The Empire starts to crumble
The 63rd Letter of an Autonomous Thinker

Amsterdam, September 6 2005

Dear reader, 

Be not afraid of Empires. They all went down. But in the declining years the world stagnates, people are too busy to defeat the once mighty Empire.

Empires are the cause of much of the misery on the world. They are allowed to grow because elites deceive the people by saying it is in their interest to be part of the Empire. There is hardly room for independent thoughts, for new ways to develop humanity. All energy is concentrated on the keeping into existence of the Empire.

Empires should never be allowed to come into being. Therefore the cause of the existence of Empires, elites who strive for personal power and wealth, should be combated. Without elites there will never be Empires. Without Empires the world has a chance to take a new course.


Empires are not good for masspeople. But masspeople do not benefit from the bringing down of an Empire. Another Empire will replace the old one and history will repeat itself. Masspeople should develop their own strategy, should fight to destroy deeper causes, should bring down any elite.


Just put a word in front of Empire and you see that Empires have been quite normal in human life. Chinese, Ottoman, Inca, Roman, Roman Catholic, Moslem, English, Spanish, French and Dutch colonial Empires … and many more smaller and bigger Empires. The masses in the centre of the Empire benefited slightly, the elites at the top had great advantages. For everyone outside the centre an Empire is horrifying.


Empires are important for elites. History is seen as a big sequence of Empires personalised in the figures of elitist persons. Masspeople are hardly important. They were only slaughtered by the millions in the endless wars to establish or defend Empires. Occasionally there was a mass uprising as the one lead by Spartacus but most history is the history of the leading class, is about the struggle between various parts of the elite.


The Persian Empire was defeated by a new elite from a small country at the edge of the vast Empire. Alexander the Great came from a very tiny part of Greece , first united the Greeks and then defeated the great Persian Might. But the Macedonian Empire did not last long, it crumbled away when local elites wanted to get a bigger share of the piece of the cake because the central elite was divided and weakening.


The same is now happening to the American Empire. In the centre the elite is divided (Chirac and Schröder were against the colonial Iraq War) and on the edges local elites are revolting. Algeria and Vietnam were the first signs, Afghanistan , Iraq , Iran and North Korea are the next ones. And the disturbances after Katrina proved that even the border people in the centre of the Empire revolt when they are not controlled by vast numbers of heavily armed soldiers. The power of the leaders of an Empire is always based on a surplus of violence.

But will the world become better when the American Empire is going down? I doubt it.

Masspeople will remain underdogs, waiting for what an elite allows them to do. They have hardly any influence. The rise of an Empire is decided by small elites at the outskirts of the vast centralised territory, the collapse by other small elites from the edge of the Empire. All past Empires vanished and now we see signs that the American Empire is also doomed. Maybe it will be succeeded by a Chinese Empire.
It will not be an improvement. But the masses are still not convinced that they have to take future in their own hands. Only when masspeople become independently active a new kind of world can be created.

Yours truly, Joost van Steenis


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64. Why are you against Bush?
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