain the same in all centuries. Otherwise things get confusing.

    In his first comment, above, Original Mark wrote: “I agree but would add that many Americans today, both young and old, are spiritually moved by achievements in Space mainly as a salve to the cognitive dissonance and daily grind we experience as the Global American Empire disintegrates right before our eyes.

    The question became, what kind of America do we want to save from the broke woke: (OS)BLM, and antifirstamendment? (“So, what is America in this century?“) I would like to save a pre-Obama America, back when we were the land of the free. But can we?

    If the United States had merely become an empire, after WWII, rather than a leader of the free world, a beacon showing the rest of the world how to be free and liberated, then is it really worth saving? The French gave America the Statue of Liberty in the 19th century because they saw America as a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world to learn from. If we have become a slave driver, forcing other countries rather than allowing and assisting other countries, then we are not worth saving from the woke. We would have been as bad as the broke woke groups that we oppose.

    Are we that bad, or are we better than them? Are we worth saving?

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward – What do you consider ‘American’? I consider the majority of elites who physically live in the continental United States as primarily “Global Elites” who have little concern for our ideals that are based on a Constitutional Federal Republic.
    For example – Wall Street & American Banking is dominated by Global Elites. They direct substantial investment into China for example, and have little regard for the deindustrialization of the US heartland.
    The American Pharmaceutical Industry is dominated by Global Elites. They push COVIDSTAN and limitations on your liberties.
    Our Social Media Companies are dominated by Global Elites – they don’t care about your first amendment rights.
    Technology & Software Companies are dominated by Global Elites – have you ever listened to the leaders of these companies? They proudly proclaim they are part of the global world and barely hide their contempt for the average American.
    These globalist economic forces are not ‘American’, but their campaign donations and Washington DC Lobbyists do affect our American politicians and how you live.

  • Questioner

    BtB’s Original Mark:

    Finally, I would like to add one more thought to show that America is the hegemon vis-à-vis Germany and Japan. These states were given back their own freedom of choice in relative unimportant matters (even if Germany have already given most of them voluntarily to the EU), but not in the important, fundamental questions.

    [Side note: Germany is one of the few countries in the world (perhaps the only one) whose globalist elite is happily promoting the dissolution of its own nation.]

    My consideration: Germany and Japan (regardless of the present contractual situation) cannot freely choose their military alliances and their form of government! Both are prescribed by the hegemon. Just a thought experiment (gedankenexperiment): joining a military alliance that is dominated by China and Russia and which has intentions that are incompatible with the US position in the world would never allowed by the hegemon. Also the form of government called “liberal democracy” is mandatory for both states and cannot be changed by the states themselves. If necessary, the hegemon – America of course – would intervene militarily in these cases to prevent these developments, which are only theoretical consideration in context with the gedankenexperiment.

  • Edward

    BtB’s Original Mark,
    For some reason you needed to ask: “Edward – What do you consider ‘American’?

    Is the dictionary function on your computer broken or am I being trolled?

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward – let me give you an example from Wall Street.
    Wall Street Investment firms are located in America but are they ‘AMERICAN’?
    Specifically this is how BkackRock is described:
    “ BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with US$9.5 trillion in assets under management as of October 2021.”
    But IMHO BlackRock is NOT AMERICAN because it serves the interests of the Global Elites. Now do you understand why I asked “Edward – What do you consider ‘American’?”

  • Edward

    Now do you understand why I asked

    Yes. Because you use mystery meanings as a means of trolling. When you use a word, it means just what you choose it to mean — neither more nor less. You project your habit onto others, and thus you are unable to understand what they mean without asking, diverting us from the topic at hand and into a silly discussion that could have been avoided through the use of a dictionary. Your example did not contain a definition of “American, but your humble opinion redefined it to suit your purposes.

    You ask so that you can troll. And here I am, falling for your bait. You could not and would not answer my questions no matter the definition of words, either yours or the dictionary’s. For you, the topic is not the point, nor is the discussion. Only the distraction and the denigration of America, or Black Rock, or empires, or whatever the next word you are going to redefine (by nebulous example), as a distraction.

  • BtB’s Original Mark

    Edward – Distraction from what exactly? Bob has a daily series focusing on ‘Blacklists’, ‘Pushback’, & ‘They’re coming for you next’. If you are a diligent reader of BtB, I presume you agree with Bob that the American nation & the American Citizen is in serious trouble and it’s only gotten worse under COVIDSTAN & the current administration. My serious attempt to understand the underlying sources of these issues is the focus of many of my comments.
    You may find my writing style imprecise but in no way is that ‘trolling’ on my part, and I respectfully request you withdraw that accusation.

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