The Reluctance To Let Empire Die

The clone emperors (one dude at different ages) in Foundation

One of the things I found implausible in the show Foundation was how loyal people remained to Empire. Even people predicting the end of Empire didn’t want it to end. It made no sense to me at the time, but now it does.

On Medium we have people like Umair Haque predicting the end of civilization for years, then turning around and calling for this collapsing civilization to fix Afghanistan or Ukraine with its military. He looks at potential nuclear war and says “we have plenty of room to escalate wisely here.”

Umair talks about how Western countries are fucking everything up—including COVID and the planet—but these same countries are somehow going to fix everything. How does one reconcile these beliefs? Even those ringing the doom-bell can’t hear the cognitive dissonance ringing in their own ears.

I can see now — especially with Ukraine — that people quite critical of the ruling White Empire are still fundamentally loyal. They don’t want to give up power, they want to use it for good. They don’t want to put the sword down, they just want to wield it better.

This is where we disagree.

Like silly hobbitses, too many people do not want to give up power. Even if it’s actively killing them, actively starving millions, and actively destroying the Earth. They still think that they can just wield this power differently, and not that the power itself is the problem.

They not only think the ring of great power can be wielded responsibly, they think they’re wearing it. They actually believe the hype that they live in a democracy, that they care about human rights, despite all the bloody evidence to the contrary.

They don’t get it. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and unipolar global power cannot be redeemed. The fact is that the combination of colonial powers from America to Europe to Australia is just an abomination. One ‘rules-based’ order to rule them all is just tyranny writ large. The whole thing needs to be tipped into Mount Doom. Not reforged.

Can you see how we disagree?

Some people are blowing trumpets to warn Empire. Not me. I’m trying to blow Jericho down. That Bible verse goes very hard. It says: