Jeb Bush: The Next, and Maybe the Last, Emperor of the American Empire
In a move fueling a frenzied ejaculation of self-important speculation by our corporatist political pundit class, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, of the aristocratic House of Lancaster, er, make that Bush, resigned from all of his positions on corporate boards this week. Clearly, his powerful House wants to have a third member installed on the throne in the Oval Court of the White Palace in Washington.
Yes, old Jeb must go through the motions of pretending to participate in the quaint remnants of the ancient American republican process called primary and general elections, and the travel and press scrutiny will no doubt be annoying to this fine scion of American aristocracy, but barring a major stock market crash or the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting, his coronation in 2017 is almost inevitable. The opposition to the House of Bush in the Republican Party will manifest itself in a plethora of other Presidential candidates, but the Party’s largely plurality winner-take-all primary system means that Jeb only has to get a third or so of primary votes to insure his Nomination. He can easily do that.
After that, his principle rival, Shrillary Clinton of the House of York, I mean Clinton, is the heir apparent to His Serenely Cool Majesty Barack I, who is very unpopular with the commoners who must at least be given the illusion of selecting the next Emperor of the American Empire. He did, after all, betray their interests with deliberation and malice aforethought. Shrillary, who served Barack as Foreign Minister for a few years, was not all that impressive in that position and still is associated with the flagrantly corporatist policies of her husband, Slick Willie I. All Jeb has to do is to make Shrillary shrill in just one debate, and his selection is assured. Hell, he may not even have to try to do so as she is quite capable of doing that on her own. I mean, claiming that the Clintons were “flat broke” when Slick handed the throne over to Jeb’s brother George II? Really? Nobody believes that.
Unfortunately for Jeb, the crown will rest uneasily upon a troubled brow. The fascistic corporatist capitalist system which has propelled his family into power is in serious trouble. The imperial homeland no longer makes much of anything tangible to base its economy on. Instead, guided by the principles first advanced in modern times by Emperor Ronald the Great of the House of Raygun, the economy has come to be dominated by the financial aristocracy, which makes its living gambling other people’s money in the Great Casino on Wall Street. The wealth created thereby is funneled upward to a very few aristocratic families, and is largely based on the faith their propaganda has instilled in the commoners that the system may somehow still work for them.
That faith has started to show cracks in recent years as the commoners’ standard of living has continued to decline, and can do nothing except continue to decline at a more rapid pace under the current order. What wealth the imperial government could be expending to keep its citizens satisfied and quiescent is being spent either on imperial wars with objectives that are unclear to the American populace and downright threatening to the rest of humanity, or else on subsidies to insure record wealth and power to the corporations which support the ruling aristocracy.
Sooner or later, economic reality will catch up with this speculative financially dominated economy, as has recently happened with the price of oil. That is, even the wealthy investors themselves will stop investing in bubbles that they know will burst, sooner rather than later. When the play money in the Wall Street Casino suddenly loses a big chunk of its alleged value, again, the economic, social, and political repercussions within and without the Empire will be severe.
No doubt Emperor Jeb will do everything in his power to maintain the imperial edifice, but the commoners are simply not in a position to sacrifice even more to maintain the wealth and power of the financial aristocracy which he represents so well, and his reign will probably be marked by a series of peasant revolts. Emperor Barack has wisely embarked on a plan to militarize local police forces and alienate them from the people whom they are supposed to protect, but the police themselves are still, well, commoners. Their loyalty is not guaranteed.
That, of course, still leaves the Imperial Armed Forces, the most powerful on the planet, but they have been stretched thin in the unending series of overseas imperial wars which have been waged under every Emperor since Ronald the Great. History is replete with examples of imperial military forces which, while loyal in fighting for their empires against foreign enemies, are reluctant and sometimes outright rebellious when asked to fight domestic ones. At the very least, they will demand significant compensation to do so, and quite often more real power for themselves and their leaders, who sometimes actually rise from the ranks of lower officers or even, a horrifying thought to the Houses of Bush and Clinton, the enlisted personnel.
Times could easily become so unsettled that several charismatic figures can arise from nowhere to challenge the old order with popular and even military support. If that happens, Emperor Jeb can either wage a civil war by rallying those commoners still loyal to his House and the illusions it represents to his banner, or more likely, simply abdicate and flee to a wealthy and comfortable life in exile, where he and his descendants can plot a return to power that will probably never happen. The Houses of Clinton and Obama will face the same choices, and probably either make a discreet exit into exile or an equally discreet deal with whoever ends up with real power in their locales.
What is an absolute given is that Emperor Jeb will do nothing to avert the catastrophe, since his beliefs in the system which has served his family so well are unshakable, and because even if they weren’t he would not be allowed to do anything by the very people who are profiting so handsomely from it at the moment. This is because the only thing that can head off imperial disaster is redistributing some wealth from the aristocracy to the commoners. This approached worked under the old aristocrat Franklin Roosevelt, and in Western Europe where the ruling classes knew too well the dangers of revolution and civil war, but the American aristocracy, like the Russian and French ones before it, think that it simply can’t happen here.
They are wrong.
As for the American Empire itself, it will dissolve. Overseas possessions and allies will be abandoned out of the necessity to save at least part of the homeland(Hi there, Israel! Be afraid. Be very afraid). Either a revolutionary government that is strong enough to hold together the continental United States will emerge, or it won’t. If it won’t, it is likely the North American part of the Empire will fragment into several regional successor states that can either cooperate with each other or fight each other. If they choose the latter, foreign empires may well be tempted to intervene and extend their own influence into an area long denied them. And most of the rest of the world won’t give a damn about the fate of a people that has shown such hubris and arrogance as Americans have for generations.
Whatever happens, the financial aristocracy which the Houses of Bush and Clinton represent, and what the House of Obama dreams of becoming, will fade into the history books.
As for me and mine, on the bright side we live in an area that can actually be self-sufficient and sustaining if most people decide to work together, which is possible. Unless…shout out to David Seaton, just what DOES it take to immigrate to Spain, anyway?
So Happy New Year! And raise a toast to the ghosts of empires, past, present, and future.