What Western Empire?

Some observant people are beginning to suspect that not everything is going perfectly well with the mighty Western Empire headquartered in Washington, DC. Some of the more excitable of these observers are quick to claim that what they are witnessing are early stages of collapse. But these voices are few and far between, while the rest of the observant observers still feel compelled to follow this bit of mental discipline:

1. The mighty Western Empire is mighty. This is a tautology and therefore self-evident, brooks no argument and requires no further proof.

2. Dominating the whole world requires an absolutely astounding level of intelligence. That’s because the world is big and complicated.

3. If the mighty Western Empire appears to do something stunningly stupid, then that’s because we ourselves are too stupid to understand the subtlety of its intelligence that’s masquerading itself as rank stupidity; see point 2 above as to why.

4. If the mighty Western Empire appears to engage in what seems like a never-ending sequence of spectacularly dumb and self-destructive moves, then that iteratively reduces to a repeated application of point 3 above.

But then there is the radical, extremist viewpoint: that the mighty Western Empire has already collapsed and continues to exist merely by physical and mental inertia while its leaders try to keep up appearances and postpone the inevitable in order to more thoroughly feather their individual nests. These conspiratorially-minded extremists have the gall imagine that there is no astoundingly brilliant and subtle strategic master plan beyond individual players’ efforts to keep getting while the getting is good—or something equally radical and extremist along these general lines.


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