Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration musings...

Watching CNN this morning I have had several thoughts come to mind.

My first thought was honestly one of fear: there is so much hope built up behind this man. Not just the hopes of a nation, but the world in general. Billions of human beings looking to one man as a symbol of hope for the future.

My fear is that something will happen to him. Remember when our last King was slain: John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He was in my opinion the "Last Good King". A saint? Not by any means. I do however believe that he had the drive and will to do the right thing for America. He wanted Vietnam to be short and sweet, in and out...not the prolonged affair it became under his successors.

Prior to Kennedy I see Franklin Roosevelt as the high point of Americanism: the United States of America at its height. FDR was Julius Caesar, Truman...Octavian.

Starting with Truman we saw the US evolving from an independent superpower, strong in its borders and helping the world without...but starting to flex its muscles in infiltrating the other nations of the world, especially the middle east. It was a covert shift. The development of the American Covert Machine was behind this. We started sticking our fingers in to everything. Now we weren't just heroic liberators but became conquerors (literally in Germany) and connivers...retaining our superpower status.

An American Republic No More...Now we were the American Empire.

In a way it was expected: a response to a new Soviet Empire.

Then we had the cold war. The Empires vying for power by supporting puppet wars, insurgencies and coups across the globe. Some of our emperors were more altruistic than others. JFK, I see him as maybe Marcus Aurelius, maybe Hadrian.

The empire has been in a downward spiral ever since Kennedy's foul murder. I think The Establishment had too much to lose financially under Kennedy and the Praetorians and a cabal of Senators had him eliminated.

Reagan is in my mind Theodosius. A mixed bag: many great accomplishments and behind the scenes many horrible infiltrations. While the Cold War ended for the most part between the felling of the Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Empire, our...the American Empire's influence through puppetry continued. The Need for an American Empire diminished, yet we have driven on, attempting to retain our status through sticking our collective fingers in every global pie in one way or another. Instead of giving the empire back to the people, becoming a republic again in practice instead of just name we have manipulated nations globally to secure OUR future. Is that evil? Is that wrong? No. I don't think it was necessary to remain Das Superpower and keep meddling in global affairs: we could have become part of the global community, working with the UK, Germany, France and the UN as a whole...a PART of the community.

GW Bush, I see him as Julian. Last of the pagan emperors. He was something of a fanatic, driven to bring back the old ways of the Empire: POWER, Government enmeshed with GOD.

Where does this leave us?
The collapse of the Roman Empire. Historically the Roman Empire fell due to many factors, not the least of which was spreading so far that they had to delve in to manipulation of the barbarian kingdoms, playing the Vandels and Goths against each other in order to retain their power. Much like we've done in the Middle East and elsewhere. Same as Britain and France did in Africa, and Asia, same as the Soviets did in Asia, Africa and eastern Europe. Same as Germany attempted in the late 30's and 40's by physical force.

So what about Obama?
Obama is Flavius Stilicho (a vandel). A regent for Honorius and Valentinian (old school patrician Romans). Left holding the bag, keeping the empire together, doing the best he could with what he had.

The outlook historically is grim. Stilicho was eventually ordered to surrender himself and he walked head-high to his own execution. Stilicho was a Vandel, a barbarian. He had much in common with the barbarian cultures that made up the majority of the Roman Empire. His understanding and ultimately race was part of what made him successful with keeping them Empire together. Much like Obama is an African-American, a "minority" who really has more in common with the vast majority of Americans. The patrician power structure would not allow a vandel to lead, regardless of whether he was better at holding it all together or not.

After the death of Stilicho, Rome fell fast. Honorius gave away the western Empire and lost Rome itself. Valentinian held on to Constantinople but the Western Roman Empire was history.

So now what?
Will the patrician power structure willingly diminish in order to facilitate the survival of the empire?

Ave Caesar?


Gamer Dude said...

Frightening indeed. The same thoughts (regarding Obama and the hope placed upon his shoulders) have run through my mind as well. We're handing him a dysfunctional and horribly broken model and expecting a shining kingdom in return.

And to complicate matters, the expected outcome differs wildly between individuals. His metrics of success are naturally all over the board.

Nice analogy with Rome. There are of course a few more factors present within this current model than were there in the old republic, but still, interesting comparison.

We'll all be following the Once and Future King quite closely. ;-)

Jeff said...

I have high hopes. The man has been handed a big bag of shit to sort out and he's going to be busy as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest in order to make headway.

I want to see change...but I also know it's going to take the full-four to make those changes. The public isn't very patient.

Today was "the first day of the work" and I forsee many hard days ahead. Thankfully Obama and many others aren't afraid of some hard work and rolling up sleeves and getting a job done.