01 September 2015

The Church in a Time of Endless War, Imperialism and the Destruction of Societies

The recent Al Jazeera verdicts in Egypt are an exclamation point on the total collapse of the Arab Spring. They represent a final expression of the perversion and subversion of this vast regional movement which five years later is all but over and must be reckoned a failure.

And yet the fruits are still being harvested. This movement which largely represented a rejection of Islamist values and agendas also repudiated Western regional hegemony. While at the time the US appeared (to some) to be impotent in its response, hindsight grants us a better perspective.

In fact the US was quite active in moving to subvert, suppress and in some cases capitalize on the chaos. The US similarly 'cleared the board' in the 1990's, abandoned many erstwhile allies and moved toward establishing new frameworks and alliances. With such shifts the historical record can also be sealed or revised. Mouthpieces can now spew forth new streams of bile and lies while pretending the past did not happen.

The Egyptian movement which ousted longtime US ally Mubarak was quickly subverted by the US allied Egyptian military. After a bit of drama and grandstanding for the US media over supposed US concerns regarding human rights and due process we're left with another authoritarian military dictator wearing a suit instead of epaulettes. And in the process the hated Al Jazeera is both wounded and sent an unmistakable message. Sadly Al Jazeera already sold out its American audience and has missed its opportunity to affect American opinion. This story which should be getting a lot of attention is all but unknown to US audiences, as is the true nature of Egypt's recent history.

The US did all it could to foment war in Syria and Libya and these countries have been completely destabilised. Reminiscent of US actions in Cambodia, the wholesale destruction of these societies produces monsters. The fallout and ramifications will continue for generations. Of course the US (like in Cambodia) will play the game, switch sides and back whatever evil suits their present purposes and agenda. Watching this unfold in Syria it is hard not to be cynical. Of course the same could be said when the US backed Pol Pot post-1979.

And of course there are also the untold stories, Bahrain being but one example. The US allied Saudis who more or less dominate the country have brutally suppressed any social movements in Bahrain as well as their own society. This story is not reported by so-called 'liberal' mainstream news outlets.

The US Empire has worked to expand its global war and the saddest aspect is the refugee crisis that has ensued. US actions whether direct or through proxies has stirred the hornet's nest all across the Middle East and the African continent. The nation state is a fragile thing, largely artificial and many countries are little more than synthetic creations to begin with. Bombs and insurgencies can quickly destabilize the society and often those in power or those trying to stem mass liquidation will fight on even to the point of destroying large segments of their own society and infrastructure. They have everything to lose.

These refugees fleeing the chaos of Central Africa where the US is quite active, another story not reported in our media, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and North Africa are all making their way to the borders of Europe. In every region the US is dropping bombs or working through proxy armies and/or armed and enabled governments. The US is a nation of blood, a self-indulgent and obese consumer of lives and resources.

It is very reminiscent of the refugee crises that hit the Roman Empire so hard in Late Antiquity. We take our security for granted and foolishly think it lies in police-state measures. Someday (perhaps sooner than we think) the fabric of Western society will be torn and we will learn what it's like to live in an insecure and unstable environment. We think our culture is degrading now, and it surely is, but much worse will be found on the horizon.

These refugees finding their way to Libya, the smuggler's haven created by the US/EU generated chaos, as well as the porous borders of Turkey are dying and when arriving in Europe are treated poorly and doing much to stoke the fires of the European Right. We see the same in the Americas where US economic actions and instability have destroyed many Latin America societies. The phony US drug war has all but destroyed Mexico and turned a country that once had a hope of flourishing, into a zone of desperate and dangerous chaos and unbelievable violence. Likewise these migrants fleeing to the US Empire (El Norte) are excoriated and demonized and have become a flashpoint for the rising storm of Right-wing politics.

The US has the audacity to speak to others about human rights, lecturing other nations about transparency and justice. This is little more than an exercise of power, forcing US proxies, allies and trading partners to sit through humiliating lectures. It's like a serial paedophile lecturing reform school or juvenile prison guards on children's rights and then arming the same guards and training them to torture and abuse. It's obscene in every way, but it's a projection of power. It reminds these minions that the US controls the narrative and will tell them not only what to do, but how they're supposed to it. It's all theatre and anyone with their eyes open can see it. In the end the practical concerns govern the relationships. The US cares nothing about these issues. If you're Saudi Arabia the US will move to control the media, the banks and whatever else is necessary to keep the relationship stable and the resources in steady supply. Capitalism is always imperialist in the end and the optimism that was 1990's Globalisation has shown its true face. It represented the next phase in Capitalism's evolutionary development. It was in the end little more than Neo-Imperialism.

The consequent wars and conflicts provide additional investment opportunities. They are new 'markets' creating an economic demand both today and in the future. These broken societies will someday need rebuilding and the banker Corporatocracy will be waiting and capitalising on the opportunity to squeeze newly created proxy regimes, enslave their people and steal their resources.

Like it or not we are all (to some degree) invested in this evil Bestial system. So it was in Rome for the Early Church. But we can certainly do all that we can to divest ourselves of it, to live in it but not be of it and certainly not profit on the whole evil monstrosity that is American society. For the Church this will require a significant shift in thinking and thus in doctrine.

The cry of Semper Reformanda is long dead. The breakdown of US society is also contributing to the breakdown in American ecclesiastical denominations. While there are aspects to this tale that are grievous, we can also look upon these events as an opportunity.

Imperialism enriches the capitalist class but ultimately leads to the impoverishment and destruction of the middle and lower classes in its own society. Empires rise and fall because they ultimately self-destruct. It is a deadly and painful cycle. You cannot have an Empire and maintain a free society. Our freedoms will continue to deteriorate and the consequent police state will be unlike anything the world has ever seen. Technology is a game changer and dystopia is already knocking at our doors.

The US Church so deeply entrenched in the Middle Class and so tenaciously clinging to its values, will largely disintegrate. It is and will be painful to watch. The Churches (congregations) that have already abandoned denominational affiliation, bureaucracy and the dependence on money will have a better opportunity to flourish in the midst of this breakdown. All of these events are either implicit or explicitly revealed in the Scriptures and it is a great comfort to realise this even though very few seem willing to see and embrace these truths.